What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom is a big, daunting concept that can sometimes feel like something we can only read about or imagine, something not relevant to our life in practice. But we have all experienced moments where we have felt free and connected.
People throughout the ages have asked: What is the good life? How can I live it well?
Sometimes it's only during our difficult times or moments of transition that we start to seek our own answers to these questions.
A 'perfect' life, where you are happy every single moment, is only possible on Instagram. But a life where you can define freedom for yourself and take steps to build a joyful core to weather the reality of life - that's possible.
Everyone always says they have THE answer. That there is only ONE way to fix everything. The Freedom School blends the best of evidence-based practices, neuroscience and ancient wisdom. It’s science that doesn’t think we are machines that need fixing, and acknowledges that we need to connect the mind and body. The thread that hangs it all together in every programme is the search for that coherency. For integration. You will be retraining your mind, body and building new habits through experience. The success of the programme depends on what we can help you do when you go home.
2020 BC (Before Covid)
We are living in a society where most people experience anxiety, stress and confusion. According to the World Health Organisation, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. There are websites for people to pay strangers for hugs, statistics show that the more time you spend in social media, the lonelier you feel. We are overwhelmed, over-stimulated, constantly interrupted by technology and have few spaces that nourish our souls, promote balance and wellbeing. We are too busy to heal ourselves.
We are disconnected. Disconnected from ourselves, from nature and each other.
2020 AQ (After Quarantine)
It’s important to acknowledge the suffering Covid-19 has bought to the world. But one of the least expected outcomes is the opportunity of this great pause. That has allowed many people to reflect on what they want to leave behind and what they want to bring forward into the ‘new’ world. We have appreciated family and friends and human connection. We can see how interconnected our lives are and how we have to help each other to survive.
The Freedom School wants to help people understand how to live with freedom in times of great uncertainty, big ones like now and the bigger ones of everyday life. Change is the only thing to be counted upon.
A few years ago, I lost my father unexpectedly. Until then nothing really bad had ever happened to me. I didn't have many internal resources to see me through. I pushed through in a new big job and wanted to look after my mother. I did all those things and did them well(ish), but spent my spirit. But it started a journey where I found out that other smart people have thought about this and there are practices and ways of thinking that can help.
I was a swot at school and have always been curious, seeking knowledge. But it's not enough. I like this story from Stephen Fry. Interviewed by a friend of mine, he says his favourite quote is from the late Michael Ramsey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury and was accounted a very wise man. When asked to define wisdom he said, "Wisdom is the ability to cope." Fry observed: "There are people from the Kalahari desert to the Arctic wastes who may not know much, but they can cope and are wise. But knowledge is very different.”
The Freedom School was set up to make us all a little bit wiser.
Amrita Das, Founder of Freedom School