Walking goats here outside of Boston helped me create this little analogy between sheep, people and life.
Imagine being a sheep sitting a pen.
Everything feels safe, comfortable and secure. Farmers feed you daily and provide you with water.
All of your survival needs are met. But you have no genuine freedom, living in a small, crowded pen. Even worse? You are forced to live in your own waste. Smelly and cramped surroundings offer you safety and security, but you make the ultimate sacrifice: giving up your freedom, being penned in.
Making matters worse, the farmers sheer you routinely, being your owners, treating you like livestock. Oh yeah; eventually, they slit your throat and you become mutton.
Imagine being a sheep grazing in a pasture. Phew! You have some space now. More grazing potential too, with fresh, green, lush grass to feast upon. More space means you no longer live in your filth. Ample room for outdoor toilets.
But at the end of the day, fencing surrounds the pasture. You are enslaved. Being captive, farmers sheer you routinely and eventually slit your throat.
Perhaps you seem less bound but you live the life of livestock. Live in a cage. Eat some grass. Get sheered. Get butchered. Wind up on some human's plate.
You spot a hole in the pasture fence. Can you squeeze through? Heck yeah!
Worming your way through the fence involves cutting yourself on the barbed wire. Blood flows down your wool coat and pain surges through your being but being free is worth the discomfort.
But dangers await you. Mountain lions, bears and wolves prowl the wild, possibly greeting and eating you in this fun, freeing world apart from being enslaved in a pen, shorn and butchered by a farmer. Perhaps you come across a wolf in sheep's clothing. The farmer posts a few snitches outside of the pasture fence. These deceivers report you. One cattle prod shock later, you become enslaved in the pen once again.
If you make it past the first wave of predators you are far less likely to be predated and consumed. The risk of being killed and eaten remains but you gladly accept this risk as the price of freedom. Being enslaved and treated like livestock was an absolute nightmare.
Freedom! Graze where you want to graze. Sleep where you want to sleep. Make your own decisions. Live life how you want to live life. No farmer awaits over your shoulder with shears and knives.
All sentient beings live to be free.
No sentient beings live to be bound.
How do you live your life?
Do you live in the pen? Maybe you live in the pasture? Or do you live in the free wilderness?
Observe your personal life. Check out your family life. Pay close attention to any politicians you support. How about your personal life?
Do you choose freedom with built-in risk inherent? Or do you choose to live inside the fence in the illusion of comfort, safety and security, only to be treated life cattle, poked, prodded, manipulated and butchered?
Do you live in the stinking, festering pen by playing everything safe, being firmly ensconced in your miserable, depressing, soul-sucking comfort zone? Do you live in the more spacious, better-smelling, but equally confining and ultimately enslaving pasture?
Or do you live a life of fun, freedom and complete liberation, living your life by design, being completely aware of the inherent risks of mountain lions, bears, wolves and wolves in sheep's clothing, built-in to your freedom?
I want to mention two bloggers who deeply embody this spirit of freedom, liberation, free-thinking and free-living as each inspired, influenced and goaded me to be the blogger and person I am today.
My wife Kelli Cooper of Life Made to Order has been there from the beginning of this fun, freeing, wild, and yes, sometimes dangerous and scary journey of circling the globe as an entrepreneur. We've collectively made some of the ballsiest, boldest, empowered decisions that freed us from imaginary shackles, depression and many deep, pulsating fears.
My dear friend Donna Merrill of Donna Merrill Tribe has embodied the free spirit energy with her blog, businesses and life. She is one of the few influential bloggers who has been there from about the beginning of my online career, influencing me, inspiring me, and showing me the fun, freeing way to live and blog on this fascinating, sometimes uncomfortable ride out in the free wilderness.
I feel deeply grateful to my wife and friend for their shining example, support and their flat out commitment to living freely, no matter what.
Break through the pen. Bust through the pasture fence. Be free. Enter the wilderness. Wolves, mountains lions, bears and wolves in sheep's clothing await you, but so what?
If you're not free to live how you want to live what's the point?
Death awaits you anyway.
Why not be free?