Embodying Freedom: A Journey of Social and Embodied Liberation



"Reclaiming our inherent capacities, which centuries of oppression and colonization have attempted to erode, is crucial to this process."



For me, freedom isn't just an abstract concept; it's a multifaceted journey that intersects social liberation with embodied liberation. As I reflect on freedom, I'm inevitably drawn to the painful history of my ancestors' enslavement under the works of capitalism and white supremacy.

These oppressive forces have deeply entrenched themselves within our society, creating structures that privilege certain groups while systematically marginalizing others, denying them the opportunity to experience true wellness and freedom. To truly grasp the essence of liberation, we must confront our histories and critically examine the systems that govern our lives.

We must ask ourselves: What have we internalized? What is trained in us? Are we perpetuating systems of dominance and disconnection, or are we embracing practices that promote connection and collective well-being, flaws and all?

In contemplating the struggles of those who came before us, I am reminded of their unwavering resilience, their prayers, hopes, and tireless activism in the pursuit of freedom and justice. Freedom, then, becomes more than just a word; it becomes a profound embodiment of essential elements:

Freedom is repair.
Freedom is reform.
Freedom is resistance.
Freedom is restoration.
Freedom is reimagining.
Freedom is recreating.
Freedom is feeling.
Freedom is awareness.
Freedom is non-binary.

However, the road to freedom requires us to dismantle and reconstruct our social and economic systems. This journey begins with the repair of our communities and our planet, both of which have endured generations of exploitation and neglect.

Yet, even as we strive for liberation, we are bombarded by messages that reinforce disembodiment, perpetuating a sense of alienation from ourselves and our surroundings. Prentis Hemphill aptly questions, "What good is freedom if we don't feel it?"

Reclaiming our inherent capacities, which centuries of oppression and colonization have attempted to erode, is crucial to this process. As Naimonu James reminds us,our true purpose, our true work, lies in remembering ourselves as free beings, liberated from the shackles of productivity and profit. Instead, let us cultivate a deep sense of connection with ourselves, with each other, and with the world around us. Let us remember that liberation happens when we grow our capacity to be in our bodies and feel alive.

In doing so, we embark on a transformative journey towards liberation, one that honors our past, embraces our present, and paves the way for a more just and equitable future.