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Gaining Freedom Through Connection

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for opposing South Africa’s apartheid laws. Forced to do back-breaking work, cut off from the outside world on an island off the mainland, he could only receive one letter and one 30-minute visit, both highly censored, every six months. Despite his imprisonment, he eventually gained his freedom in 1990. 1

It’s easy to see freedom as a binary choice – in jail or out. And yet, it’s not, not really.

Freedom is a state we choose for ourselves.

You have choices

Binary choices are appealing because they simplify. In a complex world with a myriad of possibilities, choosing X or Y feels decisive.

Decisions create certainty. In contrast, it feels uncomfortable in the nether land between here and there. Thus, making a decision based on two choices moves you out of uncertainty.

The downside? Simplifying can reduce many ingredients into sausage casings of yes or no. Of course life is full of nuance so binary choices aren’t always ideal. Sometimes you need more sausage casings or different flavours to know what you want.

Think of the last time you took a multiple-choice test. Usually, you find one or two responses that could be the right answer and then you pick between the two. Notice, however, how those two responses (your binary choice) get highlighted precisely because of their contrast to the other options.

If you accept you have choice, you can never be imprisoned. The fact that you can choose means that you have free will. Free will means you are free.

Choice = Freedom

You can choose happiness or suffering, you can choose to connect internally and externally, or not. It’s up to you.

Freedom lets you expand, grow, and experience novelty. It connects you to others, as I discussed a few weeks ago when I distinguished “freedom from” which is about aloneness or separation and “freedom to” which is steeped in love.


And yet, not everyone accepts free will and the role of choice within it. As such, they imprison themselves.

Imagine each limiting belief you hold as a prison bar you create for yourself. If you believe you can’t achieve X, then guess what? You won’t achieve X.

I’ve observed that most limiting beliefs revolve around the central theme of “not good enough.”

You can escape this prison of your own design, though, because you created it. By recognizing and addressing your limiting beliefs, what I refer to as your saboteurs, you break apart those prison bars.

Your inner voice – your Leader Within – will tell you what you need to know.

You are worthy. Period.

Nothing external can grant you worthiness. You must accept it for yourself. Your sense of worth comes from within.

A Special Note

You may be surprised to hear this, but not making a choice is a choice too.

While you may see it as a deferral or avoidance or unnecessary, recognize that these are the justification lies of the saboteur.

Not making a choice holds consequences: another bar in your prison. It results in a loss of your freedom.

Emancipation Through Connection

Mandela survived his imprisonment. Remarkably, he didn’t let his physical imprisonment limit his growth. When he was freed, he was ready to lead South Africa out of apartheid.

Did you know apartheid means “separate” in Afrikaans?

Mandela knew better. All humans are connected, not separate.

Your choices – binary, multiple choice, or non-choice – sit within a larger context.

Like a spider’s web, your choices impact others because everything is connected. What you do with one thread pulls another.

Do not mistake connection for imprisonment.

You are not imprisoned. You are free.  You have worth.

Header Photo by Maddy Weiss on Unsplash, Photo by Ye Jinghan on Unsplash, Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.