It seems like an obvious choice for July doesn’t it? America celebrates independence day on July 4… freedom from the British monarchy… but, being that we’re in the work of self-awareness, connection, and growth, I’d like to challenge with this question:

“Freedom for who?”

Here at getFIT615 we work with folx and their bodies… kind of. But folx’s bodies, are politicized… they always have been. In working with human beings and their bodies, we also know that we’re working with their minds, experiences, traumas, understandings, beliefs, and policies. That being said, we support the liberation and the equity of human beings and their bodies. 

It’s pretty clear that there are people here in America who are not free to move in the world in ways that feel… well, free. To be a Black person in America means not having the same access and opportunities as white Americans. It means police brutality, the preschool to prison pipeline, discrimination, racism, hate crimes… it means working against systems every single day that were not only not build for you, but built on the backs of your ancestors. And you can’t avoid any of it because it’s the color of your skin. It can’t be hidden, it can’t be missed. We do see color. Being a member of the LGBTQ community means not having the same freedom to love who you love the way hetero folks do. Being a trans person means that folks question how you identify as a human being on a daily basis in a way that cisfolks won’t ever understand. Indigenous folks in America were ripped from their homeland and moved to reservations which are owned and operated by the Federal Government and are among the poorest communities in America. Being disabled or fat is often living in a world that isn’t built for you. Literally, you don’t fit in. There are folks along our border who, in seeking freedom, are literally being detained in concentration camps - separated from their parents and children, and have no idea when they’ll see each other again or be released. They’re dying there.

These individuals and communities are told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and are asked to try harder to conform to the American Dream. But conforming isn’t freedom. The American Dream, as we are dreaming now, is not freedom for all - it’s freedom for some at the expense of others.

Belonging is freedom. Connection is freedom. Authentic movement is freedom. Autonomy is freedom. Safety is freedom. 

In what ways do you recognize freedom?

How are you free?

How can you share your freedom to help someone else become free?

I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.
— Audre Lorde
There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.
— Audre Lorde
Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.
— Audre Lorde
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… this is the inter-related structure of reality.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities — the political, the religious, the educational authorities —- who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing — forming in our minds — their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself.
— Joanna Macy 
Want to change the world?
Start by being brave enough to care
— Cleo Wade
ph:  Lindsey Kanes   written by: Kate Moore

ph: Lindsey Kanes

written by: Kate Moore