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Jul 212012
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Choosing Freedom

When personal freedom matters to you, what happens when freedom is a tough choice? This is an inspiring real life story about choosing freedom in the face of fear.

Today I had an article planned, but I want instead to share what is going on in my life right now in the hope that it helps you look at any crisis, emergency or tough choice you may be facing now with new insights. In my case, the choice I am facing is about freedom.My first value is freedom. But values often get challenged by crisis, so that we must choose them or loose them.
These past two weeks I’ve not been able to finish my subscribers’ newsletter because someone I love needed me very much. It’s my aunt Fanny. Two weeks ago the neighbor who looks after her could not find her by nightfall, so she called us. My aunt was missing!My Freedom Shero
Everybody has their childhood heroes and sheroes. Aunt Fanny was mine. When I was a little girl, I looked up to aunt Fanny as the model for freedom. As I remember, she had a fabulous car, a glamorous job as a beauty representative for cosmetic products and she managed her own finances. Unlike other grown-up women around me, aunt Fanny was determined to be her own woman. She was joyful, independent and sassy. I inherited my love for leopard prints from her!

I loved aunt Fanny’s sexy dresses and the new hair colors she’d try every week. she’d go out to work as a blonde and come back as a red haired. Oh, and to this day, her favorite therapy is shopping!
Aunt Fanny was always smiling, joking, dancing, singing and laughing. And to this day, that’s who she is. Unlike the other adult women around me, who where always worried or duty-bound, aunt Fanny was guided by joy. I wanted to be like aunt Fanny when I grew up. So imagine my fright when she disappeared! 

A 90-pound, 5-feet giant

When I came to New York, aunt Fanny received me in her
home and I lived with her for some years while I was continuing my acting studies and building my theatre career. We had very good times together, and we also had some hard times. That’s family.

I know her as she was then and I’m beginning to know her as she is now. But one thing stays the same. Aunt Fanny is a resilient will and a strong spirit inside a tiny skeleton. She lost her husband many years ago, but she continued living in New York, in a rent-controlled apartment. She was retired from her job at a gold factory many years ago with a meager pension after more than 40 years of service. Undaunted, aunt Fanny relied on her charm and excellent sales skills to get a job as a sales lady on a prestigious bridal gown store.

But as her age bracket went up, aunt Fanny got fired
from one job after another, no matter how hard she tried, no matter how many sales she made; until no one would give this old lady a job, in spite her excellent sales skills.

“They prefer to hire young inexperienced girls in a mini-skirt rather than give me a job, no matter how much money they may be loosing,” aunt Fanny said.

For Whom the Freedom Bell Tolls?

The prejudices against old age are common in our youth-oriented society and soon aunt Fanny had searched all over her neighborhood for available sales position. She realized that no one would hire her, and stopped looking. No matter. Aunt Fanny adapted, tightened her money strings and kept her independence and freedom, with the gallant help of my cousin Roger, who’s like a brother to her, as my grandma brought him up.

I believe that our ageism marginalizes elder people when
they are still productive and leads to our elders feeling unappreciated. I believe that this leads to depression or the acceleration of the degenerative conditions of old age. Aunt Fanny refused to get depressed. But it’s hard to keep in touch with a world that no longer holds a space for you.

After a life of service, hard work and love to family, neighbors and community, our old people become a “problem” and, now that it’s our time to show gratitude, we want to tow them out of the way. Many live with a miserable pension, thousands are abused and bullied. So many are alone, without decent health plan, food or basic necessities. The way our system is rigged up, especially in the big cities, it is very hard for families to
keep their elders at home. So in this month of July, having celebrated the day of our national independence, a question keeps resonating in my heart: for whom the Freedom Bell tolls? It’s certainly not for our elders!

Nevertheless, aunt Fanny forged on. Like I said, she’s a
90-pound, 5-feet giant and she’s not going down without a fight. She devised safety strategies to deal with daily tasks in the midst of her new confusion with time, words and memories. She refuses to complain. “I got strong bones!” she says. “Nothing hurts.” She hates being helped when she does not need help. “I’m not an invalid!” she’ll bark. “I know what I’m doing.”

She says that it’s all about “mind over matter” and is
always saying that she is “como coco” ~strong and healthy. “I don’t even get colds!” she boasts. And it’s true. She’s barely seen a couple of doctors in all her life. She has always been healthy and strong. “I laugh, sing and dance, and I walk.” That’s her recipe for health.

Missing Person!

Two weeks ago, aunt Fanny was on her way to visit a
friend when she fell down. She was taken to a hospital, but she could not remember her information, her home address or our names and telephones. The neighbor who looks after her could not find her by nightfall, so she called us. My aunt was missing!

I called my angels, probably at the same time that she was calling hers, asking them to send us a message. The message arrived and in 20 minutes I localized her in a neighborhood hospital. But the hospital would not say anything about her status over the phone. My cousin almost flew to the hospital. When I called him, my heart was pounding.

Then I heard the good news over the phone. She was safe
and sound! Through the phone I could hear her angry voice “There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m not staying in this hospital one more minute. You take me home right now!” Aunt Fanny can be quite stubborn, but now even her barking protest seemed like music to my ears! As my heartbeat slowed down, all I could manage to say was “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

I’ve been in the hospital with my aunt for a week and
now I’ve moved in with her. I’m staying in her apartment.

Why not put her in a home, if she can’t take care of
herself and we are in no position to take care of her 24/7? We have considered it, It seems the only practical thing to do, but we can’t simply get our hearts to agree with that logic. We know what it means to aunt Fanny to live in her own apartment, to keep her independence and freedom and to stay in the neighborhood where she’s lived her whole life.

I am one of three members of my family left in the USA, one being my aunt and the other my cousin Roger. We are as different as can be, but we have ONE thing in common. We are fiercely independent. Our first value is freedom. (It is no wonder then, that we’ve preferred to stay in New York!)

So here we are, with only love and freedom to bind us
together in this moment of uncertainty. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I work from home, and though my cousin and friends helped me to set a laptop in my aunt’s kitchen, I can barely work. Like a child, she demands constant attention. She agrees not to talk to me while I work, but forgets and comes back to engage me.


The Freedom Paradox

The paradox is that in order to protect her freedom we’ve had to curtail some of her habits, what I call the “freedom chains.” I talked with her in the hospital and explained that we are her “Freedom Guardians” and are going to do everything possible to keep her free  lifestyle. But to keep her at home and independent, there are some things that need to change.

This is true of many of us. The freedom we seek is a freedom to be our true self, to live fully and to live out our purpose. But often we create freedom placebos, habits that we use as freedom flags, but may actually keep us in our Comfort Zone. For my cousin and I to honor my aunt’s freedom we are making new adjustments, and this means working as a team. In a way, we three have a similar “freedom chain” ~the believe that in order to be free we need to do everything alone and by ourselves. Can you relate?

It was hard to tell aunt Fanny that the stage in her
life where she cannot live alone was already here. The tradeoff to keep her at home would be that she cannot go out alone anymore. She fought at first, but she did not like the other option: going into a home.

I don’t know what will happen. I certainly cannot stay without working, seeing clients or doing events for a long period of time. The days in which she stays in her own apartment may not be that many. But for now, we help her to hold on to her freedom because we love her and know that without freedom, life is not worth living.


Your Freedom Matters
I’d like to hear from you. Feel free to reply. Does any of this resonate with you? What stands in the way of freedom for you? Have you had a similar experience? And please, if you know of any resources that can help us, send me the link or information. We will appreciate it.

Until then, know that I love you and I hold your place of freedom too. Because without the freedom to be who you truly are in your soul, to pursue the passion that makes you feel vibrant and alive and to deliver your life purpose by sharing your gifts with the world; life is only a dull drill where the true colors of your radiant spirit are dimmed until they fade. I don’t want this for you or me, just as I don’t want it for my “titi.”

Like aunt Fanny says about her bright hat and favorite
shirt, “I wear happy colors.”

And that’s my wish for you and my service to you.

Light and love,

Maria Mar

The Dream

If you liked this story, you will love my inspirational novella, based on real live family events. Click here to hear a clip.



If you like this story, you’ll love my most recent inspirational novella, based on another “auntie” experience.

A place for Roses

Inspirational Novella

Maria Mar

This is a
great read if you are seeking something that inspires and motivates, but
also something that deepens your understanding of personal transformation.

Immediately downloadable

This inspirational story is a first-person reality-based fiction of my own journey to heal my issues with wealth, health and love. It depicts a bitter-sweet family holiday with my auntie. The fictional story is embedded with shamanic knowledge from the Sacred Feminine and is especially targeted for spiritual, creative women. Gain insights into how women transmit emotional wounds from one generation to the other as you witness my Shamanic Hunting process. As I summon my Hunter Power Animal to track down the fears, false beliefs and memories that prevented me from manifesting my dreams, you get a glimpse at how to track down the inner source of your own problems. As I finally put together the puzzle of my self-sabotage and fears, you witness my transformation as I realize that my active faith and courageous choices have opened new possibilities for me. Cry with me at the pain of seeing my loved ones trapped in the past. Laugh with me as I come to term with everyone’s chosen path, and seat down with my auntie to enjoy the holiday meal.

Digital book. 113 pages with inspirational quotes. Immediately downloadable.

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A place for Roses

Inspirational Novella

Maria Mar



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About Maria Mar

Maria Mar is a Sacred Storyteller and shaman who champions you to change your old limiting story to create the new story of your brilliance illuminating the world. She helps you awaken your magic, express your creative genius, embody your purpose and live your potential now.

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