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  • Writer's pictureSouheang Ly

Liberation: Free yourself from the "shoulds"

Unlearning is the deliberate letting go of what we have been taught and the willingness to discover our own truths and break free from our ingrained beliefs. It involves stepping confidently out of the familiar and comfortable and into the ultimately liberating unfamiliar and uncomfortable.


We are constantly exposed to messages from our parents, friends, schools, and social media that we mistake for our own truths when, in reality, they are the beliefs of others rather than our own.

Never allow anyone to tell you where or with whom you should or shouldn't be involved in your life. Involve yourself in everything and with everyone around you, but don't ever identify anything or anyone with yourself. Examine your self-perceptions and life beliefs, and determine what makes you happy and what is best for you.

Allow yourself to be free with the help of nature!

*** Disclaimer: These tips are from my own experiences. You may use this piece of idea as your reference, but not as steps to follow or do exactly the same. Be liberated!

Identify what you genuinely want, not what your parents, grandparents, friends, partner, or the whole society want. Ask yourself if it is something that you won’t regret in the next five, ten, or twenty years. What you can do is find a spot outdoors. It can be under a tree, in front of a river, next to a pond, or on a rock. Just sit there, observe your surroundings, follow your intuition to find a natural object, then feel it, take a closer look at it, and listen to the silent dialogue. This deep nature connection would help you clear your mind, which leads to seeing what you want deep down inside.


Live in the present, not dwelling in the past or worrying about what is not yet coming. Numerous pleasant emotions, like serenity, happiness, and creativity, can be evoked by nature, and it can also help with focus. By spending more time in a natural environment, you can be more mindful of the moment.

Stay receptive and open to change, which is the first step towards unlearning and relearning. In nature, things can change quickly without your control. It happens the way it is. It can change from sunshine to storm, and you cannot turn it on and off like things in the human-made world. With this, you can learn to accept the change, make use of the situation, enjoy the unexpected, or stay grumpy.

Trust your intuition: assess your gut feeling by asking yourself, "Does this feel right to me?" and determine what speaks to you. You must still your mind and pay attention to your body in order to connect with your intuition. Spending time in the natural environment, where you can take in its harmony, beauty, and peace, is one way to achieve this. Intuition relies heavily on the senses, emotions, and imagination, all of which are heightened by being in nature.

Get rid of the masks others put on you. Trip away from all external influences to reveal the true you. You try to live up to others' expectations of you. You try to be who your parents want you to be. You do things to make people see how great you are. In nature, you are allowed to be who you really are; nature doesn’t order you around; nature doesn’t expect you to be who you are not; and nature never ever judges you for your quirks and your flaws. Nature will open the door for you into a whole new world where you can start being YOU!


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