I’m back with another episode of Live Your Freedom Now.
If you recall, in our last episode (our inaugural episode!), I gave a little look into the concept of Dominant Dogma: All the cultural narratives and beliefs which externally, and subsequently internally as adaptive strategies, tell you who you’re supposed to be, how to do it, and what you need to buy to live that out.
It was a big one and may have brought up some overwhelming feelings, but I hope you were able to see how helpful it is to name and define that Dominant Dogma to get us started on a new path — one where we can truly blossom.
In this episode, I’ll be using what I taught last week to explore how Dominant Dogma gets in the way of your freedom.
We all understand the world through stories, and the narratives we have been told and continue to tell ourselves can be really helpful tools to relate to one another and be humans. However, these stories can sometimes keep us confined and hinder us from seeing new possibilities.
I’ll share how I personally came to this revelation and realized it was time to start writing my own story — and how I could incorporate all parts of me (the beloved “both/and”) to live in my freedom.
Let’s go on this journey together!
In this episode, we’ll talk about:
- Cute dogs on soft blankets (insert heart-eye emoji, right?!)
- The beauty and freedom of being in the present moment
- How Dominant Dogma comes naturally
- How powerful stories can be in our lives
- My personal revelation with Dominant Dogma
- Using critical thinking and nuance to live in your freedom
Read on for quote highlights or listen to the episode below:
Hello hello creative humans, I am writing today’s episode from my home office in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. My velvet green chair is holding me, incense is slowly wafting around in the slightly stagnant winter air that surrounds me, and My dog Patrick is sleeping quietly by the window curled up in a cushion on the floor. Before we go further, I want to share why I share these little snippets of where I’m writing and often recording from.
As we’re talking and discussing personal freedom, I believe so much of freedom is found in the small present moments already surrounding us. That is where freedom of choices lives, and where our life is actually happening, and so why not start our time here, in the present moment?
Additionally, within somatic healing and presence practices, a large part of cultivating inner capacity begins by noticing your environment. Not closing your eyes and disconnecting from your body and surroundings, but instead by breathing into the textures, the light, the shadows, the colors, the weight of where you are right here and now. So that is where we begin our journey together. In the freedom of the present.
So I invite you even now, to notice your own surroundings, perhaps even thanking the items and earth which are supporting your ability to be here with me now.
Ok, Today, I am talking about why adopting Dominant Dogma comes naturally and how you can start to Live Your Freedom Now.
You come by these patterns, these beliefs, these Dominant Dogmas, naturally.
Throughout history, we have organized ourselves and our world through stories. It is how we relate to one another and often find our sense of empathy and compassion.
These stories of our lives, which are impacted by the Dominant Dogma and upheld by those around us, ultimately take part in crafting our subjective reality.
The stories and experiences like how your middle-aged white male boss responded when you asked for a raise. The isolating memory of how your friend from college was treated after coming out as queer. The guilt trip you received after gathering the courage to say no. The “failure” you experienced when trying your hand at acting. These experiences and stories, again which are impacted by the Dominant Dogma and upheld by the people around you, become the lens you see the world through, and over time, for better or worse, they become so ingrained in your psyche it hinders you from seeing and believing in new possibilities. Healthier ways of relating. And alternative lifestyles which support collective and nuanced thriving. These stories and experiences are no longer perceived as being isolated anomalies. They have become an ingrained belief, a pattern, and then, a dogma.
Let me explain a bit further by sharing one example from my journey with Dominant Dogma.
I first became aware of the depth of my own internalized Dominant Dogma about four years ago.
I was following the steps, embracing the rules, and living out the values I was raised to uphold, including being a Christian, being “nice,” a hard worker, and always believing the best in others. And, it was working! I had achieved “The Dream,” I lived in the city I had always desired, and I co-built a multi-six figure business within six months!
By unconsciously buying into the Dominant Dogma handed to me, I achieved the dream. However, each step along the way, the Dominant Dogma required me to sacrifice some part of myself and my humanity.
- Being “nice” required keeping the peace instead of setting boundaries and communicating clearly.
- Being a hard worker required forcing my body and brain beyond my capacity instead of honoring its needs and tending to them.
- Believing the best of others required holding on to naiveté instead of inviting my initiation into adulthood and wisdom.
- Being a Christian required trusting a god, a savior, and a church leader instead of trusting my intuition and growing awareness.
These molds and roles I took on, the Dominant Dogma I took on, resulted in a business built on self-extraction, a manipulative business partnership, and toxic client relationships. As a result, my migraine headaches became a daily tormentor. I developed gut dysbiosis. My creativity for work fizzled out. And, in the end, I had to navigate a messy business dissolution and my exit from evangelical Christianity.
Now, I must point out again that the beliefs and narratives I had been taught were not necessarily good or bad, right or wrong. However, the way I was required to live by them in order to stay safe and thrive in my subculture caused me to unconsciously and wholeheartedly embrace them. I lived them out in a Dogmatic way which did not allow me to honor the nuance of my lived experience and needs.
As my body cried out in the form of health difficulties, I began to see how I was extracting from myself and chronically living by the rules others set for me. Through that experience, I hit my own form of rock bottom which gave me permission to question everything.
I contemplated the way I lived and evaluated what was no longer working (and what was never sustainable in the first place). I began to recognize the Internalized Dominant Dogma I had been unconsciously living out. I was able to witness my own thoughts and get curious about where those thoughts originated from.
I learned to think critically, embrace the both/and, and ultimately Live My Freedom Now.
And that is what we’re here to explore together.
In each episode of this podcast, I will bring to the table a Dominant Dogma out in the world, evaluate it, and invite you to Live Your Freedom Now. What does Live Your Freedom Now actually mean? Well, that will come in our next few episodes though this quote from Dr. Edith Eger, which I also shared last week, really encompasses the essence of this mantra, “The only place where we can exercise our freedom of choice is in the present.” ― Dr. Edith Eger
Again, I will be right back here next week, and if you want to cheat and jump ahead a bit, head to megscolleen.com and download my free Freedom Manifesto!
All right, I’ll see you next week!
Freedom is yours,
“When I talk about freedom, I am really focusing on the freedom that’s accessible to us in this moment. The freedom of choice in this moment, recognizing the beauty that’s already around us, so we can recognize that we are whole — right here, right now.”
“How can we reclaim ourselves from these narratives? One of the most beautiful rebellions is to live in this freedom now.”
“You come by these patterns, these beliefs, these Dominant Dogmas, naturally.”
“By unconsciously buying into the Dominant Dogma handed to me, I achieved the dream. However, each step along the way, the Dominant Dogma required me to sacrifice some part of myself and my humanity.”
“These molds and roles I took on resulted in a business built on self-extraction, a manipulative business partnership, and toxic client relationships.”