Freedom Is Self-Bestowed

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(Lose the Net by Rasmus Faber Courtesy of Epidemic Music)

Isn’t it amazing how good questions lead us naturally to good answers, and how beautiful questions lead to even better answers! When we open ourselves to the things we don’t know, we’ve opened the doors to discovery and wonder and greater understanding.

I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that matter every day.

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Imagine going into your day without holding anything back in any way—living the day from the inside out in ways that allow you to be who you really are.

Join me this week as we consider what that will be and how to accomplish it. Stay with me.

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48” X 48” oil on canvas

(work in progress)


For the past week, I’ve been in my studio working on preparatory drawings and a large painting of the view from a west Texas cliff at the end of Kyle Mountain. The cliff overlooks a broad valley with the Brazos River running through it. You can see for fifteen miles. In the painting, I’m recreating a boyhood memory of the day I stood at the cliff’s edge and watched Turkey Vultures in flight. Seconds after one of them shot upwards within a couple of feet from me, a single wing feather twirled down out of the sky like a ballerina.

Today, as I was capturing the movement of that feather in one of my drawings, the word “pirouette” came to mind. Thinking about it, I also thought of a poem I wrote several years ago about another winged flier—a swift that crisscrossed the sky behind my house as a storm was coming.

As I share that short poem with you, I’m confident you’ll catch the point of this week’s consideration.

Thunder loomed and rolled, and lightning ripped the sky apart and trees bent hard before the wind. The birds flushed from my garden to hide in their most secret places. But high in the darkening brood, dashing, diving, wheeling, for what seemed the pure joy of it, a lone swift mocked the coming storm.

Entranced by such freedom that in plummet and pirouette refused to turn away, I stood transfixed a while, then stepped to shelter as the sidelong torrent began. An hour hadn’t passed before the sun shone again, and my garden and the trees beyond were aglow with golden light. And high above, and all alone, that acrobatic swift returned, a master of herself, of the sky, and of ecstasy in flight.
Swift from Uncollected Poems by the author

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I’ve read that Swifts are known to spend up to eighty percent of their time in flight, feeding, mating, and flying just for the sake of it. While I’m not given to ascribing human characteristics to animals, perhaps some good will come from our taking on the best traits of the animals we observe, including that swift and her boundless freedom.

That evening, watching her flight before and after such a forceful storm, I felt inspired to live even more fully and authentically. Swifts don’t live by halves. They don’t suffocate themselves with endless self-doubt. They don’t stop to ask permission. They don’t hide in the corner waiting for someone else to get out on the dancefloor.

They’re not constantly looking around, wondering how they look or if the way they are flying is pleasing any other being, with the possible exception of courtship behavior. They live with winged abandon. The fly without boundary or restraint. They fly remaining absolutely true to what they are.

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As I continue to prepare for next year’s one-man exhibition of my artwork, thoughts of authenticity and freedom and “painting in my own voice” are arising again and again. There’s no question that I have benefitted from and am grateful for the help and guidance I’ve received from good friends who are master artists. Yet I’m not creating their paintings. I am bringing my own vision to reality, drawing-by-drawing, brushstroke-by-brushstroke, canvas-by-canvas.

There is no other way for me to accomplish that than to drop all I can of old ideas and old restrictions and old judgments, both inner and outer. That means allowing myself to be open enough and present enough and vulnerable enough to allow my real self to show through the work I am creating, telling my truth and my story, not a copy of someone else’s.

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That brings us to our consideration. Notice what arises in you as you contemplate this week’s Beautiful Questions.

Question One: What old ideas or fears have kept you from living as openly as you would like and without holding anything back?

Question Two: In what ways might you actively face and walk though those fears as you step into yourself?

Question Three: As you step through the old ideas and the old fears, what new thoughts and new behaviors naturally emerge that allow you the freedom you’ve always deserved?

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light

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I’m happy we can engage this way as we consider things that matter and what to do about them. If nothing else, I hope you feel inspired to look more deeply at ways of caring for yourself.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. We’ve also included an archive of all previous podcasts, including guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, I encourage you to share them and tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world. It’s a great way of spreading peace.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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