There's been a lot of talk of "freedom" with the recent election. What I find is that many people in our society equate freedom with consumption. We feel entitled to own things, preferably newer, shinier, and bigger. Yet what winds up happening is that the drive to consume, the need to equate success and meaning with material wealth, the need to compete with our neighbors drives a lot of pain for a lot of people. A lot of us have confused our sense of what freedom is to what we can own. Is this freedom? What about freedom from suffering? Is there something you can buy that can lead to that kind of freedom?
True freedom comes from within-- the freedom to release your inner potential. Freedom is not being held hostage to our desires, but freedom from them. The first step to freedom is learning how to manage stress. I would venture to say that unhealthy coping drives unhealthy consumption, and is the true enemy of freedom.
Want to be free? Become mindful of your breath.