Don’t Just Create. Liberate.

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In yoga, there’s a term – Jivan Mukti or Jivamukti – that translates roughly to “liberated being.”

Not transformed, but liberated. I always liked what that implies. That the process of coming alive isn’t about becoming, it’s about uncovering, owning then fueling what’s always been there.

It works on the assumption that who you’re meant to be has always been there. That the Work lies in reclaiming the ability to see it. In chipping away all the stuff that gets caked on as you go through life. The wounds, the limitations born of the desire to be accepted at any cost, the heartbreak-fueled shrinking away. The psychic grit that comes to form a barrier so opaque as to obscure not only your ability to see, but be who you are.

The Work lies not in creating or becoming, but in allowing and revealing.

So that one glorious day, and with fortune, for the rest of your life, you can know what’s its like to walk through each day with a sense of pure congruence. To be loved, accepted, embraced and, if desired or appropriate, paid to walk the Earth and offer your gifts, radiant in your own skin.

“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself…” -Miles Davis Click to tweet

Nothing you can buy will get you where you want to be (trust me, I’ve tried!). I’m still very much in the Work myself. Tripping, stumbling, chipping and revealing.

My invitation…look inward for your answers.

Don’t try to buy the Work. Do it.

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25 responses

25 responses to “Don’t Just Create. Liberate.”

  1. Henri says:

    Love this. And it’s so true.

    I feel like each year during this time, I go inward. Maybe it’s because of the winter here (dark and cold), but each year there’s a deepening happening, or chipping away.

    Each year I learn something new about myself, and each year I’m humbled by how much I don’t know. So I’ve just started to trust life.

    I’ll deal with the present moment, and life can deal with the rest 😉

    • Henri! I recognized you from your (brilliant) piece on ChangeBlog… About your breakthrough with your martial arts training. Our mastermind group passed that one around, really great stuff man.

      Much love, and keep it up.


  2. Thanks, JF… These words resonated HUGELY with me today: “The psychic grit that comes to form a barrier so opaque as to obscure not only your ability to see, but be who you are. The Work lies not in creating or becoming, but in allowing and revealing.”

    The beauty of committing ourselves to living “the examined life” is that at some point, we realize there is nobody better-qualified to write our own how-to guides. Owner Manuals written and sold by others only get us so far… We need direct experience of overcoming the obstacles, & slaying all those little gremlins along the path.

    I’ve really been contemplating this in regards to the spiritual path lately. Bibles and scripture are full of gorgeous words written by inspired people… But they are empty allegory without direct experience. More people spend time in the protective bubble of endless education and training, versus the rough and tumble classroom of Direct Application.

    I’ve done my share of soul searching and application this year, in writing my manifesto and putting my ideas into practice.

    However, easily the most inspiring aspects of 2012 have been coming into orbit with people on similar quests…. Watching them start and stop, tweak, refine, optimize, expand, and explode into full bloom.

    Self-realization pulls all of us forward, and we’re blessed to get front row seats for your journey Jonathan. #AssumSass (Awesome Sauce)


    • Jayne says:


      I agree. Truth must be felt and experienced to be embodied, and to be fully useful.


      Probably my favourite post of yours so far. ‘Psychic grit’ sounds like it should. I love the word ‘liberate’. I use it a lot maybe that’s why the writing resonates so…

  3. Gail Mooney says:

    I have been very fortunate that my “work” has also been my “pleasure”.

    I didn’t always recognize that though. When I began to create from a place within, and be more true to myself, I not only became a better photographer/filmmaker, I brought more joy to my life.

  4. melissa says:

    This made my day.

  5. Jon Chandonnet says:

    What a great way to start a gray day out on the West Coast. Thanks for the Monday morning perspective.

  6. Owen Marcus says:

    Yes, as we liberate we create our own unique magic.
    There’s a belief out there that we need to heal to create. I know that one well. Often the liberation is more from how we need to be perfect to create our deepest calling. It’s true we need some room to move, but once we have the room we can wiggle out some creation.

    It’s our process of healing/liberation that reveals our deepest contribution.

    Thank for the reminder to liberate.

  7. Thanks for this Jonathan. I’ve been involved with 3 major spiritual groups over the past 40 years. While their message is similar to what you’re saying (and I’ve grown tremendously from them) what actually happens is that the organization and the process becomes more important than individual’s direct experience. The politics and business of becoming tries to overshadow individual experience of being.

    Your writing and others like Chris Guillebeau’s support the liberation of the individual to fully be their self. That’s never been as possible as it is today. Ironically at the same time, resistance to change in the world is trying desperately to control and limit individual freedom. But the growing global and individual consciousness is unstoppable.

  8. Debra Eve says:

    “That the process of coming alive isn’t about becoming, it’s about uncovering, owning then fueling what’s always been there.” This really spoke to me. So many self-help sites stress transformation, turning your dross into gold. I find uncovering the gold so much more inspirational. Thank you, Jonathan.

  9. michael says:

    HELP… Looking Inward is painful. The Mind Chatter causes Overwhelm and Paralysis. What can I do?

    • Hey Michael, first of all, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll all need to eventually slay all those chattering mind gremlins. I actually interviewed Jonathan a couple months back on his mindfulness practice, which is available on my site, or on iTunes… But also, if you peep my site you’ll see a link in the lower right sidebar for “7 minutes Toward Meditation”. Wish I could say there are shortcuts, but quieting the mind is only achieved through deliberate, consistent practice. We all have the demons. It’s time to silence those punks.

      I wish you luck buddy, hit me up if you have any specific questions. -kc

  10. Lisa Hart says:


    Really appreciate the distinction between coming alive and becoming. I think of it as “starting where we are,” believe that nothing needs to be fixed. It’s all as it should be. But I love the image of the layers that have accumulated.. that often aren’t readily seen. Beautiful post. And love the transparency around us being in the work ourselves even when we’re involved in work to facilitate that awareness and discovery. Couldn’t be otherwise!


  11. […] Don’t Just Create. Liberate., a great post from yogi Jonathan […]

  12. Sharon says:

    This was fantastic.
    I loved the Miles Davis quote; a perfect fit for this post (and for me)
    thank you,

  13. Tahlee says:

    Little tears of gratitude welled up as I read.

    A kabillion thank you’s for expressing a deeply held truth, awaiting to be revealed.

  14. […] rather than collected or earned. I don’t need to change, to improve, to be different. Jonathan Fields wrote a blog post about this the other day, and I keep reading and rereading it. He says “the process of coming […]

  15. Ali Shapiaro says:

    Great post. This point is also one of the demarkation points for coaching versus therapy (circa the 1950s). Carl Rogers always believed the client knew what was best and with the right questions, they would use their own brilliance/insights/answers to solve their conundrums.

    And so in essence, coaching was born. It isn’t about “fixing” the client but like you explain, revealing who is already there. As I tell many of my health coaching clients who want to lose weight, that extra weight is stored potential (E= MC (squared) -it’s just matter in a different energy form). As they become more of who they are, not the person they’ve transformed to because of various expectations, that’s when the weight comes off.

    So glad you’ve highlighted this distinction.

    • Tahlee says:

      Ali, love ya work!!! Such a wonderful connection. And why I think I resonate so strongly with coaching. The idea of helping someone connect to their own truth is far more enriching than giving them a bunch of rules to live by IMHO. 🙂

  16. Brahm Memone says:

    Life is not a destination it is a creative process that brings us closer to who we really are. And at the forefront is the innate autonomy or freedom to be, that leads us to our own authenticity.
    Jonathan, thank you for how you have articulated this beautifully. Much appreciated.

  17. […] Jonathan Fields just knows what’s up. I love this reminder to look inward for answers. Instead of thinking you can acquire or buy things to “fix” you. You. Are not. Broken. […]

  18. Denis Barry says:

    This article hits home. As an engineer for many years, I have recognized that you often learn more from your mistakes that your successes. Take a chance, and try… You will learn more than just following. As an artist for also some years, I have grown to find that my best work comes from reveling in the mistake. Yes, I have thrown many pieces away, but one day I started saving them, combining them, and finding my true self-expression.

    When you find it… It just flows. What a feeling!!

  19. Otiti says:

    Yes. This. Exactly. Peeling back the layers to reveal your brilliance. Enduring excruciating soul cracks so a stronger, brighter, truer you can emerge. Digging deep enough to find the core of purity that resides within us all.

    I see personal development as soul expansion, because then you’re operating from a place of grace, not lack. Not, ” I HAVE to do this so I can become better,” but “I get to do this so I can discover more of who I am. So I can embrace the highest version of myself constantly brushing against my consciousness and whispering to me to gain access to the surface.”

    This post perfectly describes where I am now, and I’m happy I read at the exact moment I needed to. Thank you, Jonathan. 🙂

  20. Keen observation. I often find this with my writing. When I sit down and tell myself to write, it takes hours and there are bursts of creativity that dribble onto the page. But when I’m doodling, and “not writing”, I often smoothly put down something so interesting or profound that I need to re-read it to convince myself that I was the one who wrote it.
    Cheers and hoping all of us can reach this stage more often than less.