In my last article I referenced the term “Sovereign Collaborative Leadership”.
Then it occurred to me that the concept of “Sovereignty” is one of those terms that feels en vogue right now, particularly amongst many of the people in the More Beautiful World and Game-B circles, but I’m not clear how much it has a collectively understood meaning.
Historically I know I’ve imagined Sovereignty and Freedom to be happy bed-fellows, but not necessarily applied much refinement to the distinction between the two.
But after my article yesterday, I was curious to dive into this further and interested to see if we could collectively flesh it out some more.
So I took a look at the dictionary and Wikipedia definitions of Sovereignty as,
“supreme power or authority”; and
“the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies.”
That sounded a lot like Freedom to me.
So then I then unearthed a definition of Sovereignty that Jordan Hall had shared in this video, which defines it as:
“your capacity to be an effective agent in the world.”
In contemplating Jordan’s definition, I felt like some more relatable distinctions between Sovereignty and Freedom could be useful here.
So then I found myself pondering the question of what Sovereignty means to me, against the backdrop of what Freedom used to mean to me 10 years ago.
Below is what came out for me and I’d be curious to hear how these land for you, what refinements occur to you and emerges for you individually and for us collectively from this exercise.
🐛 Freedom was being able to do what I wanted, and go where I wanted, when I wanted, and not having to seek permission or be answerable to anyone i.e. without any interference from outside sources or bodies;
🦋 Sovereignty is not something we pursue, demand or need to take or secure for ourselves externally, it’s something we claim for ourselves inside of ourselves, irrespective of our circumstances e.g. so outside sources don’t have any ability to interfere with it;
💰Freedom was being able to choose what external experiences and things I had (the travel destinations, the consumables, the adventures) because I had enough resources for me to wield enough buying power for me to direct and conduct my life that way;
🌈 Sovereignty is open and equanimous to whatever life brings, incorruptible by extrinsic influences insofar as not having an aversion to anything such that we’re scurrying to avoid it (including people, intimacy, conflict or dependence) and not clinging to or claiming something we think we need (including comfort, money or sexual attention);
🧩 Freedom was about achieving true independence, not being dependent or co-dependent on others money, opinions or assessment of my value, or needing to be told what to do;
👨👩👧👦 Sovereignty is found in walking the path that integrates dependence, co-dependence and independence, so that we can experience true interdependence, contributing our wisdom and our value, offering and maintaining our creative sovereignty in relationship, while also being open to leadership and authority free of resistance when called for;
🏃Freedom was the ability for me to leave any situation that felt limiting, controlling or uncomfortable and taking “space” in the knowledge that the situation or person that space is being taken from wasn’t the source of my base needs or financial resources;
💪 Sovereignty is initiating ourselves into greater empowerment through our experiences by choice; by being fully present IN our circumstances (although that doesn’t necessarily mean staying in them), taking the opportunity to lean into whatever discomfort is arising in the moment, allowing ourselves to imagine our worst case scenarios being true (like something running out, breaking, ending or dying), surrendering to and feeling through the contractions and emotions those possibilities bring up in our bodies and then letting it all go so that something new can arise and we can make good choices from there;
😠 Freedom was being able to follow the logical conclusion that my head had come to about what was the “right” thing to do, or what my impulses told me I ”needed”;
🧐 Sovereignty is having discernment about where our thoughts and impulses are coming from; always being present with our bodies and not buying into our doubts, insecurities, or our ego’s ultra persuasive argument that there’s a problem externally that needs fixing, but taking ownership and self-responsibility for shifting how we’re creating our reality through our own field in every present moment;
🏝 Freedom was having the choice to stop doing anything and sit on a desert island free of responsibility;
⛅ Sovereignty is having the ability to sit still exactly where we are, not needing to justify our worth or value through “doing something” because it’s societally sanctioned, or socially validated, and yet choosing to be an embodied steward, and a Divine servant leader, in service to a vision or stream of creative inspiration with continuity over time;
💼 Freedom was not having to be paid BY someone transactionally for contributing my learnt skills, or to bring their vision or brand to fruition in a hierarchical and dependent dynamic, but to be paid FOR by someone for through offering my innate gifts and perspective from embodied experience;
👁 Sovereignty is not characterized by the nature of a relationship, be it employment, entrepreneurship or self-employment — it’s a function of our choice in how we show up to that relationship in embodied integrity, alignment and service in each moment;
😭 Freedom was not having to hide, suppress or mitigate what was coming up in my body to make others feel more comfortable (e.g. through “conscious communication”), and having the courage to express an emotion, a sound, a movement or a perspective even in spaces where that expression wasn’t invited or was counter-cultural;
🙇 Sovereignty is not having any “need” to express something to feel heard or received, being willing to observe what’s coming up without suppressing or expressing it, being attuned to the environment and what’s in service to the nature of the relationship, and still being surrendered enough to express in alignment (even if it’s a polarized perspective) when truly moved to do so by a Higher Power. This piece also encompasses being able to boldly and skillfully share who we are and what we’re a stand for in the world, and not being wobbled or deterred by disapproval or dissenting voices;
💏 Freedom was not having to limited or bound in anyway, by expectations around monogamy, marriage or social decorum, and being able to fully indulge when desired;
🧘♀️ Sovereignty is finding liberty within bondage — choosing to limit our indulgences, our addictions and our promiscuity to cultivate our focus and self-discipline such that we develop and maintain an unwavering trust in ourselves and our ability to live our aligned purpose;
🌵 Freedom was being able to ingest and experiment with psychedelics and medicines;
🌀 Sovereignty is being able to navigate those spaces with confidence, being prepared to stand in the face of all manner of non-physical forces without shrinking, collapsing, succumbing to fears and insecurities or making any additional agreements;
📜 Freedom was something that would happen in the future, and would be satisfactorily achieved when x,y or z factors were met and checked off my list;
☝️ Sovereignty is in the recognition and lived experience of being conscious and aware of how we’re creating our reality through our perceptions, sense-making, meaning-making and action, moment to moment through every choice we’re making.
Your turn……..? ✋