happy independence day to my family and friends

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Independence has been a significant theme for me this year in many ways.  So, I wanted to share a wish for all of you on Independence day…July 4, 2010.

More than anything, I wish you “mindful independence.” I wish you choose to pursue life, liberty, and happiness with vigor and resilience and patience…that this pursuit is your way of being.   Cliche? Yes, of course.   But think again…there is a reason people say, “think outside the box.”  It isn’t a physical box…where is this box?  It is the box in your head.

US Flag of 9/11
Creative Commons License photo credit: qthomasbower

We are all oppressed in some way, shape, or form.  If you’ve ever spoken with someone who has lived in a state of oppression where their “human rights” were materially or physically constricted, they value freedom unlike others.  They value being able to wake up in the morning…every morning…in a free country…with the ability to do whatever they want to create their future…to work to serve their fellow man and make a profit from that service…they value the ability to pursue their goals and desires without limit…they value being able to love whomever they want and practice their beliefs without walls.  The sense of this freedom is sacred…knowing this sense is sacred.

What I’ve learned this year is that independence starts inside your head.  I’ve spoken to several people in 2010 who have chosen to put themselves in a cage inside their mind…because of their “situation” or what others are doing to them.  When they put themselves in this state of thought, they oppress themselves by building these walls, chains, locks, and cages inside their head…they become their own pharoah…their own vader…their own “the man.”

For example, we all have the freedom to learn to ride a bicycle, but, as children, we get scared.  We protect ourselves and say, “it’s not for me” or “I can’t do it” or “what if I hurt myself?”  This self-imposed limit is a protection mechamism…and protection is a good thing…but sometimes we protect ourselves too much…we limit ourselves and our self growth.  As adults, we do this…we oppress ourselves in our work and personal lives…and tell ourselves things that impose limits…tell ourselves that a relationship, or a job, or an abilitiy to learn is NOT there…and then tell ourselves “you cannot overcome it.”  These are only lies we make our own truths.

So, on July 4, 2010, I wish you mindful independence.  Know that you are free and that anything is a possibility…that your oppressors are largely inside your mind.  These thoughts are not who you are…they are just thoughts.  Thoughts could be focused on promoting the well-being of our fellow humans…as an essential element to the “pursuit of our own happiness.”   Remember, your own well-being comes first…think independently…avoid oppressing yourself.

Be well.  Free your mind. Enjoy the journey.  To independence!!!

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