HeARTfelt greetings and to our American readers: Happy Fourth of July!!! The American Independence Day is a reminder to all of us worldwide of just how great the gifts of freedom, liberty and justice for all can be! These utopian ideals inspire us to live our lives fully and with the free will necessary to influence the reality that we intend to see!  

What powerful advancements have you made by deciding for yourself what is best?  

Where, on the other hand, have you allowed others to make choices for you (thus enslaving yourself to their will)?

Freedom wouldn’t exist without the balance of its opposite:   Imprisonment (in every sense of the word).  Does imprisonment mean option-less, though?  I believe that no matter what our external situations may be, we always are left with internal choices on how we think, act and respond. 

There are brilliant stories of Tibetan monks maintaining their meditation practices inwardly when the Chinese government has forbidden them to honor their rituals externally; Holocaust prisoners employing visualization techniques to escape the horror of their captivity; Abuse victims choosing to remain strong in spirit, though their bodies may be broken and weak. 

Yet in the face of all these supreme examples of courage, mindfulness and commitment, we still find ourselves going to pieces over smaller disappointments and setbacks, don’t we?  We say:

“Sure, I may not be in Auschwitz, but it still really hurt me when my coworker stole my idea and got a raise because of it!” 

How many of us can relate and DON’T find comfort in the commonly used bandage:  “It could be worse.” 

I know I can and I don’t!

Pain is relative and though most agree that things COULD be worse, when we’re going through it, we can’t imagine how it could be!  In many times, these sources of pain lie in originators we cannot control:  they lie in other people.  It lies in the coworkers who steal our ideas, and the bosses who allow it; In the boyfriends who cheat and the mistresses who encourage it; In the captors who handcuff their victims and the onlookers who tolerate it. 

Liberation comes, though, in our perception and the choices we make in each and every hardship.  I’m not saying that the pain from these experiences don’t hurt, because they do.  They sting and burn intensely! But after we hear them, feel them and honor them, we are left with the choice of how we will repurpose them so they work for us instead of to our detriment. 

And here is where our freedom lies: By owning our ability to choose our internal experience and not allowing external circumstances to dictate it.    

Only we can control our thoughts, though our hands may be bound.  Only we can choose to grow in the face of betrayal.  Only we can see the light of opportunity in what otherwise is a dark, lonely cell. 

Where can you begin to shift what was originally perceived to be a conflict into a chance to experience freedom?

What can you do here and now to make a situation work for you instead of fueling it to destroy you?

As the Americans gather for their barbeques and fireworks displays, pay respect to all those who remain committed to freedom worldwide and align with your own ability to free yourself from the binds of fear, comparison and ego.  Be your own liberator and acknowledge today as America’s Independence Day…as well as your own!

Positively and energetically yours,