On July 4th, we celebrate the independence of thirteen American colonies from British rule. Families and friends gather for picnics, barbecues, and a chance to watch colorful fireworks light up the night sky.
On a spiritual level, I’m curious about what independence means for you. Where do you feel stuck, trapped in your life? Where would you like to have more freedom, more ease, more peace? Is it in a relationship with a partner, child, or parent? Does it involve a work situation or friendship? Or would you like more freedom in the ways you relate to yourself? Maybe it’s a combination of all of three.
Once you have identified the place(s) where you feel stuck, you might be overwhelmed. There’s a reason why we keep our skeletons, the deepest parts of ourselves hidden in subconscious closets. It’s so much easier to watch TV, lose ourselves in the internet or stay busy, get drunk or high, go shopping or indulge in food. If you have, please don’t judge yourself. We all have engaged in one spiritual bypass technique or another. Sometimes it’s wise to take a break from healing, especially if energy levels are low and you feel you only have so much gas to get by. How you rest is key.
You didn’t learn to walk, swim, or ride a bicycle overnight, so don’t expect this freedom to manifest itself overnight, either. It’s why we call it spiritual ‘practice’. Now that you know what you most want to heal, the next step is to set an intention. For me, an intention is like a sincere prayer. What do you want God, the Universe, or the Great Mother to know? What are you ready to manifest more of in your life? Be careful how you frame this intention, this sacred prayer. We often ask for others to change, for situations to be different. If only so and so wouldn’t do that thing they do. If only work or my health or politics or the weather were different. Then I’d be at peace. Are you feeling more physically, emotionally, and spiritually tense as you contemplate this intention? If so, you may need to look within.
(Note: Introspection does not equal passivity. If you are a victim of clear injustice or violence, please take the necessary steps to remove yourself from this situation as best as you can. Enlist the support of others to help you make this change.)
Let these intentions sit like unlit sparklers in the palms of your precious hands. On the night of July 4, may you connect with a reverence for all life, including yours. As you light them, may the sparks of light represent moments of insight. You, like every living being on this planet, deserve to be happy, well, safe, peaceful, and at ease. May the sparks dissipate into darkness as dawn stages a new sunrise of understanding. “Be the change you wish to see in this world.” (Gandhi)
How and when you decide to be this change is all up to you. I trust you will find your way.