What is Independence?

It is good to be back in touch. It has been a very busy time, working diligently to get The Next Bold Step through the last of the publishing process. Hip Hip Hooray, it is complete! I am so excited to share that with you! And now it is Independence Day already, how appropriate.

Independence means different things to different people. This holiday means different things for different people. It has meant so many different things to me over the course of my life that now I have a memory bank just entitled  4th of July I think. So many memories. Many sweet stories. Now Independence looks so different – and I have to consciously choose not to get lost in the “what was” instead of the What Is.  Have you ever felt like that?
Independence has taken on a whole new meaning for me now, living alone for the first period of time in my life. Now independence means getting to do things for myself, sleeping in when I create the time and the context, following my own schedule instead of other people’s, even choosing to spend a day alone. Until pretty recently, these kinds of choices were not even in my thoughts.
When I first awoke at 6:30 this morning I was flooded with memories of holidays from the 1990’s when my children were young and I was married. We would have big parties – 20,30,50 people. Preparing for days, up at the crack of dawn to decorate my kids’ wagon or bikes or outfits to be in the parade. Decorate the house and yard, and get tickets for the local Fireworks show. The Fair in the Park first, hot dogs for lunch. They were sweet days. I love those memories. I loved rollerblading in the parade, keeping up with my kids. One in the Marching Band, one on a Float for the Ballet Company, one on his decorated bike. God, it was sweet.
The memories are sweet, as long as I don’t throw the shadow of the unspoken reality over them: no one saw the personal price that was paid by me and the kids for the gorgeous entertaining we did, the price of their father’s moods, and living up to his expectations. There was nothing sweet about that. That tarnished everything in its path.
Or the years after, when Independence came to mean that we were out on our own, I had finally had enough, I fought our way out, we were safe, we were free. Hometown Parade, red, white and blue clothes, fireworks at the High School where all but one of us graduated.Then unforeseen family friction, no peace to be had in our sweet life, more choices to make, more upheaval, more ripping apart, more pain, more growth.  More change…
Even now, so many years later, I have to work with myself to not let the shadows get me down. So many memories, so many holidays and special days and ordinary days tarnished to remember…I have to choose not to let that destroy all that was wonderful.  As I said earlier, so many memories. Many sweet stories. Now Independence looks so different – and I  consciously choose not to get lost in the “what was” instead of the What Is.
What does Independence mean to you?
And very importantly: What would you like it to mean?
Give yourself a gift today of contemplating that question: What would you like it to mean?
No matter what circumstances and conditions look like on the outside of you, go within. Turn to your own heart. Ask yourself: What would I like Independence to mean?
What would I like Freedom to mean?
What would I like it to feel like?
Then pick one thing, one desire, one vision, one idea, or one goal, large or small to go for. No matter what your vision is, pick one idea to go for. This is Your time. In the smallest way and in the largest way, this is your time. Make it your own. Allow a vision to birth itself to your awareness today, Independence Day. Give it life. Give it attention. Give it care. Give it love. Let it flourish and bloom. That is Freedom. And that is a Bold Step.
I send strength, hope and belief in your Bold Step today.
Mine is now ready for you to share.
With my love,
The Next Bold Step is now ready for order! Get your personally signed copy today at http://www.nextboldstep.com and fine online retailers.

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