As we contemplate the 4thof July holiday, celebrating our independence from British taxes and tyranny, I invite you to consider the areas of your life that you feel symbolically overtaxed. What areas of your life do you feel you’re bound and beholden to a tyrant?
That could be regularly putting in overtime at work, so much so that it’s your new norm and you believe you can’t backslide into a more manageable 45-50 hours a week. Maybe it’s feeling unappreciated in your job by your colleagues or a highly condescending and demanding boss. Brilliance by end of day, or else!
It could be that certain relationships are out of balance. Your aging parents need more care, time and attention than you have to give — let alone available for your own needs. Maybe it’s that one friend who is always in an emergency situation and calling you for something she needs, but doesn’t pick up the phone when you’re in a bind. Or that significant other, who can’t seem to find a job so is quite comfortable sitting on your couch all day and letting you pay for meals.
Maybe it’s society’s demands that you “do it all” – climb the career ladder; tend to the household maintenance, cooking and cleaning; be the perfect spouse/partner; volunteer in the community – all with a smile on your face while maintaining your high school physique.
It could even be your own lizard brain that rules the roost and tells you all sorts of fantastical lies that keep you up at night or kill your self-confidence. You’re not enough! You don’t have enough money! You’re going to get fired! There’s not enough time! No one likes you! You should have known and done better – you idiot! Who are you to think that you can go out on your own and start your own business?
Do any of these sound familiar?!
Whatever tyranny and taxation you’re experiencing, let July 4th be your Independence Day!
Feel into the boundaries that are right for you!
I invite you to start with a meditation to become still and present. Bring awareness into your body and physically notice where those boundary lines are with your job, your relationships, society’s expectations of you, and even your own self-talk thoughts that continue to pop up and cause you angst.
If any of these feel physically constricting or heavy – that’s not your truth.
If it physically feels freeing and light – that’s your truth.
Discover what is right for you. (And let me add that what is right for me, is not right for you, nor is it right for the next person. We each need to determine what our individual and unique boundaries are.) And then stand in your truth, be willing to have your own back.
If it’s something, or someone, you believe you “have to” deal with, then how can you better your situation (or trade it with someone else to handle)? Become your own creator!
Another helpful tool to implement is replacing “I have to” with “I get to” for the things you willingly choose to do. It not only shifts your attitude from helpless to empowered, but also elicits gratitude. After all, unless you’re being held at gunpoint, every decision and action is a choice. Free-will is a freedom and we are blessed with many options and opportunities.
This is your one and precious life. Take it back. Claim your independence!