What would you like to declare independence from?

photo credit: Stars and Stripes, US Flag via photopin (license)

What will you declare your independence from?   photo credit: Stars and Stripes, US Flag via photopin (license)

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!

The 4th of July celebrates America’s Independence from the British and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and as I was preparing my blog posts for this month, the holiday got me thinking about all the things that we do to ourselves that keep us perpetually in a state of oppression or at war with ourselves – physically, emotionally or mentally. Huh? Hear me out. The American colonists reached a point of oppression from the British (taxes) that they deemed unacceptable before they were willing to take actions that would forever change the course of this country. As an analogy, we have to reach a certain level of unhappiness, frustration or health issues before we are willing to make changes to our lives and that turning point is reached because we can no longer tolerate our own self-oppression.

When I talk about self-oppression – I’m talking about how we have a tendency to suppress and control who we are, our deepest desires, urges and needs, all for usually not great reasons! Neverending diets, restrictions, negative thinking, painful judgements, punishments, withholding permission etc around any area of our lives. When we go to war with ourselves – no one wins. This summer, I urge you to come up with a list of actions or thoughts you will stop doing and then take time each day to work on them.

What are you doing in your life that is not serving you? That you will declare your independence from?

5 Things I’m declaring independence from:

1. I Declare Independence from Body Shame. This summer, I will enjoy being at the beach, at the pool or on vacation in a swimsuit without spending precious energy judging my body. No one is paying all that much attention to what I or you look like anyhow (despite what we think!) because they’re focused on their own body issues. The amount of joy I receive from doing “summer” things just like everyone else in a bathing suit far outweighs silly thoughts about my physical form.

2. I Declare Independence from Food Guilt. This summer, I will enjoy summer foods like ice cream, cheeseburgers and potato salad on occasion without feeling bad about it. There is room in every “diet” plan for life and if there isn’t, then we are setting ourselves up for failure. No one blows their weight loss goals by having one ice cream sundae. And no one succeeds in their goals by attacking themselves. If I eat foods that aren’t great for me, I will only do it because I really want to eat them and I will eat them slowly and savor every bite. I will not eat in secret.

3. I Declare Independence from Judging Others Bodies. This summer, I will let passing thoughts of judgement about other people’s looks go on by.  When we make judgements about someone else’s body or lifestyle based on how they look, it’s not really about them – it’s really about how we feel about ourselves. Why would you want to feel anything but good about yourself? Give yourself the freedom to stop knocking others down – instead look for good things in others (which will help you see them in yourself).

4. I Declare Independence from Other People’s Standards. This summer, I will not worry about whether or not I look how others would like me to look. I will never be a size 0. But I know I can be strong, healthy and beautiful at any size. It has nothing to do with the amount of physical space my body takes up on this earth or what size appears on my clothing tag. I can meet my own standards by taking care of my body through eating high quality food the majority of the time, getting lots of sleep, laughing often, being gentle with myself and others and moving my body in supportive ways every day.

5. I Declare Independence from Limiting Beliefs. This summer, I will work on not limiting myself with beliefs that are carved in stone. I acknowledge that believing that I can’t do things (lose weight, stop eating junk, get that promotion, climb that mountain etc) only serves to prevent me from doing them and holds me back from living the life I want to have. I will practice being open to an “I can do this” mindset because the actions I will take are a direct result of my thinking. The difference between what we can and can’t accomplish is all in what we believe! (And if you don’t believe that – it’s a limiting belief!) 🙂

Those are the things I’m working on freeing myself from. Not just this summer, but always. Can you come up with some of your own? What would you like to Declare your Independence from?  What is something that is holding you back, making you feel stifled, making you feel crushed and preventing you from taking the actions you know you need to take? Write it down! Declare your independence from it! You are the master of your own life – no one else! Please, share with me your declaration of independence, either by leaving a comment here or by shooting me an email! I’d love to chat!

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