Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independent You!

Every 4th of July, the air is filled with a lightness of being and an exciting buzz as we all get together to celebrate Independence Day. Signs of celebration surround almost every corner as we think of freedom, yet we are also reminded of the strength and courage that it takes to uphold freedom in the face of challenges that come along in life. We are joined by many others while watching fireworks, but the independence represented by this day is also felt on a very individual level. Each of us is unique, and each person manifests independence in a unique way. What does independence mean to you?

Achieving the health that you want in life and shooting for your dreams involves independence on a very personal level. It takes asking yourself what is most important to you, knowing you will back yourself no matter what happens, and---remembering that you exist. Many things in life can tempt you to pull away from yourself, whether it be stress, work, social pressures, or just about anything. When this outside pressure presents, you know it and feel it on some level, but it takes honesty to face it. It can't be underestimated, in the face of life pressures, the courage that it takes to uphold existence itself.

What does it mean to exist? That isn't a question someone else can answer for you. When times get tough, you can dig deep to find out what you're really made of, and that is a loud gesture of how you exist. But even day to day, the act of upholding individual existence helps you face challenges that will inevitably arise on your unique path. On the level of health, remembering that your body exists and paying attention to it no matter what happens externally is a big part of preventive medicine. When you stay in tune with your body and pay attention to what it's going through, you'll be more than half way toward your optimal health!

Each of us has a unique vibe, and this vibe can echo as strongly as the reverberation of fireworks. You just have to pay attention to it. What does your body say, what does your mind tell you, and what does your gut feeling spell out is right for you? This is real independence. It starts with an individual, and it ends with an individual.

After the fireworks have left a soft haze and buzzy quiet in the air, ask yourself how you'll exercise your own independence this week. Which parts of your life have been waiting for a dose of independence? Which parts of your health have been asking for it? And where in your own independent life will you erect a flag to say: I came, I saw, and I conquered my own challenges?

Happy 4th of July!

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