Independence Day Ayurveda Style
The 4th of July is here. In the United States we commemorate the founding of our country, our independence. Modern July 4th is a celebration associated with some pretty unbalanced un -Ayurvedic traditions, staying up too late to watch fireworks, and pigging out at barbecues among them. But as you embody the practice of Ayurveda, it flows into holidays too.
What has Ayurveda got to do with My Independence Day?
Ayurveda lights my path to personal independence and ease. This science of wellness illuminates personal truth and personal responsibility for health and dharma. A couple of years ago, I rethought my relationship with Independence Day through the lens of Ayurveda.
In the fight for freedom, many people, including the leaders we know from history, as well as everyday people put their lives on the line for personal and collective self determination. The colonies went to war to get out from under England’s authority and jurisdiction.
When I thought about this, I knew I wanted to make consistent choices to express my ‘independent’ nature in a healthy way. Ayurveda helps me move beyond the restrictions of my upbringing. Instead of following the crowd or doing things the way mom used to, an independent person thinks and engages to grow and contribute… I want to find my own way in this world, Ayurveda helps me clear up the grey areas.
Now I look at July 4th as an opportunity to assess my life, what have I grown out of and how I want to grow next. Am I creating space for my true nature and my dharma? Ayurveda and my daily routine is the primary tool I use to break free from some of the old paradigms and habits that no longer serve me. This clears the space for insight and growth.
How do you evaluate your growing independence from beliefs and behaviors that no longer serve?
We have to take ownership of our lives and our freedom, lest we give it away by default. In our world there are so many forces at work trying to shape us to make a profit. No more following the fashion or fast food trend of the moment. Ayurveda sets priorities based on optimizing your unique characteristics, your prakruti. The practice aligns you with the elements and seasons in a powerful way…
Activate the rebel in you and shake things up to make the changes you want and need. It is critical to get clear about who we want to be and how we want to contribute to our world. Living Ayurveda is all about finding clarity. Independence Day is the perfect time for this reflection.
“The two most important days are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain
Add a New July 4th Tradition
Our country celebrates July 4th to honor the courage and clarity of the founding fathers. We have the lives we do because of the principles and sacrifices of the people who came before us and fought the tough battles for freedom.
“The decree has gone forth,and it cannot be recalled that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America” – John Adams
I invite you to take this opportunity to celebrate the strengths and freedom your life choices give you. Freedom is hard won and easily lost. We all need to take actions to hold and protect our basic rights and stay true to our purpose.
July 4th Reflection Exercise
Early on the morning of July 4th before the ruckus of the day, grab a pad of paper or a journal for a moment of reflection;
- Close Your Eyes and Breathe. This is great exercise to do outside.
- Give Thanks for Freedom. Appreciate all that we have collectively as well as the personal freedom you have.
- Appreciate and Celebrate YOU.
- List Your Personal Successes. Have you gained independence from fear, anger, isolation and pain, financial insecurity…
- Decide What Is Important. For you and what gives you the freedom to be your best self.
- List Your Growth Targets. They will help you to gain even more independence.
- Refer to This List. Use it to reflect and celebrate as you make plans in the weeks ahead.
“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”
Take time early in the day on July 4th. Look at the decisions you have made. Notice your growing self determination as a person and make it a feel good exercise. Celebrate any shackles that have been thrown off. Connect to the spiritual aspect of independence and how it fits in your life. Declare your independence. Act from the principles you believe in.
Consciously claim and find ease in the ownership of your life. Then go enjoy the day. Connect with family, binge a little at the lunch time barbecue, then walk to the parade and buy a funny balloon. Celebrate your growing independence. Happy July 4th!