As a nation, we fought to be independent. To stand on our own and to govern ourselves.

Many of us fight for our independence every single day.

But what does it actually mean to be independent? And can we ever really be independent?
Independence is a right or freedom earned or given that offers one the opportunity to make one’s own choice. 
How have you displayed your independence recently? It may look much different than you think.
Independence offers us the powerful blessing to choose to blaze our own trail or to walk in someone else’s shoes.
I was walking on the beach recently and came across many sets of footprints in the sand.
I experimented walking in an adult’s footprints, in toddler footprints, in paw prints and in tire prints to see how I felt in all of them and compared it to the feeling of leaving my own individual set of footprints in the sand.
The human footprints, while certainly physically easier to walk in its prepacked sand path, felt energetically heavy and that the person was struggling emotionally while walking with his furry friend.
The paw prints felt unattached, light and fun but embodied a sense of worry for their human parent.  
The tire print felt filled with purpose and utility. 
The baby prints…exuded giggling, fascination, awe and sheer joy.
Psychometry is the ability to interpret the history of an object by touching an object and interpreting the energy resonance left on its surface. This is one of the ways in which the Dalai Lama is selected by asking the potential successor to hold a select number of historical objects and to retell the object’s history.
There is not only an energy resonance left behind on every object we touch but also in every step we take.
After observing what it felt like to walk in someone else’s footprints, I blazed my own trail on that beach. I felt alive and free and it was worth every ounce of effort it took to trudge through the grains of fresh sand to make my way in any direction I desired.
I was free.
This is my closest definition to independence.

When do you feel freer than you do on the beach? How can you bring this same freedom into your everyday life?
While trailblazing a new path on the beach may feel arduous and challenging to pack down your own grains of sand, it is at the same time liberating and freeing because you are not absorbing another’s energy.

You are also free to choose wherever you would like to walk, run or jump.
Every day, our independence offers us a choice. A choice to walk down someone else’s path or to choose your own new adventure.  
By walking in someone else’s footprints, you also live their energetic story.

This can be incredibly powerful if you are walking in a mentor’s footprints who has been successful and embodies all that you want to accomplish.

This can also help us to experience more empathy when we walk in someone’s shoes who has struggled in a way that we have never understood before.
Our food supply depends on our farmers. Our energy sources come from a myriad of processes.

We all help each other.

We are all interconnected physically and energetically.  
If we are all connected, how independent are we anyway?
Interdependence is the backbone of independence.
We can only be as independent as we are grateful for our interdependence.
And as we begin to take steps back into each other’s lives, how can we make independent choices that also honor the interdependence of each other?
When we walk where others have walked, can we pause and take a moment to absorb their journey and their experience and respond in a kinder and more compassionate way for all they have endured?
Can we open ourselves up to appreciate the struggle of another for them trailblazing for us?
As we trailblaze in uncharted experiences, can we appreciate our own journey and respect our fellow trailblazers?
Our independence is defined by the interdependence we experience with each other every single day.

Join me for this week’s meditation, Interdependence is the backbone of Independence and give gratitude for all the blessings that help you to be independent every single day. 
We are only as independent as we are honoring of the interdependence that brought us to this place right here, right now.

Find your kind of freedom.

Celebrate your independence and give gratitude for all who walked in the sand before you.

Happy 4th!