To celebrate this holiday with a bang, how about creating your own personal form of independence? Independence from a thought that’s been keeping you limited at some level. Here’s the plan (a little like the exercises in Already Here):
1. Choose a thought that’s been nagging you. One that’s been constantly revisiting you. Keeping you from total joy. Like the presidential campaign. Or how much it drives you crazy that your mother-in-law always criticizes your cooking. Or your boss (who is completely unaware of your awesomeness!)
2. Sit with that thought a minute. When you conjure up how furious you are at your boss, does it make you feel any better? Does it get her to realize your fabulosity? My guess is, NO. It does, however, keep you from joy in the moment (actively displacing the possibility for power-thinking).
3. Now try this: every time that irritation/frustration arises in you today (tomorrow, next week…), send it off into space, like a firework. Marvel at how much space it takes up, and then be grateful for the information that is actually telling you to create something different. Maybe turn off the news. Take your mother-in-law out to dinner, or ask her to teach you how to cook a favorite meal. Quit your job, or at least put your resumé together.
4. Hopefully, this exercise will accomplish (at least) three things. First, it will help you realize how much time you’ve actually wasted being mad about something you probably always had at least some power to change (uhm, when I practiced this, I was embarrassed by how many times I’d let a particular negative thought form a rut in my neural pathways!) Second, it will help you practice being grateful for information, rather than being resentful (a great practice overall, because you can’t change a situation if you don’t create alternatives to “not this!”). And third, it will give you the opportunity to change your mind! You—and only you, really—can come up with happier choices in your life.
5. Now, celebrate the very best kind of independence: knowing that your own happiness is free from whatever anyone else does (or doesn’t do).