Independence Day

I had such a fun, fulfilling and joyful holiday weekend, and if you experienced just an iota of the bliss that I did, you had a great time too!  I surprised myself because I usually don’t celebrate this holiday with the same energy and excitement as it appears the rest of the country celebrates. I love the fireworks and the fun that Independence Day brings, and I am so thankful that I am living in these United States, and was born in the “City of  brotherly love and sisterly affection”, but my people were in no way celebrating their independence over two hundred years ago. My Irish ancestors were about to get kicked out of Ireland for being Protestants, my African ancestors were too often advertised as strange fruit and my Native ancestors were being diminished by European disease. Not much to celebrate.

I don’t know what prompted me to make plans to go out and enjoy the town. I think I was just ready for a chance to let my hair down (or pick it out) and have some grown-up fun for a change.  The end of the school year and the beginning of the summer for me meant battling a mountain of chlorine-laced swimsuits and towels, scheduling summer camps, filling out scholarship applications and transporting my little ones from one place to another. In addition, I am an entrepreneur so I have to somehow satisfy my clients between drop off and pick up because the rest of the day until sundown at least, is a wash. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my kids, my independence or my lifestyle for anything – as exhausting as it is – but summer is no vacation for me. I am truly looking forward to a quick jaunt to the beach next weekend and if all goes well I’ll be able to manage a few  day trips or long weekends to the beach with the kids before the summer is over.

Yet even with all of the stress  these past few weeks, I experienced such clarity over the holiday weekend. I couldn’t help to think of how free I felt, and I also meditated on the things that I still have yet to release from my life. A little more than ten months ago, with the help of my friends and my Creator, I freed myself from an unhappy marriage, a controlling relationship, the threat of foreclosure, and I am still free. I am free from obsessing about another person’s actions and reactions to their actions. I am free from worrying about my children’s welfare, I am free from the pain of a cold, lonely relationship. And I am free from financial instability and an incurable need to fix the situation. I feel like the Universe gave me this weekend to celebrate my own personal freedom, and I took complete advantage of it. Each time I was presented with the opportunity to take care of myself and to celebrate myself and feel good about myself, I took it and didn’t look back. I spent quality time with my kids, I bought a cute white skirt to show off my legs (I don’t usually do white, but it’s the thing for the summer and I’ve gotta flaunt them while they still look good! ), I made time for some unbelievable pampering and gave myself permission to go out on the town for some adult fun and it didn’t stop until my eyes closed from exhaustion as the sun began to rise in the early morning hours of July 4th.  Free!

I celebrated Tonita’s independence from the woman that she had allowed everyone else to define. Freedom from others’ expectations, judgements and unsolicited remarks. And I felt connected to the immense energy that was out in the Universe over the past week, and I prayed for any obstacles to be removed that blocked me from my passion, my dream occupation and my purpose for being here. And I am watching that process unfold one day at a time. I took a  look back at all of the negative energies I have released over the past year, and am committed to focusing my light and love towards the things that I still have yet to set free. I still have parts of myself to set free. I want to free the Tonita that walked four miles a day, took time to eat healthy and maintained a healthy weight before people around her started telling her she looked too skinny. The person inside this body who is not afraid to show the world how fabulous she is. I want to break free from an occupation that has been financially secure, but in reality has held captive the joy, the passion, the ecstasy that comes from doing something that you’ve always dreamed of doing – something that makes you smile or cry thinking of it, and something that is so pleasurable that it doesn’t feel like a job – where you are appreciated for your gifts, and not frustrated because you feel some days that you have to sell your soul to the devil to survive and get the next check. I am committed to freeing my mind of the “I should have’s”, the “what-ifs” the “as soon as” and the “next year I’ll start” – the words that keep my unlimited happiness chained up and my passion for life incarcerated. It’s time to make my escape plan, gather my tools and start chipping away at the brick wall in my subconscious mind.

So this Independence Day weekend was not just a celebration of all the work I’ve done to escape the inauthentic me, but incredible  inspiration to continue to recover Tonita. I celebrate me today and I look forward to the celebrations that are to come because I still have a lot of work to do and some small battles within yet to fight. Losing weight won’t be easy. Building an entirely new business from the ground up won’t be easy. Downsizing a business and transitioning from a career I’ve embraced for several decades won’t be easy. Trusting another person with my heart won’t be easy. Maintaining my sanity when those around me are choosing to swim in it,  won’t be easy.

But I believe in my heart and soul that it will be much more fulfilling.

And I’m ready for it.  I’m looking forward to the after-party where I will dance like nobody’s watching. And this time, I hope you’ll be there to join me.

Happy Freedom Day to me!


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