What Do You Want to Declare?

 In Gratitude, Honorable Closure (HC), Mindfulness, Reclaiming Joy, The Departure Lounge, Tools & Resources

Perhaps you, like me are looking forward to celebrating Independence Day with a picnic feast and watching fireworks with your friends and family. As I watch the human rights atrocities at the U.S. southern border and pepper-sprayed protests in Hong Kong I am reminded of the innate human drive we all have to feel free and safe in whatever worlds we inhabit.  Humans will risk life and limb in the cause of freedom, and I am deeply grateful to our founding fathers for the work they did on our behalf.  That history provides lessons in how we can navigate personal transitions and practice Honorable Closure. 

Like most transitions, July 4, 1776 was the end of one thing (tolerance of oppression by the British government) that opened the way for something fresh and revolutionary (freedom, civil liberty, democracy, a declaration that all people are created equal).

The second would not have occurred without the first. The collective had to Let Go. 

To be useful, let’s narrow the question:  what do you need to let go of so that something fresh and revolutionary can emerge in your life?   

Breaking Away

That first step of Letting Go, made via the unanimous Declaration of Independence, was controversial, risky, but also inevitable. The energy, desire and intention of the people were irrepressible.  Breaking away was the only choice. Aren’t you grateful that our founding fathers had the courage to go for it?

Now, 243 years later, we understand that our freedoms are not guaranteed and there is still a lot of work to do as a human family. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “No one is free until we are all free.”  Still, the Fourth of July is a time to strengthen ourselves for the work ahead by celebrating our progress, both personally and collectively. 

What Do You Want to Declare? 

One way to do this is by reflecting on our lives, then taking personal action.

What are you tolerating?  What is it time to tell the truth about? What desire for freedom are you feeling right now, in your own life? What fears and oppressive thoughts are holding you in place?  What exits, endings or good-byes are inevitable?  Are you thinking of breaking away from a job, community or relationship that no longer serves and inspires you?  Perhaps you have already mustered the courage to proceed.

Hang in there.  Letting go and moving forward can be discombobulating, but following your heart is always worth it. With mindfulness, it is possible to end things well and honor yourself and others in the process.

One way to leverage the spirit of this holiday is to write your own Declaration of Independence. Write about it like it is something real that is already true.  Declare it so and then make it so by living into it, one day at a time.


Showing 10 comments
  • Jeffrey Erkelens

    Bravo Linda!

    This reminded me of the moment our mutual friend, Wendy, urged me to give myself permission to break away and begin a new chapter in my life. As I returned home from my lunch date with Wendy, I took the time to write myself a permission slip.

    While some of its content can only be understood in context, the essence is clear and was instrumental in helping me gain the necessary courage to forge a new path. Here it is:

    I hereby give you permission to embark of the 4th (last?) Saros of your life. Your mission: to rescue the young boy you left stranded on the avocado tree forty-six years ago when you entered the Age of Icarus. Your quest: to feed him light and make him sing. You have no more time to waste. While you still have vigor, vitality, and fire in your belly, you must make haste. Your mission will be considered accomplished when that boy walks down that tree in the fullness of his being. Along your new journey, you will encounter many dragons: self-doubt, despair, the opprobrium of those you love, penury, guilt, fear. They will rally against you and attempt to make you capitulate and conform. If you allow yourself to be vanquished, you and the boy will die. You cannot allow this to happen. Prepare for battle. You are taking the first step on the right path and must not listen to the inner voices that are trying to persuade you otherwise. Have faith in the Universe. Providence has already begun to move in your favor. It is telling you that you are on the right path at last. Free yourself from the chains of security and comfort. Free yourself from the tyranny of other people’s opinions, especially of those who love you the most. Go! Join Walt Whitman on the Open Road!

    • Linda A. Curtis

      Brava, Jeffrey! Thanks for sharing this, so others can see the power of this practice. I especially love the line, ‘along your journey you will encounter many dragons’ and then name them, which is good preparatory work. Let’s all just keep going!!!!!

      • Jeffrey Erkelens

        As my current work is meant to guide boys on their path to authentic, generative masculinity, I have devoted an entire chapter of my book to prepare them for the hardest battle they will ever have to fight: that of being true to themselves.

    • Marilyn Steele, PhD

      This is wonderful Linda and an inspiring idea. I’m going to write my Declaration tomorrow and welcome the fresh, revolutionary me with (internal) soaring fireworks. Ready to celebrate the fiery Feminine revolution on the national and international stage as well, standing for life, for freedom. The immigrant children who belong to us all and deserve our care and compassion.

      • Linda A. Curtis

        Yay, Marilyn!

    • Marilyn Steele, PhD

      Love this Jeffrey! Thanks for sharing your Declaration of Independence and stirring story of your Hero’s Journey.

  • Paul Dolan

    Wow this is thought provoking and confronting. Not what to do with it other than write my letter of independence and see what shows up. Thank you!

    • Linda A. Curtis

      That’s right, Paul. It’s a fun and powerful practice, or at least it can be fun if taken on with a spirit of curiosity and kindness. Writing our hopes and intentions down can often be the first time they take physical form, outside of our head and hearts. Take good care of yourself, my friend. – Linda

  • Richard

    It’s funny how after I officially left “the organization” this past May that I came across your book and your website, and a quote by the founding fathers which I paraphrased to; “ when in the course of humans events it is necessary for [one] to dissolve the bands which have connected [them] with another, and to assure, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature, and of nature’s god entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that [they] should declare the causes that impel [them] to the separation…” Thanks for this piece…and the free PDF which I’m using to chart my transition now that I’ve also declared my independence. You’re awesome, Linda!

    • Linda A. Curtis

      Thank you, Richard, for those kind words. It is always a pleasure to meet a fellow lover of freedom! Congratulations on making the powerful choice to follow your heart and mind out of a community that no longer served your highest good. It’s not easy. It’s a bold choice. If you are like me (and other readers of my memoir who write to me) you will never regret it. Take good care of yourself and keep going!!!! You may have noticed from my website that I offer one-on-one consultations, so if you ever find yourself needing intermittent support, please holler. My work is not a replacement for therapy but IS therapeutic by nature.
      All best,