July 4th is a day of picnics and spectacular fireworks enjoyed by families and friends in communities throughout the United States. A few years ago, my two sons and I were in New York City with thousands of others packed on FDR Drive to watch the fabulous Macy’s fireworks. We heard dozens of languages spoken all around us while we all enjoyed the display…truly a special moment. Such moments demonstrate the beautiful cultural diversity of the audience all enjoying an American tradition, giving me hope for these troubled times.

Today—Independence Day, gave me an idea. Are there things you’d like to free yourself from and be more independent in your life or something you’d like to free the world from? This might be poverty, addiction, hunger or illiteracy for example. You can do something to make a difference beginning today. Personally, perhaps it may be the stuff that no longer supports who you are today, whether in your closet, your head, or your life. I’d like to be free from the gremlins of self-criticism and my mental negative putdowns. Two important traits essential for a vibrant, beautiful life are confidence and courage. For me, when I’m critical of myself, it erodes my confidence and I become less courageous and more tentative in my thinking and actions. I want to live my life boldly and create some fireworks in my life! Today’s a great time to start. How about you?