Today, July 4, is all about independence. Here in the states they call it Independence Day. It’s the celebration of our independence from Britain in 1776, but I like to celebrate it in a more personal way.

For me, independence is about freedom, especially freedom of self-expression. During the history of our country, and the world, self-expression was not always encouraged or even allowed, especially if you were a woman. Many of us relate to or feel empathy toward those women who were burned at the stake in the 1600s for engaging in healing arts or speaking directly with God.

In modern days we here in the US don’t burn women at the stake anymore. But still our self expression is often diminished by expectations that we fit some societal norm of beauty and service to family. Sometimes we forget that we are entitled to our own dreams, that our purpose matters, that we deserve to express ourselves in ways that fulfill us.

I am lucky that my chosen career is highly creative and fulfilling, but there are many ways I have limited my own self-expression by internalizing the criticisms and negative thinking of my family, or my teachers.

“Bodega Sunset” by Julia D. Stege 48″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas

For instance, I have always had dreams of being a painter. I have often thought, “someday I’ll be one of those old purple haired ladies who show their bad paintings at summer fairs.” But because of criticisms from others I thought I was not a very good painter and that allowing time for that expression was frivolous. My business mind would tell me I didn’t have time for such shenanigans, I had to work! This lasted for years until I finally broke through and started painting regularly. It doesn’t matter whether I will sell my paintings or not. What matters is expressing my freedom to create. And in sharing these paintings with my community I learned that they uplift others and make them feel good, even when they’re not perfect!

Julia Stege as Glinda in The Wiz

I also thought I could not sing very well. My mother (rest her soul) told me on a number of occasions that I sang flat. And that meant to me that I should not try to sing (especially solo) in front of people. So I was a shower-singer until I broke through and started participating in local musical productions. And again, through this experience I learned that I don’t have to be perfect to inspire others. That my self-expression – even as a singer –  is uplifting!

Part of my inspiration to come out of the closet as it were, as a singer and a painter, is that my father, a writer, put off his dream of publishing his novels. Now at age 92 he is often too tired or foggy headed to write or edit. I do not know why he didn’t feel he was entitled to be a writer, but he had given it up to become a salesman, and do what he thought he was supposed to do to support his family. When I empathize with his frustration, I think, wow, I’d better not put off my self-expression another day. I too have books I have started but not finished. I don’t want to be 92 when I finally get around to it. Do you?

Do you know what your dreams are or are they buried under all the other obligations you have to your family, your friends, your community, your job?

I remember when I started working with the Attraction Plan I now use with all my clients, the question, “what’s perfect for me?” was almost painful, because I didn’t believe I could actually attract what I desired. It took a lot of coaching and soul searching before I came clear on what my dreams are, and many of them don’t have anything to do with work at all (to the dismay of my “bossy” side who wants me to work night and day).

Tell me what you want, what you really really want!

Many of us have come forward with our dreams only to be shot down or told, “you can’t do that,” or “you’re not really good enough at that,” or “don’t you have other, more important things to do?” To build our confidence back up we need to connect with people who get us, who encourage us, and support us to keep moving forward toward our dreams.

In fact, my business partner Wencke and I are on a mission to help women discover their dream, their true voice and to sbe our authentic selves and not be held back by obligations or told, “no you cannot do that or that or that!”

We feel there is a new world rising where we are free to unite and express all aspects of ourselves, and that we are here to bring it into being.

And we want to hear what your dreams are.

That’s why we’re doing a Dream Survey and offering a complimentary Dream Clarity Consultation to you when you do us the favor of telling us about you. We know that a small number of you will want our help to bring your dreams into reality, something Wencke and I are really good at. And the others will be inspired to do it on your own, and we want to support you to do that, if that is your dream.

PLEASE TAKE OUR SURVEY HERE and we will reply with a link to get your session scheduled.

Here’s to your dreams! Happy Independence Day!