A s we approach my favorite holiday…it got me thinking about freedom. There are all types of freedom to have. Those of us in the US can inadvertently take our freedom for granted at times. Having lived in Asia, I am so grateful that I feel free to pursue exactly what I want here in the US.

However, physical freedom is enjoyed most when we feel mentally free as well. Take a look at your life right now, and ask yourself, do I really feel free? If you get the feeling that you are not quite there. Be honest with yourself. Can you break the ties that bind you? Because you are the only person who can change it!

Is there something that still plagues you from the past? Do you feel trapped in a relationship? Do you want to be more financially free? These things can drain us and prevent us from feeling free to pursue our happiness. Here are a few easy tips to get you started, because freedom rocks!

1. Freedom from the past. The path to forgetting the past is forgiving. It is hard to do but it must be done. You have to forgive yourself and others to feel free. Forgiving is never excusing bad behavior. Further, it does not mean you allow them back in your life if you choose not to. It is simply the path to love and acceptance for YOU. An event may be holding you prisoner, and they are probably just fine. Do not let them stay tied to you!  Journal about it, write them a letter and burn it, pray on it. Do what feels right to you. Just don’t hold on.

2. Freedom in love. Are you happy in your current relationship? Are you simply holding on because you are afraid no one else is out there? Be honest, if you look back five years from now and nothing has changed how will you feel? If you can fix it, put in the work. If you try to make it work and simply can’t, let it go. Life is too precious to be tied to someone. You are robbing BOTH of you from true love and happiness. Stop making excuses about why you should stay and figure out if you really want to. You’ll both be happier…in the long run.

3. Steps to financial freedom. Look at your monthly expenditures, where is your money going? Are you happy about it? Are you spending money on things you really value? If not, make some changes. If you don’t really watch TV or want to cut back yet you pay $100 month for cable, drop it down. Use the extra $50 a month for a dinner out or a gym membership. Begin reducing your bills and thinking of ways to bring in extra income. Sell what you don’t need and bring in the new. Shift your belief systems! Sometimes less is really more.

Freedom comes in many forms. This Independence Day take a moment to consider how you will stand up for your own personal freedom. Many people have fought for freedom, so don’t take yours for granted. Live your life, ask for what you want, and don’t let anything hold you prisoner!