Declare Your Independence

Technically, we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, but often we women behave in ways that are anything but free or brave. Far too many of us are slaves to the opinions and boundaries that other people erect for us. We get buried under all of the hats that we acquire throughout our lifetime of service to others. We forget to put ourselves on the list of people we take care of, and inevitably the WOW factor we once possessed morphs into a new kind of WOW: Worn Out Women.

This week, as the U.S. celebrates its national independence, consider declaring a little personal freedom of your own. Pick one thing that you're doing to please someone else or to conform to society that is in direct conflict to your personal desire or tastes, and start your own mini revolution. It need not be earth-shattering, but taking one small step in the direction that you want to go, instead of where someone's pushing you, can truly be life-altering. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Make yourself visible Have you ever thought about how much time you spend trying to blend in rather than stand out in the crowd? Sure it could be insecurities or maybe as simple as being stuck in a rut, but isn't it time to show the world your true colors? No need to make a scene. Let the bright colors, fashions and accessories of summer help make your unique style visible to the world. I'm not suggesting you go around looking like a walking rainbow, but I am telling you that by throwing on a splash of color that accentuates your skin tone, a statement necklace or some big and bold, can't-miss-me earrings (not all together, mind you), you'll be surprised how your mood will lift. Pick one thing about your wardrobe that will catch the eyes of others. Getting noticed for all of the right reasons will make you feel lighter and brighter and attract more positive energy.

Go gray. The average woman spends $330 a year on coloring her hair. Think about putting that money back into your pocket to spend or save for something special, and join the women who are celebrating their silver locks rather than hiding them. Enhance your natural beauty with a sexy, modern haircut and prepare to turn heads with your own beautiful shades of grey. Remember, it's the way you think and act that makes you look old, not the color of your hair. You can also walk tall with the knowledge that while others are trying to be trendy, you're just being you.

Wear a bikini. Even if it's in the backyard and for your eyes only. Liberate yourself from negative thoughts about your perceived fatal figure flaws, and stop apologizing to yourself and the world for not having the perfect physique. There's no such thing. Even celebrities, the folks we look up to and work so hard to emulate, have body-image issues. So cease the embarrassment and commence to strutting your stuff in a two-piece. Let the sun kiss as much of your skin as possible (that would be sunblock protected skin). Wear that bikini proudly, appreciating the fact that you possess a healthy, functioning body, and knowing that sexy is as sexy does. Whether your choose to share your bikini-clad bod with the rest of the world, is your choice, but giving yourself permission to enjoy your body as is, should be your mandate.

Embark on your personal pursuit of happiness. Decide to do or start something this summer that you've always wanted to do, even if nobody else wants to join in. Create your bucket list with the notion that it's a gift of love to yourself, and then pick one thing to accomplish this summer. Travel somewhere new, learn a foreign language, take a belly dancing class or start those singing lessons. Do you for a change with no excuses or regrets. And with no worries about success or failure. Declare your independence from the need to be great at something you always wanted to try, and enjoy the experience it just because you can.

Give your good girl her freedome. Declare your sexy independence. After the grill has been doused, create some fireworks of your own by stretching the boundaries of your passion. Amp up your love life by trying something new you've read about, seen or heard. Go for it with the knowledge that it's the adventuresome attitude and re-energized passion that's going to take you over the top, not the tricks. The important thing is to climb out of your rut and shake up own attitudes about sex and being sexy.

Independence Day isn't just about the Fourth of July. It's a personal journey that runs a lifetime. Think about it -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If it's an ideal good enough to define a nation, it's good enough to define you!