You have the right to bare arms.

This post was written for Erin Stutland and Shrink Session, and I am so happy to share it here!

Happy 4th of July! I love this day for many reasons (like watermelon, fireworks and my wedding anniversary), but there is certainly more to it than that. If you’re an international Shrinker, or if you just need a refresh, here’s a one-sentence history lesson:

 The Bill of Rights is the common name for the first ten amendments that guarantee many personal freedoms to our Constitution.
As we get ready for the festivities, I’ve been thinking about the tremendous power that lies in declaring that you are free of something. Whether it’s a public proclamation or a quiet promise you make to yourself, this is a perfect time to re-declare your own independence from anything and anyone that makes you feel trapped.

Think about it: you naturally put up less resistance to new ideas in the summer because your brain is programmed for FUN. Let’s take advantage of this up-for-anything attitude and really go for it:
What beliefs and old stories are no longer true and ready to be released? Are you ready to be completely free of anything and everything holding you back?

In the spirit of independence and freedom that’s buzzing through the air, and with my apologies to our Founding Fathers, I present a Shrink Session Bill of Rights:

 1. You have the right to speak with kindness and love.
Someone in some superhero movie (aren’t they all kinda the same at this point?) said “with great power comes great responsibility.” That’s especially true when it comes to our words. Since we’re free to say what we want, we had better take that seriously. This summer, choose your words, especially those you speak to yourself, with great care and love. In fact, I dare you to take it even further and straight up brag. You are a badass, and it’s your right to spell it out in fireworks in the sky.
2. You have the right to BARE arms.
I am so over the ads telling us to “DO 29358 CRUNCHES SO YOU FIT INTO THIS BIKINI THE SIZE OF A TRISCUIT! WHY ARE YOU EVEN EATING TRISCUITS? THEY HAVE, LIKE, GLUTEN IN THEM.” To all that noise I say “shut the front door.” (Ooh, shut it again-- that breeze felt great.) You do not have to hide. You already have a bikini body, because what is a bikini body but a body wearing a bikini? Wear what feels good, be it a muumuu or monokini.
3. No one can come into your home unless you grant permission.
You have the right to an incredibly exclusive guest list for your life. Any person, place or thing that doesn’t bring you joy can be kicked to the curb whenever you want. VIPs only.
4. You have the right to just do you.
Summer can bring a new set of challenges. Maybe you’re on family overload, maybe you’d like to stay home and watch OITNB instead of yet another BBQ, or maybe you’re overworked from covering for people who are on vacation. Whatever you’re feeling this summer, it is valid. Skip the party, plop your kids in front of the TV for 30 minutes so you can take a walk, do whatever you need to do to feel fresh and free.
5. Cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited.
So you chased down an ice cream truck and ate a Spongebob with gumball eyes. Are you going to waste even one minute torturing yourself? You better not, because that is against the law. If you made a choice that you don’t think served your highest good, you have the right to move on quickly and without drama. Leave the summertime sadness to moody popstars and skip right over the agony to a fun and inspired action instead.
6. You have more rights than those listed here.
Even the authors of the Constitution realized they might have missed something when they wrote this (if there had been a Founding Mother, you better believe she’d have covered all the bases, but such was life in 1776).

This Bill of Rights is only a start to the many incredible freedoms, powers, rights, and abilities that you both have and deserve.

Now it’s your turn: What else do you want to declare for yourself this summer?
You can start with “I have the right to…” or “I declare freedom from…” and please share over in the FB group (if you're not part of that group, feel free to comment here!)

I can’t wait to hear your declarations! If you don’t need it, release it. If you don’t feel it, free it. Have a fabulous summer!