Tag Archives: Independence Day

Party Like a Colonist: the Original 4th of July

This weekend is the 4th of July! It usually means fireworks, BBQs, and red, white & blue.
It can get pretty wild, but the truth is it’s nothing compared to cannon fire, burning effigies, and melting statues down into bullets like the original colonists. We love this retelling by History Channel of the original 4th of July party!
How do you celebrate Independence Day?

Land of the Free: Quotes About Freedom


On July 4th, the United States celebrates it’s independence and birth as a new nation more than 200 years ago. Relatively young when it comes to nation, this country has been having a conversation about what freedom means and looks like since it’s inception.

Is freedom the right to do whatever you want?
Is it a home with a white picket fence?
Is it an idea or a philosophy?
We turn to great thinkers of our time and ask what freedom meant to them: Continue reading

5 Classic American Dishes Made Healthy for 4th of July!

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 1.12.33 PMHolidays almost always provide an excuse to have a feast, right? Unless the occasion calls for fasting, in which case a feast may come later. But for the most part, we celebrate, we commemorate, and we chow.

The 4th of July is no exception. This is a day many Americans spend grilling meat and veggies, squeezing lemons for lemonade, and making blueberry pancakes and apple pie. Because what better way to celebrate independence than to merrily flip hot dogs on the grill, surrounded by friends and family? It’s a bit of a stereotype, perhaps, but we’ll bet many of you have had at least one, if not many, Independence Days that exactly fit that bill.

The unfortunate reality is that many of the “classic American dishes” we enjoy on this and other holidays are not all that healthy, and some are downright vicious to our health. Luckily, there are ways to make some of these beloved recipes more healthy so that you and your family can enjoy an Independence Day feast without worrying about the consequences.

Here are 5 of our favorite recipes:

  1. For Breakfast: Eating pancakes for breakfast is kind of like having dessert in the morning, but it is a holiday, after all. To ease your mind a bit, these delicious blueberry lemon pancakes are made with half white flour and half whole wheat flour, which will at least add some fiber to balance out the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Enjoy with maple syrup, jam, butter, or just one their own!
  2. For Lunch: After that yummy, but heavy, breakfast you may want something light and green to munch on for lunch. Potato or pasta salad is typically the go-to picnic dish, but since we’re already enjoying lots of carbs and starch for breakfast and dinner, opt for something with more fiber. This kale slaw is the perfect choice for a light, refreshing midday meal.
  3. For Dinner: There’s perhaps no dish more classically American than a burger and fries. But this year, instead of wasting the calories on meat, cheese, and a big bun, get creative with this amazing veggie burger recipe. Lentils, mushrooms, and walnuts provide the main substance of the dish, packing lots of protein, fiber, and potassium. Serve these burgers with mustard, whole wheat buns, and sweet potato fries for something classically delicious and blessedly worry-proof.
  4. For Refreshments: It’s summer, it’s hot, you’re thirsty – you’re going to want something delicious and cool to sip throughout the day. Instead of buying juice or soda from the supermarket, make your own fresh-squeezed lemonade! It’s the only way you can control how much and what kind of sugar goes into sweetening your tasty beverage. This recipe calls for 4 cups of sugar, but try using maple syrup, coconut sugar, date sugar, or stevia as alternatives.
  5. For Dessert: Ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream! Ginger, peaches, and the sweet coolness of a dessert you can savor as fireworks paint the sky above you. Try out this recipe and be prepared to never eat another flavor of ice cream again.

What are your favorite 4th of July recipes? Let us know in the comments section below!

6 Iconic American Novels to Read for Independence Day!

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 1.48.00 PMThe number one lesson of “best of” lists is: It’s nearly impossible to make a “best of” list. Especially when you’re talking about American literature. This country may not make the best cars or electronic dance music, but we’ve produced some amazing works of literature over the years.

If you went through American public school education – and even if you didn’t – you’re bound to have read many of the classics: Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, etc. Here is a list of 10 iconic American novels that may not have made it into your formal education, but which are certainly worth reading.

From a wide range of authors, decades, and thematic settings, these books paint a rich, complex, and often troubling picture of this amazing country many of you out there call home. It might not be the light beach reading you’re looking for on July 4th, but take some time this weekend to reflect on the true importance of our national holiday. And grab one of these epic works to help you commemorate the day.

  1. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Set in the mid-twentieth century, this book tells the story of an unnamed African American man making his way through a harsh and inhospitable world. From growing up in the South, to attending a prestigious black college, to seeking out work in New York City, the man encounters antipathy nearly everywhere he turns. A poignant look at racial tension in this country dating all the way back to our founding and straight through to modern times.
  2. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Caught in the dusty, impoverished South during the Great Depression, the Joad family hits the road for California. Like so many families before them, and so many who would follow, the Joads find nothing but further pain, poverty, and misfortune in their quest. Lush descriptions, noble characters, and gripping scenarios will get you through this long and sometimes traumatic book.
  3. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. To be honest, this book isn’t a “novel,” but it still makes the list. Here’s why: Journalistic, stark, and six years in the making, this is not only the best crime book ever written, but one of the greatest American works of literature. It tells the horrific story of a quadruple murder by two deeply troubled men who, by the end of Capote’s sensitive re-telling, you almost empathize with. Or maybe not. Give it a read and tell us what you think.
  4. My Ántonia by Willa Cather. Young Jim Burden goes to live with his grandparents after his parents die, and he soon falls in love with the free-spirited neighbor girl, Ántonia. Though written from Jim’s perspective, the novel is organized according to the stages of Ántonia’s life, from girlhood through motherhood. Her struggles mirror the stark nature of the American prairie, which Cather illustrates so adeptly, and both are juxtaposed against Jim’s own privileged, modern existence. You’ll fall in love with the characters as much as you do their environment.
  5. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. If you’ve never read McCarthy before, then be forewarned: His books are exquisitely written and often disturbingly violent. This book is no exception. The protagonist spends much of the novel among a notorious scalp-hunting gang in the mid-nineteenth century Southwest. And make no mistake, scalps will be cut, babies will be killed, and your stomach will turn more than once while you read this classic work. But as a portrait of the American West, in all its vicious rawness, it doesn’t get any better than this.
  6. Dune by Frank Herbert. This list wouldn’t be complete without a science fiction novel, and Dune is one of the best out there. Set in an intergalactic future in which “spice” is the number one prized commodity, this book is both mythic in proportion and intimate in human dimension. Paul Atreides is the young hero gifted with super-human powers that will, hopefully, help him save civilization from the evil forces out to destroy it. (And when you’re done with this one, there are 5 sequels to keep you reading for weeks to come.)

What’s your favorite American novel? Let us know in the comments section below. Happy reading!


Read the previous post in our book series here!

Sparks Will Fly With This 4th of July Homemade Ice Cream!

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By the time 4th of July rolls around, we’re in the thick of summer. It’s hot; our kids are getting restless; and it’s been a few weeks since the last good summer party. Lucky for us, the joyous, rowdy national holiday arrives just in time, complete with parades and fireworks to set the festive mood. Like many celebrants, you may be hitting the beach or the park this year for a picnic, then catching fireworks once the sun sets. It’s a common and beloved routine, so perfectly simple you might find yourself searching for a way to spice things up…

Ever made ice cream from scratch? That’s right, no more excuses. Let this summer be an opportunity to undertake some new projects you’ve had your eye on but haven’t had the time/patience to try out. Case in point: homemade ice cream!

Ginger and peaches come together in this refreshing recipe to create the perfect summer dessert. Your kids will love it; your friends will beg you for the recipe; and Independence Day will go off will all the spice and spark it deserves.

Ginger Peach Ice Cream – Two ways


  • 6 fresh ripe peaches diced
  • 1 Pint Heavy Cream or whipping cream
  • 1-2 Cups Half and Half or Whole Milk
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup sugar depending on preference
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp. Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger Powder (to taste)


  1. Lightly whip heavy cream to aerate for 2-3 minutes
  2. Add sugar to blend
  3. Pour into a large bowl and add additional milk
  4. Puree half of the diced peaches and add ginger powder to taste
  5. Stir in diced peaches and puree until well blended
  6. Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions

Or have some fun and make Ice Cream in a Can!! Here’s how:

In a 1 lb. coffee can mix all ingredients. Seal can lid well with duct tape. Put small, sealed can inside larger 3 lb. can. Pack ice and 1 cup salt around small can. Put lid on large can and duct tape closed. Roll back & forth on a large towel (optional) for 15 minutes. Open large can and dump ice and water. Wipe small can dry and open. Stir mix, scraping sides of can. Additional ingredients, eg. cookie crumbs, chopped nuts, can be added now. Reseal small can and place back in larger can. Repack with salt and ice. Continue rolling for 10 minutes more. Open large can and dump ice and water. Wipe small can dry and open. Enjoy!

 * * *

308415_642560165773441_1538239119_nWakaya Perfection Ginger Powder has been featured in the LA Times, New York Times Gift GuideOprah’s favorite things and many more!

July 4th is right around the corner, and now is the perfect time to stock up on Wakaya Perfection’s 100% organic ginger powder to use in your favorite recipes! Visit WakayaPerfection.com to find more healthy recipes (like the Ginger Lime Creme Brulee or Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Chops) and stock up on Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger to use in your kitchen. 

Use the promo code THRIVE and receive 15% off your next purchase!

3 Steps to Proclaiming Your Psychological Independence

The West is in a constant war with reality.

Perpetually dissatisfied with what is, we are desperately trying to perfect it. This one and only reality seems never enough and we feel ever entitled to more: bigger houses, bigger (hybrid) cars, bigger (Anime-sized) eyes, bigger market shares, bigger tax deductions, bigger incomes, bigger bonuses, bigger breasts, bigger penises, bigger egos, and bigger wars. We have been culturally programmed to endlessly optimize and supersize, to constantly perfect ourselves and everyone else around us. Our appetite for more has been kindled to the level of insatiability. No wonder we feel psychologically starved and existentially empty.

We have been taught to chase the unattainable: to be more than what we are at any given point in time. We are a culture of idealistically naive strivers unable to be content with what is if only for a moment. This absurdly unrealistic goal (to be more than what we are at any given point in time) comes with the high cost of psychological dependence. Feeling chronically imperfect, we sell out for reassurance, validation and approval. Feeling chronically incomplete, we compete in consumption and stuff ourselves beyond measure.

This chronic deficit of self-acceptance becomes a matter of national deficit and undermines the socio-political independence of our society. Long-term sovereignty of a nation rests with psychological independence of its constituents. A nation of psychologically insecure denizens is at war with itself, and is, thus, divided.

On this 4th of July, 2012, and onward, I encourage you to proclaim your psychological independence – from a hollowing-out and incessant desire for more. Your individual psychological health is part of our collective wealth. Self-help, self-care, self-awareness and self-acceptance are patriotic. Stop waging war on yourself: you are doing your best, nonstop, all the time. On some level you know it. Make it official. And as soon as we do, as a nation, we will shift the paradigm from conspicuous consumption of goods and calories to the era of conspicuous compassion and moderation.

Proclamation of Psychological Independence

1. We confuse perfection with imperfection, but there is no difference (between these two) unless, of course, you compare what is with what isn’t.

Explanation: What’s real is real, what’s not is not.

Here’s a brief inventory of what exists on this planet at any given point in time: the planet, of course; the animal kingdom; and you (the humankind) with its fantasies of what still could be. My point is this: there is no other reality at any given point in time aside from the one that actually is. We can now envision and imagine a theoretically better world and we can compare it to the real world that exists and we can say: “I don’t want this actual world, I want that theoretical world.”

Suffering is borne out of this very comparison: the ideal always beats the pants off the real. In any comparison of what is with what isn’t, in any comparison of reality to fiction, fiction always looks prettier. So, as we envision what still could be, we ignore what still is. But here’s the existential glitch: there is only what there is at any given point in time. If we don’t know how to be content with what is, we are stuck chasing the tail of desire, constantly optimizing, supersizing, perfecting.

Bottom-line is this: perfection is a state that is beyond improvement; reality is the best that it can be at any given point in time (even if it had been better at some point in the past or if it can be still perfected at some point in the future); if so, then whatever is, at any given point in time, is the best that it can be, i.e. perfect. If this momentary reality (the one and only we have at any point in time) is perfect, then it is only not enough when we compare it with what isn’t (i.e. our idealistic and naïve visions of still could be).

2. If I could be this very moment better, worse or other than what I am right now I wouldn’t be myself. But I am, perfectly imperfect.

Explanation: At any given point in time, you are what you are. That is self-evident.

What this means is that at any given point in time (like right now) you are not less, not more, but exactly what you are, i.e. all you can be (right now). If you were in any way different right now, you wouldn’t be you, but you are you, exactly as you are. What this means is that right now you are the best that you can be. Why? Because you cannot be any better right now. Sure you can be better at a later point in time, but we are talking about this moment, the one and only moment that there is, in which you are exactly what you are, not worse, not better, but just you. Doing the best that you can (at any given point in time) = being the best that you can (at any given point in time).

I see this as inevitable perfection. You have arrived in this moment, perfectly imperfect, with nothing amiss and fully realized. Self-realization isn’t when you are more than you can be at any given point in time; self-realization is when you realize that you are this real you, not the perfectionistic figment of imagination of what you should be right now. Understand this in your bones: you are what you are and that’s enough. Accept your inevitable perfection at this moment and perfect the future if you still so desire. Self-acceptance isn’t the end of striving (no, you can still strive, just without that overcompensating urgency and rushed desperation) but a beginning of psychological independence.

3. It is always like that, not just during this now but at any now that you are alive. Present is perfect.

Explanation: You are doing the best that you can and, therefore, being the best that you can be, not just now, but always.

Sure it might not seem so when you compare you to not-you (i.e. to some theoretical you that never exists or to others who are, by definition, not like you). But if you compare you to you, as you are, then you are always doing the best that you can do and, therefore, being the best that you can be, non-stop, without fail.

Think this through until this becomes self-evident: there is no past right now nor is there any future in this moment, there is only this, this moment, this now, and it’s always like that. You are always in some kind of now, in which you are only what you are, not more, not less, but just enough. Reality does not short-change us: there is no celestial lay-away in which the reality is withholding better versions of itself until a later time. Right now, which is always, there is only this, this moment, however it is, not less, not more, such as it is, perfectly imperfect.

Look around for a moment: everything is what it is, if a door is half-ajar, it is half-ajar, if it is closed, it is closed, if it is open, it is open; if the sky is azure blue, then it is, if, however, it is overcast, then it is overcast. And so are you – in this moment, which is always, – all you can be, perfectly imperfect. Accept this ordinary, self-evident perfection of what you are in this moment and, if you still need to, perfect the future. Savor the new unhurried calmness of this continued self-optimization: when perfecting yourself from the platform of self-acceptance, you take your time living.

From Conspicuous Consumption to Conspicuous Compassion

Am I oversimplifying? Hell, yeah! My mind is still green (and I do hope it stays this way), but it does (fortuitously) know that the greener pasture on the other side of the hill is just an optical illusion, just the Jungian shadow of our insatiable, culturally-kindled appetite for more.

I’ll be writing and talking about all this jazz of self-acceptance and inevitable perfection as long as I breathe. My motive has nothing to do with altruism but self-preservation. You see, the world of self-rejection is a merciless jungle. If I can help you accept yourself, my guess is that you’ll be kinder to others, which, in turn, will translate into a hopefully less hostile world all around. Self-acceptance means psychological independence, i.e. a world in which people mostly mind their own business, meeting their psychological needs in-house, without psychological blackmail or relational warfare, without surface-deep resource-intense contests of egos and psychological careerism.

When we realize that we are doing the best that we can and being the best that we can, at any given point in time, eventually it dawns on us that everyone’s like that and that, my fellow mind, becomes a platform for forgiveness and compassion. When you stop attacking yourself you automatically call a truce on the world at large. It is for this and only this reason that I keep jabbering about self-acceptance: self-acceptance powers compassion and compassion – at the end of the day – is just another form of self-care. On this July 4th and every day onward, be psychologically independent, even if you are in debt otherwise!

Now, somebody, toss me a veggie hot-dog and a couple of sparklers. Time to light up the sky!

Adapted from Present Perfect: a Mindfulness Approach to Letting Go of Perfectionism and the Need to Control



Independent Dependencies

Independence is a rope along a heighten state.Independence is a bucket full of suds.Independence is a window within your soul.Be Independent

The collected independence of a society outlines its dependency towards those who still fight for its moral values. Take Independent Action.


When all is right with our modern life we often fail to recall the required turmoil of validity and oppression which precludes Independence.

For every day of celebration, we must have a week of quiet reflection to morn those who failed to see the independence we so easily cherish.

Those who have, quickly forget the pain of those who have not.Those who have not, slowly embrace the gain of independent thought and action.


Only through unity can we truly be independent.Only through Independence can we truly be Unified.Freedom of Action brings Freedom of Thought

The free often strike for their selfish Wants. The captive often strike for their selfish Needs. How we strike exemplifies our inner morals.

Independent Thought is only achieved through Collective Action. Independent Knowledge is achieved through Transparency of Fact from Fiction.  


Peace and Love and All The Best for All The Rest,

42DeepThought 🙂

Original Post: Independent Dependencies – July 4th, 2009 Collected Thoughts (to the music of I Want a New Drug by Huey Lewis & the News)


Freedom and The Divine Flow

July 4, 2009

Dear Friends,

Today is Independence Day, the day that we in the United States celebrate our right as a people to create our own futures and pursue our own dreams . . . free from oppressive and dictatorial rule.

But let us remember, too, that when it comes to our relationship with that Divine Intelligence that is commonly called God, every day is Independence Day . . . and should be recognized and celebrated as such.

Each and every day, you have the freedom to choose what you want to have in life, what you want to do in life, and what you want to be in life. And you have the freedom to pursue those goals in any way that you see fit.

That doesn’t mean that accomplishing those goals is totally up to you—and you alone. Quite the contrary. You are continually receiving divine assistance. You are constantly being divinely guided and supported in fulfilling your heart’s desires in the most beneficial way possible. But you will never be forced to do anything that you don’t choose to do.

You always have the freedom—the independence—to follow divine guidance . . . or not. You can choose to row with the divine flow, and reach your chosen destinations with effortless ease. Or, you can choose to take a more arduous route, and row against the flow by ignoring or resisting divine direction. It’s up to you.

The wonderful thing about your freedom of choice is this: Every choice you make in life—whether it is guided or unguided, divinely inspired or ego-driven—gives you an opportunity to learn from your experience, grow in wisdom and compassion, and ultimately discover more about your own divinely loving and creative nature.

But again, it’s your choice. You can choose to learn and grow from the experiences you create . . . or not.

Here’s to the joy that comes from creating our lives and living our lives by choice. May we always be grateful for the freedom we have to do that.


© 2009 by Steven Lane Taylor
Author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow


How to Serve Others – Best of the Week

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race


This week on Intent was all about volunteering and being of service to others and what role it takes in our personal wellness. President Obama is calling on all Americans this summer to particiapte in our nation’s recovery and renewal by serving in our communities. So in the spirit of Independence Day and being of service to others, we turned to our Intent voices for ideas on what can we do to get involved? What are the benefits of volunteering? See below for all their wisdom, which is ofcourse for people all over the world and not just the United States. Together we can all heal the world.

We also wanted to remind everybodyIntent Team is trying to get as many support clicks as possible on our intent to clean up our beaches. Right now, we have 46 clicks of support. We have until July 15 to get as many clicks as possible. (One support = one minute of Intent Team volunteerig).  If we can get a total of at least 90 clicks by mid-July, that would be amazing. Please click on our intent and support us so we can get as many minutes as possible for our beach clean-up day. Our beach clean-up day is on Saturday, July 18 at Dockwelier Beach in Southern California between 10AM and noon. We highly encourage all of you Southern California Intenters to join us!

Our Call to Serve:

How to Get Involved:

Why Should You Volunteer?

Giving Back and Your Wellness:

Hope this inspires you to sign up and go serve your community. If you are looking for volunteer opportunites in your neighborhood check out SERVE.GOV. It has all the information you would need.

Have a safe and fun 4th of July and don’t forget to support our intent


July 4: Holiday Pig Out Special

What???? HUH? Is Janice Taylor, Weight Loss Guru, the voice of Our Lady of Weight Loss, 50-pound big-time-loser, Intent.com blogger extraordinaire telling us that it’s okay to pig out?

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism." ~ Erma Bombeck

4th of July Food: PIG-OUT

OWN IT. You’ve been wrestling with, thinking about, and tasting the idea of NOT pigging out this 4th of July weekend. It’s been your focus all week long, hasn’t it?

THINK ABOUT IT. You manifest what you focus on. In other words, by thinking about NOT pigging out, you are destined to pig-out.

WHAT TO DO. Give yourself permission to PIG OUT. One BBQ, one meal, one day … not even one pig-out weekend doth a fat-person make. I can pretty much guarantee that if you are not fighting the forces of evil, pushing the devil food away, you will at the end of the day find that you have eaten less than you would have if your mind held on to and kept repeating, "I am NOT going to pig out."

WHAT NOT TO DO. Do NOT use this one weekend of indulgence as an excuse to fall off the wagon and take a 10-year detour! Do NOT beat up on thyself!

HOG WILD vs. PIGGING OUT. There’s a difference between pigging out and going hog wild. Pigging out has a playful, light, and fun quality to it. If you like, you can even wear something pink! Hog Wild, on the other hand, is NOT pretty. Hog Wild means you have gone weigh too far, into the dark side.

If you went past Pig Out straight into Full Tilt Hog Wild, forgive yourself and move on … move on … move on … NOW! Into your ‘lite.’

Spread the word … NOT the icing!

Janice Taylor is a Weight Loss Coach, Hypnotist, Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner, author of the best-selling Our Lady of Weight Loss books, seminar leader and 50 pound big-time-loser.

Visit Janice: Our Lady of Weight Loss



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