If I had to choose a favorite holiday, I would choose Independence Day. This is not merely because it is the least consumer-oriented holiday or because I love my country (which I do), but it’s also because independence and freedom—on both the microcosmic and macrocosmic scale—are so essential to our lives.

I like to think of every day as a personal Independence Day. As a human on this earth, and particularly in this country, I can walk through life every day choosing what to allow into my sphere and what will ultimately make up my life experience. We each have the freedom to do this, but it takes vision, courage, and, yes, sometimes our own revolutionary war to reach that level of sovereignty. But once we win that sovereignty, we must protect it: we must soldier on and defend ourselves from destructive forces.

Some of you have had to soldier through a lot of conflict in pursuit of your personal freedom. This is a time to celebrate your hard-won independence, your triumph over false rulers. You’ve charted new lands (hopefully you were nice to the natives!). But, of course, this is only the beginning. You must set up essential infrastructures in this new land—for example, adjusting your grocery list, ensuring a daily intake of green juice, and scheduling rebounding time.

Your ability to maintain your independence and freedom is directly related to the governing body you put in place. Do you have a good Bill of Rights? A strong Constitution? Are your desires, intentions, and actions in harmony? Let’s not forget Abraham Lincoln’s famous words: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He went on to specify: “this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” Nor can you remain sovereign in the detox lifestyle and enjoy its abundant fruits if you are divided—part slave to the social norms, part free. Eventually the societal riptide will pull you under. Short-lived firecracker enthusiasm won’t cut it. Those who succeed in the long term are vigilant, flexible where needed, and have the stamina and strategy of great generals to defend their hard-won liberty, day by day!

Now let’s turn our attention to our troops and our veterans. When we think of supporting our troops, we usually think in terms of moral support, patriotic support, or financial support. Sometimes, we tend to support our soldiers like a cheering squad who sits around doing our nails while the team hustles out on the field; the cheerleaders merely pop out of their seats every now and then with a “sis-boom-ba!” The life of our nation and our planet is not at a pep rally or a football game. So why do we send our troops off to war while we watch our nails dry?

Whether fighting in the caves of Afghanistan or taking musket in hand against the redcoats, our soldiers on the front lines need our support on the home front. We, too, must be warriors (albeit peaceful ones), ever alert against forces that impinge on our freedoms. We must start at home, where the social norms of consuming hours of mindless media and heaps of packaged foods and unfit substances render us mere marionettes. We must begin with ourselves, and then lovingly nudge others awake to all that threatens our freedom. If mainstream forms of consumption, health care, and self-maintenance are turning us into addicts and slaves to widespread disease, it’s time to take a stand! We are the soldiers at home, so let’s defend freedom and independence right here!

Otherwise, despite all the lives and limbs lost by our troops and the trillions spent on the greatest weaponry in the world, we will have passively yet unforgivably allowed the deterioration of our hard-fought freedoms. I love my country deeply and I do not want to see this happen. But it is happening, just like rogue bacteria is taking over the intestine of the average unsuspecting American. We remain blind to that which is eating away at our liberties—from both the inside and the outside—at our own great peril.

I would like to suggest a new way of supporting our troops and honoring our veterans: via the path of personal responsibility. We support them by strengthening our country at home, starting with ourselves. We, as ambassadors of peace and a people of higher knowledge, each take responsibility for our own personal harmony. The more peace, love, and understanding we emit, the greater our chances of one day achieving peace on earth. It will only take a small percentage of people with a higher consciousness to ignite this movement—then it will spread like a glorious wildfire!

The more we depend on our soldiers to maintain our independence as a free nation without supporting their efforts from home and from within, the more we stand to lose. The good microbes can only fight off so much yeast and harmful bacteria. The inhabitant of the body must back up the troops with smart choices! Just as each cell in the body is a hologram of the entire body, we are each a hologram of our nation. Let us support our troops, our forefathers, and the birth of a beautiful new world.

Let freedom ring! Happy 4th!