When I think of Independence Day, I immediately think of the freedom I feel when I’m embracing the Wood Archetype. The feeling that arises and makes me start singing and dancing to my favorite songs about freedom: “I’m Free” by Soup Dragons, “Freedom” by George Michael, “Freedom” by Pharrell Williams, among others. When singing those songs, something I value rises up: the confidence that I am an independent woman living life on my terms.
Maybe it’s the lure of sunny summer days that gets me singing. Maybe it’s my Fire nature, or perhaps that I live in a country where I can take things for granted, like freedom. (Though don’t get me started on how this is changing!)
Or maybe it’s being an independent woman—independent to make my own choices and to be a strong force to fight for what I believe in. As a Fire Archetype, I am at my best when leaning into my sense of independence, initiation and imagining a brighter future.
As I pondered this thought, I made a list of what qualities I think an independent woman would have. Here’s what I came up with:
Traits of an independent woman
1) Embraces change
Life changes daily at a faster pace than ever. As a partner, mother, daughter, colleague, caretaker, and so many other roles women fill, you need to be able to adapt to change. It’s not always easy to “go with the flow” but it sure does make life a little easier when we do. Fire and Wood types have an easier time in the face of chaos. If your Fire or Wood natures are low (and if you don’t know your Archetype scores, take less than 10 minutes and find out right now here. It costs nothing and you’ll learn so much about yourself.), practice their corresponding behaviors and activities to increase your ability to be resilient in the face of unpredictability. These two chapters in The Five Archetypes book is full of great ideas.
2) Shows confidence
Stand up straight, look ’em in the eye, and believe in yourself. Even if you “fake it ’til you make it,” a confident woman shows the world “I got this.” Even though any of the five archetypes can demonstrate this behavior, this is a trait that correlates strongly with Wood, Water and Metal abilities. Take a look over your scores and see if you need to increase your strength in any of these three types.
3) Understands her finances
You don’t need to be rich; you just need to know how to manage what you have. Keep a savings account, a checking account, and some sort of investment account. Also know how much you spend and what your household expenses are, and have something saved for an emergency because, well, life happens. This is a Metal behavior – tracking, consistency, sticking to a plan and measuring your effectiveness over time. Metal is my lowest nature, so in addition to practicing Metal behaviors, I also reach out to Metal types to help me with this!
4) Stands up for what she believes in
There are so many examples lately of women standing up for what they believe in—taking charge to change the conversation, protesting, fighting back. Take inspiration from them. This correlates to Wood and Fire archetypes. Practice the skills in the Fire and Wood chapters of The Five Archetypes to reduce the discomfort you may feel around standing up for yourself and others.
5) Knows her worth
You’re not a doormat; you’re a queen. Believe in yourself, treat yourself well, and never compromise or settle for anything less—from anyone, even, and especially, from yourself. This skill can be tough for Earth types without a strong balance of Wood and Metal nature. If your Earth score is 70 or above, work on increasing your Metal and Wood nature to begin building stronger self-confidence.
6) Is adventurous
Take that dream vacation! No one to go with? Go by yourself! Not sure of the currency in a foreign country? Don’t speak the language? Can’t figure out the train schedule? The internet opens up a world of information, or just stop and ask someone for help. You may make some amazing new friends and get more out of your trip than you could ever have imagined. This is totally Wood and Fire. I did this back in 2010 when I went by myself to the south of France for a biking adventure. I learned so much about myself and met some beautiful people on that trip. My Fire is my primary and I have a decent amount of Wood. Consider something like this for yourself. Create your own adventures and increase your Fire and Wood to help make it happen!
Embracing freedom as an independent woman
So whether you’re “Free like a butterfly, Free like a bee; These are the words me hear from my granddaddy….” or “Your first name is Free, Last name is Dom, We choose to believe, In where we’re from….” you most likely possess these traits.
Yes, I’m living into my freedom and celebrating it more than ever at a time when the world has us locked inside (our homes and our borders), where fears can overtake us, where the future seems scary, and so many other things. I can’t live in fear or keep my focus there. Instead, I’m making the intentional statement as an independent woman to be like the sunflowers, look toward the sun, shake off the fear and shine!
Are there other traits that you think define an independent woman? Please share! What’s holding you back? Let’s start a conversation.
And while you’re thinking about this whole freedom things, enjoy some of these songs that I have now put in your head!