Traveling Light

“Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go-purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything-whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”

-Tina Turner

This summer I took a trip to a far off place with my sweetheart. As with any trip, I fretted about how much to pack. And it was not because I needed to have fancy clothes and the shoes to match each outfit.  As a runner and a yogi, there will always be the extra clothes and the mat factored in for my trips. Still, it was important to me that I not have the luggage be a burden in my travels.

I am sure some of my thinking was due to the fact that I was once the mother of young children ( ooh the items necessary for survival!) and the fact that in my profession, lugging a bag and a laptop-along with my lunch-is part and parcel (ha!) of my daily existence.

But I am weary of the burden of carrying things with me all of the time. I want to feel light and move quickly- in spite of my age!

Since the trip, I have decided that the one thing that I did bring is one of the metaphors for how I have begun to live my life. I absolutely adore my tiny, tri-colored shoulder purse! It is just the right size for my small wallet (how many plastic cards does one really need anyway?), my reading glasses and cell phone. I have been using it for just 5 weeks and it has proven to be all that I need in my everyday travels.

So, this small item has really gotten thinking about how my life in the last five years has been made lighter as well. I am no longer married. Therefore, the person and his large amount of  accompanying accessories left the house.(Listen to Miranda Lambert’s song “Baggage Claim” if you want to catch my drift!) Truthfully, when this happened, I think that I not only exhaled for the first time in years but the house did as well.

I am sure that this major event caused a seismic shift in my outlook on life. I began to realize that there was space between things: thoughts, actions, relationships. Life was moving towards a easier path. Not challenge-free by any means, but one that opened up my heart and home to new people and experiences.

Even though money was very tight, I began to give things away. As a result, the house underwent a karmic shift. Among the few new things I got was a new bed (of course) and, in turn, I  gave the old one to my youngest son. Suddenly, it seemed that my small house became the place for all sorts of social interactions. My sons’ friends spent regular time here and they didn’t mind my company! We ate, talked, and watched movies together. My sons threw me birthday parties. My graduate school friends made this the place to work on our projects. We never laughed and swore so much during that process! And we all got  A+s to boot!

Love came back into my life in a way that I never expected.

So I guess you could say that my little purse is about letting go and letting in. Just as I have the three necessary things for my purse, so in turn I have what is necessary for my life: family, friends and love.

When the things in your life don’t allow you to move, think clearly, or to even breath, you have to unpack them!  Then you have to either give them away or throw them away. When this happens, newer, more positive experiences can occur if you let them in your heart.

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