Excess Baggage


I have this habit of over-packing. When I went to Key West last month, I over-thought, over-packed, then unpacked and repacked. When I got there, I realized I had (surprise!) packed much more than I needed, especially for such a laid back, come-as-you-are town. My son, Christian, tends to do the opposite. He packs the absolute minimum, often leaving out essentials that are necessary for the trip. He was pretty cold when we went to NYC after Christmas.

 In January I see a lot of people either adding to or subtracting from their lives. "I'm going to start exercising, painting, making green smoothies, being nicer to my partner…" or "I'm going to stop complaining, eating so much, drinking so much, spending so much time on the computer…" In either scenario―adding or subtracting―we're often just adding to our baggage.

While we were visiting my family in NJ last week, I attended the church where I grew up. I'm not a "churchy" kind of person, but the pastor, Ben Fraumann, is so inspiring and the congregation is beyond welcoming, so I try to attend when I'm there. Ben spoke about only doing things that were meaningful and enjoyable. He said that if it wasn't helpful to us or whomever was involved, that we should resist. He advised us to get rid of some things (not all!) and to pick up new things as long as they were meaningful and enjoyable. It was perfect timing for my January theme. As always, it's all about balance.

So, what can you jettison? (For me--could I be a little less judgmental, controlling or noncommittal?) What can you add? (Could I be a little more positive, accepting, decisive?)

In yoga we practice observing sensations in the body and the current contents of our minds. This helps us to clarify what we truly need and what we can let go of. We practice doing this simply, a little at a time, breath by breath, and moving forward from there.  

Before you set a resolution this month, I invite you to take a few moments to become still―to clarify what you really need to add to or subtract from your life, and to do so without unnecessarily adding to your baggage.