Ahhhh...back from traveling! Although there were many lessons learned along the way (there always are) I was particularly struck by one powerful message that I heard over the PA system at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. It went something like this, 'This is an important TSA announcement, any unattended baggage will be confiscated by airport security.' This familiar announcement coming through the loudspeaker in the airport literally stopped me in my tracks. My yoga brain immediately kicked in, even after a very long day of traveling, and thought to myself, 'Do I have any unattended or unconscious baggage?'
I immediately thought about all of the heavy, overflowing bags that I was carrying (not exactly efficiently packed!), as well as my checked bags, and how when traveling, it becomes an art to 'travel well' and hopefully 'light' and that the weight we carry can literally make or break our experience while we are on a trip...particularly during long, tiring days being herded like goats through countless customs and airport security lines. I had to chuckle when I thought to myself, 'Maybe the airport had it right here with their message of- Keep track of your own baggage at all times and don't leave your unattended baggage laying around for others to trip over.'
We all carry loads from our past and baggage that might not even be ours to carry or that we are unconsciously carrying. We might also unconsciously dump our own luggage (in the form of unhealed wounds, anger, resentment, judgement) on those traveling with us on our life's path. We might ask others to carry what we probably should be composting or transforming in some way. Some of us carry unhealed ancestral wounds that become lodged inside the very tissues of our beings, or the old wounds of our parents or loved ones. One of the magical things that yoga does is that it helps us to become conscious. Very helpful indeed. We all have wounds, we all have baggage, we all get hurt and hurt others but can we practice becoming more conscious of our bundles of 'stuff' and how it's effecting ourselves or those around us. And, taking things a step further, are we actually willing to open the suitcases of our psyches, and have a good look at what is there.
Just like when we return home from a trip and we open our bags on the living room floor and let it all spill out, we can do the same thing internally every once in a while. We can do our own TSA baggage check and run it through the translucent scanner of our consciousness. We can use our intuition to help guide us in knowing what is valuable and ours to keep, what is no longer useful and could be recycled (or perhaps even burned!!), and what just needs some love and attention. As Elizabeth Lesser, author of Broken Open says, some of our deepest soul's lessons are packed inside of our own emotional baggage, if we have the courage to open it up and take a look.
Sometimes we choose to carry another's load for a while and sometimes we don't really want to be shouldering a burden that is not ours to bear, the key is in bringing consciousness to the moment. Spring is a great time for cleansing- both internally and externally. Open up the closets, clear out the clutter, pull out those junk drawers and have a good look inside! You might be surprised, you might be overwhelmed, but if you look closely and honestly there just might be some wonderful little lessons packed deep inside that are keys to your own healing and transformation. And, the cool thing is, the more work we do on ourselves, the brighter our light will shine out to all those around us.
Happy Traveling Everyone!
Yoga Practice Suggestions: It's spring so it's a great time to go upside-down, change your perspective and dump out the clutter. Try some inversions, particularly headstand and shoulder stand. Add in fish pose as a nice counter stretch to the latter. Inversions are also very calming and great for boosting the immune system. Shoulder stand turns us deep inside to look at what is there.
Contemplations to Deepen Your Practice:
* Do a daily baggage check: What are you carrying around today? Do you feel any heavy burdens and whose burdens are they? Are they yours or someone else's?
* What do you do when you are stressed? Do you dump out your stuff onto others? Can you own what is yours in a way that is self-aware and self-responsible?
* What form does your own personal baggage take? Examples might include: Being judgmental, spewing out anger on a loved one, or the burden of unreleased deep old grief that has not been healed.
* Talk with family members about your own past- are their unhealed family wounds that could be healed with the help of a trusted therapist or by discussing collectively. Create a release ritual together.
* It's spring- lighten up! Do a mental spring cleaning through journaling or having the courage to talk to anyone in your life where there is unfinished business. Practice listening and forgiveness. Clean out your literal closets as well. Say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. Sometimes just physically lightening our load can feel like a psychic release as well.
Just for now, without asking how, let yourself sink into stillness.
Just for now, lay down the weight you so patiently bear upon your shoulders. Feel the earth receive you, and the infinite expanse of the sky grow even wider as your awareness reaches up to meet it.
Just for now, allow a wave of breath to enliven your experience.
Breathe out whatever blocks you from the truth.
Just for now, be boundless, free, with awakened energy tingling in your hands and feet.
Drink in the possibility of being who and what you really are – so fully alive that the world looks different, newly born and vibrant, just for now. ~ Danna Faulds
As always, I'd love to hear from you! Please comment at the top or the bottom of the page by clicking on Comments. Come travel with me- join me for a healing retreat on Cape Cod this May!