Traveling light is freeing for anyone on a journey. After all, that’s what life is—one continuous journey. Far too often, we carry extra baggage with us and wonder why we feel burdened. We question why certain pursuits take so long and joy is dampened by exhaustion when we reach our destinations.
Any day is perfect to start to lighten the load, but there's something magical about a new year. It feels like a fresh slate. Instead of taking on resolutions, why not sit back and evaluate what you need to let go? Here are five areas where you can look for excess weight to dispel:
1. Physical baggage
The most obvious dump-worthy items are physical. We tend to hold onto many things that are no longer of use. With the exception of family keepsakes and milestone reminders, many things can be discarded. Do you really need to hold on to a sweatshirt you wore in eighth grade?
Let it go. If items are in good condition, donate them to someone who will put them to good use. Otherwise, you’re just holding onto the stagnant energy of the past. Move it along.
2. Commitment baggage
We often feel bound to commitments we made at another point in life. Perhaps circumstances have changed and time is an issue. Maybe a certain project or organization no longer resonates with you.
It’s OK to say no. When you give or say yes to something that is dear to you, you are replenished. When you do so out of obligation, your energy reserve is diminished. Don’t feel obligated to continue with voluntary things that deplete you of energy.
3. Mental baggage
Our minds are full of misinformation about who we are and of what we are capable. There are the lies we tell ourselves and there are the lies we are told and adopt as our own. They become self-imposed limitations.
Whenever a limiting thought creeps up, learn to question its origins. Ask yourself: Is it is undeniably true? Learn to recognize that it is not fact but merely an erroneous opinion you have held of yourself. Challenge these conceptions and they'll eventually lose the power they held when previously unchecked.
4. Relationship baggage
Every so often, you need to reevaluate who is allowed to stay in your life. This not only goes for relationships with significant others but for family and for people once considered close friends. If you are not feeling supported by relationships to which you have given wholeheartedly, it may be time to modify them.
Perhaps there are some individuals that you cannot completely cut off, but you can find ways to relegate them to small dose interactions. It's not your obligation to bear the weight of those who do not value you.
5. Emotional baggage
This is the most difficult area to tackle. Many of us become intimately attached to our past hurts, often allowing them to define the core of who we are. They take up the space within us and the very thought of releasing them is frightening because then who would we be?
Sometimes heinous things have been done to us. More commonly, we do the damage to ourselves. Either way, only the power of loving one’s self enough to release the source of emotional pain can remedy this. The only way to break through this barrier is through forgiveness.
Sift through these five aspects of your life and reveal the areas where you have been weighted down. Just like the airlines, it costs more to travel heavy. Willingly lighten your load moving into this new year. Remember, you have every right to enjoy your journey.
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