Traveling Light

Have you ever had a dream in which you have left something somewhere and are trying to find it? It might be clothes, or a backpack, or a person; but something that feels important to carry forward. Perhaps you can’t quite remember where you left it, or perhaps you can’t seem to find your way back to that place.

Two weeks ago I was leaving for Christmas on the east coast. I carefully packed a backpack with some books, a few holiday DVDs to share, some of my new CDs that I had spent the last few weeks creating on the physical. The presents I had collected for my family, some found easily and others searched from store to store, were stashed; an empty water bottle, and a sandwich and snacks for the plane. I was feeling happy that I had remembered all the things I wanted to take.

My daughter and I were ready in good time. I had booked an evening flight which meant no crack of dawn this time. We loaded our luggage in the car. I remembered that I should collect the key to my parents house, and went back inside for it. A clear sunny Colorado day, and in good spirits we drove off as I joked to my daughter that this was the last chance to remember anything thatwe had forgotten. We had everything with us.

A nice drive to the airport: afternoon, before the rush hour traffic. We parked and got our luggage out of the car to catch a shuttle to the terminal. Only my backpack was missing? Carefully packed it was still sitting next to the dinning table, where I had walked by it several times, including when I went back for the keys. My guides are really laughing at me now.

So I had left my “stuff” behind, including some things that I had worked hard to complete or find before leaving. But its still a nice day. I have my toothbrush and my clothes. Somehow its OK. In fact through checkin, security clearance (where a wonderful woman was actually having having fun in her job), and out to the gate, I felt light and free. I can feel my mind letting go. Letting go of old pictures about presents from when I was a kid. Letting go of the need to keep track of things in general, dropping me into the present, where everything was fine, and I could experience the joy of appreciating the people around me, the family and friends that I would see soon. Releasing the mental attachments there was so much space for heart experience.

In a dream I might have spent a considerable time searching for the lost backpack, but here I can let it go. It will be there at home when I return, and in the meantime I’m alive, breathing, having fun. Nothing really important is lost. In fact my mother had suggested that we defocus on presents this year. Even the delay in our flight (so we got in at 3:00 am), just allowed us to meet some good folks in the waiting area. It was all just a flow, setting the tone for a good holiday full of people and connection.

So, as we open a new year, I’m hoping that I’m ready to leave more of my “stuff” behind. To live in the natural flow where things come and go, and then more things come. To travel lighter, and to trust that the things I really need will be with me, or show up. To allow my mind to let go of keeping track, of holding on, so that I can be present with others in a deeper way, open to joy and connection in every moment.

This is a great time to allow old things to complete, to check in with what you are circling back for that you may not really need. Opening the doors to a new year full of promise and adventure, new friends and old, deepening trust in yourself, and allowing more room for your soul to sing and dance.

(© 1/2009)

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