I surprised myself today. My plan was to organize my lists and dreams into a small pile that I might take it with me to Florida for a retreat with my college friends. We are planning lots of time to talk and have fun together. But also time to ourselves to plan, write, and strategize our next professional moves. I am looking forward to learning from these women. There is so much they bring to the table and I can’t wait to absorb all that I can from them and their experiences.
My surprise came when I thought I had streamlined my pages of inspiration. Whenever I find inspiring images or ideas in a magazine I take them with me. Cutting and pasting ideas into a journal. Throughout the year I collect images and words that move me and when I feel inspired I cut them out. The plan was to bring these momentos with me to add to the conversation and my personal reflection.
The small pile of cutouts and plans is ONLY organized once, maybe twice annually. So when I tried to pull these scraps of paper together, the notebooks, and magazines quickly and easily filled my carry on. As I looked down at all of the ideas I made the executive decision to leave everything at home. I will build the new rather than repair the old. Today I will carry less baggage. These meaningful pieces that I have saved will be there in December when I’m ready to go through them. Until then, I am freeing myself of the obligation to carry them with me.
I find that this process can be helpful when I’m envisioning my future, to have pictures, words, or ideas that I wan tot remember. It can also be a burden, when we feel obligated or overcome by the sheer volume of exciting opportunities we might wish to partake in. It is cathartic to release yourself from responsibility. You don’t have to carry all of these things forward with you. For me these items only have value as long as they are serving my growth and happiness. If they become a distraction from the enjoyment of my life, they simply have to go.
Even though I was ready to dive deep into inspiration on this trip. I realize this process is a personal one. It is not done while chatting over hot beverages. Crafting my future is done in sanctuary. For me the sacred in between time of Christmas and New Years. Rather than be worried about this I accept it. I need to carry less baggage. I unpacked the paper scraps and filled my carryon with swimsuits, beach cover-ups, and sandals. We’re going to talk about big ideas – my inspiration will only grow – and what I need is less baggage when I come to the conversation.
How do you release yourself from feelings of obligation? Do you hold onto ideas that inspire you? How do you carry less baggage?