I used to walk about a mile to school every day since kindergarten, I was a “towny.” I lived in town and a whole group of us walked to school together. I felt so grown up and independent. I loved it. It was safe, paved sidewalks the whole way, and Mr. Boise the crossing guard was always there to help us cross the big four lane Grand Street (US 131).
In school I loved music, art and presentations where I could make something. I loved making the volcano that erupted and the paper mâché stegosaurus with big spikes on his back. I loved learning new songs on my flute and I would stay up all night working on a new drawing with colored pencils.
It took me until 7th grade to notice that much of the group I walked with just had their lunch box and their backpack on, walking with ease. Neither out of breath nor a hurting back. They just chatted and laughed and arrived to and from school without much effort.
I, on the other hand, balanced everything I could think of that I might need that day at school. I had my flute and lunch box in one hand, my books and art supplies were in a bag that I had to put on crossbody so that it didn’t feel like my shoulders would fall off.
I had my art project in a folder, I held separately so that it didn’t get bent. On most occasions I was balancing my gym shoes, if I chose to wear my dressy shoes to school that day. I likely was also juggling a zip lock bag filled with cheerios just in case I needed a snack and a thermos of water or Kool Aid.
Looking back, I could have left over half of it at school like everyone else, but I thought I might need them at home for practice. So I carried it all back and forth every single day… just in case I needed it.
As an adult, I find myself doing the same thing, carrying too much. When I travel or even head to a gathering of friends- I am so envious of the people walking in with one tiny bag all neat and simplified.
My mind decides to throw in thoughts like these as I prepare to go to an event…
What if it is too hot or too cold?- you should grab a sweater
What if my shoes aren’t comfortable? throw in an extra pair
What if it rains? you should bring an umbrella
Will there be enough seats? Your back will hurt if you have to stand for too long, just add in a folding chair
In other words- for all the scenarios I bring all the things… just in case.
This is how life overall feels sometimes. I am carrying things I don’t need to carry.
Physically AND emotionally.
In this chapter of life, I am becoming REALLY AWARE that I can set some things down, simplify, and just carry what fits in the backpack.
Wouldn’t that feel better to my body, heart and soul?
I am working on defining what to put in the backpack and really getting gutsy asking… "Are there times when it might be very freeing to not even carry a backpack?" I mean, what would happen if I just walked through life- free of all of the stuff?
I am making this a big part in choosing the path each day, consciously simplifying, physically & emotionally.
“What I know for sure is that when you declutter- whether it’s your home, your head or your heart- it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life and your family” - Peter Walsh
💓 Healing HeArtwork:
In my course I will be offering online in September, "Field Guide to Your Happiest Life," I include a lot of resources that have supported me in clarifying and simplifying. In this case, it is about emotionally simplifying the stressors in life:
Each morning I write in my gratitude journal while I sip my coffee. Inevitably, all the thoughts of anything remotely stressful start creeping in to try to ruin my morning calm.
So I started writing down my stressors on the next page in my journal.
I write the stressor. Then I ask myself is this thing stressing me out in my control?
If it is in my control- what I can do to ease the stress?
If it is not in my control- I must set it free and let the universe unfold as it is going to. I can’t control it.
I include this Circle of Control worksheet in the course "Field Guide to Your Happiest Life" (sign up for the email list to be the first to know when workshops are launching)
You can download the worksheet free here:
I hope this helps you in some way.