"Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light." - Yogi Bhajan
When I first read this I thought, "Wow. That's a great way to live." At the time, I only understood it at the level of the mind. Logically it made sense. But for me to fully 'get' something, I need to feel and experience it in every cell of my body.
I knew that I wasn't fully embracing lightness in my life. I had been feeling stressed and overwhelmed with work. I needed to explore this light idea.
I decided to experience it fully.
I decided to go backpacking with my boyfriend in Europe.
I decided to do it... lightly.
For the first time ever, I had to pack as lightly as possible. We set a goal to walk as many kilometers as possible each day. Every ounce packed could mean fewer kilometers. What did I value more? Our goal or bringing more things?
I had committed to travelling light, and I have never packed so light in my life! One pair of pants, one pair of shorts, three tops, toiletries and... that's it! And it felt great.
Traveling light totally enhanced our experience. Firstly, it allowed us to walk 20-25 km a day. Secondly, with so few clothes we had to go to laundromats where we got to experience the local culture. It was much more enlightening than spending all our time among other tourists. It's an experience I wouldn't have had without travelling light!
After my packing success I thought, "Why don't I live more light, always? Do I really need everything I buy? What do I truly need?"
I had packed just two eyeshadows. For someone who once worked in cosmetics, this is a faux pas. You "need" a "wardrobe" of eyeshadows for everyday and occasion. I packed just two. And it was too many! I was sweating so much my makeup came off in no time. Not only did I not need an eyeshadow wardrobe, I didn't even need the two I packed.
What really dictates our needs? Did you know that 99 per cent of your thoughts are not truly yours, but are influenced by your environment? How much do we carry with us that we don't truly need?
Here's what I learned: Stop listening to what others say you "need". Ask yourself, before every purchase, "Will this contributes to a truly meaningful life?" You'll be surprised how often the answer is no.
Be The Light
I would adjust the quote to say, "Travel light, live light, be the light, spread the light." I believe you need to fully embrace something, understand it, be it, before you can spread it around.
At this point in my journey, I felt I fully understood how to travel and live light.
It was time to be the light.
Getting out of your everyday environment, seeing different things, different people, opening up to new experiences... it truly opens your mind and enlightens you.
In Spain and Portugal, everything closes for afternoon siesta. How amazing! These people truly know how to disconnect, rest their bodies, and refuel. Why, in North America, do we push ourselves to be "on" all day? Why haven't we embraced the importance of self-care?
Another new experience was Airbnb. My boyfriend insisted on trying Airbnb instead of hotels. I was hesitant. What if it wasn't clean?
I decided that in order to be the light, I had to face my fears. If I didn't like it, at least I could say I tried.
Well... I LOVED it.
The place was clean and in a part of Lisbon where locals lived. We shopped in local supermarkets and absorbed the culture. We had a kitchen filled with Portuguese spices, and had fun experimenting with a new cuisine.
Waking up one morning, I lay in bed. I listened to the sounds around me. The Portuguese talking in the street, birds singing, construction workers starting their day. I saw the sunlight shining brightly through the wooden shutters. I enjoyed each breath I was breathing. I even felt I was breathing fresher air. I looked at my amazing boyfriend and was so grateful for everything in that moment. I felt I was truly living life. Truly being and enjoying everything in the moment. For the first time ever, I felt such peace, such calm. I felt, in every cell of my body, that I was complete. I was alive. I was being the light.
I got out of bed and went to the kitchen. I felt the Universe confirming my thoughts about being fully connected to me, to my light. About feeling complete. At that moment, I found a spice called "Melissa."
How could it get any lighter than that?
Spread The Light
I promised myself I would always remember that moment in Lisbon. I would remember the calmness. How truly happy and complete I felt. I would bring that sense of being the light to everyone around me, no matter what.
This was a big commitment. Before leaving on the trip, I was so stressed with launching my online program. I didn't feel light or connected at all. Nights and weekends of work took a toll. I vowed never to let that happen again. Never to disconnect from this light. If I started feeling disconnected, I would remember that moment in Lisbon.
I committed myself to bringing this light to every area of my life and everyone around me- - friends, family, clients and community -- and help as many people as possible be and live more light every day.
I truly believe that when you feel light, you feel free. The lighter you feel, the more you are on the right path.
So... how "light" are you? How can you be more "light" in your life and business? How can you find that place of calm and connectedness, to keep yourself on the right path for you?
Follow Melissa Dawn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CEOofYourLife