Unnecessary life layers can pile on like unwanted pounds; releasing what no longer serves us frees us physically and energetically
My yard is surrounded by a legion of stalwart trees lining the perimeter of the property. I like to think of them as fierce mamas lined in a row, arms linked. They have weathered many storms together and could tell many tales. Oh, if the trees could talk! Someone once strategically planted them there many moons ago, anywhere between 50-100 years earlier. They’ve guarded the house and all of its previous inhabitants, held their stories and witnessed the passage of time. They’ve seen it all, my beautiful black walnut trees.
And as anyone with massive old trees knows, they need to be pruned and attended to every few years — kind of like getting a much overdue haircut. As the skilled arborists arrive with bucket trucks and tree-trimming paraphernalia, I am always surprised by how much gets removed, what no longer serves the tree and in fact, what is holding its growth back.
Hmmm. Sound familiar?
Of course, there is no better metaphor for life’s experiences than nature. It’s like she stands before us and says…Do you see? Do you get what I’m trying to share?
As I witnessed this multiple-day event unfolding within the backyard (and even though I’ve seen it many times before), I was amazed by how the pile of dead weight was accumulating on the ground beneath these glorious arbors. And it got me thinking…maybe I could use a life trim too?
My head starting spinning. What would stay? What would go? And how big would the pile be?
You know that feeling of getting a really great trim from a skilled hairstylist…how moments after the masterful scissors make their way through your hair, everything bounces up again — feels lighter and even puts a little pep in your step? Hey, let’s face it…there’s nothing like a good hair day. The same goes with everything in your life…yes, literally everything — all aspects: people, relationships, jobs, what we consume / what we don’t consume, what we think / what we don’t think, how we live / how we don’t live, what we say / what we don’t say.
How we move through life…or choose not to. It’s all a choice…and it’s all in our control. It either weighs us down or helps us stay light on our feet.
Let’s just say that I’ve lived on this planet long enough to know what I need — well, at least what works for me and what doesn’t. Now do you think I implement this enlightenment upon myself regularly…not exactly. I fall off (regularly)…ignore the cues alarming me…think I can handle it and carry on, business as usual. But the dead weight catches up with us eventually — and that’s probably a good thing because then we bump into it, see it, maybe even trip over it — but now have the opportunity to do something about it.
When we are a part of a family unit or a company or a community, we often try to squeeze ourselves into the expectations of others. And like it or not, there usually is an unspoken code we are all supposed to fall in line with — not too big, not too bright and definitely not against the mainstream media school of thinking. But there is actually no greater gift we can give ourselves than that of discernment backed up with some grit and a little brawn.
Start with telling the truth and declare what you need — this can be with seemingly little things like, I need some alone time. That’s a biggie for me. Frankly put, it’s my reset; my battery pack. I love to have my family come visit for weekends and holidays, but it’s my job (not theirs) to declare what I need. I’m a morning person who loves to sneak up to her computer with a hot cup of coffee before anyone else wakes in the house — to write in the solitude of the early morning. To me, it calms me, rejuvenates me, fuels me, fills me, makes me feel expansive and inspired. And it needn’t be very long, but it’s like recharging the batteries.
And likewise, when my days don’t start like that, the batteries drain. Does the world fall to pieces…no…but it slowly begins to wear on my spirit and chips away at my vibrancy. If you are anything like me, you ignore it at first…you tell yourself it’s not a big deal. But it is because it’s a move away from your Best Self, the part of you who knows the truth of what you desire, dream of and need. When was the last time you felt like you were walking in your full vibrance?
If we sit around and wait for others to magically know what we need, we are depriving ourselves of precious time.
Did you know that your spirit, intuition and soul are speaking to you all the time…sometimes gently whispering in your ear to get your attention — sending you signs you might overlook as coincidences or inconsequential — sometimes more loudly in the form of a disappointment of physical pain to get you to pay attention?
Look at what’s weighing you down. Sometimes when we feel stuck in the monotony of routine, we can’t see a way out or around the way we are already doing things, like there is no other way…so, we keep doing the same things and hoping that circumstances will eventually shift. But we are the shift and as I love to say, when we shift, the world shifts with us. Conversely, magical thinking alone won’t get you there.
Perhaps it’s time for a trim?
Start small (nothing drastic, no sudden bangs!)…just start. Could you begin to give yourself permission to not be everything to everyone all the time and to recognize that that is simply unsustainable? It’s OK to not know where to start — start with giving yourself the time to sit with your feelings, to think in stillness. Of course, it’s about boundaries, but it’s also about kindness, gentleness, softness and ease. Your self-care doesn’t need to come at the expense of anything or anyone else. That’s the fallacy we tell ourselves. We can be all the things; truthtellers, wise and loving all at the same time. And as the adage says, you can’t pour from an empty pitcher. Allow yourself to recognize what is draining you and pulling you down…and trim some of that excess baggage right off. Let it pile up beneath your feet and marvel at your lightened load. What’s the first thing that comes to mind as you contemplate it? Let it out, let it flow, let it go. Life is too short to be shackled and committed to things that hold you back from all of your Best Selfness. Whether with tree branches, hair or our sweet spirits…we all could benefit from some lightness of being, a return to a truer self flowing in the wind. Simplicity can feel quite expansive. Ready for a life trim?
Are you feeling the excess weight of some unnecessary life burdens, or limited thinking dragging you down? What comes to mind for you when you think of a little life trim? Please share with us in the comments below (what would stay, what would go…and how big would your pile be?)