A lighter load



I have an obsession with purses.  I use the word obsession because I couldn’t think of a stronger word for what this is.  Uber-obsession, perhaps?  In any event, with a mania bordering on addiction, I am wild about them.  I will wear the same pair of shoes until there are holes in the soles, but purses?  *sigh*  I would buy one a week if I had space for them all.

If you ask which one is my favourite, I’d have to say the purple patent leather Kate Spade tote which, for some reason, reminds me of Spring and hope.  Or maybe it’s the blue Danier Leather satchel, which makes me think of the deepest part of the Aegean sea.  Or maybe it’s the pink Dooney & Burke crossbody purse, so perfect for travel and walking through the streets of a new city in style.

Oh, who am I kidding?  Like a cat who has birthed a litter of 64 kittens, I love them all equally.

Because I have so many purses, I tend to switch them out every couple days to match my outfit or my mood.  You’d think that, with the frequency of purse changes, I’d have the system down pat.  But this morning, as I was uncharacteristically late leaving for work, I was focusing on how long it was taking me to transfer my things from one purse to another.  Why do I have so much stuff in there?  Do I really need to carry 8 pens with me?  What’s with the  value-sized bottle of ibuprofen?  Why do I have two different business card holders?  Like circus clowns coming out of one of those teeny tiny cars, the items just kept coming and coming.  No wonder my purse always feels so heavy.

We tend to carry many heavy things with us, things that hurt our arms, our shoulders, our hearts.  Some of them we pick up ourselves and refuse to put down; others are things imposed on us through life and circumstances.  To live life with a lighter heart, we would do well to put down those things which are actually within our control.  Here are some suggestions on how to lighten your load:

1. Get rid of the “shoulds” in your life that make your stomach tighten So many times, we agree to things we’d rather not do or bind ourselves needlessly to tasks and things and people because we feel we should, even though, subconsciously, the belief weights us down.   “I should call her,” when we really would rather not maintain that relationship.  “I should volunteer for that school fundraiser,” when the thought of it makes us break out into hives.  Do you find yourself procrastinating when thinking about that one thing you “should” do?  Does your jaw start to clench?  Next time you think, “I should [fill in the blank]”, stop and ask yourself what you’re feeling and why, and what you’d rather do instead.

2.  Deal with guilt you have about past issues.  Unresolved guilt can eat at you and leave you emotionally drained.  Like anger, however, guilt is a helpful emotion only if it compels or propels you to do something positive, either to rectify the grievance or to avoid doing it again.  Guilt is our inner cue that we may have done something wrong or offended someone.  Do you have an opportunity to ask for forgiveness, to set something right, or to make something better?  If yes, do it and absolve yourself of the guilt.  If the guilt you are feeling cannot possibly make a situation better or help you to become a better person, let it go and move on.

3.  Repair or throw out the things in your home which are broken or torn Living with broken items, appliances which don’t work, or things that you trip over can drain the energy out of you and weigh you down.  Repair those items, replace them or remove them from your home entirely.  The philosophy of feng shui believes that, when you fix broken things, you set an intention in your life of abundance and harmony, thereby reducing the load in your life.

Sometimes life hands us a burden that we need to learn to deal with.  Oftentimes, though, the load that weighs us down is within our control to lighten.  Look around and see what is weighing you down in your life, and ask what you can do about it.  Your arms, your shoulders and your heart will thank you.




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