This blog briefly reflects upon my adventures in both running and life, and what I've learned along the way.The purpose of documenting these adventures is partially a meditation tool for myself, but also to help you and others learn with (or from) me. Our journeys may be separate, but we can all push eachother to reach our peak potential.
Sneak Peak! Step 6. Pack the Righ Gear: Are You Carrying Extra Baggage?
Step 6: Pack the Right Gear:
Are You Carrying Extra Baggage?
“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with
just baggage enough.”- Charles Dudley
- H.D. Thoreau
“One “simplify” would have sufficed.”
Waldo Emerson in response
Tools: Reflection, Balance, Releasing, Being Present
●To acknowledge any extra “baggage” one is carrying, such as negative
emotions from past experiences.
●To feel these negative emotions, then release them.
●To start finding a healthy balance of what one needs and doesn’t need.
●To welcome and be present with new positive emotions and feelings that
enter your life.
Now that you have a
destination in mind, it’s time to start preparing for your adventure.You may have some special supplies, friends,
and emotions to help you on your newly designed journey, but to fit it all in
your pack you might have some letting go to do first.
We all know that carrying any extra
weight on the trail is no good.Whether
you are hiking or running, it can slow you down, be very uncomfortable, or be a
downright pain in you (your) back!On
the other hand, not carrying enough isn’t good either.Running out of food with miles to go can lead
to a very grumpy hiker/runner!
Finding that balance between
not having too much but not having enough isn’t always easy.For most, it takes a lot of trial and error
and reflection on what when right and wrong.“Okay, next time I run for 2 hours I only need to carry one water bottle
and one gel.”Eventually, you’ll figure
out what works for you.Just remember,
what works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa.On the other hand, if you don’t take the time
to reflect, you’re not going to figure out what works and what doesn’t.Same goes for that other baggage we all
The past is important
and there is much to learn from it.It
is not, however, meant to be dwelt upon.Once you take your lessons from it and reflect on some of the good
memories, it’s time to be present. No need to worry about the future either,
just keep a gentle gaze toward those distant mountains.
The problem is most of
us are too stuck in the past or working so hard for the future that the present
moment is all but forgotten…and then we wonder where the time went!
Pretend you are going
on a weekend hiking trip with two friends in a beautiful mountain range.At the trailhead, everyone gets out of the
car and grabs their packs.You notice your
one friend’s pack is bursting at the seams, while the other has a pack that is
smaller than your old book bag. Still, you figure it’s best not to say
Within a few hours,
things start to go awry. Your friend with the small pack is moving fast, not
even taking a break at the overlooks to check out the amazing sunrise.Your other friend is moving slightly faster
than a snail’s pace, slowed down by the weight of the pack and already
complaining of an aching back.
Fast forward to the
next day, and everyone wants to quit.The friend with the small pack is trying to mooch off of everyone else,
also having missed all the views.The
friend with the big pack is in pain.You
are stuck in the middle, also not having fun being “weighted down” by the negativity
of your buddies.
*You can do the meditation below literally
or figuratively using mental imagery.I
will use the word hike, but please feel free to interchange this with “run”.
you start off your hike, imagine yourself carrying a heavy backpack.Each step feels heavy and weighted.Not long into your hike, your back starts to
ache from the heavy weight.The straps
start cutting into your shoulders.Your
breathing may even become shallow and labored.
you come to a halt.You cannot take any
more of this pain caused by the heavy weight you are carrying.You take off your pack and open it.It is full of rocks.The rocks represent the extra weight you have
been carrying around you for the past year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc.
on this heavy backpack one more time.Feel its full weight.Take a
moment to let it sink it.
reach into your pack and take one rock out.It is labeled “guilt”.Hike with
the rock in your hand for a few minutes. Feel its heaviness.Then begin to think about where your guilt
has stemmed from. Maybe you feel you haven’t lived up to someone’s
expectations, maybe those expectations are even your own.Or maybe you hurt someone, or someone else’s
hurt was put on you.Whatever it is, let
yourself feel it fully.Then let it
go.Swing your arm back and hurl that
rock as far as you can.It is no longer
attached to you.
pull on the next rock.It is labeled
“unworthiness”.In your hand, this rock
not only feels dense but sharp.With it
come thoughts like “you’re not good enough”, “you can’t” and “you’re not worth
it”.Reflect on when your feelings of
unworthiness first began to creep up. Take a few minutes and just walk with
these words and the feelings they bring up.Then release them. Take that stone and throw it through the trees and out
of site.You are free from its weight.
taking out the rocks in your pack.Do
this exercise with each one.Feel its
weight, think of where the feeling stemmed from, then release it from yourself.
you empty the rocks in your pack, feel yourself become lighter and lighter.
hike on happily until you realize you feel empty. Something is missing.At first you can’t figure out what it is, but
eventually it comes to you.
the extra unwanted feelings and emotions you’ve been carrying around had left
no room in your pack for the good ones.You missed out on letting in love, compassion, beauty, and grace.It’s time for you to let those in.
you continue hiking, you see a tiny ball of light coming toward you through the
trees.You are not afraid, and you let
this brilliant light come through your chest and fill your body with love.Take in this feeling.It is yours to keep.
letting in these little balls of light full of kindness, compassion, strength
and whatever else comes to you that you may have neglected.Feel their lightness, and their fullness.
are full, but not weighed down.This
type of fullness leaves you feeling happy and complete.
stride is no longer heavy and slow, but light and strong.
energy is yours to keep for the rest of your journey.
baggage (negative emotions/thoughts/experiences) have you been carrying?What about any people or things in your life?
·How did it feel
to release them in the meditation?Do
you need to do any additional works?
(Writing through them is a great start and enough for
some, but a licensed therapist might be needed for others.)
·What do you need
more of? (Personally, I need to be more compassionate to myself.)