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Whenever I am enlightened with a My Life and Times article idea, I write it down for the next available month’s article. When I am ready to write, I usually do not know what the monthly topic will be until I open the file.As I opened May’s assignment, I had to laugh. The topic was exactly the issue I am working through right now. It is funny how the universe knows just what one needs to hear.

peru siteOne of the last sites we visited in Peru was Q’espiwara. This is an old initiation site, not a usual tour bus stop. Q’espi means mirror or reflection. Wara is the name of the initiation clothing worn. The site was beautiful.It was at the bottom of a valley guarded by tall ancient trees. I marveled at the now small and insignificant stream that trickled by where a powerful river once cut out the steep jagged walls. Closer to the start of the basin there was a collection of rocks which were surely the remnants of a waterfall. Across from the rocks was a huge stone with an intricate carving. I am still amazed how the stones were carved so precisely without the use of metal tools.

As I sat on a large rock overlooking the carving, Don Theo said to let the waters wash away our pain. I closed my eyes and slowly my head lowered. Then my body began to rock and spin.Water was used to ritualistically cleanse our minds and spirits. When I rose from that rock, I felt 10 years younger – at least! There was no muscle pain or sloped shoulders from aging. The stomach ailments I came to Peru with were gone. My footsteps were easy and seemingly effortless. My mind was clear. My energy was high. I think that I could have flown back up the mountain if I tried. I was recharged that day. I had shed the anger, fear, doubt, pain, anxiety, and disappointment I had been carrying with me for years. My physical pain was not due to my biology, it was due to my emotional pain.

We all joke about our emotional baggage. But do this exercise to learn how it can truly affect you. Write down every aspect of your life that is currently causing you emotional pain, stress, anxiety, fear, or sadness. Be specific. Think of your work, your home, your immediate family, your extended family, your friends, your financial state, your unrealized dreams, your daily commute, and the latest fears hurled at you from Tom Brokaw. How many pieces of emotional baggage do you have? Three, five, ten, fifteen? Ok. For each piece of emotional baggage you recognized, pick up a five pound weight. If you had three pieces of emotional baggage, pick up 15 pounds. Ten pieces of baggage equals 50 pounds and so on. Now walk around for 15 minutes with this extra weight. Pretty easy? Walk around for 3 hours with this weight. How about two days? Eventually all that additional weight will begin to drag you down. You can’t move as quickly. Your shoulders become slumped. Perhaps your knees will give out. Your spirits will weaken. Now realize that you haven’t been carrying around this extra emotional weight for 2 days but for years, perhaps many, many years. Think of how you would feel if in an instant you could release this additional weight.It would be a great relief, yes?

To recharge we need to learn to let go of our baggage. Drop it. What purpose does it serve? Does what it provides outweigh the pain it is causing you? If you can let go of your baggage for even 15 minutes a day you will begin to learn what life can be like without the pain. How life can be vibrant, fulfilling, and peaceful again. Then once you have received a taste of this freedom, you will want to have more and more of it. That is when a little extra work is required to let go permanently of your emotional baggage. This release can come through yoga, exercise, coaching, PSYCH-K, hypnosis, and a host of other techniques. You will know the right course for you and with a little more work it is possible to let go and feel years lighter.

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