“Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.” – Yogi Bhajan
When I first saw this quote I said, “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. I don’t know about you, but for me to fully ‘get’ something, I need to feel it and experience it in every cell of my body. Logic alone isn’t enough.
But logic was enough to tell me that I wasn’t fully embracing lightness in my life. I had been experiencing stress and work overload. In my mind, I knew I needed to explore this light idea further.
I decided I needed to experience this quote fully for myself.
I decided to go backpacking with my boyfriend in Europe.
I decided to do it… lightly.
“Travel light.” Well. That is something. For the first time in my life, I had to be as light as possible packing for a trip. We had set a goal to walk as many kilometers as possible each day. Every extra ounce in my bag could mean fewer kilometers walked. What did I value more? Reaching that goal, or bringing more things?
I had committed myself to travelling light, and I did. I have never packed so light in my life! One pair of pants, one pair of shorts, three tops, my toiletries and… that was it! Believe it or not, it felt great.
Traveling light totally added to our experience. First of all, it allowed us to walk between 20-25 km a day. Second, the fact that we had so few clothes forced us to go to laundromats where we were able to fully experience the local culture. This was much more enlightening than spending all our time among other tourists. It’s an experience I never would have had if I had not committed to travelling light!
My travelling light experience made me think, “Why don’t I live more light, always? Do I really need everything I buy? What do I truly need?”
When I was packing my makeup, I packed just two eyeshadows. Now, for someone who once worked in cosmetics, this is a faux pas. After all, you “need” a “wardrobe” of eyeshadows for everyday and every occasion. Or at least, that’s what we were taught as employees, so that we would sell more. But I packed just two. And even two was too many. I was sweating so much my makeup came off in no time anyway! Not only did I not need a wardrobe of eyeshadow, I didn’t even need the light quantity I had packed.
What really dictates what we need? Did you know that 99% of your thoughts are not truly yours, but are influenced by your environment? How many things 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, if this will contribute to you living a truly meaningful life. You’ll be surprised by how often the answer is no :-)
Be the Light
Now, I would adjust the original quote a bit to say, “Travel light, live light, be the light, spread the light.” Personally, I believe you need to fully embrace something, understand it, be it, before you can spread it around.
At this point in my light journey, I felt I fully understood how to travel light and live light.
It was now time to be the light.
I have to say, getting out of your everyday environment, seeing different things, different people, opening yourself up to new experiences… it truly opens your mind and enlightens you.
In Spain and Portugal, everything closes in the afternoon for siesta. How amazing! These people truly know how to disconnect, give their body some rest, and refuel for the rest of the day. Why, in North America, do we push ourselves to be “on” all day long? Why haven’t we embraced the importance of self care? We can certainly learn a thing or two about being the light from the Europeans :-)
Another new experience for me was Airbnb. My boyfriend was insisting on trying Airbnb instead of hotels. I was hesitant. What if the place wasn’t clean? I had lived in the Caribbean for four years where I developed a cockroach phobia that puts cleanliness at the top of my priority list :-)
I decided that in order to be the light, I had to face my cockroach and dirt fears, and give Airbnb a try. If I didn’t like it, at least I could say that I tried.
Well guess what. I LOVED it.
The place was clean. It was in a part of Lisbon where only locals lived, so we were able to shop in local supermarkets and absorb everything about the culture. The place had a kitchen filled with Portuguese spices, so we were able to have fun experimenting with a new cuisine.
When I woke up the next day, I lay in bed. I was listening to the sounds around me. The Portuguese talking in the street, the birds singing, the construction workers starting their day. I could see the sunlight shining brightly through the wooden shutters. I was enjoying each breath I was breathing. I even felt I was breathing fresher air. I looked at my amazing boyfriend and was so grateful about everything in that moment. I felt I was truly living life. I felt I was truly being and enjoying everything in the moment. For the first time ever, I felt such a peace, such a calm. I really felt, in every cell of my body, that I was complete. That I was alive. That I was being the light.
When I finally got out of bed, I went to the kitchen. I felt the Universe was confirming my thoughts about being fully connected to me, to my light. About feeling complete. At that very moment, I found a spice in the kitchen 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 I felt. How truly happy and complete I felt. I would bring that sense of being the light, that calmness, to everyone around me, no matter what.
This was a pretty big commitment. Just before leaving on the trip, I was so stressed out with launching my online program. I wasn’t feel light or connected at all. I must admit, the nights and weekends of work took a toll on me. I vowed that I would not let this happen again. I would not disconnect from this light. If I ever started to feel disconnected again, I would remember that moment in Lisbon. I committed myself to bringing this light to every area of my life and to everyone around me – friends, family, clients and community – and help as many people as possible to 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 your business? How can you find that place of calm and connectedness, to keep yourself on the right path for you?
If you need help with this, I invite you to contact me.
Here is to you being the CEO of your life!