At last. After months of planning, saving and working overtime, you’re finally doing it—going to Thailand to explore the exotic Asian culture, ride in rickshaws, and eat some really good Pad Thai. As your plane prepares to land, you pull out your notebook to check your plans for Day 1. But when you get to baggage reclaim, you discover your bags have been lost. Then, as you step out of the taxi in front of your hotel, a thief grabs your backpack and disappears with your passport, cell phone, travellers’ cheques …and wallet. Suddenly, you’ve been stripped of all your belongings and cash. You’re in Bangkok—a foreign environment, with unfamiliar laws, practices and customs—and you have nothing.
How do you feel without your baggage—all the clothes, gadgets and accessories that make you feel safe and comfortably you? There’s hardly time to think about it. Just as you’re about to contact your credit card company and call your bank to request a money transfer, there’s a massive earthquake that knocks out all communication systems, international flights, and cellphone towers. Now, you’re truly stranded—stripped of your identity, support system and connections to your ‘normal’ life. You’re stuck in the present, with no way to plan, schedule, predict or project what’s going to happen next. Not bad, for Day 1.
How might you feel without your emotional baggage? Who would you be? What would you do or not do? What fears or limitations would fall away? What choices would you make if you didn’t worry about money? How might you see your world—and your place in it?
In the midst of this crisis, you make a startling discovery about the power of you. You don’t have time to think about what you should do (Clue #1); you just jump into the fray to help the injured. You respond instinctively, with compassion and courage (Clue #2), never fearing for your own personal safety. You’re no longer bound by the constraints or values of your well-ordered life (Clue #3), since all your pillars of normality are gone and none of the usual rules apply. You’re fully present and calm (Clue #4), feeling intuitively guided and connected with the flow of life. You barely recognize yourself as the you who stepped off the plane, travelling on your own tidy terms. The insecurities that have kept you living a carefully calculated life—fears of not having enough money, security or control—have all come to pass in one day. Yet you’re not lying in a ditch, helpless and hopeless without money, clothes or identity. You’re thriving—feeling more alive, engaged and purposeful than ever before.
That’s what happens when you dump your emotional baggage—when you dissolve the negative programming that’s shaped your beliefs, fears, self-worth, expectations, relationships, the rules by which you live, and everything else you’ve attracted in life. It’s about getting back to the bare, naked truth of who you are—stripping you down to your raw essence so you can then consciously decide what face, clothes, values, choices, actions and persona fit with who you really are.
There’s something else you discover by unearthing the real you: You’re safe, and life is easy when you get your negative projections out of the way. As a living, breathing unit of self-sufficiency, you’re designed to thrive, with all the mental prowess, ingenuity, creativity and magnetism that you require to live a life that you love, being powerfully you. When the real you shows up, you’re taken care of.
But it’s not about giving up your worldly goods and doing selfless service in the slums of Kolkata (unless you feel intuitively drawn to do that). It’s about getting to the depths of you and being present, wherever in the world you are.
Follow the clues…
There are lots of clues to being you, in whatever story you’re living: 1) Your pre-programmed beliefs/thoughts run your life, and changing them changes everything. 2) Your gut instincts and intuition will always take you where you’re meant to go. 3) Breaking your own rules opens up a whole new reality. 4) Being present and emotionally connected makes you magnetic, alert and receptive to ‘cosmic signposts’ pointing the best way forward.
One of the most effective ways to fully activate you is to fill in your ‘missing pieces’—the essential formative qualities (such as acceptance, trust, respect, support and commitment) that build a healthy sense of self and enable you to figure out who you are, what you’re capable of and where you want to go… yet may not have been cultivated in you, growing up. But you can cultivate them now and start attracting whatever good stuff has been missing in your life.
It feels good to travel light...
You can’t relinquish all your emotional baggage at once, however. You must do it consciously, systematically—starting with areas where you’re experiencing conflict, for example. Imagine having a ‘carry-on case of compromises’, containing all the compromises you make that don’t feel good or right for you. When do you say YES when you want to say NO? When/with whom do you not assert yourself? When do you put others’ needs before yours? Who’s in your case? Who’s on your case?
Refusing to make unhealthy compromises is a powerful step towards filling in the #1 missing piece of acceptance and reclaiming the real you. Far from being selfish, making you #1 in your life (in healthy, practical ways) will always take you closer to the people, places and purpose that support and fulfill you.
Transforming your negative programming is your ticket to the ultimate destination: the universe of you. You won’t need to worry if your baggage doesn’t arrive, next time you travel. Wherever you go, there you’ll be, with all your innate resources intact, your mind present and your heart switched on. And you won’t need to climb the Himalayas to feel on top of the world.
Olga Sheean is an expert baggage-handler, working worldwide with all nationalities, cultures and economies. Whether you’re grappling with a fully loaded briefcase, a carry-on, long-distance luggage or an antique travel trunk, she can help you shed the burdens of your emotional baggage, so you arrive at your chosen destination refreshed, enlightened, purposeful and free to be you. www.olgasheean.com