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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2 Challenge: Lighten Your Load

Stuff.  Most of us have lots of stuff.  I have more than most. I was one of those kids who always had treasures in her pockets, in little boxes.  I saved rocks from trips, letters from pen pals, my brownie pin, the tangerine my sweetheart gave me on our first date that dessicated on the windowsill before I could eat it. 

Some of my stuff lifts me up.  Some of it just weighs me down.   Whether our extra baggage is physical, metaphorical or psychological, we could all stand to lose a little. Today's challenge is to lighten your load in a symbolic or actual way.  By doing so, we have the opportunity to give a nod to impermanence, investigate our attachments and the trouble they cause us, and maybe even clear out a little breathing room.

For many of us January 2 is the first day back at work after a long break.  You can make this challenge as big or small as you like; it can be a five minute task or an all day affair.  Here are some ideas:

Pack a box for Goodwill or another charity shop.  Give a nice outfit you no longer need to an organization like Dress for Success, which provides wardrobes for job seekers.  Regift something to someone who will appreciate or use it.  Pass some canned goods and packaged foods on to a food bank.  Take some of those leftover treats to work to share. 

Give something up for the day (or longer).  If you've overindulged during the holidays, take a day off from sugar, simple carbs, junk.
more stuff 

On the more psychological side:
Examine your limiting beliefs and behaviors and choose one to give up just for today.  Perhaps self-deprecation, negativity, or self-righteousness.
Surrender a resentment toward yourself, a situation or a person.  Write it down, "out of the body and onto the page", and how you will live it today.  Maybe add what you see as a positive outcome of choosing to release it.

I'm betting you all will come up with other inventive ways to play with the idea of shedding some excess. 
Let me know how you managed to lighten up a little today.  You can leave comments here, email me or join us on Facebook.

Thanks for being company on the 31 day challenge!

Quote of the day:
Contrary to what some people might believe, there is nothing wrong with having pleasures and enjoyments. What is wrong is the confused way we grasp onto these pleasures, turning them from a source of happiness into a source of pain and dissatisfaction. ~Lama Yeshe

Song of the day:  This one stymied me.  I'm up for better answers, but it has the theme of nonattachment.

1 comment:

Kiesa said...

Okay! I have lightened my load. I moved from a six bedroom house with a guest house into a three bedroom house. Then I moved into a small cottage in the woods. And now I live in a one-bedroom octagonal house on the edge of a lake. Along the way, I have given away almost all of my worldly goods, including some items that were so very exquisitely beautiful. I kept the fiddle, and a bed, and a rocking chair, and some fine dishes, but I gave away most of my clothes and furniture and belongings of all kinds. It has been a voyage of release. Then water damage destroyed the things I had in storage at my daughter's house. Sometimes it's freedom; sometimes it's a whole new kind of empty. So how to lighten the load? Well, I took books I've read to the used bookstore today. I miss my big library with its built-in shelves, my thousands of books -- but today, I took some of the few left to me, and shared the love. In reward, I got two fabulous books, poetry by Du Fu, and Tales Of a Shaman's Apprentice. So releasing creates space................