I know that most of us aren’t doing much travel lately, but today I wanted to talk about traveling lightly through our lives.
So much of our normal routines are based around debt:
- We don’t sleep enough throughout the week, so we sleep in on the weekend.
- We eat non-nourishing foods for a few weeks, and then try to balance it out with a juice cleanse.
- We work to the point of exhaustion, with our sights set on our next vacation when we can finally relax and enjoy ourselves.
All of these physical or energetic debts that will need to be repaid in the future. They’re energetic baggage that limits our options. With these debts, we aren’t able to be as present or as energized or as well as we could be.
Of course there are always going to be ebbs and flows in life. There are times when we’re working more, or times when we’re giving more. The goal isn’t for everything to be exactly equal. But the problem comes in because we tend to repeat and recreate the same habits again and again. This repetition is what causes the accumulation of these debts. We don’t close the loops on energies and actions, so we find ourselves always trying to catch up – on sleep, on work, on time with friends, and more.
Take a look at your routines. Do things feel balanced? Or do you tend to accumulate debts in certain areas? Perhaps you’re always on the move and in constant action. Or you feel like you’re moving through mud and never bring things to completion. Does it feel like all of your activities are centered around supporting others? Or do you give all of your energy to managing your own needs?
From Ayurveda we learn that like attracts like and that opposites balance. We function best when we notice the opposites and use them to find our center. By using the power of opposites, we rediscover our wholeness. We travel lightly as we move through life. And because we’re not weighed down by these debts, we have the opportunity to pursue whatever it is that calls our spirit.
You might start to inquire about your routines by looking to the gurvadi gunas, the 10 pairs of opposites found in Ayurveda. As you name the qualities of your activities, you can see if you are accumulating energy in any specific area, and what actions could help to rebalance. It’s useful to have this framework to name and describe our activities so we can actually see what can help us rebalance – it’s hard to get this perspective when we’re stuck in our “business as usual” mode.
Here are the 20 gurvadi gunas:
Hot and cold
Wet and dry
Heavy and light
Gross and subtle
Dense and flowing
Static and mobile
Dull and sharp
Soft and hard
Smooth and rough
Cloudy and clear
Do any of these words stand out as a predominant energy in your life? Perhaps you find that you’re very mobile – you’re always on the move at work, you’re physically active, and it feels like you never have a moment to sit down.
Or maybe things feel really heavy. You’re overtired, you feel slow as you move through the work day, and you’re accumulating excess weight.
If any of these words feel like they’ve been too present in your life, look to the opposite to find some balancing activities.
In the examples above, you’d look to find more static activities (like reading a book) or light things (like lighter food or a funny movie) to support balance.
The goal is to use these terms as guideposts, so you can brainstorm on the activities that can help you clear the energetic debts. When you travel lightly, you can be more open to what life has to offer. I’d love to hear which words stand out to you – reply to this email and let me know.