Leave your luggage at the baggage claim. You'll be glad you did.

 Photo by  rawpixel

Photo by rawpixel

I am not a “carry-on only” traveler. When I fly, I always have a suitcase to check. It doesn’t matter if I’m only going to be gone a few days. I like to be prepared. I like to have options. The times I’ve tried to streamline the contents of my luggage, I’ve really regretted it.

There is a type of baggage I can do without, though. The *emotional* baggage kind. These pieces of luggage are packed full of the dramas, traumas, and hangups we hold onto and use as evidence to shape our view of life and our role in it. Together they form limiting belief systems that block us from getting what we truly want.

It doesn’t matter if the contents of our suitcases are dumped in or rolled up neatly into packing cubes (h/t to the Marie Kondo method). Emotional baggage is heavy and costly. It puts a strain on our health, happiness, relationships, finances, and career.

Why do we insist on dragging emotional baggage around with us in the first place? Maybe because we’ve worked hard to pack it. The items have experiential value to us, even if the cost of keeping it around is higher than the original price tag.

Emotional baggage is also sneaky because we’ve been carrying it around so long, it’s almost comfortable. Weird, right? Our limiting thoughts and stories can become normal and part of us. We think: That’s just the way life is.

But is it???

One of my limiting beliefs was that achieving a high level of success came with too many tradeoffs to be worth it. I saw examples in the world and in my imagination of people at the top of their game who were under tons of stress, had jam-packed schedules, and no time for the people and things that gave them joy. I wanted the “idea” of success. But I also didn’t want the “reality” of the life I imagined came with that level of excellence. So I was subconsciously canceling out what I wanted because of my limiting beliefs attached to it!

Was my stressed out version of success a reality for some people? Yes. Is that version the only way it could materialize? No. Could I be a successful person who sees the work she does as Play With Purpose, designs her life in a way that recharges and energizes her, who makes time for what matters, who is able to face whatever challenges come her way with integrity and faith in the best possible outcome...and is a rock star at what she does and has the paycheck to reflect that? Yes.

YES. YAAASSSSSS!

That’s the conversation I’m having with myself when those sneaky, self-limiting thoughts threaten to pull down my goals and dreams.

Uh-uh. Nope. Not on my watch.

We can choose differently. There was a time we didn’t have those negative beliefs. What would happen if we ditched them all? Left them to circle the baggage claim into eternity? What would we really lose?

 Photo by  Hanson Lu

Photo by Hanson Lu

We’d have a whole lot more to gain. Freedom and flexibility from a lighter load; openness from the space no longer occupied by resentment, anger, fear, hurt, and insecurity.

So what can we do to unlearn our old ways? We can let go of our destructive beliefs, replace them one by one with reflections of the life we DO want, and start living in alignment with a higher consciousness. Repetition will solidify those practices of self-love into a new reality over time. We’ll have an upgraded belief system. One that is baggage-free.

There’s joy and peace in living on the lighter (baggage) side. My goal is to go carry-on only. Heck, maybe I’ll get to the point where I’m traveling this life with nothing but a light sweater and sunglasses. (I’ve still gotta be prepared with options, after all).

What about you? Are you ready to lighten your luggage load?

Here are some empowering questions to ponder:

  • What’s one limiting belief you’re ready to let go of?

  • How would it feel to be free of that baggage?

  • How would your life positively change?