Excess baggage

Standing on tiptoe, one is unsteady.
Taking long steps, one quickly tires.
Showing off, one shows un-enlightenment.
Displaying self-righteousness, one reveals vanity.
Praising the self, one earns no respect.
Exaggerating achievements, one cannot long endure.
Followers of the Way consider these
Extra food, unnecessary baggage.
They bring no happiness.
Therefore, followers of the Way
avoid them.

– Tao Te Ching, 24

If you aren’t going to do it, forget it

All those things you are intending to do, but have never got around to doing, another common source of extra ‘weight’. If you are honest with yourself, you know that you aren’t going to turn them into action. If you were, you would have done it by now.

I mean those expectations you formed once, long ago, and still carry about with you. Those plans you made, but never acted on. Those achievements you boasted you would deliver, but which proved more difficult—and far less interesting—the longer you lived with them.

I’m often amazed at how many of the so-called failures people feel bad about were never more than pipe-dreams. How often the gaps that depress them are only there because they made a statement of what they would do and could never bring themselves to admit it was a crazy idea, best set aside.

Life will bring you more than enough genuine failures and problems. Don’t add more by clinging to silly promises, just to avoid the embarrassment of admitting to a mistake.

Slow Leadership

“The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else – we are the busiest people in the world.”
– Eric Hoffer

via Whiskey River

Getting ready for a trip to Paris soon, and trying to figure out how to pack and carry the things I want to bring. Spent yesterday finding a bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag but still provides enough protection for the camera, selecting some books for the plane ride, etc. But I’m, already starting to feel the pangs of excess baggage. I like to travel lightly and unencumbered, and almost always feel like I have way too much stuff, way too much extra weight just lugging myself around. I’m constantly trying to learn to live more simply, shed stuff, but it always seems to pile up again.

It’s sometimes hard to live in a culture of so much excess. Even those of us who have very little tend to hang on to everything, keeping old junk we may never use again. And then there are days I find myself missing something I had as a kid, or coming across things that I hadn’t used for a while and loving them all over again. It makes it hard to part with things, thinking we might have uses for them again. Or thinking if we got rid of it we would just have to replace it later on. And even within ourselves, it is so hard to shed non-productive thoughts, those old patterns of who we thought we might be, what we could have done, those relationships that failed that we need to let go of, but are unable to relinquish.

And as I think about what to get rid of, perhaps let go of, I notice hubby has decided to reorg the bookshelves and mess with my section of books, and it angers me that he put some of mine away in storage without telling me. Even there, even things I hadn’t read in ages, and yet it touches my frustrations. Ah, more to let go of.