Tag Archives: release

Lessons from Spain

Lessons from Spain

I’ve been away for a while. We took a 15-day trip to Spain and Boston from mid-to late October, and the combination of preparing for the trip, taking the trip, and recuperating from the trip, not to mention the turmoil of the presidential election and its aftermath here at home, has meant living in a prolonged state of temporary chaos. I’m finally settling down a bit (albeit in fits and starts), and taking time to think about these past few weeks.

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

The trip was quite an adventure, and as with most adventures, I learned a few things along the way.

The first lesson involved packing for this expedition. Usually, when I take a long trip, especially to a foreign country, I pack a huge suitcase and check it in at the airport. This time, realizing that we’d be doing a lot of plane hopping along the way, and we’d be hard to catch, I worried about losing my luggage. So instead of a virtual steamer trunk, holding more than I could possibly use in two weeks, I traveled with a single carryon suitcase and a tote bag.

Wow! Liberation!

The experience made me think about my internal and external baggage. In truth, it’s the internal baggage that seems to result in the external. The fear of not having or being enough. Fear of boredom, of hurting someone’s feelings, of holding on to extraneous stuff ‘just in case.’ And carrying all of this internal baggage has consequences in the external world— bearing the physical and emotional weight of too much stuff.

We recently completed eight weeks of handling some of that baggage in our Creative Clutter Clearing mastermind. That experience was as liberating as traveling lightly, trusting that we have, that we are, enough.

How about you? What kind of baggage are you carrying? What is it doing for you, and what is it doing to you?






More Lessons from the Art Show

More Art Show Lessons

Before the actual day of the event, I was experiencing a great deal of angst about the success of the art show. What about those two tables I’d reserved for the school children, only to learn the day before that their artwork had never been collected? What if more participants bailed? Why hadn’t I contacted that great photographer specializing in social justice issues earlier, so he could have participated?

The feeling was familiar—it was akin to the experience of giving a party and having lots of people call at the last minute to say they wouldn’t be able to come after all. How would the guests who did come feel? Would they enjoy themselves as much as they would have if everyone had attended? Would we all end up feeling embarrassed?

Basically, in both of these instances, I was putting myself in the impossible position of trying to control the uncontrollable. I realized that there was no way I could direct the feelings of the participants or dictate the size of the turnout.

What a revelation! I was not responsible for others’ responses! This awareness finally allowed me to let those ridiculous expectations go, actually be present, and enjoy the event. And those who attended took pleasure in the experience and thanked us for coordinating it.

How about you? How often do you create your own crisis by trying to control the uncontrollable?