Lay Aside the Load On Your Spirit

Today I wanted to share something that I've been meditating on for the past week. It's been helpful as I unburden myself of the unnecessary anxieties and work to move forward in my life.

Seeing as the world is filled with too much unnecessary anxiety and not enough action, this idea is particularly important at the moment.

A peek into Socrates

Thanks to a few mentions on Tim Ferris's podcast, I've decided to dive back into reading philosophy starting with Seneca the Stoic. Here's the passage from the Penguin Classics version of Letters from a Stoic that gave me pause:

Though you cross the boundless ocean...whatever your destination you will be followed by your failings. Here is what Socrates said to someone who was making the same complaint: ‘How can you wonder your travels do you no good, when you carry yourself around with you? You are saddled with the very thing that drove you away.’ How can novelty of surroundings abroad and becoming acquainted with foreign scenes or cities be of any help? All that dashing about turns out to be quite futile. And if you want to know why all this running away cannot help you, the answer is simply this: you are running away in your own company. You have to lay aside the load on your spirit. Until you do that, nowhere will satisfy you.
— Seneca

While I don't feel that my physical moves about the country have been to avoid any particular feeling, I do know that I've used people and activities to distract me from myself.

How can we feel satisfaction when we're constantly allowing ourselves to get in our own way?

So lay down your burden

I have no definitive answers on how to do this. I think it manifests in different ways, but at the end of the day it's still about expecting outer elements to change or heal our inner selves. And like the Pixar movie, we should be focusing on unburdening ourselves from the inside out.

It's a new habit of mine to take a moment after my yoga practice to find any heaviness that I feel, physically or emotionally, and mentally remove it from myself. I imagine myself setting it down beside me physically and giving it a pat on the head (like I do with my rabbits) and sending it on its way.

Maybe this is too whimsical or "woo" for you, but it's worth a few moments of reflection. Find some lightness and allow yourself to let go of some of that weight on your mind and your heart. Because that's when we can truly start to move forward.