“Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.” - Yogi Bhajan
Be light! Be free! Just have less, worry less and pack a spiritually lighter load to reap rewards!
Yeah… heaviness gets a bad wrap and it’s pretty easy to argue against it when the prevailing metaphor is over-packing a suitcase. But, here in non-metaphorical land, life is often heavy. Important and meaningful work, say, being a war photographer or an ER surgeon, is in no way “light.” Weighty lives are not necessarily less valuable, in fact, you might even argue the opposite.
For those of us not choosing a spiritual only, bodhi-tree-sitting journey, the real world requires a balancing interplay between light and heavy (or light and dark, depending on your metaphor of choice). Too much weight can be crushing. Too much lightness can be disengaging.
The way in which you interpret light and weight in your own life hinges a lot on what prevailing philosophy or theology speaks to you. For example, a blend of lightness and dark is the essential reality of the Taoist yin and yang. Whereas Hindus and Buddhists often talk of detachment from earthly pleasure and suffering as the ideal; falling more prominently on the side of lightness.
While it’s good to acknowledge that both ways of being in the world bring value, we should also note that most of us are over packing and placing too much weighty importance on things that bring no value to our journeys.
And, we all know the main drawback of taking everything too seriously is stress and maybe even pessimism, which do little to enhance life. Negativity can be addictive, but breaking that cycle can be a gift to yourself and the world.
The quote by Yogi Bhajan -- to travel, live and be light -- is a call to trust that life will be richer and better, without the mores -- more complexity, obligation, stuff, food or distractions. On any journey, we pack a lot in anticipation of our destination. A call toward lightness is a call to remember that the journey itself is what matters. We are, after all, on a never ending journey, so it behooves us to travel as spiritually light as possible.
It is also a call to be more mindful of the present moment, which weighs much less on us than excessive thoughts of an unknown future or heavy remembrances of days past. When looking at what one has to take on, really manage or pack for the moment, there may only be two actions or ideas that need addressed, versus the 50 extraneous worries bogging you down.
When we live light, we also become light and can spread lightness. Meaning that once we lighten our personal loads, and are not burdened with false heavy priorities, we can make time and space to handle the genuine heaviness found in life. We can also lighten the loads of others.
So, we ask, what is weighing you down that isn’t necessary? What can you eliminate to conserve your energy and lighten your step? Consider what will happen when you do. The world needs more shining lights, more people with open arms, not weighed down with their own false burdens.
Heal yourself and heal the world. Lighten your load and lighten others. Uncover the light within and let it shine out. It will benefit your journey and the world.