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Lose the baggage

Emotional baggage: Ditch negative feelings, stop focusing on what is missing in your life and enter 2015 with free hands to embrace all it brings

Bonjour, from my travels in beautiful, chilly Paris.

A decade ago, I lived for a year in this “city of light”, but then I got kicked out of clown school and have not been back.

Yes, you read that right. Why I was in clown school is another whole story with its own life lessons — mainly “read the fine print before signing up for anything”.

But, whether I had intended to be there or not, getting the boot — or, if you like, the Ronald McDonald-esque oversized shoe — was devastating at the time.

It was my first time failing anything. I took the rejection to mean the end of my potential acting career, crushing a dream I had held on to since childhood. My confidence and courage were undermined and I carried the weight of that disappointment for a long time.

It is easy to look back with perspective and see the comedy value, and appreciate how not becoming the next Marcel Marceau led me to where I am now — a position I would not trade for all the glass boxes on the street corner.

If only we had the ability, in those dark moments, to see the future, to grasp where new paths might take us, be reassured that with the right attitude we can make the best of any situation. Sadly, we can let negative events define us. At times, we all face various degrees of pain, hurt, disappointment, loneliness, fear. Things happen beyond our control and life alters.

We can drag those stories around with us like heavy suitcases and get stuck, torturing ourselves with “if only”.

We become victims of our circumstances or we can make the effort to focus on what we have, what we can do, and who we can be in light of, or despite, what befalls us. Look at the likes of Stephen Hawking, Oprah Winfrey or any Paralympian.

It is easier said than done. I found myself throwing a pity party or two over the holidays, lamenting something ending, a change of plans.

“Woe is me” began to weigh heavy. But the truth is that events only have the meaning we give them. Change the meaning and our perspective shifts. Instead of focusing on what’s missing, we can ask, what is awesome about this?

What is blocking our joy, stopping us from living, loving, giving or reaching our true potential?

What weights do you carry? Can we put that baggage down and skip into 2015 with free hands and heart to embrace all it brings? Lighten the load. Happy New Year!

Julia Pitt is a trained success coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information, contact Julia on 705-7488 or www.juliapittcoaching.com