I’ve had a bee in my bonnet the last two weeks to watch the movie, “Up in the Air,” with George Clooney.
Have you seen it?
It was a rainy and cold day in Chico yesterday, which naturally just screams hot soup and movie time in my world!
Steve ventured to our office to grab a handful of comedies, and he came back with 6 movies.
One of them was Up in the Air.
As soon as he saw it on the shelf, he knew the other films didn't stand a chance. He knows I like options, which is why I still have half a dozen movies by the DVD player as we speak. However, he does know that once I get an idea in my head, I usually don't let it go until the craving gets satisfied.
Anyway, the movie is excellent, and the timing of viewing this could not have been more perfect!
The story sheds light on how various people handle transitions in life.
Ryan Bingham, played by Clooney, is corporate downsizing expert who travels 350,000+ miles per year enjoying the life of detached isolation. Said another way, he spends a majority of his time in various US cities to firing employees.
As you can imagine, people respond to this in a variety of ways: disbelief, anger, sadness, fear.
He would say he's helping them transition into a new-found sense of freedom. He's offering them a chance to find their passion again, to renew a sense of purpose.
When one door closes, another one opens. Right?
On the side, Bingham gives “motivational” talks at various hotel conference rooms. You know, those easily-replicable, and usually freezing, spaces that make you want to daydream of being somewhere else -- anywhere else -- almost instantly? Think your most boring class in high school without any diagrams, graphs, or photos on the wall to at least provide some distraction.
His talk is entitled, "What's in your backpack?" and the theme is about getting rid of unnecessary baggage in life.
My quick-working brain began to think about what I would take from my life if I physically had to minimalize the important items into one solo pack.
Here’s the list I came up with:
- Cell phone (for communication, photos, and contact with family and friends)
- High resolution Digital camera (I'd take my Nikon D40. My old iphone 4 just doesn’t cut it to capture some of the greatest moments and places)
- Wallet (cash, cards, the works)
- Yoga outfit (small, portable, and easily washable)
- Bikini (for the same reasons as above, and I just love water!)
- Yoga towel (for practicing on, and using to dry off after dips in the ocean)
- Extra pair of underwear (to wear while the other dries)
- Leatherman pocket knife
- A few snacks (just in case I got hungry... because I usually am!)
- Small notebook and pen (yes, always a writer)
- My Nalgene water bottle, to refill as needed
I also thought about bringing my laptop, but I could always visit an internet café or library as needed. So, I'll just stick to my list for now.
I even know what I’d wear while carrying this pack, to ensure I could get through a variety of activities while still sticking to a minimalist agenda. But, that’s a bit less relevant right now.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of the finer things in life (just ask Steve).
But I digress.
Bingham's exercise got me thinking about the concept of freedom, and simplicity, and the ability to enjoy the things in my life without being attached to them.
In yoga, there's a sanskrit term, vairagya, which translates to non-attachment.
Fundamentally, yoga is a tool used to help us discover the true nature of reality and ourselves… as vibrational beings in a vibrational universe where anything is possible.
What often occurs, however, is that the thoughts in our minds [and the things in our lives] begin to define us. Or rather, we allow them to become the story of who we are and why we are worthy of being here.
Some yogis take this to the extreme, saying that it is unwise to even want for things in life.
We are beings who are continually evolving, and desire is a natural part of that expansion. Just by being alive everyday, we notice things we like, and things we don't like. Whether we verbalize them or not, these desires are always born out of our daily experiences.
The hang up comes when we get attached to the process of how those desires will manifest. Or, we get stuck when we want to control every aspect of how the outcome will arrive. Pain can also be created when we want something so badly, and then it just doesn't show up.
There are several points I want to make to bring this all back together:
- We all have the ability to create the lives we want. This is the reality we are learning to tap back into when we remove the distractions, or the illusions.
- Non-attachment comes when we can trust that our desires have been put forth into the world ... and we only have to put ourselves into a place of alignment to receive them
- We put ourselves into that alignment through feeling great, relaxing into the moment, and removing doubt.
- Doubt gets alleviated when we quiet our minds, and tap back into our true potential... our spiritual self that is far more powerful than we often give ourselves credit for.
- We can navigate the transitions of life much more gracefully -- and confidently -- from this place of alignment.
So, whether your life feels up in the air (like mine at the moment) or a bit more settled, finding that place of alignment is possible. I found that inner peace this past week through the God Box Activity, playing with puppies, and watching this inspirational (and laugh-out-loud) movie.
How about you?
If you've been following along with the Awaken your Purpose Mastery Course, here are some great questions for reflection regarding last week's focus on inner alignment:
- How was your experience of prioritizing your goals?
- Was it easy to give up control, and place items in your box for later review?
- Did this process of prioritizing make the idea of manifesting your dreams more possible? Why or why not?
- Did you discover any new resources as a result of your inspired actions?
- If you found any answers to your questions thus far, how did those answers make you feel?
- Where would you like to continue to gain support on your journey? (This could be anything from reducing uncertainty to the actual task of creating action steps)
- Did you notice any difference in how you approached life when you were in a place of alignment (or free of worry)?