Reclaim Your Lightness

Reclaim Your Lightness

I have just returned home after conducting an intensive five-day program. Very fulfilling. Also tiring.

I am full-up with feeling, and bone dry on energy.

So, without apology, I offer up my most popular blog since I began my Monday Morning Messages over five years ago.

Because I am (finally) learning to take myself more lightly.

“Every survival kit should include a sense of humor.”  

A brief blog this week; I am on my way to Paris on business, sitting in an airport, and trying to maintain a sense of humour.

My message?

Lighten up.

Seriously. A sense of one’s self-importance can become a weighty and cumbersome thing to carry. It’s also unattractive. (I’m witnessing it in people as I wait for my flight.)

You know what? The truth is, you really are not that important in the grand scheme of things: the world will not spinning if you’re late for the meeting, or miss the deadline, or don’t check your e-mail for 3 hours.

That kind of chronic internal sense of urgency will eat you up and spit you out over time. I admit it might make you feel important, needed, vaulted, but it’s temporary. Faux. And hard on the people around you.

I speak from experience. After a five-year semi-sabbatical, I managed to unearth my sense of humour from under decades of dirt; I took myself way too seriously for way too many years.

So, I thought I’d pass along a few time-tested and personally proven methods for reclaiming a little lightness:

  1. Clear out half your physical stuff: Sell it, give it, or throw it away. That means your closets and desk drawers, too.  All that crap takes up room in your psyche and elbows out peace of mind. You don’t need it–you keep it because you’re frightened of letting it go. Or tired by the thought of attempting to clear it out. Not good enough reasons.
  1. Let go of your grudges: They take up as much room psychically as your stuff does physically and cost you even more emotionally. Here’s what I do: pretend the people I’m pissed off at have already said they were sorry (because, of course, it was they who are in the wrong!) and then the next time I see them I behave towards them as though I heard them apologize the week before. It works. And it makes the other person a wee bit curious, which is, in itself, a sort of small reward. My mother told me this once: “It’s a little hard to play tug of war if one person puts down the rope.”
  1. Pay attention to your body: When you’re tired, sleep. Nobody can lighten up when laden down with fatigue. Stop saying “yes” to every offer and put your self at the top of your holiday gift list. And for heavens sake, eat! Chocolate is good for you!

I’d list a bunch more here, but if you actually do those three you won’t need any further input from me.

Self-effacing humour: the antidote to anxiety.

It makes life sweeter, safer, and certainly saner.

“Humour is a great vehicle for getting a message across. If you get too serious, you could die of starch.” ~Cyndi Lauper

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Cynthia Barlow

Founder Cynthia Barlow

Facilitator, Author, Coach

Helping businesses build their people

If your people have the skills to communicate more effectively, they can connect more authentically and thus collaborate more productively. Not only on the job, but also in life.

Communication, Connection, and Collaboration—the three “C’s”—are the cornerstones of all successful businesses.

Experiential learning through interactive workshops and coaching combines these three essential components with real-world application. By heightening self-awareness, enhancing emotional intelligence (EQ), and reinforcing accountability people become better communicators and self-managers.

I’ve been driving new kinds of conversations my entire career. Clear, confident, congruent conversations that generate change. The kind of conversations that create real collaboration. The kind that build your business—and your character.


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