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When I’m about to embark on something new, different, and a little daunting, I often  remind myself  to “go with the flow,” stay in the present, and loosen my grip on the controls. I imagine myself diving off a cliff and taking a very long ride down into a warm, welcoming sea.

Putting away my expectations, hopes, and fears and just taking the new adventure one step at a time allows me to release the burdensome stones that tend to accumulate during everyday life.


It’s like spring cleaning for the mind. We take a few steps back,


put the past aside,



and step into the light.


The photos above were taken at the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine. Walking into this atrium was like stepping into a serenity bath. These figures are locked in their quiet reveries for all time. Standing among them, I felt all the residual heaviness I’d accumulated over the past winter vaporize under their cool gazes.

Stuck as they are, these statues remind us that we can lighten our mental load by letting go of those tightly held ideas that hold us back. Instead of jumping in to make “wise” pronouncements about people and things, we can instead bolster our wisdom by simply holding still and taking the time to listen and observe.

In a few days I’ll be traveling to new places. The landscape, culture, and people will be very different from what I am used to. We won’t even speak the same language. So that I don’t miss anything and take it all in, I’m going to follow my own advice. Mentally, at least, I’m packing light.