01/11/2012 12:43 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2012

Traveling Light Into the New Year

The door flew open. Exasperated, "Carrie" burst through!

"He won't let me help him!"

She talked on and on about what he needed and could not see: the pending pitfalls on his road ahead and the looming doom from his choices. She had to save him from himself. To save myself, I jumped up and grabbed her backpack.

"Let my bag go!" she said and pulled back.

"Let his baggage go." I said. "It's not yours to carry."

What's in your bag? We all have one. The difference between a bag and baggage is the weight of the load. A bag won't slow you down. Baggage will. We are all traveling life's path of possibilities. We all have potential. Yet many struggle down the path of potential under the heaviness of emotional or circumstantial baggage tightly packed with self-inflicted labels, other people's opinions, destructive habits, outdated situations, fraudulent relationships, uncertainty, dis-ease, world traumas and personal tragedies. If this sounds familiar, maybe it's time to lighten your load.

Come on, open up your baggage. What's in there? Is it a person, place or thing that you have outgrown or that has outgrown you? It's time to travel light. Is it a destructive habit that you must overcome to live your best life? It's time to let it go. Is it a suitcase of labels that don't fit the person you know you could be? It's time to take the labels off. Is it a satchel of negative opinions so full of holes your self-esteem keeps leaking out? It's time for repair or release. Or maybe like Carrie, lugging around other people's baggage is your specialty. Admit it, you are tired. It is said that when misery exceeds fear, change will occur. We must learn to pack light in order to travel well.

So you know what I am doing this New Year's eve? I am saying goodbye to baggage. To the things that are not my size, my color or my style -- the things that belong to someone else or things I have outgrown. These things were "frenemies" that I welcomed and entertained. They served their purpose and have served well -- as powerful motivators. However, we have danced our last dance and now they have been invited to leave, with the courage of change and the excitement of welcoming the new.

What remains is light enough to fit into a carry-on bag -- unique pieces, favorite items, useful perspectives, things I need, stuff I want, tools for life, memories I treasure, relationships I grow from... I want nothing that has to be checked in at the counter or needs to be picked up at baggage claim.

Although I have been writing symbolically, this is literally true. I never check bags when I travel. I have mastered the art of the one bag because carrying baggage can be expensive. Airlines have made billions in revenues from checked baggage, alone. There is always a cost to carry baggage that is beyond our capacity, ability or responsibility.

This year, will we begin fully loaded or loaded down?

For more by Sonya Denyse, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.