July 16, 2021

On Lightness & Letting go: My favorite words from Aldous Huxley.

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With abundant sunshine and long, warm days, we cherish the playful energy and lightness of summer.

Although there is that abundant sweetness, there may also be heaviness weighing us down during these days when we feel like we should be on top of the world.

Just because the sun shines externally, does not necessarily equate to a lightness of spirit.

Too often we carry around energetic backpacks stuffed with negative emotions and unhealed baggage—broken relationships, unfulfilling jobs, stress, worry, or anxiety.

What if instead, we try setting down the weight and inviting in a sense of lightness and ease?

Our lives are a miracle waiting to be celebrated, not a burden to be tolerated.

In the book The Island by Aldous Huxley, a fictional, utopian society exists where people care for all the aspects of themselves and each other, in harmony with nature.

The repeated call is to bring mindful attention to each moment.

The main character, Will, comes to the island a cynic. Along the way, he learns the principles that will bring joy and lightness for the greatest good, for the greatest number of people. The book’s beautiful, yet tragic, nature calls us to dig deeper into what we choose to carry around and what values are important for our individual lives as well as our responsibility to the collective good.

Here is my favorite passage by Aldous Huxley:

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard.

Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.

Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.

Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.


So throw away your baggage and go forward.

There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,

trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.

That’s why you must walk so lightly.

Lightly my darling,

on tiptoes and no luggage,

not even a sponge bag,

completely unencumbered.”

Our lives are a miracle waiting to be celebrated, not a burden to be tolerated. Let’s wake up to what we’re carrying, what we’re ready to shed, and call upon the fullness of the magic that is already us.

Let us practice the way of lightness and play.


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