How to Pack Lightly Both Inside & Out


Turbulent personal events that have happened in the last few months keep on popping through my consciousness and show up on some level during my daily interactions. As a result I've been connecting to my emotional body nearly every moment of the day and I feel my spiritual growth is on high speed ahead. Could it be the cosmic result of 2 eclipses in the last month, the Summer Solstice on June 21st along with July 1st's New Moon solar eclipse? Energetically I feel the celestial sway is forcing our life's lessons to explode in front of us now so that we can move closer in towards our garbage which makes us fearful, angry and wondering "Why me?"

I guess we can no longer just brush our filth under the carpet and leave it to handle for another day.

I'm writing about this icky stuff because based on my recent personal life experiences and listening to after yoga class stories friends have been sharing with me regarding their emotional lives being put to the test, it seems as though no one is being let off free from feeling their emotions these days?

gold toned mala beads

When my husband went to a real estate sustainability conference in Monterey, California just a few weeks ago I thought how nice it would be to meet up with him and have a little breathing space for a day or two in Northern California, my Utopia. I'm referring to a space that is like the place you get transported to during a good yoga session where your consciousness feels calm, free, and present. When I go there I always see a cliff, an ocean far below the cliff and a flowered meadow in the distance. All of this is graced by golden sunlight. I see this scene exactly how the French Impressionist 19th Century painter Monet would've painted it. I'm not exactly sure where this magical space is in the physical world however I know exactly where to go in my consciousness to spend time there. What most probably inspired my thoughts into creating this escape was way back in college I remember going out west to San Francisco with a girlfriend for a trip. One day we rented a car and drove south of San Francisco. Here I felt as free as a bird and I saw something like my present day's paradise realm. With Monterey Bay being two hours south of San Francisco I thought I could mini retreat into this soothing space for real with my dear Amit.

vintage trench vest

In the pictures shown I'm in Monterey, California. Since I went for 2 days my packing was light. Monterey is a tourist filled beach town however it's not in June what you would imagine a California beach town would be like. Notice my sweater and jacket. Since Amit went to Cali days ahead of me he warned me about Monterey's chilly weather.

Whenever I head out of town regardless of a temperature warning I always research my travel destination's weather on a week or so in advance. I keep checking it until I pack a day or two before my trip. Between Amit's advice and my weather tracking I learned I would need to pack for chilly in the morning weather, mildly warm in the sun at noon and light jacket worthy in the evening. This forecast calls for layering fashion.

Once I have the weather forecast as a guide I develop a little story line in my thoughts. For this trip I came up "Nippy Nautical." Monterey being a beach town, I felt a sea shore look would be perfect. Since I was staying at The Hyatt Golf Club, I knew a preppy look was a go too. Because I don't wear preppy well there would have to be a little tragically hip mixed with a prepster thing going on.

Last March, Ralph Lauren's shop "Rugby's" windows by our house in Greenwich Village was my hipster, preppy & nautical inspiration for this trip. Although I can't afford his clothes at this point in time I watch his window's styling with eagle eyes. Sometimes I even take snapshots of the mannequins in the windows and refer to the styling combos often. Because his looks are not on the way to yoga class looks, I always add a little Glamorous Yogini flair to my version.

Days before my trip I did what I call mental prep packing. This means I thought about what was in my closet that would fit into the "Nippy Nautical" story line. The next step was searching, gathering and weeding out within my closet all the nautical stripes, dark navy, red, camel, cream, gold, and white that is nippy by the seashore, hip prepster friendly in addition to having a yogini edge. I usually do this sort of stuff at midnight when all the boys are asleep. I then examine what I already own and sort out a few outfits.

I stick to my color story. If a pair of jeans has silver hard ware it gets booted out because I'm going with gold accents for this trip. I do this so the accessories and jewelry I pack matches. If you start adding silver, brass and pewter looks then you'd might as well bring everything in your accessory department. My suggestion is stick to one color hardware on your clothes, jewelry and shoes. Yes, your shoes might have hardware that can clash with your outfit.

You may feel this is obsessive but you'll experience if you try this method you will cut down on the amount of stuff you pack. As well as not paying extra once you check your bags in at the airport.

3/4 length sleeve red cardigan

As I moved through my conscious packing ritual I was surprised to see how many "Nippy Nautical" options came through my closet. This past spring I did very little nautical inspired shopping. I only purchased one pair of gold flecked boat shoes, a faux sea shell necklace with matching earrings and two striped tees when the store shelves were rockin' nautical looks.

The editing is the trick. Not bringing it all with you. That is where having a color story that you follow to the T including coordinating make up and nail polish will lighten your arms as you move to and through your travel destination.

Another bonus to this packing method is when you arrive at your destination you'll be able to coordinate more outfits out of what few looks you brought in no time. Why? Because everything already matches.

How to travel light made easy:

1. Have a story line.

2. Stick to a color story and don't slip anything in your bag that doesn't coordinate with it.

3. Don't worry about having packed too little.

gold flecked boat shoes

Doesn't it look like fall in June with the red leaves on the grass.

Here you see me preparing my shoulders to gently morph into my peaceful Warrior 2 and then into an extra special half moon pose. I believe my breathing room and a little extra sleep this morning has made me over ambitious.

light weight floral scarf

Packing lightly has become my speciality since I moved out of a New Jersey suburban house and into a New York City apartment years ago. When you live in an over crowded city you learn how to live minimally quickly. Some don't mind the overstuffing however I prefer to live in a space that is not over congested including my junk drawers.

I live by the motto of, if you haven't worn it, read it or used it for a year's time give it away to someone who could benefit from it. This is what I call GYing it. A Glamorous Yogini keeps on shedding her old stuff, accepting all the new that comes through while moving deeper into his/her truth.

I can advise you on packing consciously and lightly however I can't guarantee that you won't bring everything with you anyway. Here I'm referring to our minds. You know what I'm talking about, the endless inner chatter about our to do list and worries. Regardless of my yoga practice I'll let you know my inner chatter came with me on the plane and my ego's voice is even louder than before now that my daily routine is off. My ego is fighting for control.

What do you do when your inner voice is screaming "Hey, pay attention to me!" Do you numb it with wine, food, shopping and sex? Well, sometimes. However these techniques are fun for a moment but short lived.

striped tank
I've noticed a common thread regarding the Masters. I'm referring to enlightened souls like Thitch Nat Han, Paramahansa Yogananda, Krishnamurti, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and many others. They teach breathing techniques as a form of slowing your mind down and achieving presence. They also suggest letting go. How about including feeling? The emotional release. When those feelings come up not your ego's story line of "What if? How? Where? Why me?" I'm referring to what you need to heal, maybe it is feelings of dishonor, loss of a loved one or abandonment from your family, friends possibly your colleagues. When these feelings come up I've experienced success by consciously taking them in to feel during my next inhale, then exhaling as a means to start releasing these feelings out from my emotional body little by little.

first layer white shelf bra cami
When I do this I start feeling a little more calm and grounded. I believe it is because I've asked my ego to take a hike as I connect to my feelings, breath and present moment. For a few moments at least within my consciousness I can stand in my power rather then as a victim.

navy tights
I hope this emotional release technique can help lighten your mind's load as you travel or not this summer.

If none of this babble makes sense I recommend trying it anyway. When you're confused that means your ego doesn't know what to do and you heighten your chances of hearing your divine guidance.

As far as the posture choreography in the photos. You can see here how my extended side angle is mutating into...

A bound extended side angle.


I look down for grounding and balance.

As I position myself to lift my back leg.

A bound 1/2 moon pose is so hard. Wearing boat shoes and standing on the grass it's even worse.

This tree makes a good wall out here in nature. Here I can place my hands on the tree (not my butt) for support as I work towards slowing my mind down as I watch my breath, balance, lengthen my grounded leg and rebind my hands.

Ahhh! Freedom and flight at last!

My view above as I freely ride my bound 1/2 moon.

A photo of Carmel by the sea. 20 minutes or so south of Monterey, California.

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