I awoke at the normal time. Stumbled into the kitchen, ground the coffee beans and put on the coffee. Feeling sluggish, I splashed cold water on my face. Did my stretching routine and went out to get the newspaper. Feels like weights on my feet. Did I gain weight? Go into the scales and weighted the same as always. 

Then I opened the newspaper. A police officer had been killed last night. Then it hit me—I hadn’t gained weight that would show up on the bathroom scales—it was a weight that rests in my heart. I had watched the news last night and the fighting in the Middle East was escalating. The governor of the state was declaring that the same-sex marriages that took place last month were not legal. More mass killings had taken place overnight.  

The weight I was carrying around was real—but would not show up on the scales. Are there any exercises that help me shed some of this kind of weight?

I have a few. Maybe you have some you would share. Mine include meditation where I seek to rest in a power greater than myself. I imagine the worries written on pieces of paper, taking them one at a time and setting them beside my chair. I hike in the woods and name the worries, scattering them among the fallen leaves. I hike beside the creek, putting my concerns on sticks and leaves and let them be carried down stream. I feel my body pressing on the bed, feeling my physical self holding my heart, strengthening my heart’s capacity to carry the weight that I can’t lay down. 

I have more energy and find that traveling light enables me to get more done. And it helps me open my eyes to beauty and grace that shares the globe with the pain and suffering. Loving life is easier when we are not weighted down with the burdens of all the world.