pack light, a self-care mantra.

pack light erykah badu lyrics artwork


My best-friend-in-my-head, Erykah Badu, has always fed into my soul with little nuggets hidden in plain sight.  She once told me, “If your knowledge were your wealth then it will be well earned.”  I was like, yeah, you right boo.

She peeped me to game about writing plainly and relatably to reach the people who need you the most when she sang, “What good do your words do if they can’t understand you?”  Simple, right?  Actually, that’s the point, keep it simple sometimes because the PEOPLE need to know what you are saying.  Something for the little people, the big people, and all in between. This is Alise digressing because this is where I am at currently.  Later though.  Yet still deeply profound.

Another outstanding and poignant secret she told me is, “Bet you love can make it better.”  Spoiler alert: it does.  My bestie don’t f*ck around, she got bars.

But then she hit me with the one-two punch, two little words, “Pack light.”Yes, from Chapter Mama’s Gun, verse Bag Lady.

Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you

One day all them bags gon’ get in your way
One day all them bags gon’ get in your way
I said one day all them bags gon’ get in your way
One day all them bags gon’ get in your way, so pack light

Now there are many other gems in this magical song, but this is required listening.  I was watching the documentary a couple weeks ago, “Minimalism” on da Netflix.  The tagline is: “How might your life be better with less?”  It focuses on two men who wrote a book about reducing the amount of material items you have and it’s amazing impact on their lives and happiness.  A major key that I received was evaluating how much the things you have matter to you, and holding on to those, but purging the excess.  Pretty much, pack light.  I started thinking of how freeing the smallest of acts are for me.  The feeling of calm that comes over me after decluttering and purging items made me wonder how that translates in other parts of my life outside of tangible possessions.

Scaling back “friends” is essential.  This is not to say become a hermit or some sort of guru sitting on top of a mountain.  Not at all.  It is taking an honest look at how your friendships are enriching your life or how they are NOT.  It’s caring enough about self that you don’t get tied up in bags like nostalgia, obligation, or guilt to justify keeping them around.  Even if that one piece messes up your crew dynamic, you’ll thank yourself, I promise.  Sometimes we just  collect people, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just important to have discernment.  I recently had this exchange with a friend:

you collect people?


tells me how you will describe me in 15 yrs

there is actually nothing wrong with the sentiment of being collected, because people collect what they love, they chose them carefully and with purpose
so there.
like my vinyl.
I never buy records I don’t like or don’t intend to listen to
I don’t collect for the purpose of collecting
I own every New Edition album, except one. REASON, I don’t like that album. I love New Edition but I won’t buy the record (even though cheap as f*ck) even though it would complete my collection.

that makes your collection unique


Bottom line, don’t buy the “Under the Blue Moon” album just because it is cheap and rounds out your collection.  *giggles*

I think packing light also extends to being forgiving and just  letting the decade old grudge go already.  Anger and grudges are heavy as f*ck.  I’m lazy and I am also  trying to not pay extra check my luggage and have the hassle of waiting at baggage claim with the possibility of my things getting lost.  Kinda like what almost happened to my point. *reels it back in*  Being able to reconcile and come to the realization that people mess up, all of them do, and you cannot carry their stupidity or malice around with you.  Offenders and betrayers of your trust don’t have to be your friend or someone you talk to anymore, but you must make peace with it in some sort of way.  You’re too cute for all that heavy lifting.

So how are you gonna pack light?  No really, I want to know. Chat with me in the comments.

Love Alise Naturally AliseLove, Alise signature Alise Leslie mental health illness

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  • SoundsLikeNeek

    I’m gonna start by changing my Netflix password on @NaturallyAlise. 🙂 #NewYearNewMe

  • Crownie Royal

    I definitely only carry-on, but I think I have to let some ideas go. Delight in my now and let go of my assumptions or what was sure was best! Starting today!

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