Marcia Newman

Psychotherapist, Conscious Aging Consultant & Author

The Sage Must Travel Light

We’re on the edge of more changes than any of us could imagine. Here’s one solid statistic that is influencing the world in unprecedented ways. 72% of people do NOT want their life to go back to what it was like before the pandemic.

People want more meaning and purpose in their lives and workplaces. Freedom is calling! More entrepreneurs are starting businesses they can enjoy growing, while making a positive contribution to our humanity.

From my older clients (some retired), I’m receiving deeper conversations about purpose, giving back to others and learning to carry a lighter back pack. The sage must learn to travel light as described in William Martin’s wise poem. Here it is from Martin’s book; “Sage’s Tao Te Ching.”

Girl with backpack sitting overlooking the water - akyurt
(photo by Engin Akyurt


Youth can carry a heavy load day after day without noticing the damaging effects. But the sage must lay down the burden. Resentments, regrets, injuries, slights, grudges, and disappointments are much too cumbersome for a person of wisdom and contentment.

The sage must travel light. There is a backpack in the mind which over the years has become filled with rocks and stones. You do not have to carry them anymore. You can empty your pack and carry only compassion from one day to the next.

What helps you to empty your pack and carry more compassion? For me, it’s connected to how I start my day. I’ve never been a big fan of the alarm clock. I’ve got enough cortisol racing through my bloodstream, thank you. My preference is making the effort, to go to bed early enough, to awaken with ease. Sometimes, I arise before the sunlight crests our nearby emerald-colored hills. It’s my favorite time of the day.

A previous mentor, Louise Hay would say “How you start your day is often how you live your life.” For decades, I’ve carved out this important early morning ‘me time’.  When I skip it, I see and feel all in the world that is NOT right. When I’m not clear about who I am, the world is tougher to live in. Goodness sakes, we all know, it’s been tougher.

Here are some of my favorite morning rituals; one-hour daily meditation, offering healing prayers, journaling (feelings, gratitude, etc.), practicing affirmations with mirror work, reading 12-Step literature, listening to inspirational people like Prem Rawat, yoga, moving to music and drinking yummy Tulsi tea. 

My fellow Sage, if you haven’t already, create a morning ritual and find what feels good. Yes, it does take some daily discipline. The outcome is worth it since it will help you to lighten your backpack (mind) and positively feed your heart and cells.

I’d love to hear how you start your day (or want to start your day). Is it a reflection of how you live your life? Please share with us on my Gifts of Pro-Aging – Community Facebook page.

In support,