You know Bob Marley’s song ‘Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright’? I really like this song! It’s reassuring when I feel completely overwhelmed or down.

We don’t need big problems to feel down. Sometimes small things can bring us down. If we have a couple of these little things, then we might become sad and filled with anxiety.

It can be that we just spilled our coffee, or we are late for a meeting. Or we heard a comment that hurt us. Or we said something we didn’t mean and hurt someone else. If we focus on those little things, everything seems worse. It’s like a little dot before our eyes. One dot is not much, but put a couple dots together, and focus your sight on them, and it’s the only thing you’ll see.

And it’s the accumulation of these worries, sadness or resentment thoughts that can get us filled with anxiety. Thinking about them over and over again is bad.

We can learn so much from other cultures from around the world. For example, every year, in northern Thailand is held the Lantern Festival, or Loy Krathong. That night, we can see thousands of candle-fueled paper lanterns drift away into the night sky, creating a warm orange glow as these symbols of worry and anxiety are let go.

This simple act, letting go of a paper lantern, is a way of letting our burdens and worries disappear into the air. As the lanterns float away, a happy celebration takes place.

It’s the end of the summer now, late August, and I feel a little bit down because I know winter is coming. Yep, I am not even thinking of fall, I already think about the cold and dark days of winter. Summer is so alive, exciting, friendly.

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Winter is only shades of grey, hibernating, freezing (especially in Quebec City). It gets so cold here, you have no idea. We have days of -30°C, and I’m not even talking about wind chill. It can get down to -40°C. It’s ugly. Very ugly. And I don’t feel ready yet, not for another cold winter.

Last winter was so cold, and it lasted so long. June was very cold, and July was very rainy. The sun started to shine again in the beginning of August. And now it’s already late August, mornings and evenings are chilly. Anyway… my point is, I could focus only on that. I could keep thinking about that upcoming winter and feel sad.

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But I am not. I cannot! I don’t have a choice, otherwise my life would be miserable. That’s not true, I have a choice, but I choose not to think about that. I choose not to be miserable. That kind of thought is easy to put away. Some aren’t. Some thoughts are much more overwhelming.

That’s why we should learn from Thai people and from Bob Marley. Why not get out all the bad things out of our system? Why not purify our thoughts? We don’t need a complicated ceremony to do so. We could write down each irritating thing on a piece of paper, read it and meditate on it a little bit, and then make a ball of it and shoot it in the garbage. Or burn it and sing Bob Marley’s song while we watch the fire consume our worries.

The goal is to let go of the small stuff, to clean our minds and spirit to live a healthier and easier life. Why carry that burden every day when we can free ourselves?

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