Clinging to the Mountainside


The over-heavy pack pulled hard, down and back on my shoulders, shifting the load helped for a moment, then  it crept back, relentless, heavy, cumbersome, burning – weighting me down.

My son and I had planned this trip for months and now here we were in one of the most majestic places on earth, but under this weight I just wanted to get to the end of the day.

The higher we went the steeper the slope and the slower I climbed – I could feel I was carrying way too much. Shoulders burning, back on fire, gasping for breath, heart pounding.  Then the last step, the last reach and last ounce of energy I pulled myself to the top

– We made it.

Shrugging the packs off our shoulders we just breathed…

There we were, just my son and me, at the top of this remote mountain watching the sun go down, I’m marveling at the contrast between those last final steps – how it felt like I couldn’t go one more step, just wanting to get through it – and then the feeling of shrugging the pack, the unburdening, lightening the load and now just soaking in this feeling of freedom.

Then I thought,

“In this sense of Breathing Space, with the load I carry in work and life, how much true freedom do I really have?”

I was reminded that when I was doing and creating more of what I loved and deflecting or saying no to more of the things that pulled me away from that, I was as truly free as I have ever felt.

I wondered,

“How much unburdening, streamlining could I do in life and work and still be effective – or even more effective?

That night I started by changing one small thing:

I made space.

I shook everything out of my pack.

Shining a light on every item, I gave a quick intuitive score 1-10.  8’s and greater went into the pack, everything else stayed out.

Amazed, what I had was exactly what I needed.

– The sense of relief was extraordinary.

Wrapping up the extra gear I left a note for the next campers to take all they wanted.

The next morning as I bent down to pick up my pack I thought maybe I should take some of the stuff I was leaving behind – I have space – I smiled to myself as I didn’t.  I breathed in the freedom of being in this place with my son and we headed down the mountain.

And there it was—another light bulb about the simple power of breathing space.

Here’s how I do it

I play 8’s or Greater.

(The following is the simple version)

I hold a TRUEFREEDOM Meter up to everything.  Th Meter ranges from 1-10 and everything gets a score:



A potential new pair of shoes


8, 9 and 10, they’re good bets.  8’s or greater just seem to naturally click, work and win.  7 and lower just take up space and will tear your heart out trying to make them work.

Try it.

Right now.

Think , hold up your TRUEFREEDOM Meter to everything, measure, what can you streamline, what are pieces that just don’t measure up, what can you declutter, streamline?  What load can you shed?

Try it out.

Get a sense of it.

Flash your Breathing Space Meter up to things and ideas around you now, see/feel the score.

Use your TRUEFREEDOM Meter when choosing dinner, dates, ice crème, investments, vacations, careers…  any choice, any cross roads.

Imagine life, work, full of clearer choices, winning more, working less… a life that’s you, who you’re meant to be, more fun, more happiness, more winning, saving time, saving steps, increasing speed, without it being a chore, almost perpetual motion pulling you forward into your most amazing future.

And when it’s all said and done and you look back, do you want your life filled with struggling with things that weren’t really you and hard to make work or breathing space?

Stop doing things that are less than 8.

Lighter load, fewer struggles

Hey, if it doesn’t clear the bar, no.

The relief is tremendous


You have permission to dump everything that isn’t you and focus on what is.

But you be the judge.

Test it.

Let me know what you find.


Hit reply and let me know what you’re thinking.

TRUEFREEDOM: Always within arm’s reach