Word Power: Cumber

I was reading the other day and the word “cumber” came up. I had never heard this on its own before… I have only seen it as a part of a word like…cucumber or cumbersome. (obviously cucumber will not be apart of the rest of this post…)
Cumber means:
  • to overwhelm, overthrow, rout, destroy
  • to harass, distress, bother
  • to trouble, confound, perplex
  • to drag around

I want you to sit and think for a minute… have you felt any of these in the last month? Week? Day? Hour?

I can tell you I feel this often. And coming off the holidays? Even more so! Getting married?! 10 FOLD!

Before we go any further, let me fill you in on the scenario in which this word came up in my reading:

A woman has unexpected company and is fretting over preparing the best for them essentially single-handedly. The person who could be helping her is sitting in another room with the company taking in all they have to say. The woman busy trying to prepare a meal is growing frustrated with the one person that “should” be helping…

Now, I KNOW we have all felt this before. We carry this weight on our backs of all the things we SHOULD be doing and NEED to be done. But what if whatever those “should’s” and “needs” aren’t all that important? What if they are nothing but a distraction?


I should spend more time with the kids.

I should be this size.

I need to lose this weight.

I should have never gotten this far to begin with.

I need that thing.


That person not helping the woman was getting something the woman can never buy in a store, make in the kitchen, or recreate… quality time.

Quality time isn’t limited to just with other people. It’s quality time with yourself as well. This is something I feel we as humans have lost touch with…

We become so distracted by things, people, and pursuits that don’t add value to our lives. There is a false belief in what we think will bring us true joy…happiness…contentment. So much time and energy is spent on the idea of “more”. More money. More time. More things. More stuff. More. More. MORE!

What if we spent our energy on less. Less stuff. Less insincere interaction. Fewer distractions.

By spending energy on less you actually gain more.

More time. More purpose. More love. More forward momentum.


I feel like coming across this word couldn’t have happened at a better time… The New Year is that time of year in which people add even more on to their already full plates. This is done in the form of Resolutions. Don’t get me wrong… I love the beginning to a new year and setting out intentions, however there is a way to do it so that it doesn’t overwhelm and eventually bury a person.

Rather than adding at the new year, picture what it would look like if you took something out of your life that doesn’t add any value…

Maybe it’s de-cluttering. Maybe it’s taking away a commitment that use to be fun but now is an obligation. Maybe it is ending the perpetual chase to a smaller you.

Picture whatever that thing is for you. Picture it so vividly that you can feel it.

Feel it so much that it provokes action.



Over the last 6 months I have been slowly getting rid of stuff and people who no longer add value to my life.

Things that sit around my apartment that have gone untouched for the last 6 months? Gone.

Connections with people who have fallen off and have become a one way street? Done.


By doing this a pretty amazing thing has happened… I now feel more relaxed because I don’t have a pile of stuff staring at me reminding me I have another thing to clean up/take care of. I have opened up room in my life for more meaningful relationships. I feel more purpose because there is now space in my brain to ponder on it more.

Did you catch how many times I said “more” there?

Every. Single. Sentence.


By taking things out of my life that use to be a distraction has allowed me to live more! More authentically. More purposeful. More loving.


I challenge you to think about one thing in your life that no longer adds value…

Why are you hanging on to it? Are you willing to let it go? Can you be content with less to gain more of what matters in life?


It’s going to be hard. I’ll tell you that right now. We live in a society that tells us we always need more. Need new. Need the latest and greatest. There will be an immense resistance within you. The more resistance you have, the better. This means you are on the right path. If you can overcome that… it will be easier and easier to let go of things to gain more in your life.


Life should be simple. Not complicated, inefficient, unmanageable…otherwise known as cumbersome.

The day you can learn to live with less is the day you will feel more alive than ever.