September 16, 2019

Non-Attachment: The Art (& Struggle) of Letting Go.


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There comes a time when we realize we must let go of old patterns that no longer feel right—stop sending energy into what no longer serves us.

At some point the season changes and nothing but this shedding feels right. This necessary shedding, making room for fresh new layers to explore. One layer deeper into the essence of our being. One stage further along the cycle of life.

For like the trees we live among, we are constantly cycling through life; shedding, healing, making room for new growth.

And while this all sounds beautiful on paper, this shedding, this time of letting go of old attachments—really this whole darn concept of non-attachment—is freaking hard.

Sure, it sounds great as we read of the merits of simply adjusting our expectations and allowing everything to freely flow in and out of our lives. But really, the application, this practice of allowing all to flow, without attachment, can be downright messy.  

Why? We live in a world where the pressure to have it all and be it all is powerful. So, when we acquire these check box items such as love, career, house, car, money, or whatever else society tells us we need to be happy, a part of us feels good. It feels a little bit more okay, a bit more complete. But this very feeling, this chemical boost we receive through various mediums, often leads to attachment. 

Attachment to this high, attachment to these chemicals flowing through our bodies—attachment to these things—leaves us wanting more.

Often these attachments become things we fear to lose, things we cling to, things we frantically rush to replace when lost, failing to take the time to heal. Leaving us on the endless chase, the non-stop search, resulting in further suffering.

But what I’ve learned over the past few years, as the cycles of life slapped me in the face, forcing me to let go of much I was attached to, is that often, our fear of loss—that resistance to whatever it is we are worrying about happening—the anticipation of it all, is usually worse in our minds.

When really, this letting go, this pain, and all of the struggles and emotions we encounter as we cycle though life are so natural. Experiences sent to build strength, add character, create depth. Moments helping us feel all that we were designed to feel—the moments necessary for our evolution.

And although the practice of non-attachment remains a challenge, the more I practice letting go and opening up to all of the feels that go along with doing so, the more I’m learning to find comfort in those moments of discomfort, remembering the lightness that follows when we truly allow this energy to flow.

The more I practice sitting with all that I feel, the more I learn to trust that all eventually passes, remembering to let go simply frees space for more goodness to come. 

And as tempting as it is to rush to replace whatever it is that falls away, to fill this newly created space, I continue to practice reminding myself of the necessity of allowing this newly created space to simply be.  

For just like the soil we plant upon, it’s necessary to allow time for new space to heal before planting new seeds.

And today, I can truly feel just how much my heart has grown from all of these practices and from learning to welcome all that is.  

I now understand how all that I’m giving myself permission to feel and express is allowing me to experience life on a whole new level, allowing me to feel a deeper level of love and appreciation for everything in this life. Love and appreciation for myself, for the land, for the people I choose to surround myself with, for all that I have in each fleeting moment.

And while there are times I still get impatient, want to jump ahead, avoid the messy stuff, fill the void, and cling to stuff out of alignment with my path, most days I remember how each experience, person, and moment I’m able to connect with, are temporary blessings, here to teach me all I need to know.

Most days I remember just how freaking lucky I am to be able to tune into this—to truly understand the beauty in each season of life.

So, in the light of a beautiful and auspicious Harvest Moon, I set the intention to once again let go of all that no longer aligns with my deepest desires. Today, I commit to saying “no, thank you” to what no longer feels right. To take the time to simply be, allowing space for new energy and experiences to grow. Today, I vow to remain patient and compassionate as I continue to practice moving through the seasons of life with an open heart and open mind. Today, I smile, deeply trusting in each step of this roller-coaster of a journey.

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