Practicing non-attachment could be the most powerful New Year’s Intention you’ve ever had.
Non-Attachment is referenced in various forms of spirituality and unfortunately this concept is often misunderstood. When we think about detaching ourselves, it’s common think of detaching from all feelings or simply not caring much about anything. Someone then explained to me that it’s important to mentally clarify that indifference is a lack of interest, concern or sympathy as opposed to non-attachment which is letting go of things that don’t serve us.
All of the concepts in Yoga Philosophy are there for us to practice in an effort to live an extraordinary life, free of suffering. The logic is that the more we are attached to things, outcomes and expectations; the more we suffer when they are lost or never fulfilled. I started to think about all the things I was attached to and the list was nauseating. Everything from material things to all the deadlines for goals I had on my vision board. I decided to set my New Year’s Resolution to be consistent with practicing non-attachment and the universe gifted me with opportunities, challenges and a liberating outcome!
Attachments to Outcomes
At the beginning of 2016 I was engaged and in the process of planning a wedding. We had a date set at a fancy wedding venue and I had a weight loss deadline…yikes! Fortunately, I had already set this concept into motion because less that 2 months before the wedding, the venue fell through, TWICE! Rather than reacting to these situations and stressing myself out over something that couldn’t be changed, I trusted that everything was happening exactly as it was supposed to. During this process, I began to recognize that I had a serious attachment to food. I had a lifelong habit to eat WAY past the point of being full which wasn’t good for my psyche or my waistline. I decided to become more mindful of what I was eating, set the fork down and actually breathe between bites and intuitively listened to my body for when it had enough nourishment. This then gifted me the opportunity to give (my leftovers) to someone in need, everyone wins! We ended up having a dream wedding 3 months later at a venue that suited us perfectly and I felt beautiful and confident in my wedding dress.
Attachments to Thoughts
We all experience attachments to thoughts that don’t serve us. These stories become habitual and in the end, are pulling us away from living our best life. When was the last time you thought “I can’t” about something that you really wanted to do? Most of us experience these thoughts multiple times a day and the solution is to ask yourself if that message is really true. For example; “I can’t afford it” is most likely the egos lack of effort to budget for what is most important and let go of spending habits that are holding us back. The art of letting go of attachments to disempowering thoughts is simple if you give yourself enough time to reflect. Next time you catch yourself with a thought that doesn’t feel good close your eyes, breathe and ask yourself;
- Is this really true?
- What do I need to let go of to make this happen?
- What thought can I replace this with?
Attachments to Things
We. Have. So. Much. Stuff!! Don’t get me wrong, I love things. Things that make life easier, things that make us happy and we also have unnecessary things that create physical and mental clutter. When you live in an environment that is packed full of STUFF you aren’t leaving much space for growth. I dare you to go and find 10 items to donate this season to someone in need, it may be hard to let something go but remember that giving is received on both ends.
“Minimalism not subtraction for the sake of subtraction. Minimalism is subtraction for the sake of focus and happiness.” –Unknown
Where Can You Let Go?
Practicing non-attachment means finding opportunities to release thoughts, things and expectations that come in excess. It doesn’t happen overnight and is a lifelong work in progress. Some days might be taking some deep breaths to let go of disappointment and finding trust that everything is happening for a reason, other days it’s letting go of a pair of boots you haven’t worn in years. You may find that strengthening your non-attachment muscle can be challenging at first because being attached is a habit that most of us have lived with our entire lives. Just like the muscles in your body, the more you work at it the stronger it gets. It was extremely challenging for me which is why I dedicated an entire year to it! Today is the perfect day to set your New Year’s Intention into motion so I suggest whipping out your journal and begin making a list of your attachments. Get inspired by what it will feel like to let them go and begin by taking baby steps. The beautiful thing about non-attachment is that it’s a choice, it’s YOUR choice whether or not you will allow these things to hold you back. Day by day and challenge by challenge you will get to a place where you can trust that everything is happening exactly as it is supposed to.
HAPPY (EARLY) NEW YEAR!!
Brittni is a 500hr RY-T Yoga Instructor, Ayurveda Wellness Counselor and Motivational Speaker. Her focus is living a fulfilling, healthy and passionate life by combining the ancient wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda and explains them in a way that everyone can understand and apply to their own lives. Brittni is abundant with positivity and full of inspiration. Follow her @brittnisoo