Detachment

Detachment is not that you own nothing, but that nothing should own you. {Alī}

Fear, anxiety, sadness…these are all emotions I’ve felt so deeply. It’s often felt as if they’ve owned me, they were how I defined myself.

Practicing detachment and grounding myself to the present has helped me release the hold these feelings have had on me. This doesn’t mean I don’t feel them. I do. Often. But they no longer own me. They no longer permeate my being. I am able to let these feelings go, using my yoga. And my Sangha.

How can we continue to practice detachment throughout our lives?

Here are some tips on how to embrace detachment:

  1. First and foremost, understand and accept that you can not control everything. This will take some time, but continue to remind yourself of this. Daily if necessary.
  2. Try to stop making your happiness or gratitude conditional on something outside of yourself. Don’t just say you’re happy because you’ve hit a goal, got a promotion, or got the thing you’ve been after. Express gratitude for the daily things in your life. Express happiness and joy for moments you’re experiencing daily.
  3. Recognize the difference between a need and a want. You need water. You want a fancy car.
  4. Try to reframe your experiences, your work responsibilities, everything you do as blessings.
  5. Try to practice compassion and empathy. Try to see the world from another’s point of view. Observe your surroundings rather than trying to constantly experience or control them.
  6. Don’t focus on the outcome or goal of a situation, focus on the experience of getting there. Whether it’s a trip or a project. Try to embrace the experience of it rather than just getting to the end of it.
  7. Before doing anything, pause. Take a deep breath. Proceed with clarity of mind and thought as much as possible.

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