There are certain things I hang on to for dear life. I’d like to think I’m not attached to ‘things’ -material junk, clothes, status, etc. But, I find myself strangely clinging onto the most random items: the dining room table which was the ONLY thing I got out of my marriage, the OM pendant that didn’t cost much but is from my best friend since Jr High, the ring that a lover gave me that notifies my friends that he and I are ‘back on’ and worries them.
These are things that I agonize over- if someone puts a wet glass on my table I cringe, if a masseuse asks me to take off my OM necklace I keep one eye on it the whole time, if I lose that red ring I panic.
Patanjali teaches the idea of Vairagya or non-attachment as a “learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities that are clouding the true Self “.
So, as a ‘true’ yogi, I spend 2 hours each morning doing my practice, focusing on the inside, not allowing the things I own to own me.
There is a TED (Technology, Education, and Design) talk where the Aussie speaker talks about work-life balance and made the point that we “Work too many hours-to buy things -to impress people-who we don’t even like”
Recently, as I’ve had to let go of so many things (my home-my sense of identity, my youth (ack!), my possessions that my knee-jerk reaction has been to cling, cling to what little I have.
And, the harder I grasp onto things-the more they elude me.
And, its the natural lure into pleasure that hooks me. The human habit of hanging on to the bliss that leads to attachment that is familiar and satisfying. I’ve been down this path before and it’s familiar. I want to take this pleasure I find in these things and maximize them, make them my whole world. But, pleasure and pain are opposing but equal elements and one cannot have one without the other. So, the pleasure I’m seeking will counteract with pain at the same energy level. The hedonist meets with the masochist and both extremes take their toll.
So, on a good friend’s advice-I’ve relied more on my yoga-spending hours each day in my practice hoping to find that clarity-that insight that will help me release.
And, amazingly,the universe provides, I’ve found. I have people all around me to help me-to push me through a grueling yoga practice, to fly into town and run a race with me (even though I’m not as fast as I once was), to comfort me as I’m letting go of a lover (who I clung on too hard to), to have confidence in my potential vs. my current failings.
And, my detachment allows space for something new to come in. Maybe a new lover, hopefully a new job, definitely a new appreciation for what I really have, for what is mine without my clinging and attachment.
And, I pray to the Goddess Durga who represents the warrior Goddess who defeats evil forces such as selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger and ego. She embodies the energy of Shiva and forces the change that we fight against but that is inevitable.
So, I enjoy writing this blog while sitting at my table, as I feel my OM resting on my chest while looking at my red, coral ring. And, I take pleasure in all of those things while realizing that I can do without all of them-and probably will.
And, I look forward to the future which will fill that space with new, brighter, more valuable things. And I feel hopeful