I like to think about any concept or idea as a seed. I often don't come up with brilliant ideas the moment a seed is planted. The same way we would tend to any seed, I take time to water it, spend time keeping it balanced and healthy, and allow it to grow into its full expression. Some seeds die off and are forgotten about after they are planted, but that's the nature of learning how to be a skilled gardener. That is what I LOVE about the first two limbs of Yoga, which prescribe to list the 10 concepts (or tools) that will assist you in your journey to your best-self.
One such concept that I would like to dive deeper into today, is Non-Possessiveness, or Non-Attachment. I had a conversation with a client yesterday about the phrase, "Intimacy without Attachment," and I was re-struck with the beauty and depth of that wisdom. As I sit here and write out my thoughts this morning, I invite you to grab a notebook and allow some free-writing to go along with these words. Plant a seed of Non-Attachment and allow it to grow.
I witnessed an example of someone who got caught in their ego this morning, and how it was a an honest misstep in the pursuit of greatness. It made me reflect on the moments, days, or years that I was driven by my ego. It wasn't a malicious or purposeful way to live. But it was my habit and all I knew. Our subconscious is powerful, actually 1 million times more powerful than our conscious mind. Our conscious mind is wise and displays different talents and abilities that the subconscious appears to not be capable of. These attributes of the conscious mind allows it to outsmart and build a functioning relationship with the subconscious, but only if we have the basic building blocks of health in place, i.e., nourishing food, enough sleep and recovery time, sweat or mindful movement, and healthy relationships. Our subconscious needs its fuel otherwise it is more volatile, quick to anger, and more easily tangles up in the distractions and mind-chatter versus being present to the moment.
So what is the key to ensuring this lack of balance does not become a pattern in your life? Don't attach to any emotion. Even when you are feeling good, I mean 'really good', you set yourself up for a crash if you allow yourself to be seduced into the pathway of pleasure. It's not that we must avoid feeling good. What I notice in myself and others is a tendency to feel really good about feeling good, and an expectation is created (subconsciously), that this is the feeling to expect from now on. Granted you can realistically experience that feeling many more times in your lifetime. But when we become attached to the pleasure and goodness in that moment (however long the "moment" lasts), our journey back to equilibrium can feel like we are taking steps back rather than simply re-calibrating to your happiness baseline (for more on Happiness Baseline, check out The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt). We all have a set point of happiness, and to actually elevate that, you have to develop a new perception of existence and open your mind to the beauty and well-spring of Mindset awareness.
Whether you mean to or not, we are biologically programmed to LOVE the feeling of happy chemicals. They steer us towards wanting more, because it is necessary in order to live a successful life. I believe that to have a successful life, we can simplify the search to one basic component, to have an IMPACT. We are biologically programmed to desire to leave a legacy in some way. Deep down we all know our time on earth is limited. We have a short window to live life as it is and leave a mark on that existence. Some of us can be driven to do disastrous and evil things because it does satisfy that basic craving of creating a legacy.
While it is a gift of nature to have this drive to develop a pattern of success, in all it's definitions, it can also lead to the opposite extreme. Which is why the pursuit and understanding of Balance becomes the most important tool to work with. We can go from living stagnant and lost to living with a spiritual EGO, fast-paced growth, and aloof to the example you are truly leading. With balance as your daily practice, you get to each new phase of development and allow time to adjust, explore, get feedback, detach from the expectations you have created and get to know your new-environment, before rushing forward to the next phase.
That is what Intimacy without attachment eludes to, for me. I see the reminder to be open and receptive with love, desire and growth in mind, while also acknowledging the passing of time and the importance to flow with life and stay connected to what is here and now. It is so easy to get addicted to growth and become consumed by thoughts and effort without much recovery time. When you seek the balance point in each moment, you find an inner-gps that signals when it's time to JUST BE and live life with open arms, and when it is time to amp up to your next gear.
I am reminded of the way I was taught to develop my basketball skills as a child. Myself, and most of the girls I played with, were in love with the game and continued to push to learn more and shoot from further distances. My dad was one of my coaches, and he emphasized the importance of building the best form you possibly can at each distance, before attempting to step back. Without the proper form, strength and consistency, stepping further back was the equivalent of building a house on shaky foundation. This meant we had to practice our shooting a lot! We had to study our own body mechanics and how we each had unique habits that needed to be corrected. It took patience and curiosity, and had I had a more positive and growth oriented Mindset back then, I would've enjoyed the process and developed even quicker. Which is why I take that as a lesson learned and implement that tool in life daily.
Non-Attachment has become one of the most fueling and fascinating concepts for me to explore and have conversations about. If you are interested to learn more about the wisdom and seeds to plant from the Yamas and Niyamas - the first two limbs of yoga - register for my Workshop on April 8, at LIV yoga & wellness. We will do some yoga while plating the seeds of these principles, and you will leave with ideas and structure in how to practice and grow this garden of new neural connections leading to a Mindset shift.
Happy Trail Blazing xoxo