WHAT UNHEALTHY ATTACHMENTS DO YOU HAVE? 3 WAYS TO BREAK THEM.
I remember, after I’d been practicing yoga for a year my teacher started purposefully moving me into different spots around the room. He had noticed that I would auto-pilot my way over to the same corner of the room and of course, he wanted to break that habit.
When someone challenges you to break the habits and patterns you’ve formed it’s difficult because we are often totally blind to them until that moment. Then we realise how attached we had become, say, to that ‘spot’ in yoga class and how, scaringly, it was what left you feeling ‘normal’ or ‘calm’.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to frequent the same spot in a yoga class, but I could see my teacher’s point. I was getting attached and that attachment was a security blanket. By being so ‘attached’ it meant that when I was put out of my comfort zone – simply asked to go to the other side of the room – I couldn’t kick up into a handstand. Some fear, or discomfort had arisen in me and I no longer could do something I normally did with ease. Funny, that.
Attachments can cloud our judgement, our vision of our true self and perhaps give us a false picture. Ask yourself these questions
- What are you attached to?
- Is there a person that you rely on to feel ‘happy’…
- Is there something that you do that makes you feel ‘normal’ and without it the rest of your day is not the same…
- Is there a ritual in your life that feels almost obsessive?
- Do you habitually think, say or do something without considering an alternative?
It’s not that having a ritual, habit, routine, pattern is a bad thing. Lordy knows that I am the QUEEN of routine. I love my morning yoga followed by a home cooked breakfast. I have to meditate once a day and If I don’t I feel a bit dis-jointed. But they become unhealthy when by not doing them I berate myself or if I do it too much then I’ve not left myself open to a different perspective, alternative or a spontaneous be-in-the-moment opportunities.
Every now and then I notice when I’m getting attached… when I consider that thing/person/situation to be my life-line, then I know I need to step back a little. Sometimes others do it for me – my teacher moving me into a different spot, my partner asking me to skip yoga and sleep in, or not check instgram.
I’ve also come up with 3 sure-fire ways to break or at least ease-off those attachments.
1) Identify what it is your attached to – be honest about your relationship to this and your ‘perspective’ on it. Pull out a journal (pen and paper will do!) and write down how you feel about it, why you are so attached and how your attachment might (either now or in the future) block you in someway.
2) Be soft with yourself. No one is judging, except you. Practice some gentleness by allowing yourself the chance to understand the emotion. Are you afraid if you change something you will fail? Once you’ve got a clue into the emotion, then consider an alternative to your attachment that would respond to that emotion. E.g I love this spot in class because I feel comfortable here. Instead, try a different spot and channel into the feeling of comfort – cultivate it in your breath and body instead of the space your in.
3) Enjoy a self-imposed break – Try something different in replacement of what you are attached to. Balls it up and get shaky with it. Don’t just delete your said attachment… the key word is ENJOY a new experience. E.g – go to a different yoga teacher, or take a day off from your usual routine and meditate instead. Eat something different for breakfast, don’t wait for happiness to come with your favourite person, find it for yourself. Do so with a watchful eye – do it as an experiment to just ‘see what happens’. Develop some awareness and be OK with whatever comes up. Be light with it. If you fall out of the handstand, don’t get frustrated, just see it as interesting and try to face the emotion that came up for you – you feel uncomfortable, confused and displaced. It’s a wall, the same as the other one – just kick-up!
In yogic terms, non-attachment is known as Vairagya. It’s about learning to actively encounter and explore the many and varied attachments in our life – physically, emotionally, mentally – fears, aversions, false sense of self, unhealthy emotions – which all cloud your true self. This is a long journey me thinks, trying to undo every impression, habit and emotion that we’ve identified with. But we can start with the little things simple to become a little more aware of who we are and who we are not!
Happiness is not a product of what you do, how you do it, who you do it with… it’s already in you. You are perfect and whole and complete as you are.
I’d love to hear your own experiences with being attached. Is there something you are attached to right now that might need addressing?
Saha to you,
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