In yoga we are meant to practice non-attachment. In both yogic philosophy and buddhist teachings it is taught that grasping causes us suffering. Grasping to the past, to belongings, to feelings…to goals.
I understand completely how being very attached to certain outcomes, feelings or things can cause me dis-ease. Because life is in constant flux. We are constantly changing and the people and things around us never stay the same. If we grip tightly to anything….even those we love, eventually…. we will suffer.
So practicing non-attachment frees us from suffering when everything changes, when things don’t go “our way” and keeps us from being rigid with what we want. Non-attachment helps us practice Acceptance. Acceptance leads to freedom and joy.
But what about those really hard poses? Doesn’t it take quite a bit of effort, practice and drive to ever get to those places of pose performery? Of course it does. It takes all of that. It also takes ease and allowance to melt yourself into certain positions. You can’t force your body into any pose.
Acceptance doesn’t mean you don’t care about anything. Acceptance is one side of the pendulum. It’s an invitation to be open. To see what’s possible if you don’t hold tightly to just one goal. Open yourself up to new possibilities. Acceptance doesn’t mean you don’t try, or you don’t have goals. Non-attachment means we don’t NEED anything. We can want things….but we’re not attached to certain outcomes. Acceptance and non-attachment go hand in hand. To be happy, goal-oriented people….we try our best…then let go of the rest. We don’t NEED things to be a certain way.
Neediness, isn’t helpful. Just listen to that word, “neeeeedy” and I bet you’re already repelled by it. When we practice non-attachment we empower ourselves. We say, it’s ok, I NEED nothing to be whole, happy and complete.
You can and should aim for the stars my friends. You can aim for financial success and stability. You can aim for a fancy arm balance, a hot date, a new job. PLEASE set goals for yourself because human beings THRIVE in challenge. It’s good to be challenged. It makes us feel alive. It’s in boredom that we suffer too.
You can embody acceptance AND have goals. This is good news. Set big goals, work hard for them….but don’t be attached to the outcome. When we let go of the outcome, we open ourselves up to possibility. In possibility we play and we allow ourselves to be open to RECEIVE.
Some of the best things that have ever happened to me, were things that I never asked for. Were things that I didn’t even know I wanted. If I held tightly to certain outcomes and goals, without accepting my situation, ability, resources and timelines….I would have suffered.
Set big goals, do your best……then let go of the rest.
With Grace and Grit,
Karla Joy Treadway
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