esther m palmer

staying unattached

Today I watched a very dear friend squeeze all of her belongings into every last corner of her new (used) car and drive off to her "new" (continuing) life in a new house in a new state, with new friends waiting to be made. It wasn't easy in the slightest (but I'm still posting a cute little Ganesha for her!). Usually I am the one to do the leaving, and with all the promise of new beginnings, it is much easier than being the leavee. I have to continue on here where everything is the same... but different. No more calling her up at the last minute to go grab dinner at the local bar, no more riding the subway together when we happen to be coming home at the same time, no more seeing good and bad dance shows together, no more cat-sitting for her, no more lots of things. This kind of change, where one element of my stability is removed, scares me because its ripple effect seems out of my control, which is, for me, hugely ungrounding. (As long as I'm the creator of change, I'm happy.)

But then I remember that this change doesn't have to shake me up so. I am so unbelievably proud of my friend and so happy for her, that as I focus on that, the hole in my life is filled with love. And the adjustments I'm gonna end up making, those are opportunities to see things as they are, to stay with the present moment, because who knows what will come of any given moment if I let it ride out unimpeded by attachments to how things once were? There is nothing to be gained from lamenting change, and much to be experienced in riding the waves.

Yoga teaches us to remain unattached to the results (both achieved and hoped for) of our practice, because in the experience of the practice, in the commitment to what is - and not to what you want to have be - there is a true sense of peace. The same is true of your daily living. It's a practice, a process, and it demands presence. So much so, that there is no room left for wallowing --in any emotion. Which is not to say that you can't experience emotions across the spectrum. I still cried as I waved goodbye to my friend, but as I start my first day without her as the closest neighbor I've ever had, my eyes are drying up and I'm treating this day just like she's treating hers: as an adventure in living honestly and with all the presence I can muster!

Have yourself a week filled with presence, and one day I'll share some tips on learning how to practice non-attachment.

Until then (and always), hari om, om tat sat. Esther

Sutra 1.12: abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodhah. "Identification with the fluctuations of mind is stopped by practice and non-attachment."

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