Float on…

In all aspects of our lives, we as humans typically have a tough time just letting go, and it can cause us so much grief. One could argue that our struggling comes from that attachment. 

I want you to imagine for a moment that you are in the ocean and there is a massive chest full of gold at the bottom with a rope wrapped around it. You can attempt to bring this chest ashore by pulling the rope, but when you do the rope is only long enough for your nose to barely make it above water. No matter how hard you struggle, that chest won’t budge. Upon this realization, you know you can either let go to fully breathe and risk losing all the gold at the bottom of the ocean or continue to struggle in the hopes that you’ll be able to somehow move the chest. Attachment is the terrible monster in the corner of our mind that screams we must hold tight in spite of our knuckles turning white and our lungs filling with water.

Enter the history lesson: Within Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga are the yamas. These are akin to a moral code to live by in regards to how to interact with ourselves and the universe around us. The fifth yama is Aparigraha, or non-attachment. {That means for thousands of years, we humans have been dealing with the same nonsense that can easily be avoided.}

In yoga, I see my students consistently coveting a challenging pose or trying to stretch a little deeper than their body is obviously willing to go that day. They become so attached to the outcome, that they are no longer enjoying the fact that their body is moving. Their breath tends to become shallow, which in turn makes the challenging pose all the more difficult. Sometimes, this “failure” causes them to feel down, and that’s just silly! Want to know why? Because every day is different! Some days you can eat 9 cupcakes and take it like a champ, and other days you’ll eat half of one and want to vomit. The same concept applies to your practice {it is the same body after all}.

Outside of yoga, I see the same issues with attachment, but on a different scale. People become so attached to this “ideal” lifestyle that society deemed necessary. So many become stagnant and complacent in life because they are too attached to their current life. It is completely understandable – change is scary! We also struggle to have control over every scenario that comes our way. We become so attached to our jobs because it is what we know is acceptable and “safe”. We become attached to our lovers because leaving causes a space that society says needs to be filled. We are attached to the perfect, stable life, and in turn bring the struggling upon ourselves. It becomes a struggle to go to work every day when we don’t enjoy it. Life becomes difficult when we have all this baggage we are attached to (just like the chest with the gold).

What if I told you that there was another chest on the nearby shore. Would you let go of the one you were struggling to keep? Here comes the plot twist: When we stop struggling, we float! When we let go of what we are so attached to, there is so much room for the unknown. We might be disoriented at first after releasing what we’ve grown so accustomed to holding on to, but that only brings about opportunity for growth and abundance.

It will be scary letting go of what no longer serves you, but it will feel empowering moving towards new possibilities. Give yourself permission to let go! In your yoga practice, enjoy the flow and one day the challenging pose will come. That doesn’t mean don’t try, but rather maybe try something else you’ve yet to do. Enjoy the abundance of possibilities! In life, do what you love and what serves YOU best, rather than struggling to hold on to what is in your comfort zone. You might go under the waves for a moment in order to fully let go of the attachments (like your current life situation), but once you do open yourself up to possibility, you’ll notice how easy it is to float towards your happiness on the shore. ❤

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