Lots of folks are practicing detachment these days – much of it involuntary rather than zen. As the distance between people and their paychecks increases, the opportunity to realize healthy detachment grows.

Detachment doesn’t mean muttering “I just don’t care anymore” in nihilistic existential denial. It simply means that there are no energetic cords binding you to stuff, weakening your energy field. You are still inter-dependent with everything in the universe, but you have a great degree of freedom. You are present, not holding on to the past or attached to a particular future. You allow change.

Non-attachment, whether from material stuff, a job or a relationship, doesn’t begin with letting go of the thing itself. It begins with awareness of your emotions and thoughts about that thing. Are you willing to change your feelings, opinions and assumptions? Observe your relationship to the object of your attachment – and allow it to evolve.

Over-attachment to your stuff creates clutter, rigidity and most of all, increases fear of loss. This kind of fear makes you experience the pain of loss before it ever happens.

Attachment and fear do not protect you from loss. They are actually self-fulfilling, and not just in the areas you catastrophize about. Emotional over-attachment jumps boundaries, causing a cascade of stress reactions that precipitate into the physical realm. Aches, pains and ailments are often the physical representation of thoughts and emotions, mirroring over-attachment with symbolic accuracy.

Allowing ebb and flow in your material life translates into a healthy flow of energy in all areas of body and mind. Non-attachment isn’t just a nice new-age platitude – it’s a self-healing attitude.

By Elma Mayer. Originally published in the Los Feliz Ledger.
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