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Category: Heal Relationships

The Feminine Is Rising – Can we drop the need to compete?

Posted in Heal Relationships, and Live Your Passions

Competition is neither the sole domain of the feminine nor the masculine.

We all possess the drive to compete and sometimes it serves us.  An urge to be the best, the winner or at least in the running stimulates creativity, commitment, hard work and can bring out our best.

We all love watching others excel, particularly in the sporting arena.

What I’m talking about here is more subtle.  I’m thinking of the insidious ways suppressed competitive impulses can erode friendships, workplace harmony and our own self-esteem.

It all begins when we draw comparisons between ourselves and others, thereby reducing our worth to a very narrow and often superficial checklist…

Little girls start comparing themselves to others at a very young age. At around six or seven they begin comparing their appearance, their skills and their possessions:

“She’s got prettier hair than me.”

“She’s better at drawing dogs than me.”

“She’s got nicer shoes than me.”

With my daughter it wasn’t like this though, it was more like:

“I’m better at climbing than her.”

“I was the best runner today.”

“I’m good at drawing.”

Which is better?

And why am I speaking of girls and not boys, because surely boys are competitive too?

It’s because the older we girls get, the more our feminine competitiveness goes underground and shifts into more subtle behaviours, whereas it seems that boys are given permission to compete openly.

This happens because girls are often judged harshly when they’re openly competitive. Have you ever heard a little boy being criticised for being too feisty or “full-throttle” on the playing field?

Anyone else have a daughter who’s been labelled ‘bossy’?

Our competitive urge gets subverted:

  • We pump ourselves up or shrink ourselves down in the workplace depending on who’s listening and many women withdraw from the corporate climb all together rather than be seen as ambitious
  • In social settings we cultivate the chameleon, acting (and dressing), confidently and assuredly with one crowd but passive and downplayed with another
  • At the extreme, we undermine other womens’ confidence with sneaky comments or ‘jokes’ or manipulate how others are perceived by carefully launched verbal missiles dressed up as gossip.

It’s this subterranean style of competition that’s more difficult to tackle and it can stay with us throughout life if we don’t acknowledge its presence.

We’re entering a new era of the feminine rising to meet the masculine in a symbiotic union.  The time is drawing nearer for us to welcome the end of the patriarchal rule that has well and truly run its course on our planet.

We’re at the top of the pendulum’s swing….it’s about to swing back.

So get ready and own your place in the coming change.  We all hold some responsibility for this new landscape as it takes shape.

When we compare ourselves with someone else or feel the need to match their achievements we’re sitting in the energy of lack and competition.

We’re also denying our own truth.

We never win when we drag someone else or ourselves down a few notches.

So what’s the solution? Just sit in your divine perfection (it’s in your heart centre), learn how to love yourself fully and connect with your unique gifts and talents.

Then start living your life with this as your foundation.  Simple!

To grab some help, contact me for a session – click here first.

Love to you, Tricia

You’re Not Wrong and Neither Are They

Posted in Heal Relationships

We think we’re aware right?  We think we know ourselves and all our foibles pretty well by now. Yes?

Well I’m sorry to say this, and of course I’m speaking just for myself here 🙂 , but I feel many of us still have a long way to go before we can claim any sort of seniority in the AWARENESS stakes…

Find yourself complaining about certain people in your life?

Still have one or two family members that really know how to push your buttons?

Get so caught up in your reaction to what someone has said or done that you aren’t able to be the compassionate person you are deep down?

Welcome to humanity, I guess…AND also, we are making some progress aren’t we?

Well you know and I know that this month of December right here, right now, is THE month of the year for family get-togethers and family explosions (either silently muffled or loudly proclaimed). Bring it on I say.

What I find in my sessions with the gorgeous humans who come and sit with me each day, is that while we may understand we are always an active participant in any unhappy happenings between ourselves and others, it’s far easier to just want the other person to change.

True growth and freedom begins with the realisation that in some way or another, that person you are cursing and criticizing is actually being of service to you via their behaviour. And it’s often those we love the most and have most meaning to us that have the power to really tick us off.

What they are showing us is usually one of the following things:

  • An aspect of ourselves that we may benefit from embracing and loving instead of denying and condemning.
  • An unmet need from long ago that we can most often meet for ourselves rather than demanding they meet it.
  • A strong fear or belief we are suppressing and projecting onto them as an excuse for not confronting it. For example; “Oh no, we couldn’t possibly go on an overseas holiday, Mary is such a scrooge.”
  • A demonstration of how we don’t honour and respect ourselves enough with regard to speaking our truth, looking after our own well-being or saying ‘no’ to the things we don’t want to do.
  • A need of theirs to feel heard, more valued, acknowledged or forgiven by you. Maybe this will smooth the way?

Here’s a little exercise we can all do this holiday season to bring a greater sense of peace and calm to every interaction: Notice how you are feeling, acknowledge it and ask yourself this beautiful question posed by Neale Donald Walsch.

“What would love do now?”

Coming from this perspective can only soothe us and return us to our gentle selves where we are more able to breathe, welcome the realities of others and bless them for their humanness.

Also, make time and space for yourself in the coming weeks to go outdoors alone, take a rest during the day or just doing any small or big thing that makes you feel nurtured and relaxed.

Being in nature is my best therapy, just look at this cute ball of fluffy baby bird I photographed just outside our home this morning. So sweet.

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When all is said and done, just be yourself and let others be themselves and love will be the victor.

For some personal assistance with all of this relationship stuff, read about my session work here and feel free to phone or email me so we can get to know each other a little before your appointment.

Many blessings, Tricia

 

 

 

Staying Together – Our Story So Far…

Posted in Heal Relationships

My husband and I have been together for a whopping twenty years this year and gosh it’s been a rich and varied ride.

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When I cast my mind back to us as naive and fresh-faced twenty-five year-olds moving into our rented two-bedroom unit with no money in the bank and one decent car between us, I see two kids in love and bursting to tackle life head-on together.

I won’t bore you with a detailed history of our whole twenty years.  Let’s just say there’s been lots of ups, plenty of downs but mostly regular, normal life just sort of chugging along.  No complaints though because our ‘normal’ would be considered paradise on steroids for many people living in other lands.

Fast forward to now and we’ve got so much to be grateful for:

A very cool and relaxed lifestyle by the ocean in a very nice holiday town, two gorgeous kids both on the verge of teenager-dom, healthy bodies, great friends and loving families, work we both enjoy and financial comfort.

But how’s our relationship?

Because you know all those external trappings of success don’t guarantee nothing in this crazy world of ours.

I’ve heard first-hand about countless women just like me with, to the casual observer, everything to be happy about but for whom life feels inwardly miserable or desperately tedious.

And I guess to be honest, I came close to meeting that description around ten years ago when our kids were little.  It never became extreme but I certainly reached a point where I felt dissatisfied with my life and my husband was apportioned a reasonable or should I say, ‘unreasonable’ amount of the blame.

When I look back now I see that we were both doing our best to fulfill the roles of parents to our young family and that this put a lot of pressure on our relationship:  Hubby worked long hours and though I loved motherhood I also missed my paid work for its mental stimulation and sense of achievement.  Before too long we’d drifted onto that favoured battle ground of many young parents.  It’s called – “Who’s doing it tougher.”

These days our relationship is good.  It’s good because it’s real and honest and mature. We love one another yes, we also enjoy one another’s company as friends and we support each other in pursuing our dreams and ambitions. We have wonderfully lively conversations together and he can still make me giggle.

And of course, we also have those times when things just don’t feel good, we’re tense around one another and everything is difficult.  That’s normal right?

It’s complex. I mean raising children, earning a quid, looking after one’s own health, building good friendships, spending quality time together (without the kids) and having a sex life. There’s a lot going on there and that doesn’t include planning holidays, making big career changes, moving to new places and buying and selling homes, all of which we’ve done in the last three years.

So anyway, our relationship has gotten to this point of maturity and longevity for many reasons, but I think one key element has been that I worked out (at around that ten year mark), that I needed to get over the idea that he or anyone else – including my children – was put on this earth to make me happy.

I took full responsibility for making myself happy by doing things I loved each day and by cultivating a deeper and stronger feeling of love and acceptance for myself.  It began with daily meditation and a weekly yoga class and was followed by lots and lots of journal writing, studies in kinesiology and flower essence therapy, some amazing self-help and spiritual books and some great healing sessions with some amazing women I met along the way.

My husband was of course right there by my side supporting me and I also had some wonderful friends and my Mum to talk things over with.  But really it’s been up to me to choose between the many pathways to travel and to make the clear and simple choice each day to love myself a little more and put myself first in my life.

Once I realised that I didn’t need to wait for anyone else’s approval, because it was already there dwelling within me, I began blossoming in so many new ways.

The story continues…

If you feel you could benefit from some extra support to embark on your new path of loving and accepting yourself more, I’m available for telephone and Skype sessions to help you along the way.  Just click here and then contact me for a chat.  Much love, Tricia

Shifting From Automatic To Aware – My Confession

Posted in Heal Relationships

I’ve eaten a lot of toasted tomato and cheese sandwiches in my time.  The old tomato and cheese toastie is my default lunch option.  When my mind is distracted with what I’ve just been doing or what I’m about to do, I automatically make this choice and that’s okay.  It’s not a bad lunch.

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But how many other parts of my life are falling into the category of living from default that I’m not even aware of?

Yesterday, after running my morning healing dance class, my friend Sarah and I had a very pleasant sun-bathed hot chocolate together (she had a coffee).  We love talking together about all things philosophical and spiritual and yesterday we got onto the topic of judgement and how we’d both like to live in far less judgement of those closest to us.

Isn’t it true that it’s easier to release feelings of judgement to complete strangers than it is towards our nearest and dearest?

And what’s even more ironic and adorable is that we can happily and sometimes with a tiny sprinkle of superiority, accuse others of being too judgemental, while viewing ourselves as completely judgement-free.

Here’s what I heard myself say while clutching my steaming mug against the cool breeze as it chilled the tip of my nose.

Confession part one: “I think I’m pretty good these days, I don’t really judge other people or criticise them.”

I’m surprised my nose didn’t grown a little in response to this blatant lie, because not ten minutes later, as Sarah dropped me back to my bicycle to ride home from the dance class venue, I found someone to judge. I spotted a mother driving out of the playgroup car park, presumably with one or two children in the back seat, holding her phone to her ear and talking and I couldn’t help myself. I said this:

Confession part two: “That’s right, talk on your phone while driving your car with your kids in the backseat”

I guess sarcasm has always come easily for me and making other people wrong as well. These are behavioural defaults for me and I don’t like them one little bit.

I’m letting myself off the hook though because at least I heard the laugh-out-loud hypocrisy of my action and I felt quite ashamed for a few moments.  Then I let it go with a chuckle because hey, I’m human and hey, it’s my nature to be a rule follower and a community policewoman in my own imagination.

What this little moment showed me though, is that these default thoughts, beliefs and behaviours really do run our lives unless we develop a greater awareness about them and formulate a new vision for how we’d like to function in our lives.

Moving from living in automatic mode to living in aware mode is really important to me and I would say it’s my connection with my intuitive self that has made this progression easier.  Being in contact with my inner knowing allows me to check in and be real with what I’m feeling, really hear what I say to others and hold myself accountable for my actions and words.

We don’t need to be overly harsh with ourselves though, that’s just turning the criticism and judgement within, which is no help at all.  We can be aware and still kind and gentle on ourselves and know that like a little child, we all respond better to loving guidance than brutal disapproval.

If you would like some personal help with this sort of stuff, take a look here and contact me for a chat.

A New Year Blessing

Posted in Heal Relationships, Self-Care and Self-Healing, and Trust The Universe

Can you be spiritually aware and also a real person?

Well can you?  It seems to me there’s some confusion here born out of the ‘new spirituality’ and ‘law of attraction’ movements.

How do we reconcile love and compassion for All with our natural human feelings of frustration, anger, grief, disappointment and irritation.  Not to mention those moments when you blurt out a hurtful comment or completely fail to empathise with someone else’s situation.  Yes, that was me (on both counts) with a couple of my nearest and dearest in just the last few weeks.

How we recover from and make sense of these moments is what sets us apart from those who unconsciously waltz on through life without so much as a backward glance or worse, who defend their behaviour by making those around them wrong and themselves right.

And no I don’t mean we’re better, I just mean we’re awake in our intention to be the best we can be and to continue to grow in our capacity to be a beacon of love and acceptance to all around us.  Isn’t that what you want? It’s what I want.

So as we surge forward into this new year, filled with gratitude for all we’ve experienced and been present to in 2014, I just want you to know, it’s okay to be a regular, normal, up and down, wrong and right, happy and sad human being while travelling your semi-enlightened path.

“The enlightened are not perfect, they just know how to follow their inner wisdom and to trust that whatever unfolds in their personal relationships and interactions with the general public is happening for deeper and more magical reasons than any of us are meant to understand.”

Even though our intentions may be pure, we will still stuff up occasionally and hurt those we love.  It really is all good.  Say sorry, bless the moment with love and light and move on knowing that all have benefited in some way from what happened.

My son and I at my bother's wedding this year - a highlight for 2014
Me and my son at my brother’s wedding this year – a highlight for 2014
A New Year Blessing

“I intend for you to forgive yourself as you would a little child as you say farewell to this year.  You are innocent, you are doing your best and you are always loved, no matter what.”

A new year is a fresh start.  Make sure you devote some time in the next few days to sit in a meditative state and visualise an eternal violet flame shining within your being.  This is your true essence and your gift from Spirit.

I can’t wait for 2015.  I have big visions for expanding my successful inner guidance coaching business, publishing my book on how to access your inner guidance and offering a series of meditations featuring the chakras as they relate to our natural world.  Not to mention the continuation of my local women’s meditation circle and my new women’s healing dance class.  I’m going to be busy, happy, healthy, balanced and prosperous. How about you?

If you’d like some spot-on help with creating your vision for 2015, contact me to talk over investing in one of my coaching programs.  I’d love to connect with you. <3

 

 

 

Three Tips for Keeping Calm this Christmas

Posted in Heal Relationships, Live From Intuition, and Trust The Universe

You can feel something shifting, can’t you.

We’re coming to the close of 2014 and this is our opportunity to reflect, release and realise how far we’ve come this year.

The Australian native we call a Christmas tree.
The Australian native we call a Christmas tree <3

Celebrate that you are still here and breathing.  Breathe in, breathe out…

Go softly into the coming year.  Be gentle on yourself and know that as you grow into greater love with who you are, your world will expand and your potential for your bigger life will be realised.  Allow that this may happen quickly or slowly, in a steady or a stop and start manner, or for a long while it may feel as though nothing is happening at all…

Be assured, all that you need is present in your life in every moment:  That problem with the computer, the package that hasn’t arrived, the friends running late to meet you at the restaurant, the lack of energy just when you had a long list of tasks to get through.  It’s all there for you.

When we embrace the truth that life is always guiding and gifting us with precisely what we are ready to face, it all feels so much more calm and easy.

See if you can look at whatever you are presented with on Christmas Day with this kind of open-hearted trust. And you know I’m not talking about the presents you unwrap, I’m talking about the people you spend the day with and how they present themselves from your perspective.

Remember, we all are here with our own pathway to travel, they’re not deliberately trying to upset or annoy you, they are your wonderful family and they are part of your life for very mysterious and magical reasons.  We all serve one another in many ways as we work through (or even settle into) our own dysfunction.

Also, please remember, you have free will.  You may feel obligated to spend time with certain people at this time of year and if that leaves you feeling drained, triggered or angry and resentful, then perhaps you’ll make a different choice next time.  You have the power to choose who you socialise with, no matter what the occasion.

So here are my three simple tips for being in your own integrity and staying calm this festive season:

Number one – Be mindful of who you commit to spending time with and find a positive reason to be with those whom you choose. If you can’t find a good reason to be there, bow out graciously.  Feelings of obligation and guilt have no useful role in our lives (thank you Anita Moorjani).

Number two – Allow that if tensions are high in certain family dynamics, that others (and even you), may end up expressing some long-suppressed truths in what look and feel like arguments.  These moments, while unpleasant can be very cathartic and be catalysts for healing and reconciliation.  When we hold fear around them happening we may contribute to the intensity rather than prevent them.  Being outdoors for at least some time during the day together can help to calm everyone down.  Perhaps you could suggest a stroll after lunch?

Number three – Set some loving intentions for the group, for yourself and each individual prior to arriving or greeting your guests.  While we are not responsible for any other person’s behaviour, we may set the energetic tone by holding ALL in light and compassion as the day commences.

Be yourself and be kind to you.  That is your Christmas gift to your soul.

I’m available this week for appointments to help you get your year started with enthusiasm and direction.  To learn more, take a look at my Inner Guidance Coaching page and contact me for a chat.

Motherhood – How to Care Less

Posted in Heal Relationships, and Self-Care and Self-Healing

Today I visited my son’s new school (he’s starting high school next year), for the first time.  As I picked out his new T.shirts and shorts in the uniform shop I thought, with a little tear in my eye; “My little boy’s moving on, stepping into a new stage of life”.

It’s natural isn’t it for a mother to grieve, just a little, the passing of her children’s childhoods? Just how much we grieve I think depends on how much we’ve retained or re-created, as it was in my case, our own sense of self amid the mothering role.IMG_9324

Because, let’s face it, being a mother, much like being a daughter, wife, sister, friend, or aunt is a role you fulfill as part of your life.  It is not you with a capital Y.  You are a mother yes, but you are first and foremost a person, yes, an individual human being who existed before her little bundles of joy and believe it or not, will continue to sparkle and dazzle the universe with her brilliance long after the said bundles have flown the nest.

We feel happy/sad when we wean them, when they begin school, lose their first tooth, experience their first major disappointment and then recover, miss out on a party invite or don’t get much of a game when playing their first team sport.  Honestly, raising children can be exhausting and heart-breaking. It’s not for the faint-hearted.

I for one, took the ‘jump in feet-first, total immersion‘ approach to motherhood.  For five years that’s who and what I was, their mother.  Other roles like wife (my poor husband), daughter and sister took a definite back seat. When I came wandering, stumbling out of that period it felt like I’d returned from a long absence from my own life.  I felt a bit like a time-traveller cast randomly into a foreign land at an unknown point in time.  Well perhaps that’s a little dramatic, but not awfully so.

I was ‘mummy’ and that’s all I really identified with.

I’d lost who I used to be, and to be honest that wasn’t a bad thing because I hadn’t overly enjoyed being her.  I just wasn’t sure who, apart from ‘mummy’, I was now. I wasn’t even the qualified psychologist I’d embodied just three years prior.  Sure, I knew I had been her and could role-play that job again, it just didn’t feel like ‘me’ anymore.

So not being able to figure it out in my mind, I eventually followed my heart into some short courses in writing, art and natural therapies to flush out the real ‘me’.  I knew she had to be in there somewhere…

And it worked. It’s taken many years, around seven in fact, but I now understand who I am at a deeper level and have work and other activities in my daily life that support and express that real me.

So when I witness the growing up and growing away-ness in my children, I don’t feel too sad because I have this rich and varied life that’s quite separate from them.  I am ‘me’ independent of the mother role and it feels good.

To care is beautiful, to care too much is painful and stifling for those we love.  Love yourself a little more and you’ll find you care just the right amount for everyone else with ease.

If you would like some assistance to discover your true path in your work or creative endeavours, take a look at this page: Contact Tricia for Your First Session and let me know when I can phone you for your free fifteen minute session.

Much love, Tricia

 

Looking In The Mirror

Posted in Heal Relationships

I play this game with myself. It’s called: “If they’re annoying me, what do I need to look at in myself?”

One of the most useful pieces of spiritual guidance I’ve ever received has been, to put it bluntly…

It’s not them, it’s YOU.

In other words, how can I change my perspective to feel more relaxed about how others behave? And it’s really not about looking at others through a different lens, it’s about looking inward and making friends with the aspects of me that are illuminated when they do what they do.

You see, what I’ve discovered is that it’s those not-so-lovely bits of ourselves that we despise and bury down so deep we don’t even remember they’re there, that we end up reacting to when others display those same traits.

Now this isn’t about the shop-keeper whose grumpy manner makes you feel bad or the fellow road user who cuts in front of you and gives you a fright and makes you angry (although it could be).

This is more about those nearest and dearest to us.  You see, our close family and friends are members of our soul group going back into the distant past and ahead into our mysterious futures whom we’ve decided on a soul level to be with, in order to remember our wholeness and unity with ALL.

Sydney Rose essence assists us with feeling one with all.
Sydney Rose essence assists us with feeling one with all.

Here’s an example: I’ve had a life-long issue with people who in my assessment, over-react to life happenings.  Strong outward displays of horror, fear, pain, shock, disapproval and even excitement and glee get me all worked up inside and make me want to tell the person to stop it.   Funnily enough, (don’t worry family, I won’t name names) I’ve lived a life surrounded by people naturally inclined to be exuberant, expressive and yes, reactive.

But what I’m slowly realising is that hey, aren’t we all? Aren’t these traits all just a part of being a normal person?  I decided at a young age to be more self-contained than “out-there” with my responses to the world.  Although, don’t imagine this made for a totally sooth existence for me and my family.  Holding all my reactions and feelings inside lead to them building up into volcano-like tantrums that were not pretty at all.

My outlets for self-expression as I grew older became writing, drawing, dancing and singing. Oh, and lots and lots of talking with my friends. That worked out pretty well and I guess I turned out fine.

Still, those feelings of irritation and annoyance persist.  There’s clearly more I need to look at within and make friends with.  Just lately I’ve been noticing when others are being rigid in their viewpoint and from my perspective, blocking their own happiness and freedom.  I guess I do this too.  I must, or it wouldn’t bother me that they do it.

It’s all okay though because this is what life’s about.  What I’m enjoying now is having the insight to stand back and observe my reactions and feelings and accept them for what they are.  This helps me to allow everyone else to be on their path too.  Nobody is wrong or less enlightened than anyone else.

So remember, it’s not them, it’s you and we’re all equally lovable, cute and funny <3

 

Assertiveness Minus Guilt

Posted in Heal Relationships, and Live From Intuition

I surprised myself the other day while being unapologetically assertive with another human being.

He don't care what you think of him. A naturally assertive being.
He don’t care what you think of him. A naturally assertive being.

A very nice and reasonable woman knocked on our front door last Saturday afternoon, seeking my family’s participation in a national health survey being conducted on behalf of our federal government by a reputable research company.

I was in the middle of doing some tinkering with my Natural Therapy Pages webpage, a little facebooking and other mind-absorbing stuff.  My husband was dozing on the bed upstairs and the kids were staring at a game on our son’s new game console thingo.  It was plainly an inconvenient moment for a stranger to walk into our home and administer a survey.

I said no.

Knowing full well she had been knocking on doors along many a street in our town and reaping few participants since many of our neighbours are occasional weekend visitors rather than residents.

I said no.

Even realising we fitted perfectly the qualifying criteria for the age and gender of people she was required to interview,

I said no.

She asked why.  I just said, “it’s not convenient.”  The look of desperation in her face troubled me for a moment (it was a hot day), as she said; “I can come back another day.”

I still said; “no thanks, we’ll decline.”

As she reluctantly turned away from our front door and I closed it in her wake, I did feel a little uncomfortable.

I wasn’t rude and yet I was very unlike myself from days of old when I would have probably said yes, irritating my own family and compromising my own wishes in order to be “nice”.  Or, saying a very conflicted and apologetic no and feeling guilty about it for days after.

I didn’t even say sorry.

I spoke to my husband about it soon after and found I actually felt pretty comfortable with how I’d handled this refusal to be of assistance.

You see these days I’m much more comfortable in my own skin than ever before, I don’t feel the strong need I used to have for approval from others and as a result of my ever-present well developed intuition, I know without hesitation what will serve my highest good and what will not.

What also became really clear to me from this little experience was how far I have come from the Tricia of ten years ago.  Back then, not only would I have agreed to participate in the survey (regardless of personal inconvenience), I would have seen it as a highly valuable exercise in information gathering and dissemination of information to the masses for their certain betterment.  I would have felt proud to add my opinions, data and vital details, so that others may come to informed inferences, correlations and conclusions.

Nowadays I feel so inexplicably separate from the bureaucracies that administer our public health policies, campaigns and services, that to take part in a process, that to my mind is a colossal waste of money becomes a no-brainer. It’s very simple,

NO.

This is not to say I have any great criticism against our public health system in general, I just think research that results in public health campaigns to entice individuals making unhealthy choices to change their behaviour gets patchy results at best, and smacks of feel-good brownie points being scored by the political party in power.

So there.

Wow! Where did that come from?  Didn’t think I had a strong political view anywhere in my oh-so spiritually-aware self.

Hmmph. Still a normal person then? Yep that’s correct. Just happier being me these days.

 

 

 

Lessons In Attachment

Posted in Heal Relationships, and Trust The Universe

Earlier this week our garden shed blew away in a storm.

Oh dear, the shed has left the yard.
Oh dear, the shed has left the yard.

Last week I left my yoga mat behind in the community centre and didn’t realise for two days.

“The wise are so totally detached,
Pain is for those who are attached.”
― Mohit.K.Misra

I’ve been playing around with the spiritual teaching of non-attachment or if you like, detachment.  And as these things usually pan out, I’m getting to experience my attachments in full, vibrant technicolour and turned up a notch or ten.

I’ll admit from the outset, I find the idea of detachment being a key pathway to spiritual awakening and a blissful existence pretty confronting.  I feel strong resistance to the idea that letting go of my attachment to people, things, beliefs, knowledge, roles, dreams and goals would pave the way to my enlightenment. And yet another part of me sees that this is true.

We are all so very attached to our children, partners, families, friends, pets, homes and jobs.  But then there are also the roles we play; daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, wife, friend, the list goes on.

When you think about it, most of us feel a sense of attachment to pretty much everything we see, wear, touch, use and buy. Do you have a favourite tea cup, chair, lamp, pair of jeans, scarf, book, photo? How do you feel about your mobile phone? And don’t get me started on our warped attachments to our physical appearance.

Heck, I didn’t even realise I was attached to my yoga mat until I didn’t have it.  The relief and pleasure I felt when I found it in the yoga room today was sort of funny, sort of childish and sort of odd. It’s a yoga MAT! And attachments can be rather fickle because although losing our garden shed is pretty inconvenient, it hasn’t really bothered me at all because I felt no real attachment to it.

So, this is what I know about attachment:

Attachment is not love. Attachment is mainly about control and the illusion of security. When we are overly attached to anything or anyone, we often fail to truly appreciate the real meaning of that thing or person in our lives. Plus being overly attached to bad or even good memories, spiritual rituals, knowledge, beliefs and concepts of who we think we are, can really slow down or completely stall our spiritual development.

When playing with this idea a few years ago I noticed that when my daughter was throwing a tantrum or crying dramatically over a minor mishap, if I consciously detached myself from her reaction and observed her rather than being immersed in the moment with her, I was able to comfort and calm her down more effectively.

It’s all about creating a sense of space between ourselves and those close to us. They are themselves and we are ourselves.  Simple.  My daughter was really upset and I was her mother noticing her reaction and allowing her to be in it without feeling I needed to be in it with her.

Holding everything a little more lightly is what is called for here.  Playing the observer rather than the judge.  Allowing what is unfolding before us to just ‘be’. Letting go of our habits of feeling responsible and needing to rescue, fix or change. Realising we are not defined by our relationships, roles, possessions, dress size or bank balance.

I am not defined by my special purple yoga mat with the lotus flower print. There, I’ve said it.

But I’m still glad I got it back, cause it’s mine and I like it. The journey continues…