Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dispassionate Non-Attachment

That's what my yoga teacher calls it. This week, he started class by reading from a little book he brings sometimes that gives tidbits about yogic philosophy.

No doubt that various events of late (and I've only blogged about some of them.. I can't find the energy to blog about all of them) and the fact that as usual, I have taken on too much and find myself teetering on the brink of exhaustion, have left me wondering about the meaning of life...and death. Mind you, I'm a Sagittarius and by nature we're supposed to feel an incessant need to know "Why?!" All the time. About everything.

After a while, your brain starts to hurt. Even mine.

So, this week, I listened to Michael talk about "Dispassionate Non-Attachment". It goes along with earlier blog posts (and heck, a life mission!) to "Do Less" and "Be More".

I've felt an insatiable desire to become less "attached" this week... to things, to people, to just about everything.

The irony of that last sentence should not be lost on you... Dispassionate Non-Attachment is about not having any kind of Insatiable Desire at all.

Oh boy. Do I have a long way to go! So, I have even tried to let go of wanting that too much...

I have been busying myself (as if I don't already have enough to do!) doing things like going through old clothes, sorting what fits and what doesn't. What doesn't has gone into bags, ready to be donated.

I've been cleaning out drawers, organizing the contents inside them, tossing things I was keeping for no good reason.

I've been making trips to the recycling depot, ridding the house of excess paper, cardboard and whatever else I can get my hands on to recycle.

I've been re-organizing the kitchen cupboards and pantry, too. This re-organizing is part of the preparations on the home front to welcome Roommate #2 in a few weeks. Gord moves in December 1. We need to make room for him.

Part of my mission to Have Less By Choice and be Dispassionately Non-attached, has included letting the food supply run a bit low. (Mind you, that's relative. There's enough food in this house to feed a small village, though not all of it is mine.) Lunches this past week included several small containers of "mystery food" that I tucked away in the freezer ages ago, before I got smart enough to label and date what I put in there. Thank God I am a good cook. Even though I had no idea what it was when it was frozen, it all made for good lunches.

Heck, I've even been working on cleaning out my e-mail accounts. I'm proud to say that I got one Inbox (I have several e-mail accounts) down from over 600 messages to 45. Some messages dated as far back as 2002.

I shake my head. I'm a horrible pack rat. Less than I used to be, but still...

I remember that in 1997 my friend M. (with whom I have since lost contact... I should look her up) gave me some beautiful writing paper with explicit instructions, "You musn't hoard! Use it! You write lots of letters... Don't keep this paper, no matter how much you want to save it!"

I still have most of that paper.


Now is a good time to find it. And use it.

Some of you may be getting letters soon! ;-) And if you do... enjoy the paper, OK?

And if you don't... Not to worry... I'm probably still just as attached to you as I have always been. ;-)


Turtle Guy said...

Now... who was it who commented on my being a minimalist?

...and I think I found one of those delicious packages tucked away in my freezer not that long ago! Tasty!

backofpack said...

I need to do some cleaning out too. I have a hall closet still full of legos, puzzles, games and various other kid toys. I can't bring myself to clean it out because it feels like the end of an era - even though that particular era was over a while back. Sometimes it's hard being a Mom, and realizing those childhood days are over.

wthenrest said...

I like that. Dispassionate non-attachment. Yes I need to work on that too. Especially the too much at a time thing. Maybe I should come to that yoga class ;0)

robtherunner said...

I get rid of things all the time, but now I feel that I need to start collecting things that I may be able to use for my classroom. All those magazines, and scraps of miscellaneous stuff I now think how I could have used it in art projects, and for all sorts of other things. Generally, I think it is good to keep your material possessions to a minimum. Except running shoes of course.

Bast said...

Oh my Goddess! I could have written that post! I am in the midst of a HUGE cleanout too (precipated by arrival of parents for Christmas...). I am currently "letting go" of my hoard of empty boxes - I sure am my father's daughter!

Ginger Breadman said...

Hey - really cool post. I'm all for living simply = living well. When you clean out the clutter in your life, it seems to relax your mind and body. I love the mystery food reference and the conversation on food that follows. It's all so true. In our continent, we commonly say we have nothing to eat, but it's amazing what we can find tucked away . . .

Janice said...

Hi Sarah,

That's good! It's good to give the place a good shake down and take the old stuff out and give it away, or throw it out.

I have gone through my e-mails too and it was three years of unsorted stuff, all in it's proper files now.

A month ago I went through my closet too and got ride of every thing that was stained or worn or I hadn't worn in two years. And we finally got it to the Salvation army with it.

I feel a little freer now that it's gone, but my husband want to buy me more clothes!


There went the room in my closet!


Sarah said...

I know that if I found a mystery container of food in my freezer that it would probably not be good! ; )

I only have room in my small clothes closet for either warm or cold weather clothes. For the last few years when I do the switchout from storage I give away anything I didn't wear that season. It feels great! That said, I have a whole dresser devoted to just running/workout wear. : P

Badoozie said...

well, i have a strong desire to simplify as you are doing, but i don't have the energy to actually carry it out. so i sit around here, and get more and more mopey about all of this junk... so why can't that guy just call it simplifying, instead of that big fancy double negative?

Sarah Elaine said...


Well... if I understand it properly (and I'm not saying I do), it is more about a philosophy of life than just chucking stuff out. It's about not getting emotionally attached or caught up with ... well... anything.

Any yogis out there who can add to that -- or correct me?!