Attachment as Nourishment


One of my favorite pieces of breath work to practice and to teach is very simply: inhale and receive, exhale and let go. A quote on my fridge says something like, “know when to let go and when to hold on tight….Learn to say no so your yes has some oomph”. Most of my 20s consisted of lots of letting go: toxic relationships, unfulfilling jobs, unhealthy beliefs. And, well, my 30s prove to be the same, but thankfully, I’m catching on faster.

I start this new blog on the heels of learning about what it means to be attached as a mother to my baby: to hold on tightly (but not too tightly), to be molded to him, to mirror him. And, while the buzz phrase “attachment parenting” lingers at playdates, Time magazine articles, and La Leche League meetings, I’m not necessarily interested in whether you breastfeed or not. I’m not interested in whether or not you use a Baby Bjorn or a Moby wrap. I’m not interested in whether you stay at home or work. I’m not interested in whether you’re in a committed, gay or straight relationship or not. I’m more interested in whether or not you have a sense of attachment in being rooted. Grounded. Secure. I’m interested in whether or not you have a place to fill your own cup…and I’m not talking about the five-o’clock-somewhere wine glass.

In the yoga world, detachment reigns as a popular buzz word from being one of the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali to landing in song lyrics by yoga funkmaster MC Yogi. One is supposed to practice detachment to become enlightened and experience inner peace. Let go of worldly desires, needs, attachments. Osho said,

Misery is nothing but the shadow of attachment. And hence all stagnancy. The attached person becomes a stagnant pool — sooner or later he will sink. He flows no more.

Flow – But that’s what I’m talking about. I believe that to merely begin practicing detachment, one must be attached to some nourishing, rich abundance where she can visit again and again, really at any moment.

My advice is to start with the breath because we all have it. It is rich. It is nourishing. It is in abundance. It is free. There’s no denying that. Try it: Inhale through the nose, imagine the breath weaving it’s way down your spine through your body; exhale through the nose, imagine the breath creeping back up while cleansing your spirit.

When I brought my baby home from the hospital last August, I wasn’t sure when I’d see the light of day again (literally and figuratively at times), much less when I’d ever write in my journal, take a new dance class, or walk my neighborhood’s hills again. All I could depend on was the rhythm of my breath and its power to get me through the first several challenging weeks of being a new mother.

Besides becoming more and more aware of the breath, how else might you find a grounding sense of attachment? For me, it’s writing, dancing, walking, and balance poses. Through these practices, I sense my strongest attachment to *God.

With that said, I wish I could write, dance, walk, and practice Natarajasana (dancer pose) at any given moment. But, alas, I have a scooting baby who’s always got something he shouldn’t have in his mouth, or who’s hitting the dog with a spatula, or who’s wanting to cuddle. Therefore, being attached to my responsibilities while staying present and with my breath (multitasking, anyone?) tends to be the majority of the way I spend my time, and I try to remain grateful for each moment. When it’s hard to remain calmly and gratefully attached in some of those moments, I remind myself of how Geneen Roth says when living presently, your life becomes your feast. And, with that, I inhale and receive that nourishment.

*While I choose to use the word God, I realize God is a personal and sensitive subject for some people. I simply wish for you to define that sense of peace and grace for yourself. Cheers and peace to flexibility and freedom in spirituality and religion.

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