The principle of non-possessiveness, refers to the ability to let go. It encourages non-grasping, non-clinging, and non-attachment to possessions or even thoughts. Aparigraha teaches you not to fill your life with "stuff" (including extraneous worries!), but rather to take it easy and be happy with what you have.
This year, actually this month, I am turning thirty. You know, the big 3-0.
To some of my friends, this has been a huge deal and even a little depressing. I can't tell you how often I have heard someone sincerely say, "I'm getting so old."
I know. I roll my eyes, too.
At first, turning thirty seemed just like any other birthday. Nothing exciting is happening. Just another trip around the sun, as some would say. But as I really started to think about my life, what has happened and what is yet to come, I began to get excited about my birthday.
The older I get, the more comfortable I am in my own skin. The older I get, the more confident I feel. The older I get, the wiser I am. The older I get, the more mature I am.
I had a lot of fun in my twenties. Like, a lot of fun.
In my early twenties, I was still in college and partied...all the time. I didn't quite have it together. In my mid-twenties, I slowed down the party, moved into an apartment by myself, became a yoga teacher, adapted healthier lifestyles, and felt a little more put together. In my late twenties, the party ended, but a better party got started. I became my own boss, developed healthy relationships, and felt the happiest I have ever been.
With progression like this, why wouldn't I be looking forward to the future?
The practice of non-attachment is tough. Aparigraha teaches you to "take it easy and be happy with what you have". It's the ability to let go.
Right now, with so many of my friends turning turning thirty and my birthday just around the corner, I feel that it's important to practice non-attachment.
Practicing non-attachment to my age. Remembering that I cannot stop time from moving forward. The earth will continue to orbit the sun and we (you know, humans) will continue to age.
Practicing non-attachment to who I used to be. Remembering that like all other living things, I will constantly be evolving. That who I was last year is not who I am this year. Remembering that I want to evolve.
If you know me based on who I was a year ago, you don't know me at all. My growth game is strong. Allow me to reintroduce myself.
Practicing non-attachment to who I will become. Remembering that I can only control so much of what happens in my life. Sometimes our plans for the future don't always go exactly the way we plan. I am always striving to be a better version of myself everyday, but progress and change can happen slowly.
Practicing attachment to the present moment. Remembering that this moment, right now, is the only moment that really exists. Letting go of everything else and staying present as often as possible is the best way to achieve happiness in life.
Practicing non-attachment to an idea of living a perfect life. More often than not, the bad times in life and struggles of life are the things that help us grow, mature, and become wiser. The bad times are what make the good times feel so good. The bad times are usually the things that make us feel grateful for the things that are going well.
In summary, I am EXCITED to turn thirty. I am excited for my future. If my past progression is any indication on what my future has in store for me, all I have to say is: Bring it on.
My birthday resolution (similar to a new year's resolution) is to continue to practice non-attachment in all aspects of my life.
Perhaps you'll join me on this non-attachment ride into the future? I hope you will.
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Aparigraha is one of the five yamas. The yamas (YAH-mahs) are codes of conduct or moral disciplines toward the outside world. The five yamas are:
Yamas are one of the eight limbs of yoga. Around 150 BCE, the sage Patanjali outlined eight steps to living well in the classical Indian yoga text, the "Yoga Sutras." This eightfold path of yoga leads to self-realization through the unification of body, mind, and spirit. According to Patanjali, the eight limbs of yoga are: