The Art of Detachment


Relinquishing Can Often Be Better Than Acquiring

This prosperity post is about becoming aware of what you might be attached to that doesn’t serve you well. I call this the Four Ps of Negative Accumulation: PEOPLE; POSSESSIONS; PLACES; PERCEPTIONS.

For some people these attachments leak into the realm of addiction. My late friend and mentor, Ken Keyes, Jr., author of The Handbook of Higher Consciousness, often talked about upgrading addictions to preferences. Ken described an addiction as something you are so attached to that just the idea of letting go or giving it up causes pain or panic.

As we move toward a new year, I am updating my Moneylove Questionnaire of 116 Questions for 2016. One of my new questions is:

What or who in your life are you attached to in a way that relinquishing it or them would create a sigh of relief, a new sense of freedom, more spaciousness?

I guarantee that if you contemplate all the PEOPLE in your life, you will discover one or more whose absence will make your heart grow fonder of life without them!

We often hear nowadays that we belong to a “consumer society.” This basically means we spend a lot of time searching for, buying, and storing POSSESSIONS. Not to mention the time trying to figure out what to do with the stuff. When I left California and moved to Panama, I had winnowed everything I owned down to two large suitcases and one carry-on bag. I had to make some hard choices and once in a while I miss some of my old stuff. But ultimately it was a powerful freeing experience.

And what about PLACES? I notice that old friends who still live where they did forty years ago often do so because of family connections, nostalgia, or inertia. For this very personal exploration, I suggest an exercise many expats have used. Just pick a place you have visited or wanted to visit. Then make a list of 10 reasons this might suit you better than where you live now, and then 10 reasons you would be better off staying put. It all comes down to: Do you believe your current place is the one place in all the world where you can be the happiest, healthiest, and most creatively successful?

Finally, PERCEPTIONS. So much of a person’s results in life are determined by his or her perceptions about themselves and the world around them. Unless you have mastered life and all your possibilities, there’s an excellent chance some of your long-held perceptions are wrong.

The end of one year and beginning of a new one is a good time to question your perceptions, and which, if any, have held you back. And one way to explore this is to examine the People, Possessions, and Places in your life.

Ask yourself: How would my life be different one year from today if I relinquished one major attachment?




About the Author Jerry

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