Self-identity is a curious thing. This is especially true when we hold on to the things that define us as individuals as if our life depends on it.
Invariably, those things end. When they end, if that is how we define ourselves, we are in for a world of hurt.
In yoga, it is recommended that we practice non-attachment. Experience the world but do not try to hold on to the people or experiences that happen in your life.
The “Self” Versus the “self”
The Self in yoga is a part of the Divine. The self (with a small “s”) is the identity that you think you have.
Yoga’s spirituality teaches us that you are so much bigger than your identity. We are all a part of something much larger than the self; we are a part of the entire universe.
That Divine part of you that is connected to everything outside of the self (small “s”), that is the part of you that watches your life occur like a play. That is what is meant by non-attachment.
Observe Your Emotions
Observe the events in your life instead of becoming attached to them. Experience them, do not try to hold on to them. Just be instead of trying to control what is happening around you.
This is the path of the yogi, and it is much more peaceful and less dramatic than the life I used to lead.
Before I found yoga, I used to get bent out of shape over everything. Now I witness my emotions. I watch them instead of letting them control me. I still experience them, but they do not run my life.
Smile Like You Mean It
A wonderful way to practice non-attachment is not to take life so seriously.
Sometimes you will be elated, and sometimes you will hurt. All of those emotions are a part of the spectrum of being human.
Be aware in the present moment, no matter what is going on, pain or pleasure. If life’s emotions become overwhelming, try practicing gratitude until it makes you smile.
Remember you cannot truly appreciate good unless you know the bad, too. More importantly, when you experience the full range of emotions, maturity and wisdom are born inside of you, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
What more, when you stay open to possibility, instead of running away from pain, you will find deeper parts of your true Self that you never knew existed.
Develop the mind of equilibrium.
You will always be getting praise and blame,
but do not let either affect the poise of the mind:
follow the calmness, the absence of pride. -Buddha