April 20, 2011

Stop putting it off…by putting it off.

Procrastination as positive process?

Looking to let go of an attachment? Try using the generally-perceived-as-negative principle of procrastination to move toward liberation.

What is an attachment? Might you have one? According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, “Attachment is that which follows identification with pleasurable experiences.” (II:7)

Well that sounds reasonable…I mean, who doesn’t want to have pleasurable experiences? The harm can happen when we forget that our happiness doesn’t root from external experiences. We forget that joy is our true Self, the nature we were given at our creation, which is now covered by “stuff” we have to sift through, like “experiences.”

Attachments can be manifested as action, thought, idea, habit, or even an addiction that we are afraid to let go of. The action may bring comfort, but if we feel the nag to be letting it go, we’ve found the awareness that it may become or is already destructive to our being. Why then, even when we can feel that our attachment brings us pain, do we hold onto it? Often it isn’t the actual letting-go of attachment that causes us anxiety, but rather the fear of preconceived un-happiness without our attachment brings us pain.

The fear of worse pain without it keeps us stuck, and this fear spirals into anger and confusion and more pain.  This fear is frequently a false forecast.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Sloka 2:63 states—“From brooding on sense objects, attachment to them arises. Out of that attachment, personal desire is born. And from desire, anger appears.”

Swami Satchidananda’s commentary explains, “Everything begins with the mind. When the mind becomes attached to something, you don’t usually question your mind. The mind wants it, so you just chase after it. Let the desires be under your control. Don’t just be carried away by the mind. That’s the teaching.”

Easy enough right? Well OK, let’s get it under control! So throw out the pack of cigarettes, forget the 9AM caffeine fix, and cold-turkey stop biting your nails. You know you don’t need to watch Glee tonight, and you definitely don’t require that sleeping pill or glass of wine to fall asleep.

Getting nervous? That’s the fear, and it ISN’T “easy enough.” So cut yourself a bread and take it slow, slacking off little by little until the fear and attachment is gone (or at least a lot more manageable!)

Thomas Jefferson said, “Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today.” Solid adage when it comes to many things, but I say, when it comes to attachments we want to release, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? You can always do it tomorrow, but you might find you don’t really need to anymore…”

Don’t put it off any longer. You can begin to release this attachment by simply putting it off until tomorrow, quelling that predetermined fabricated fear by reminding yourself that your attachment is there to pick up if the pain is too intense.  After all…

Read 11 Comments and Reply

Read 11 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Clare Polencheck  |  Contribution: 5,200