Practicing Non-Attachment in Daily Life

August 8, 2017

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When we visit a garden we don’t put pressure on the flowers we buy to live forever. Instead, we often pick out annuals knowing that they will not last longer than the summer. We do not force any further expectations on these beautiful creations other than to purely enjoy our time with them while we have them. So, why then do we so often go through life clinging and grasping, hoping that by holding onto things that we will find more comfort and happiness? When ultimately it is the very thought of losing these things that cause us the most pain?

A zen proverb comes to mind: “If you can be like the trees, which allow the birds to perch and fly away without either inviting them to stay or desiring them never to depart, you will be near to the way.” icecoffeehannahflowers

In my last blog post, I discussed the concept of non-attachment following two very traumatic car accidents which forced me to change my perspective and see life from a different angle. Today I want to unpack what are some ways to practice non-attachment in daily life.

Non-attachment means to able to exist in the world while not grasping on to anything in a sense of dependency or needing anything to make us feel “whole.”

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Here are some common examples of core attachments:

  • Thinking that a person’s image of you is more important than the person themself.
  • The idea that you need a physical possession to be happy or at peace, and that without it, you won’t find it.
  • Desiring a result or outcome, such as the idea that getting a promotion will solve all of your problems and bring you lasting happiness.

The truth is these attachments although they serve some purpose, will undoubtedly always cause you inner strife and pain. Do you see the pattern? To truly let go and live with non-attachment means to let go of ideas. It’s all mental, not physical.

You can be in that relationship while letting the other person be free, wanting only for them to be free and at peace. To be able to show them love without feeling that your worth is tied to them loving you back.

You can sit in that car, and enjoy riding it, without the idea that you need the car to be happy. If you lost the car tomorrow, it would not be the end of the world. It may have an impact, but it will not stop you ultimately. 

And you can plan projects, create things, and work towards goals without your sense of self-worth coming from your work.

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No, the true source of peace and happiness exists outside of all this, beyond the reach of these many attachments, within the mind. And the only person that can discover this for you is yourself- or so I’m learning.

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Non-Attachment Meditation Exercise:

  1. Begin by making a list a of all the things you’ve attached yourself to. Be sure to take note of any underlying similarities.
  2. Ask yourself: What do I hope to accomplish or get from grasping on to these ideas (or fantasies)?
  3. Next, contemplate deeply on the principle of impermanence. Remind yourself of the fact that nothing lasts forever. Instead of letting this massive sense of fear swell up within you, meditate on how everything lives on in a different form. 
  4. Realize that nothing exists in the way you believe it does. Think that flower exists in and of itself, independent of its environment and everything that comes in contact with it? Think again. You are just as “special” as anything and anyone else. By realizing this you will begin to see your wholeness undefined by anything you could possibly attach to.
  5. Meditate on past attachments and whether they resulted in long-term peace and happiness or not. Take time to unpack past relationships, jobs, etc. in the form of journaling. See how many times it was perhaps your expectations of how these things were supposed to go, that in the end left you so unhappy when they did not come to fruition.

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Remember where there is growth, there will be pain. Reflecting on this level may unmask some very heavy and uncomfortable personal truths, but I promise that in the end you will move forward stronger and begin to feel so much more inner peace and happiness.

With love + light,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

The Hard Is What Makes It Great

July 16, 2017

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About a month and a half ago I took these photos with my dear friend Erin in Florida during a long weekend. I had originally thought that this post would revolve around the weekend’s experiences of staying in a luxury hotel in Orlando, and unpack the power of being spontaneous. However, more and more I’m pulled to share that the true story is so much deeper, and has been developing for a well over a year, if not was always adding up to this moment.

About a year ago this time I was fraught with anxiety over the uncertainty of what comes next after grad school, questioning where was I meant to be, where I was to live, and wondering what was I going to pursue next in my career path. I remember randomly (or not so randomly) stumbling across the concept of “Non-attachment” in a blog post I was reading online and sensed it was an important way of thinking, but then had no idea how to apply it, or even truly understand how important it really is.

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It finally came together for me last weekend when-when my friend Erin and I reunited again in Burlington, Vermont. It was then that I faced death twice. To even type the words that I almost died instantly puts things into perspective. I hesitated even to write this post, but I think a part of one’s healing is sharing the messages you learn in dire times with others so that as many people as possible can grow, and we all can learn unique life lessons, and heal together in some way.

Within just a couple hours of being together, my friend had a seizure behind the wheel and completely lost control of the car. It was a miracle that no one got hurt and my friend was able to receive immediate medical attention. I’m a very spiritual person and although I was very shaken up from the experience, I was amazed that I was put in Erin’s path to protect her from a potentially very life-threatening outcome, and that I too was saved from harm.

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That Sunday when Erin was released from the hospital, her mom and I convinced her she would be safer at home with family and friends near, so we drove from Vermont back to her parents home outside of Boston. It wasn’t until we were feet from the exit on the highway we were supposed to take, that another car lost control and hit us at high speeds that caused the car we were in to hit the guardrail and go flipping 6-8 times in the air and crash into a tree at full force. We were able to free ourselves from the totaled vehicle and soon after emergency help came to the scene to assist us. The three of us received cuts, bruises, and minor head injuries,  but crawled out of that car alive.

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Looking at all the factors of the crash, we almost certainly should not be alive. This past week I’ve tried my best to return to my routine, but things such as driving over a bump while on the way to work, or hearing an ambulance in the distance, I’m instantly reminded of what happened. It feels so heavy. Thankfully, I’ve had the support of family and coworkers to get me through this. I’m left reflective of how fleeting life is and how instead of holding onto the trauma of the crash, I’m consciously choosing to let it go. This does not mean I’m indifferent to what happened, but rather that I accept that I’ve been given a life that could end at any moment and that I chose to see the beauty instead of focus on the fear.

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Non-attachment refers to the state of mind of being objective and not clinging, and it springs from a deep consideration of the conditions of human existence. So just as you can hold a picked flower in your hand, being well aware that the flower will wilt and die in a matter of days, taking in the smell and beauty of the flower, you can live your entire life savoring every moment knowing that in each moment everything can change and that it ultimately will.

Non-attachment is a state of mind that will help you both in times of joy and sorrow. Life is a mixture of pleasure and pain, of comfort and hardship. We cling to pleasure, hoping that it will never fade, and we are overwhelmed by pain, fearing that it will never end. By practicing non-attachment, we become able to endure difficult moments with a certain sense of ease, knowing that—as a wise saying goes—this too shall pass. In the same way, we can enjoy the beautiful moments of life without being tainted by the fear that they will end—as they undoubtedly will. For me, this means looking at each day as a gift and through the good and the bad at least I’m still breathing.

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All this doesn’t mean that I now live in uncertainty, fearing that everything I rely upon could fall apart at any given moment. Quite the opposite, not being attached to success and failure, or pleasure and pain, brings you back into connection with the only thing that is invariably present, stable, and safe: your center of pure awareness and pure love.

Accepting the impermanence of life means reshaping all of our beliefs about existence—but thanks to this process, the possibility arises for us to love unreservedly, without conditions, and without fear.

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Photography by Suzi Ibanez

This mantra has helped me a lot lately in processing the reality of facing near-death. I hope it can somehow help you too in your respective journey.

I am loved.

I have loved

I am love.

Blog-Signature-Hannah

What Everyone Should Know About Energy Healing

June 11, 2017

Over the past few months I’ve received an influx of questions from family, friends, and blog readers regarding my self-care practices, crystal healing, and all things spirituality. For a little over a year now I’ve been seeing a healer named Jodi who has helped me exponentially with coping with anxiety and depression. Like many twenty-somethings, I’ve experienced a deep sense of feeling lost and untethered post graduation. I would go as far as to say that this same feeling applies to so many of us in all stages of life; to anyone who has experienced any sense of loss or major life change. With that being said. I wanted to introduce Jodi to you and have her explain what it is she does. I may be a little biased by saying this, but I think if we all practiced a bit more self-love and found healthy ways to manage our anxiety there would be so much more happiness in this world. -Hannah

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Jodi Puleo

I am a spiritual teacher, counselor, life coach, energy healer and a medium. When I work with others I am guided to help them on their journey to love and truly enjoy their life by helping them to identify and remove external and/or internal barriers that prevent love and life fulfillment.

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Mediumship

It can be hard to see at times, but each and every life has an important purpose and intricate plan that is fully supported by a spiritual support team that comprises of guardian angels, loved ones who have passed on, and other divine spirits that are dedicated to helping you on your life journey. During a healing session, I access this team and provide each client with information and guidance that can help to release old thoughts and beliefs and change patterns that are no longer helpful. Each session is very purposeful and strong by nature to provide clients with as much relief and progress as possible. It is possible to experience profound healing in just one session.

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Reiki Healing

I also provide energy healing using Reiki. A Reiki healing session calls upon the healing energy that surrounds us and resides within us to remove energetic blockages that may be preventing healing. These blockages may look like depression, trauma anxiety, explosive anger, ADHD, cancer, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, or common illnesses such as pink eye, flu, the common cold, etc.

Is Reiki Safe

Reiki is in alignment with divine purpose so an individual will experience exactly what they need during a Reiki healing session to help them to be successful on their life path. Reiki can’t change or interfere with a person’s life path which makes it extremely safe and effective.

Reiki and Other Treatments

Since Reiki is safe and holistic in nature, it works very well when combined with our medical system and other holistic approaches to healing. For example, Reiki energy can help to remove any blockages that interfere with the effectiveness of prescribed medications, help to remove blockages that prevent the body from staying in physical alignment after an adjustment from a chiropractor and improve recovery time after surgery.

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I think one of the most important things to understand about Reiki is that it is a healing system based on unconditional love and acceptance. There are no right and wrongs in Reiki and each and every life decision and path is fully supported and accepted.

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Healing Blockages

Blockages are due to a trauma, emotion, or stressful life experiences that have affected a person’s perception of themselves and the world. During a Reiki session, the energy that is “stuck or trapped” and causing the blockage is plucked out and replaced with positive healing energy which allows your body, mind, and soul to heal.  I have found that a single Reiki session can heal or greatly improve any ailment. In other cases, certain conditions require more Reiki treatments if the blockage(s) have been buried under many layers or if an individual inadvertently blocks healing due to fear or beliefs or unworthiness. Reiki will gently remove each fear, belief, and layer so that healing can occur.

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Self-Care

There are many ways to take care of your mind, body, and soul. For instance, eating organic foods, meditation, mindfulness, exercise, and yoga are all amazing ways to maintain and build health. I believe the best self-care is based on self- love and following your heart and inner guidance. It is easy to dismiss those strong urges and feelings or messages that are instructing you and guiding you; however, these messages are so important. Often, we can become disconnected from love by stress, pressure, obligations or expectations, and/or trauma. Remember that every ailment is connected to a trauma or emotional cause. When you commit to love yourself and move to a place of harmony with your heart, mind, body, and soul you will be able to recognize the trauma and will be guided to know how to heal any ailment.

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Want to learn more about energy healing? Contact Jodi here

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Photography by Centered Images

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

How to Learn to Love Yourself & Stop Seeking Validation from Others

April 19, 2017

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I want to let you in on a little secret… I worry a lot about whether or not people value or like me.

It’s something we all struggle with, but only more recently have I identified this exhausting cycle of looking to others to validate my worth. For so long I craved to get good grades so that my teachers and parents would be proud of me and therefore I would be a “good little girl.” Then it became career successes and acquiring as many internships + jobs as possible within my field so as to impress future employers. The end result? A not so minor set of panic attacks when life didn’t go as planned, as well as a crushing blow to my self-confidence and sense of self.

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Where does one go from here you may ask. Well, there’s only one way to end the cycle: Learn to validate yourself. Learn to give yourself the attention, approval, love, and acceptance you seek from others.

I have to tell you it’s not easy. Validating yourself is not just a matter of looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you are a wonderful, beautiful child of God. It’s not just a matter of telling yourself throughout the day that you are enough. It takes great practice and also more than anything else, a changed mindset.

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To begin with, the first step to self-validation is learning to access the truth of who you are from your higher minded, spiritual self. The term spiritual may make some uneasy, but by this, I mean feeling connected to an energy far greater than yourself and working with the Universe to understand it’s meaning.

It’s only when the truth of who you are comes through you that you’ll begin to believe it. Hearing the truth from your higher self isn’t as hard as you may think. When your sincere intention is to learn the truth, you will begin to feel it. Ask the Universe to reveal to you your soul’s essence and so long as you are open to the possibility of a miracle, the Universe will present you with one.

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The second step to self-validation is in the way you treat yourself. For it is your thoughts that become your reality, and negative thoughts can make for a negative reality. It doesn’t matter how many lovely things your higher self tells you about who you are. You have to stop judging yourself and abandoning yourself in numerous other ways to internalize that truth. Ignoring your feelings, numbing your feelings with addictions, and making others responsible for your worth will trap you in feelings of unworthiness.

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I know for me one of my greatest struggles has been my addiction to being busy/productive. For me, I often look to career success and financial security to feel worthy. I have felt like I’m nothing without my career. For instance, these past couple months not having a solid 9 to 5 with a lofty title (and pay) made me really anxious. I kept thinking about how after getting my graduate degree I was failing by not being a marketing coordinator at some fashion company. I kept seeing myself as being derailed from my dreams, rather than see that a detour happened to show me many unforeseen life lessons.

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Together we need to practice treating ourselves as cherished beings worthy of all the love the Universe has to offer. The more we learn to love, see, and validate ourselves, the more validation we’ll ultimately find in others. When you treat yourself in unloving ways, you invite others to do the same. When you learn to love and validate yourself, the energy you project tells others you are worthy of being loved and validated.

Life will only change for the better when you learn to love and validate yourself. Why not choose to begin the journey of finding love from within starting right now? Close your eyes. Ask the Universe, God, or whatever you want to call it to help you. Remember that true happiness can never be found in another person, or what it is you do for work, or how many friends you have, but rather your connection to it all. Whatever you do, choose love.

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Photography by Lauren Hebert

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

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