One day, I decided it was time to go back to nursing after having established a healthy yoga teaching practice. For many years, I wished to leave the medical field because it had become a business rather than a helping profession. So when I decided to give up what took so long to build - when I decided to up and leave a livelihood that was fulfilling, not only were my teachers, friends and family astounded, so was I. I was hired by a travel agency and within in 3 weeks, I had packed what I could fit in my small, compact car, stored some books at a friends and gave away the rest. I had no idea of why I should do such a thing! Not only did I let go of some of my most prized possessions, I had left behind many close friends, family and students. It was incomprehensible. It was detachment, I thought, to the highest degree. Complete, done, shut the door, good- bye.
My intention, so I told myselfd, was to earn more money so that I too could someday travel and see the world. I listened to students tell of trips all over the country and abroad. They told of world wonders and brought back valuables, works of art, treasures from old and foreign cultures. Truly, I had no established plans, no deep dreams to do any such thing. All I knew was that I had to leave. I was driven by some unknown force. Intuitively I knew that this was the next leg of my path in this lifetime.
At once, new avenues opened. I had studied much philosophy, religion and spirituality. I was now deepening and opening to an inner world of spirit and intuition that I had not fully embraced before. I met guides in both human and spirit form and I ultimately met a man who would be my White Knight and I his. After his passing, I was left with some unfinished self study. Is Death the epitome of detachment? Did I truly know what detachment entails now?
Andrew passed on to another realm. And yes, I did physically detach but I have known his presence and received his guidance multiple times since his transition. We are still connected. Emotionally, however, I have been able to move forward. I will always Love him forever and ever and ever and ever more.
So how does this differ from leaving all my treasures, friends and family in Albuquerque. Am I truly detached? Or are there emotional strings yet to be cut? Do I still harbor envy, passion, guilt, desire with things and beings I so abruptly divorced from? I am afraid so.
Emotional detachment is an ongoing process. It demands utmost conscious awareness of inner talk and outer words and actions. It requires mindful bodily movements and energetic associations with self and others. It asks that you care about nothing more than happiness; that you are free from thoughts of how you look to another, whether it be in appearance, performance or intellect. Acceptance of human foibles is essential, particularly of your own. Judgement and criticism have no part in this undertaking although becuause we are human, no doubt they will rear their ugly heads.
I recently visited Albuquerque. Intuitively, I knew I needed to return. I thought, “What for? What am I trying to accomplish? After leaving and sorting through my meditations and my emotions, I realized, I traveled back to visit friends and family and to notice and accept where I was on this journey of detachment. I wished to observe what emotions would arise while revisiting memories of the Judy of Albuquerque. I longed to see if I would fall back into old patterns of responding to and acting on challenging replays of scenarios I have built and dreamed in this psyche. Would I be true to myself? Would I speak and act clearly without needing to replay the record of reproach built on doubt and self criticism? Would I fully embrace the unconditional Love I have at last realized for self and others, or would I try to someone I was not - only to please and gain confirmation that I was loved?
Yes, detachment is a process. Yet without true emotional detachment, knowing Love remains a struggle. It is what defines unconditional. It is the key that unlocks the door that connects us all.