You can’t truly enjoy a sunset if you’re wishing night would never come.
You can’t truly savour a kiss if you’re worrying if the other person will leave you.
You can’t relax and appreciate a day off if you’re already wishing you didn’t have to go back to work.
If you watch your mind, you’ll see it cling to lots of things.
While it’s totally natural to like what’s pleasant and to dislike what’s unpleasant, clinging is distinctly different. It has a quality of grabbing, forcing, resisting or gripping on. Clinging brings with it tension, stress and heartache, and all too often actually prohibits us from fully experiencing the thing that is there to be enjoyed.
By holding on too tightly to an outcome, we lose sight of what is right in front of us to be loved and enjoyed. So how do we practice clinging less in order to love more? Hit play on my latest podcast, or keep reading below to find out.
The difference between clinging and healthy desire
I invite you right now to pick something in your life that you would like or want. It could be financial, it could be a relationship or friendship that you want or don’t want to leave you, it could be a goal.
And first imagine really clinging to it. Insist in your mind that it HAS TO stay the way you want it, or that you MUST have it.
Notice what clinging feels like in your body and mind.
And now just relaxing the mind and body again…
Can you notice the tension, the stress and the energy it takes to cling on to something in that way?
Clinging is different from healthy desire. With healthy desire, we can still passionately pursue our goals, enjoy a relationship, fight for a cause, or enjoy wonderful experiences. But because there is no clinging, deep down we are at peace with whatever happens.
We, of course, may still feel a little disappointed or sad when things change. Or when we don’t get what we want. But there is an acceptance of, and flowing with, the current of life instead of against it.
The practice to let go of clinging
When you notice the tension of clinging arising in the flow of your life, pause, take a deep breath. And as you breathe out, see if you can let the clinging soften, and switch your mental focus to love and appreciation of what is there right in front of you in the present moment.
Whether it’s a kiss, a sunrise, a moment of peace, or a person. Remind yourself that you’re going to be fundamentally okay no matter what the outcome. And that loving and appreciating what is, will bring you greater happiness than controlling or clinging to it.
This week’s mental strength practice
So for the rest of this week ahead, practice clinging less and loving more and see what difference that makes in your mood, mental wellbeing and overall quality of life.
Loving this work? Join me in Headstrong
If you’re finding these practices beneficial to your life, and you’re ready to take your mental strength to the next level, I invite you to join me in Headstrong. It’s my 8-week intensive mental strength program.
Headstrong will teach you the ‘Deep Resilience Method’ which is a four-step, evidence-based framework designed to get rapid transformational results that will shift you from living in stress and struggle to living from strength. This program will help you not only survive, but thrive – even in tough times.
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