Releasing attachment to the outcome

It’s April first, and spring is here in San Diego. Easter has happened, and today is the first day of the new quarter and opening day at the ballpark. After a considerable absence (for which I claim to have an excuse), I am resuming this blog in earnest. I will try to post stories, musings, and updates about my book at least once a week. Here is my first new entry.

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Arnold croppedArnold M. Patent teaches us in his workshops and his book, You Can Have It All, that luck comes our way when we release attachment to the outcomes we yearn for. I have found this teaching to be very wise. If we obsess about the future, we are not living in the present. In fact, wishful thinking and affirmations about the future are a rejection of where we are; we are telling ourselves that our lives are incomplete and “if only” we had that certain special something that we desire, we would be whole, perfect, and content. In fact, yearning for what we don’t have fuels much of our economy as we continue to believe that acquiring that special something in our lives will bring us the happiness that eludes us.

The truth is that we are already whole and perfect in the present moment. If we are always looking to the future, we will never appreciate what we already have.

Affirmations about the future set up a repeating pattern, occasionally reinforced by actually getting what we yearned for. In a vicious cycle, no sooner do we get what we wanted than we start chasing after something even “better.” The wishing never ends. The present is never lived.

arnold-patent-bookNot only are we already whole and perfect, but Arnold reminds us that the Universe supports us at all times. If we learn to trust and be open to the Universe, it will give us better outcomes than we could possibly imagine from our limited perspective. We get in the way of our own success and reduce our options when we write a mental letter asking for a, b, or c. We close our minds to opportunities that could be right in front of us.

According to Arnold, we regain our power when we “release attachment to the outcome.” If we catch ourselves “efforting,” chances are, we’re traveling in the wrong direction. Accepting what we already have is the fastest route to self-realization. If we truly release our attachment, good things are likely to flow our way—perhaps even the very things that we wanted in the first place.

Writing my book, Finding My Invincible Summer, was a goal I had I had fretted over for decades. I started writing it around the time I attended my first workshop with Arnold Patent, back in 1985. For years I punished myself for not moving forward on my project, never realizing that my book was just another form of attachment that needed to be released. In the spring of 2011, I finally accepted that it would be okay not to finish it. Freeing up that stuck energy gave me the power to let the words flow. From that moment on, the book moved forward on its own momentum, as if the words were being channeled through my fingers–a perfect example of the lesson that I thought I had learned many years earlier.

5 Comments

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5 Responses to Releasing attachment to the outcome

  1. Carolyn

    Wonderful summary of Arnold’s teachings. and something I needed to be reminded of now. (There are no coincidences!) He was the catalyst that started me on my journey of awakening. I’m also grateful for the longtime good friends I made through Arnold’s groups and that includes you.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Carolyn! Let’s talk. My schedule has freed up and I’m getting back to doing the things I love to do. Big hugs, M.

  3. @Carolyn. I neglected to mention that you were a catalyst in getting my book flowing again. I remember telling you in March 2011 that I had found the box containing my old journals and earlier drafts of the book. You said: “I can help you with that.” And the rest is history. You were a big part of making it happen and turning it into the powerful story that it now is.

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post, Muriel, and glad to see you back! I agree with Arnold 100% and have had experiences that prove that this kind of letting go really makes a difference.

  5. Thanks for your comment, Amy. I’m happy to be back. I’m looking forward to writing regular posts.