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Practicing Detachment

Practicing detachment is one of the most effective tools for overcoming severe anxiety and panic attacks.  It enables you to find a greater perspective, one that connects you to the knowing that you are much, much more than your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. 

Try this:

Say your name to yourself silently. Can you hear your own voice in your head? Now yell your name, again, silently. Go back to saying it softly.

  • Who is listening?
  • Who is able to discern the change in volume?

When you practice detachment, you connect with an aspect of self that is always there, always unchanging, regardless of outer circumstances, regardless, even, of any emotional turmoil. This part of you only observes (and listens).

Here is another exercise to try. Read it first, then close your eyes and do it.

Imagine you are sitting outside, cross-legged in the grass. Notice the grass, feel it, look at it. Notice your clothing, your shoes, if any. Now see if you can view yourself from behind. Can you see the back of your head? The back of your shirt? Move farther away and bring your attention to this 'you' who is observing the you sitting in the grass. Who is observing? What does this mean about who you really are?

Who am i?

Connecting with the always observing part of you will give you the profound realization that you are MORE THAN.

Here's another way to think about it: Who are you? How do you introduce yourself to others? What roles do you play? What is your job title? What are your hobbies? What do you like/dislike? Are you a pet owner?

Now, could you imagine reinventing yourself?

Every label we place on ourselves connects us to a particular identity. By practicing detachment, you will discover that there exists another part of you who is permanently independent of any identity.

We also take on identities when we name our feelings, simply by how we use language. Almost everyone says, "I am sad," or "I am frustrated!" Are they really true?

This is not about denying feelings, quite the opposite. It's about recognizing that feelings do not define the totality of who we are. When acknowledging a feeling, it would be more accurate to say, for example, "I am experiencing sadness," or "I am experiencing frustration."

Would we ever really talk that way? Probably not! But it's tremendously valuable to be able to recognize the difference within yourself.

disconnection vs detachment

I sometimes get asked, "If I practice detachment, will I feel disconnected from what I love?"

Definitely not!!

If Daisy could talk to you, she'd say, "I think detachment must mean lots of snuggles with mom 'cause I get them all the time!"  ;-)

Developing this skill actually deepens our connection to everything and makes life more meaningful. How? It redirects our attention toward that which we really seek: unconditional acceptance, through which we then can find unconditional love.

Our inner observer is complete neutral, and when we connect with this aspect of ourselves, we embody unconditional acceptance, which means we experience it. (Just like when we connect or identify with a feeling, we then experience it.)

And when we connect with this level of neutrality, everything's ok. You can say, "I'm ok," and know it to be true. Powerful words in the face of panic when they are backed up by a very real state of being.

From here, we can begin to look for the unchanging aspect of everything and everyone around us, which will bring more meaning into our lives. Call it Spirit or Soul or the Energy of the universe - the label doesn't matter, but the experience of it is profound when you find it.

practicing detachment with the invision process® 

You can further develop the skill of detachment by learning how to use the Invision Process® to see or experience your feelings as landscapes. If you are looking at a place that represents your feelings, are you those feelings? No, from that perspective, you become the observer of your feelings.

You are not your roles. You are not your feelings. You are not even your closely held thoughts and beliefs. You are also not your anxiety, and you are definitely not your panic. Start down the road toward lasting relief by practicing detachment every day. It works!

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