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Going from clinging on to enjoying (Attachment to appreciation)

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is your relationship to attraction? The article below offers a few thoughts on how you can go about enjoying and appreciating that which you find attractive without clinging or getting unhealthily attached! In short, how to transform attachment into appreciation!

And on the theme of ‘stress transformation’ see the coaching offer below!

In the spirit of pleasure and appreciation,


Stress Transformation Coaching special offer:
Up until Friday 15th June there is a special offer on Toby’s Stress transformation coaching service. Three x 1hour packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact for full details.
Stress transformation coaching with Toby is exactly that; it teaches you how you can transform your stress, anxiety and other difficult emotions into forces for the good in your life. The coaching focuses upon:

  • Getting to know and understand the negative or conflicting energy and emotion in your life more deeply and intimately, seeing its potential value
  • Developing the capacity to recycle,  transform and redirect this difficult energy into a positive force that works for you rather than against you
  • Find yourself thriving in situations and circumstances that would previously make you unhappy, fearful, inhibited and so on…Read on…


​Going from clinging on to enjoying (Attachment to appreciation)

What are you deeply attached to in your life? Of these, what or who do you cling to in ways that are unhealthy, addictive, undermining to your self-esteem and create destructive patterns of behaviour? Think of one or two right now…

This article offers a few thoughts on how you can transform states of attachment and clinging onto appreciation and enjoyment. From an experiential point of view we have three types of object/person/situation that we encounter:

  • Those that we feel repulsed by or averse too
  • Those we feel drawn or attracted to, magnetised by
  • Those we feel neither attracted to or repulsed by, they are kind of neutral

Right now, we are focused on the second type of object, those we feel attracted to.

Underlying sources of attachment – Not enough, not competent, no joy
So what transforms something or someone that we feel attracted to to something that we feel attached or cling to? Part of it is an underlying sense within ourselves that we are incomplete, incompetent or that we have no joy or pleasure. For example:

  • If I feel incomplete as a man and I meet a woman I find attractive, then I may cling to her as a potential source of ‘completion’. So, what I feel for her is not just an appreciation of her attractiveness, but the idea that by possessing or obtaining her I will somehow ‘fix’ my problem of incompleteness or loneliness.
  • If I often feel incompetent or ineffective in life, then the things that I feel attracted to I may tend to cling to. For example if I feel incompetent in my business practice, I may cling onto a business or romantic partner as a ‘life raft’ saving me from my own confusion in the face of life’s complex challenges.
  •  If I am out of touch with my feelings, both emotional and bodily, then I won’t feel much joy or pleasure in my life. As a result things that I could be enjoying and appreciating such as caffeine, alcohol, sex etc…become objects that I become addicted to, a way of replacing the fundamental absence of joy or pleasure’.

Coming to your objects of enjoyment from the POV of wholeness
If I want to experience objects of attraction in a healthy, pleasurable way then, I need to come to them from with a healthy self-sense, one where I experience myself fundamentally in three ways:

  • I am complete, loved, whole as I am
  • I am competent, adequate (to life’s challenges)
  • I have ready access to the feeling healthy joy and pleasure in my body, today

If you come to the things you currently feel attached to with these three attitudes, then you have the opportunity to transform them from objects of clinging to objects of appreciation and real enjoyment.

Moving from clinging on to appreciating
So then, if I come to people places and things I find attractive in our life with the idea that ‘I am complete, I am competent, and I feel joy’ then:

  • When I encounter an attractive member of the opposite sex it will be easy enough to appreciate them as they are, without needing to ‘possess’ them in order to validate myself.
  • When I face a difficult challenge in my business I won’t be cling to the idea of someone ‘saving me’, but if my business partner helps me out, then I can appreciate and enjoy that!
  • If I have access to joy and pleasure in my body, then I can enjoy sex, caffene, alcohol, endorphins etc…as a complement and enhancement of that, rather than an addiction that I use as a compensation.

Three ‘mindful injunctions’ from this:

  1. Notice when you develop negative attachment or clinging in your life. Study the experience.
  2. Practice coming to the things you feel attracted to from the perspective of ‘I am (already) enough, I am (already) competent, and I have access to joy’.
  3. Emphasize appreciation and appropriate healthy enjoyment of the things you find attractive. Have fun and experience pleasure!

Related articlesGiving your heart whole
Cultivating positive non-attachment
The middle way to enjoying your life fully
Moving from attachment to care

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