Tuesday, November 19, 2013

An Exercise in Letting Go of Attachments

An Exercise in Letting Go of Attachments

You're asked to bring something of personal value or significance to a presentation. Something small. Like a piece of jewellery given to you by someone special. Or a letter from a loved one. Or a gift from someone you care for deeply.

You're not sure what to expect. Perhaps you're thinking you'll be asked to examine whether or not you honour the something special. Whether or not it's displayed prominently. Or if it's being dishonoured by keeping it hidden in  a drawer.

This is what I thought was going to happen.

And then you're told you're going to partner with someone in the group and asked to give it away.

Terry Tillman, an experiential facilitator, teacher, presenter, trainer and coach, led us through this very exercise. An exercise in letting go. Literally.

Each of us was asked to  consider giving up the item. We weren't required to. But whatever the decision, we were to articulate to our partner why we could/would or couldn't/wouldn't give it up.

We were also to express why the item was of such great value to us. The story behind it.

Laila was my partner. She had brought a ring with her. One that was precious to her after having purchased it in Bali. She was taken aback by the mere suggestion she just up and give it away.

When we started the exercise, Laila said she couldn't give it away. She had made up her mind to keep the ring. But as she shared more and more about the importance of this ring, she surprised herself by suddenly deciding to give it to me.

I told Laila I was honoured that she gave me the ring. I told her I would show the proper respect by ensuring it had a place of honour...it was too large for me to wear. Laila admitted that it was unexpectedly freeing to give it up. That she felt lighter for it.

Then Terry threw a monkey wrench into the process.

We were to give the item away to someone else. That blew my theory out of the water, since I really did think this was in part an exercise in giving honour to gifts that are given to us.

But alas, the purpose of the entire exercise was to free ourselves from attachments. Of course we'd be asked to give it away!

It took me several days to find an appropriate time to give the ring away. I shared the story behind the ring. It's now in a perfect home. As far as I know. Until it finds its way somewhere else, that is.

Can YOU give away something important to you? Without the expectation of getting it back? I did. I'll write about it in tomorrow's post.


  1. This requires some thought, I really don't know if I could give away certain items, some yes but others I very much doubt that I would be able to part with them. Interesting.

  2. Itis so good fo rme to have found the story like that.

  3. This is a great exercise, I suppose. I am glad you shared your extensive knowledge and high level of professionalism with us!


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