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7 Benefits of Practicing Detachment From S.T.U.F.F.


A Guest Post by Tony Teegarden of

Consider for a moment, what it means to live a life of detachment and what comes to your mind first? Ask yourself what do you feel at first thought?

Do you interpret detachment to mean you are disconnected from:

  • people
  • relationships
  • your emotions
  • society
  • physical stuff

It’s important to measure and understand what your current belief around the idea of detachment is before you move forward with this post. Your attachment or belief around a particular definition is what ties your emotions to that particular event. Thus causing an experience whether good or bad.

So what is S.T.U.F.F.? I define stuff as, Scarcity That Undermines Freedom & Family.

I find it’s not so much the stuff that we accumulate that binds us, but the mental and emotional attachment surrounding the stuff that can cause us suffering such as our lack of emotional freedom and deeper connections with people.

Scarcity is a powerful human emotion that can hold us prisoner if we’re not aware of it. Our attachment to stuff is a form of scarcity that can effect our relationship with not only others but ourselves.

So what happens when you and I release any attachment to stuff and allow ourselves to live in the here and now, without scarcity on our minds? I call it emotional freedom and the opportunity to find or live our purpose. Remember the movie Pursuit of Happiness? It wasn’t called the pursuit of stuff was it? This is a form of detachment I’m going to cover.

Practicing Detachment

Now I’m the first to admit I like nice stuff. I admit I have a bit of a man crush on a Bentley GT Coupé, however I don’t have an emotional attachment to the car. I simply have an appreciation for the car as I would an amazing sunset. I have the exact same appreciation of those sunsets. It’s crazy to think I’d ever actually own a sunset isn’t it? Imagine if I had an emotional attachment to the sunset? Every time the sun went down I’d be a basket case. That would be pretty nuts of me, right?

Consider your same appreciation with physical stuff in your life and imagine not being so attached to it.

You can practice detachment through meditation where you find your connection within to all that is through out. For me this anchors me in my emotional freedom. It grounds me and I realize I don’t need stuff, I just like the experiences the stuff can provide. There are other ways you can practice detachment in your life. Some small and some may seem big.

“It’s not what I’m willing to learn or gain that will move me where I want to be, but what I’m willing to let go of that will allow me the freedom to be what I am.”

I got rid of traditional TV & cable going on 2 years ago now. I was willing to let go of my emotional connection to it and release it. Many people couldn’t imagine living without their TV shows however I can’t imagine wasting that much time watching them anymore. The mental clutter that it seemed to cause was only apparent after I stopped the steady diet of it.

For example: The attachment to be in front of the TV set at a particular time and night of the week was a small freedom unto itself. When I realized I didn’t require the distraction anymore I felt an emotional freedom which felt much better than the comfort of sitting in a chair and vegging out. I still enjoy a good movie night by all means. I’m not saying entertainment isn’t important however the steady diet of TV, like food or drugs, can be and usually is abused.

When you find yourself using something like TV as a distraction it’s time to detach yourself from it. Be aware of the scarcity that comes up, be mindful of it and gently send it on it’s way.

The 7 Benefits of Practicing Detachment from S.T.U.F.F.

  1. Loving-Can there but a better result of detachment? Can you imagine the families that have argued over the stuff of loved ones who have passed away? Can you imagine the deeper connections and love that could be replaced if everyone practiced detachment of stuff? Or what about the father who spends too much time at the office away from his family because he’s attempting to create more stuff in their lives? I remember hearing you can always get more money but you can’t more time. Love while you can.
  2. Laughing-Imagine if you were to play more games together with your spouse or family, or play in home karaoke, or charades? Go for more walks after work or play in the park with the family? Could laughter ensue? Of course it could! If you give it the space to flourish, your bound to have fun. The emotional freedom allows for so much more laughter.
  3. Connection-Consider the ability to connect with more people and create deeper friendships. I can’t tell you how many times when I’ve broken out of my routine I’ve ended up meeting someone or a group of people that I’ve had an awesome connection with. New can be scary to some personalities but connection is something everyone wants. Give yourself the room to experience it.
  4. New Experiences-I’m not saying you have to go out and bungee jump or go skydiving (Which I’ve done and it totally rocks) but think about this for a moment. You don’t want the stuff really. You want the new experiences that stuff provides you. That’s ok, when detaching from the pursuit of stuff you’re able to enjoy the ride along the way and yes you’ll probably end up with stuff anyway but without the attachment to it. Identify the experience you want to have and realize the stuff is just a means to the new experience.
  5. Emotional Freedom-This is a place of zero state for me. It’s where some of my best creativity comes. Because I continue poor out I have more room to receive in. It has taken much work to be here but the work is worth it. This is really the result I believe more people desire, not the stuff in their life but the freedom.
  6. Harmonious Living-Have you had one of those days where everything just seemed to go right? Where your relationships just seem to be in a great place? This very well can be a result of detachment of expectation and just being.
  7. Healthy Body & Mind-It may go without being said that with the emotional baggage many carry around this has a huge effect on peoples health. What happens to the mind has an effect on the body. When you release this energy and release the attachment to stuff you experience the emotional freedom you really want. That’s the experience you really desire. This is the place where you start to nurture your body because your mind is released from stuff.

So ask yourself what you’d be willing to detach yourself from, even if for a short while, to test the emotional freedom waters. If you have family share with them what you’re desired outcomes are, like the 7 outcomes above, and I’ll bet you can get their buy in. Image how cool that would be.

Tony Teegarden blogs at tonyteegarden.com where he delves into Human SEO (Self Exploration Optimization)

About the author

Mary Jaksch

Mary is passionate about helping people create a happy, purposeful, and fulfilling life. She is the founder of GoodlifeZEN and also the brains behind WritetoDone.com, one of the biggest blogs for writers on the Net. Mary is also a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.