When I first encountered the concept of aparigraha, I mistook it for apathy. Aparigraha is the 5th yama in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The sutra reads: aparigrahasthairye janma kathanta sambodhah (when firmly grounded in non-grasping, the “how and why” of one’s birth is fully illuminated). Basically, aparigraha means abstaining from greed and hoarding, which is a form of stealing. It is also understood as not receiving gifts.
I’ve had a lot of trouble comprehending how to live life without holding on to expectations. Until recently, I’d moved from one life goal to another, setting expectations for my own achievement and ruthlessly holding myself accountable to each milestone on my way to get what I thought I wanted. That missing thing would eventually fulfill me from within and undo the fear.
Today I know aparigraha is more like trust. Trusting that I am part of the whole of nature - that nature wants to nourish me and support my life and growth. Instead of making things happen by force, I can take a deep breath into my big toes, lean in, and watch life unfold with a sense of awe and wonder.
The fact is that all along my journey, nothing has changed. There is nothing new under the sun, but I have changed. At each breakdown, each breakthrough, I have shifted, I have grown, I have expanded, I’ve integrated, I’ve softened, I’ve sweetened. I am the only thing that has ever changed.
And I’ve never seen change without a fire. Everything I once held so dearly and tightly to as part of my “self” has fallen away like a burning tower.
Letting go of the fear of who I am without these things invites me to adventure into the unknown, to discover a full embodiment of the truth, and to be a compassionate witness to my life and the lives of others. I can now fully surrender my judgement and identification to be who I was created to be, fully.
By Zia Estrella; All Rights Reserved @2020