Nothing in life is free, even when solicited as such. At what cost do we reap the seeds we sow? This is what the ideals of karma teach, or at least this is my perspective in understanding from experience and recent teachings. Returning to old memories of wishing for what others had, began another pattern of self-destruction. As I grew into a young adult, my life became strife of holding on to things.
Materially speaking, I would buy many things -most of which I did not need- and I struggled immensely with letting go. Sometimes, I would come across something that I may have not used or even thought about in years, and yet I still felt an attachment to some of the most impractical things.
I believe this attachment to things became prevalent when I started a job in sales after graduating highschool. Through word of mouth, I had found an open position as a fitness instructor at a gym. I applied and was hired on the spot with an offer of $9/hour + commission. At first, I hadn’t fully grasped the idea of commission or even understood how much money I’d be making. I was simply happy to be earning $9/hour and to have full access to the facility at no cost. I also felt very proud to have the title of a fitness instructor although I had no prior experience with instructing people on how to use fitness equipment.
I ended up being very good at my job and moved up quickly. This was the beginning of no longer simply working for the pleasure of working, but for greed. Once I learned how commission worked, like the others that I had worked with, I had become highly possessive and competitive. Everyone who walked through the doors at the gym might as well had a dollar sign floating above their head. I was trained to capture leads from existing members in order to get more people to join. I was also trained to persistently follow-up on those leads until they either purchased a membership or yelled at me for having called so many times. I was just doing my job, or so I thought. What I later realized is that I was actively participated in using a place of fitness and health as a money hoarding sweatbox. I was so good at my job that the expectations of my performance continuously increased. As a result, my ego grew. I was not only possessive in work matters, but also grew to become possessive within other matters of my life and from that, suffering followed.
I became an angry vengeful person who struggled with accepting responsibility for my own actions. I perpetually allowed myself to be the victim as I held on to anger, animosity, and grudges. Being extra cautious to not seem vulnerable was, in fact, my greatest vulnerability.
My conscious path towards Aparigraha began after several years of repetitive unhealthy behaviors, even long after not working at the gym. On April 15, 2016 I had wandered into a place called the Boston Tea Room. It hadn’t initially crossed my mind, however I believe that I was intuitively led there. One of the ladies working that day approached me with a large bowl of mixed oracle and tarot cards. I closed my eyes and picked one. I opened my eyes to a card with an orange heading with the number 3 and the words “Drop It” printed on it. It didn’t make any sense to me. I wasn’t familiar with oracle cards or tarot cards, so after learning that there was an expert card reader available that day, I decided to purchase a 30-minute reading. Little did I know, this day would drastically impact my life.
Since that day, I began a deeper conscious journey of self-healing that has allowed me to release emotional blocks and let go of material possessions. However, even now, I am identifying that my initial enlightenment of learning how to let go was only the beginning of a new beginning and that releasing myself from emotional attachments is just as significant for me today as it was three years ago. One thing is for certain, impermanence is bliss!