Posts tagged attachment
Objects & Attachment: The Illusion of Security
Paige Geffen_Kaare Klint

We all grab on for security.  It’s a very human thing to do.  If we look to our spaces and objects, we find that they make us feel secure.  But our physical world doesn’t actually provide us security.  Yes, physical things can keep us safe and comfortable - shelter, blankets, etc.  But even so, there is no guarantee that our roof won’t collapse or that we won’t feel cold. 

Attachment is an illusion.  When we let go of attachment - to our identity, to our stuff, to people, to how we feel things should be - we are simply letting go of a false sense of security.  What does that leave?  The truth.  And the truth here is that security is an illusion as well.  Everything is constantly in flux, and there is no guarantee that you will stay exactly where you are right now.  I can actually promise that you will never be exactly where you are right now again.  Even if your current home, relationship, or job does not change, your perspective will.  Tomorrow you may wake up in the same bed with the same sheets in your same body, but you will most likely feel differently than you did when you woke up today.  What roofs and blankets cannot do, is keep us safe and comfortable in our internal world.  Only we can do that.    

In our attempt to feel secure, we try to control our external environment.  But in this place, there is no room for the unknown, for freedom, for magic.  We are never actually in control, as we are powerless over other people, places, and situations.  So when we let go of the need for security, we let go of control.  And when we do this, we may at first feel uneasy or uncomfortable because we are pointing the focus inward.  We will continue to feel discomfort until we learn to be totally okay without security.  We feel liberated when we realize that security does not lie in anything we can touch or see.  It lies within. 

Where do you feel insecure?  Self conscious?  Uncertain?  Look there.  What objects give you the illusion of filling these voids or push you to grasp for concrete answers?  Tear your relationship down with those objects.  Let go of your attachments to them.  You don't have to get rid of them, but instead, form new relationships with them.  What can they provide you with when you realize they cannot keep you secure?  How can they serve you in navigating the deepest parts of your inner self?  If answering this feels heavy, start by activating your senses.  Whatever you’re working with - what does it feel like, smell like?  Run you hands over it, take note of the material, shape, and texture.  You’ll start to ground into your body, and the physicality will awaken connection with yourself, so that you can dive into the inner most depths with some genuine comfort.  

Photo by Lauren Moore of my previous home. 


Dive deeper into the work:

Stripped: Craving Space
Paige Geffen_Object and Us

I feel trapped.  Stifled.  Suffocated.  I need space.

This is a theme for me.  One that I have been consciously exploring in the last two years, and as of late, it feels like this need is only getting stronger and louder.  It’s pretty obvious that no one person (other than myself) or object can give me this space.  Perhaps a larger home would (I’m in 300 sq ft with another person and a dog).  Perhaps.  Yet this need for space has depth.  So much depth.  When I close my eyes I often see myself swimming with dolphins in the deep sea or walking in the open desert.  My subconscious is taking me to vast, expansive places.  Places that are unknown, elusive, and even otherworldly.

These visions help me to access the spaciousness within, while my physical world may not be as roomy at the moment.  I spent nearly a year of my life in fight-or-flight mode, and while I’m so thankful to be out of that state, my body is still holding onto some of the trauma (which I’m actively working on releasing), and the areas in which I’m seeking expansion in my life are remaining stagnant (or seemingly so).  For instance, we moved into the moldy place after identifying that we needed some more physical space than we had in our tiny Echo Park cottage - to have alone time, to create, to rest, etc.  We eventually ended up in an even tinier all-one-room cottage.  Thankfully, we now live in nature, amongst the trees.  But you can probably gauge why the feeling of suffocation comes up regarding this situation - I left the tiny Echo Park cottage for more space, learned and grew so much in that insanely difficult time, and then ended up in the “same” situation I was trying to expand from in the first place.  But I can create a bit of space simply by not attaching to that meaning.  By knowing internally that I’m not in the same place I was a year and a half ago.  That I’ve learned so much.  That it might not all be crystal clear, but I’m listening.  I’m tuning in.

It’s frustrating to do self work and to have incredible epiphanies and realizations and connections and to then watch your life stay stagnant.  But this is where I get deterred from being in the unknown (which is actually a place of spaciousness, like the ocean) - by trying to “figure it out.”  By trying to attach to some kind of understanding of the situation or the need.  Yet truly, the only thing that works is to let it breathe.  To allow it to be there without having to understand.  To trust that everything will be revealed in due course.  And if I’m not “getting something” it’s not because I’m not doing the work - because I am.  I cannot force myself to accelerate faster.  All I can do is show up for myself.  And in that showing up, I’m being asked to go into the depths of feeling stuck and suffocated to learn and extract more from it than I can currently fathom. 

Part of this process for me involved clearing out all most of my possessions.  This allowed me to open up the space to even hear this voice.  To heed to its calling.  Because so much of my attachment to the “what if’s” relating to those items was released as soon as I let them go.  And this letting go has allowed me to be where I am.  To stay in the simplicity of each moment.  To release my yearning and needing for things outside of myself.  To detach from old stories and ways of being.  The more physical space I cleared, the more metaphysical space became available for me to dive into.  This may not be the case for everyone.  This work is so individualistic (depending on the truth of your internal needs).  But whatever the need, the physical and metaphysical are connected.  When we are only exploring one realm, we are missing parts of the whole.  If we go straight to the metaphysical without looking at the concrete, we lose connection from the earthliness of grounding in reality.  If we only go into the physical, we lose the magic and the message of what’s trying to come through and help us to grow.  

I’ve been connecting these two worlds by utilizing my objects to create space for myself, through rituals.  Here are a couple of examples:


I listen to soothing music, heat up water or mylk, and then gather my spices and adaptogens.  The process - of waiting for the kettle to steam, stirring everything together with the tiny wooden spoon, slowly sipping, and enjoying time with myself - is an intimate one.  It allows me to slow down and stay present at the start of my day.  You can read more of this here.


I ask my body what it needs.  Does my body need ease and movement (something open and free like a linen jumpsuit) or structure (something more containing like denim)?  This simple question opens me up to the truth of what my body needs, so that I can respond with receptiveness.  

These tiny acts create space, because being in touch with the truth and in tune with my needs always does.  When I go about life in autopilot - fight-or-flight, or going through the motions - where’s the room for me?  It’s really about peeling the layers in order to have more compassion, not more understanding or knowing.   To lay bare, to become more raw.  It is in this rawness that I have no choice but to surrender.  To let go.  To need nothing but the space between myself and a universe I may never understand.  

If you feel called to learn more and to dive into this work, explore booking a session.  Feel free to email me with any questions.

Objects & Attachment: Getting Your Needs Met
Jenni Kayne
Jenni Kayne
Jenni Kayne

Most of us understand that we look to others in order to get our needs met, and we can also understand that this is not healthy.  What we may not realize is that we look to our things to meet our needs as well.  On a surface level, our objects really can do this.  A tea kettle gives us hot water, a vase holds flowers, shoes protect the soles of our feet, an art book gives us inspiration.  Yet, we are the only ones who can truly meet our needs from within.  Learning this is is a process, which includes stripping our conditioning and false ideas of self; however, we can start this process by leaning into each moment.  What do I need right now? Grounding? Self care? Inspiration? To just be okay alone?  All of these answers can be met by simply taking a walk in nature and/or meditating.  So rather than looking to our things to fulfill our deeper needs (when misused this often looks like projecting a false sense of identity, power, or status onto objects), we can look to them to help us do the work.  We can transform “I want that because it’s pretty,” to “how can this serve me?”  Perhaps a vase will help you to create a ritual of foraging greenery once a week.  A tea kettle that you love will inspire you to make more tonics or simply to sit down once a day with a cup of tea on your porch.  An art book will inspire you to flip through its pages instead of Instagram photos.  A small ceramic plate will hold space for your palo santo, which will remind you to light the incense and take 15 minutes to meditate.  

Our objects are an extension of us not because they communicate who we are, but rather because they are the vessels in which we transmit connection.  As I’ve mentioned before, our objects are mirrors, reflections back at us.  Unlike humans, objects don’t have agendas or egos.  They don’t even have life or breath without us, so we can really see ourselves clearly in our relationships with them because they are incapable of projecting anything onto us - the reflections back are solely from our own projections.  These projections reveal what we need to shift within ourselves.  Our objects are simply there to serve us.  They can be used as gateways to discovery and learning - not only by aiding us in our rituals, but also by looking at the ways in which we project onto them from our ego space.  What if you only acquired objects to aid in your growth? What if you transformed your relationship with the objects you already have in order to serve a greater purpose?  Start with one object.  Ask it how it serves you.  If the answer that comes through is that it serves something coming from the ego, then ask how it can serve you from your heart space?  How can it aid you in order to meet a need from within? 

Photography by Angi Welsch & styling by me, for Jenni Kayne.

Objects & Attachment: Clearing Space
Home of Paige Geffen_01
Home of Paige Geffen_02

Last month I posted about objects and attachment in regards to letting go and surrendering to the process of change, growth (and outgrowth).  Some of you asked about delving deeper into this topic, so I’ve decided to create a series around attachment in order to explore it more in depth.  While this work is about letting go of attachment, detachment is not the goal.  This work is about connection - aloofness has no place here.  Our objects serve us, but it is up to us as to how.  They can do so in unwanted ways, by fulfilling a false sense of identity, power, status, or even wholeness.  We are whole on our own, and it is our job to do the work to be in this place of knowing.  Things like identity, power, and status are constructs, and when we use them to fill us up, we are being untruthful to ourselves about who we are, which really robs us of living authentically and to our fullest.  If we tear down these constructs, we can allow our objects to serve us by using them as vessels to connect to ourselves.

I’m in the process of getting rid of a storage unit full of all of my possessions (other than my clothing/accessories, some books, and a handful of other objects).  These are things I haven’t necessarily outgrown.  Things I cherish and love.  Things that used to serve a positive purpose (and have potential to in the future), but right now, they are just sitting in a dark room, unused and unappreciated.  My decision to let these items go did not come quickly or easily, but I felt a heaviness from holding onto them.  An intangible weight - they’re taking up space in my life.  Not physically, but metaphysically.  For me, keeping the storage unit has meant waiting for something “better” to come along.  I’m currently living in a lovely, tiny cottage, but it’s not conducive long term for two people and a dog.  The storage unit has acted as a representation for what’s next.  “Once we find a bigger place, we can put the credenza here and…”  It takes me away from the present and from my relationships with the objects I currently do live with.  From where I am in my life right now.  From acceptance.  I may move somewhere new in one month, or it may take years.  I don’t know what the future holds, and that is magical.  Anything is possible, so I’m creating space for all that I don’t know, for all that I can’t imagine - to make room for the possibilities, for expansion, for growth beyond my current understanding.  I don’t want to stay stagnant in what was or even in what I want things to turn into,  I want to be here, in the now.  And for me, that’s a spacious way to live (even in 300 sq. ft).  

This process may seem drastic, and I’m not suggesting that everyone should do the same.  These types of decisions are deeply personal and individualistic.  Check in with yourself.  What is weighing you down metaphysically?  How can you create space in this area of your life?  Does it involve clearing physical space of any kind?  This is a great journal exercise in order to look at where you may be holding on, in order to shed attachment and create space for the great unknown.  If you’re looking to dive deeper into the work, sessions are now open again.