What My World's Like

#notetoself: release your attachments.


The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it

This is the second #notetoself letter I sent during my trip, sent on February 13, 2012.

Buenas! I hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits. I’m coasting on the joy of so many blessings in the past week, but also a bit weighed down by the reality of the lessons I’m still learning from my bag being stolen a little over a week ago in Costa Rica.

I’m now in Granada, Nicaragua, which on the surface is a quaint and charming colonial city with humongous houses and beautiful, colorful architecture. With the feel of a small town, the pace is comfortably slow and inviting. I can walk at 2 miles per hour here and not feel hurried. It’s a nice change of pace from Brooklyn and Manhattan.

But travel not even a mile outside the city center and experience the stark oppositional reality that this is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. Tiny, wooden shacks with tin roofs. Dirt roads. Normalized poverty. I’m accustomed to seeing…more. The standard of living in Nicaragua is lower and visitors like me are thought to be wealthy simply because we can travel, regardless of how budget that travel is or what was sacrificed to do so. Here, I’m faced with how much I have and how much I’m accustomed to having.

On Friday, what I presume to be the purpose of my bag being stolen hit me. Hard. Release your attachments.

Release your attachments. Duh. What we hold onto begins to possess us and we lose. When we walk with our hands open, ready to receive whatever is truly for us, greater and grander miracles begin to enter our lives. So much was taken from me in an instant, yet it didn’t take long at all for the space to be replaced with something else, with enough and more at the very same time. Granted, I had a better bag. I had some of my favorite clothes, but I’ve been shown a tremendous amount of love and generosity that at times has overwhelmed me. I can’t even believe it myself. Friends, former co-workers, and even blog readers have sent me money on PayPal, so my costs to replace what was taken have been drastically cut down, resulting in little negative financial implications. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

My god mother and mother devised a plan to overnight my god sister, Ysatis, a package that she would bring to Nicaragua from Miami. Ysatis works for Delta part-time but is still able to fly for free. Her round-trip fare to Managua: $55. Genius. I haven’t seen her in years so I was doubly excited — get my things, see my god sister. Great. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I found another backpack, and was able to put on clean clothes and moisturize my skin. I’m happy.

Release your attachments.

My time in Central America is prompting thoughts of expatriatism, a long-held goal of mine. Here, I can see the stars, I can slow down, simplify, learn another language and expand myself with exposure to other cultures by traveling. I can lower my cost of living while dedicating myself to a cause I believe in and acquiring new skill sets.

There’s this little problem: I love Brooklyn.

Release your attachments.

But maybe my place is really somewhere else.

My bag being stolen was a reminder that we can’t always have what we think we need, or it won’t always take the shape we think it will. My blessings on this trip came, more or less, after my bag was stolen.

According to Buddhism, attachment is the cause of all suffering. I need to release, let it flow and let my cup runneth over. More is coming. Better. I already see and feel it.

This lesson is repeatedly being revealed. Yesterday, I found out Whitney Houston died. We never get back any of the time we spend stuck and attached. Life is about moving forward, evolving.

Release your attachments.
Release your addictions.
Continually move forward.
Continually adapt.

I’m moving forward with my trip, onto an island where I hope to find some quiet and connect with the organization I’d like to volunteer with for the remainder of my time. Being two of eleven weeks into my trip and being taught pretty early on to release my attachments, I’m going to take it as a fundamental lesson of the trip and start letting go of everything I’ve been holding onto. Some attachments have been longstanding, despite my knowing to move on.

Are you holding onto something you know you should let go of — an idea, person, thing, outcome, etc.? What major lesson are you learning right now that’s been showing up in several areas of your life? What’s your world like?


4 Responses to #notetoself: release your attachments.

  1. Great post, Leandra!

    I haven’t been following as closely lately, but this post spoke to me as the rest always do.

    It reminds me of the many lessons I’ve been taught to “release attachments.” For example, on multiple occasions, I’ve lost priceless photos due to (accidental?) memory card erasing. As devastated as I was BOTH times, I reached the same conclusion — release your attachments. Everything happens for a reason. The memories still live on in me, and though I’d LOVE to have those pictures today, I accept that they’re gone.

    Realeasing is hard – but something I’m trying to do more & more with each day. It’s something I strive towards, something that WILL bring me to where I ultimately want to be in life.

    I wish you the best of luck on the rest of your trip. You inspire me! 🙂


  2. Once again, your grace pours off the page. Thank you for another great post. Hope you’re well.

  3. It is difficult. I’ve struggled with it for a really long time and I wonder how much longer I’ll have to struggle with it before I learn to embrace it automatically. Yo no se. At least we know, even if we’re a tad hardheaded. 🙂

    Thank you! The trip is winding down and as much as I’ve loved it, I’m a bit excited to return home.

  4. Wow. Thank you. I’m working on cultivating greater grace, so thank you. I am well and hope you are too. I miss your laugh. 🙂

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