Create #45: Attachment vs. Freedom

1. Announcements/Offers

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Alternative Relationship? New ‘Poly’ TV Show

My good friend Reid Mihalko has produced a breakthrough pilot TV show that sheds light on the interesting and controversial practice of polyamory. It’s a non-traditional relationship model – also known as ‘open relationships’ or having more than one romantic partner.

If you have any interest or curiosity in this area (and the mere mention hasn’t sent you running for the hills!), then please:

  • Watch the trailer here or here.
  • Go to the show’s MySpace page and either become a friend or sign the guest book so that the producers can show the studio execs that x-number of people are actually interested in watching a show like this.
  • Tell your friends about Polly & Marie!
  • If you have contacts who might be able to help get Polly & Marie on the air, let my buddy Reid know at

Got a comment? Add it to the blog.

2. FEATURE: Attachment vs. Freedom

“Where’s my laptop?”

My heart skipped a beat. We’d just driven 50 blocks through Manhattan and I couldn’t see my laptop in the car.

And bear in mind my whole business is run through my laptop!

“Man – I think you left in on the sidewalk outside that car.”

And Harold was right; I remember now putting down my laptop on the cement to get a pen, and I hadn’t taken it with us in the car.

That was 20 minutes ago…..a laptop sitting on the sidewalk, in Manhattan, New York.

Something kicked in and my mind said, through the panic: “You’re OK. You backed up a couple of weeks ago. And you can buy another one.” And it was fun to look cool in front of my friends who were amazed at how I was taking it.

I tried to call the restaurant. And for a long…..eternal…..glacial 20 minutes, I got a busy signal!

On the 20th try I got through, and they said “We have it. Someone saw it and called from across the street and we picked it up.”

Jump forward to Germany

After 2 hours of squash at a local gym, I walked to a bus stop and went for my cell phone to call my friend.

No phone.

No credit cards.

No drivers license.

No money.

I had left my street pants – over 2 hours ago – in the change room of the gym.

In under 5 seconds my brain ran through the consequences: “You can call from the club, and get your friend to come pick you up. Your passport is in your hotel, plus a spare credit card. You’re good. Whew!”

So calmly, interested, I walked back to the gym, to find my pants on the counter behind reception – with everything intact.

But what about losing something where it DOES matter?

Just apply the same principle.

I lost the domain through inaction and was very upset for a while. Now I trust that I don’t need it – that whatever I’m going to do on this planet doesn’t require that domain.

If you want me to pull out the big guns, I lost my sister when I was very young. I don’t wish that on anyone. And…I can choose to hold on and be upset about it, or create another interpretation, such as: abundance can flow in to replace whatever we lose. It seems there’s a degree of trust involved.

What’s the message?

Well firstly – don’t lend me anything valuable. ;-)

But secondly….it’s really fun to practice letting go quicker and quicker.

The thing I’m most enjoying about the ‘near losses’, is the opportunity to ‘let go.’ The opportunity to see my life without the thing, and be grateful for that life, without that thing. “OK – if that’s gone, here’s how my life will look, and that’s pretty good. Hate to see it go, but that’s OK – I really don’t need it.”

Practice letting go, so that in a difficult situation, when you feel like you have lost out…feel the feelings, the sadness or panic, and realize that you’re OK.

Perhaps, in a way, on a very deep level, you’ll always be OK.


Notice each day for seven days – just notice – where you’re getting upset at how it is.

Post on the blog what’s happening in your life right now that you’re upset about. That you’re resisting. Where you feel it shouldn’t be that way. Do you really need it? Ready to let it go right now and love your life the way it is?

Please post your comments on the blog.


3. The Personal Touch

I’m writing this on a plane which has been delayed, sitting on the runway. Rain and lightning crashing around, and a heavy barricade being blown across the airport.

The guy in front of me said “Oh great! Now we’re going to be here forever.”

I ran through the thought process, and realized I can listen to my iPod, write this newsletter, and I have a great book to read. I could spend about 3 hours here without blinking. And I truly feel grateful that the pilot chose not to take off yet in this storm. And – if I did have an important meeting that I was about to miss – it was beyond my control….so I could let it go, and any image or money I might have received from the meeting.

To lighten the mood I said “Well, at least we have each other,” and he said, “You won’t feel that way for long.”


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38 Responses to “Create #45: Attachment vs. Freedom”

  1. Being Now Says:

    I’d rather not be asked to promote your friends and their ideals about what makes a good relationship, just because I sign up for your newsletter.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    What feedback can you give me on letting go of this: My 84 year old mother-in-law, mother of 10 children (8 living), in need of financial assistance – yet only 3 of 8 participate in financial assistance. I find I am angry when I think of other siblings that do not contribute to her care, knowing that they can and still will not. I would like to release this anger and do not know how to.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    How could this type of relationship actually be considered a positive? I certainly cannot support or promote something such as this. I would think that a Life Coach would have a better grasp on reality than that.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I notice I feel helpless when I am in the presence of another person who seems to frequently feel the need to pose themselves as the one in charge (the Big Dog, so to speak) and me as the ‘lesser’ one. Since there seem to be so many of these people in my world I am curious about how to transform my experience of being in their presence. I can see I’ve been resisting their behavior and wishing for easier, more totally supportive environments. But, what has happened? They just keep showing up. What to do? Avoid these people since we’re not supposed to try to change anyone, or, allow myself to be in their presence and somehow maintain my center and my truth?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Can I comment on your airplane seatmate? He needs a life coach! I hope you found him a good one or signed him up with you- on the spot! :)

  6. Anne Says:

    Although I tend to look at more emotional losses like friendships that no longer work and were probably not quite as great as you thought they were, I agree with you. There is literally nothing we can’t live without beyond air, water and food. Love is terrific but our emotional attachments to others engender dependency; let’s all fall in love with ourselves. Fill your own cup and the overflow will be wholesome and energising rather than draining.

  7. Disleyred Says:

    And yet again, I am not allowed to repsond, criticism can be rained down and as soon as a response is made, I am cursing and becoming irate, me. Surely the tone of voice is shrill from the female and a poor male retort is seen as anger, is this fair, is it normal, am I talking to myself in cyberspace, isn’t that what we all do?

    Normality was two hours ago, sat relaxing in the hairdressrs, being youthfulised, you know hair dye and blonde tints (her idea!) and yet as soon as I walk in the door; blam – why don’t you get it shorter? ‘its already a number 3!’, it needs to be shorter, its too long at the front and back!

    can you imagine the response if i said that when she came back from having hers darkened, straightened and cut, no don’t go there, dead right, eyes like daggers and the accusation that nothing she does is good enough, maybe I need to start a society for all us married me who wish there life was different!

  8. livinglife Says:

    I am resisting retiring from my full time job becuase I fear loss of security

  9. Fire Horse Woman Says:

    I’ve just got wind of the fact that what I want and thought I had got is going to not happen! I need to get the full facts firstly I realise that to be sure this is happening but I can’t get them for some days to come, so I’m kind of coping with planning 2 different lives. At present I’m living the dream in California and thought this would be my home for 2 years, its kind of been hinted that I’ll be returning to Holland (where I’ve lived for the past nearly 3 years), which is isn’t my homeland or home country nor my language. I don’t want to go back there but I don’t have choice, its my partner’s job that is causing this and we’re reliant on his income to live. I’m upset at present as I’m trying to let go to my dream and finding it so hard to let it go when I think of returning to a life that I don’t live fully in Holland.

    On a more positive note I managed to let go last week when after 2 days I realised I had lost my mobile phone with a year’s worth of photos (camera phone) of my son between 3 and 4 on it. Phone didn’t matter, pictures did – but he’s here in my life every day so what do I need pictures for. Now got to work this magic on California.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Well, let’s see… I’m resisting poverty. I don’t want to let go of electric, or food. Yep, I resist every day. I work as hard as I can, as long as I can in the struggle. Someday the quantum gods will answer my desires, my intent, and my visioning. But right now, I feel like the kid in the pool with the bully pushing me under. He’ll let me up long enough to gasp for air, and then plunge me right back in. Every time I think I’m making it out, plunge…..

  11. David Wood Says:

    84 year old mother: you don’t contribute for her, you contribute for you. But you have forgotten. Give only if you have surplus and if it feels good to make her life better, otherwise I would suggest you stop doing it and resenting it – the world doesn’t need that. Ultimately, no-one has an obligation to anyone, it’s all made up.
    So do you see what you could let go of now?

    Would you consider getting a little mishievious with it? I wonder if there’s a game you could play when you come across a big dog. Either playing a big dog, or over-losing and treating them like Ceasar, comes to mind.

    You doubt your rightness, as we all do. She is simply having you confront it, so you can clear it for yourself. It’s not the truth, but a viewpoint that might be more productive for you.

    Some homeless people seem to have more appreciation for life than those of us who have things to ‘hold on to’

    Well – not a lot to respond to yet, I look forward to more. (And reality can be a funny thing…It’s the people who believe they really know reality that I think have to be watched the most)

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I am not very well and have not been for years now. I feel angry and upset and want to let go of these feelings. I feel like I want to change every part of my life, but I know that everything is perfect just as it is. I am just frustrated because I am in pain. I wish I could let go of these feelings of frustration and anger.

  13. Elaine Sum Says:

    I am in the business of helping people let go of past, stored up, negative emotion (anger, sadness, fear, guilt, etc) that no longer serves them in the present. We do that using a simple but powerful active imagination technique. Do you know that more than 80% of people can release their old negative emotion within 10 minutes using this technique? Free yourself of old emotional baggage and move forward to a life of your own choosing. If you would like to know more about this, please contact me through my website

    David’s accounts of the “small” losses that almost occurred are very useful. It shows you can reframe any situation to give it new meaning. It is also about getting the learnings and moving on. The learnings serve you in the future, the negative emotion does not – it only costs you energy.

    Elaine Sum, Life Coach and NLP Trainer

  14. Elaine Sum Says:

    Further to my last comment, there is an opportunity to get a sample of how the active imagination technique works tomorrow: Friday 10 November 2006 (USA) or Saturday 11 November 2006 (Australia). I shall be using letting go of anger as an example in my teleclass called “Time Line Therapy” at The teleclass runs fortnightly.

    Elaine Sum, Life Coach and NLP Trainer

  15. Anonymous Says:

    This is most engaging dialogue! What is a “little loss” to one may be very large to another…

    I find that I am currently not employed, with financial responsibilities and the clear perception that I have been here before. The one exception is that THIS time, I feel calm and a significant sense of gratitude for what I have in this moment. True, occasional thoughts float through that set up ripples in that calm, like what if my efforts to connect with a job are not rewarded soon?

    As a former Marriage and Family Therapist and practitioner of ETF Emotional Freedom Technique (, I agree that what Elaine wrote about releasing negativity is true, there are many successful ways to accomplish it. All this being said, I am amazed and thankful when I am sitting here with the sense that this will work out and provide new and greater opportunity for creating wealth and financial abundance long term, in my life. This has been the most impacting recurring life issue that I have dealt with.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Polyamory….that’s deep, sounds like a trusting long term relationship where mutual respect would stay alive and well and kids would be nurtured…NOT. Read history, reflect on what intimacy instead of just seeking the next sexual thrill (an endless quest) really gives you and the instinctive response comes to all of us that polyamory is shallow, misguided, even sad…

  17. Anonymous Says:

    My goodness, I feel like this is directly from the Heavens! It is what I am in the space of at this moment! A real estate deal I was a part of completed and the money I was was received was kept by one of the parties. This has forced me to ask people for the money to cover my expenses or be put out of my home!
    What I am letting go of is the idea that I have to do everything and no one will support me. The freedom I am gaining is knowing that there are people who do care, I am letting go of being an island, and see that I have more power to get what I want in different ways. From this surely I can share my experiences and revelations with others.
    OH!! I let go of making others wrong for just being who they are, doing what they do, and living into what I have created them to be. Life is starting to move along!

  18. Peach Says:

    I believe one of the tenets of Buddhism is to release oneself from attachment in order to attain a “cessation of craving” and therefore peace. For the longest time I thought that meant shutting down, but one day I realised I could still connect with people, and appreciate things – it was just that I needed to let go of the expectation of reciprocity or permanence. Once you embrace the fluid nature of things, and try to live in the NOW, it gets easier to let go without shutting off.

  19. Peach Says:

    When I first learned about Polyamory I was confronted, but then I realised that I was just applying my narrow perspective. Just because it’s not my choice doesn’t make it wrong or something I can’t support. Relationships involving multiple partners are just as valid as monogamous relationships (of any persuasion) as long as the participants are consenting, respectful and loving. We’re talking about RELATIONSHIPS here, not just mindless orgies of sex and debauchery. I wish people would respect other perspectives than just their own. And as a Life Coach, you DO have a better grasp on reality: one where you challenge our perceptions and introduce us to new concepts, in order to help us expand our notion of the world. We choose whether or not to adopt/embrace those new perspectives, whether to respect them or whether to judge and condemn them.

  20. Peach Says:

    One more comment on the polyamory thing: Many people who ostensibly support the notion of diversity find their hypocrisy exposed when it comes to diverse relationship structures.

    One of the more helpful books I’ve read (as I’ve worked to overcome some of the discrimination – oh yes, you’d be surprised – experienced as a result of my non-sanctioned relationship structure – that of a monogamous, heterosexual, unmarried life partnership)is “Unmarried to each other” by Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller.

    Alternatively, browse their site “Alternatives to Marriage project” at – made me realise that “non traditional” relationships are far more the norm than I’d expected

  21. David Wood Says:

    Peach, you’re my new best friend. Thanks for saying that.
    Glad someone else gets it.


  22. Canada's Coach Says:

    I cringe at the thought of calling sleeping around, polyamour, as if it was some new great wine!!!!! You get the idea??
    As for your plane companion, what a doll he was.

  23. Canada's Coach Says:

    I cringe at the thought of calling sleeping around, polyamour, as if it was some new great wine!!!!! You get the idea??
    As for your plane companion, what a doll he was.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    It’s amazing how you have spoken directly to me. I quit my job as a teacher and am having not only separatation anxiety (from a thankless job), but an identity crisis as well. I am finding that I have defined myself for nine years by my profession. In addition, I have always taught the poorest, least desirable children. I don’t know why I am holding on to and even mourning the loss (my choice) of a job that is costing my health, family, time, energy, and sanity. Thanks for the reminder that life goes on without that defining title. I’ll just have to get a new one.

  25. Jonathan D. Sherman, LMFT Says:

    As for the polyamory discussion: There are always exceptions, but rather than people arguing opinions as facts why not actually look at what the actual research shows on the efficacy of such relationships. The REALITY, folks, is that MOST of these relationships simply do not work (and YES, I know we’re not talking about orgies–I’m referring to actual polyamory).

    Further, why not keep the focus your newsletter on the useful instead of the merely controversial?

    Jonathan D. Sherman, LMFT
    Marriage & Family Therapist
    Bardos Relationship Consulting

  26. The Lovely JP Says:

    Anonymous: re 84 year old

    Take a deep breath and ask yourself for acceptance of the situation. Thank the world for all the positive aspects (she has lived a long life; she was blessed with a large family; she has at least 3 people who are willing to support her; that you have the motivation and dsire to help) etc.

    Anonmymous: re helplessness

    What other way could you think about this? Did you know that a rhinocerous has a little tiny bird that sits on its back and eats insects that would otherwise irritate the rhino’s skin. If the bird sat on the ground and was overawed by the rhino, then neither would benefit. In what ways can your roles with theses other people be mutually beneficial?

    Aren’t you fortunate that your wife care so much about how you look? What could you do together to feel good about yourselves?

    What else in your life also gives you security? If you think of 10 things and put them in order, how far down the list does your job come?

    Firehorse woman:
    How fortunate you are to have a relationship and a partner for whom it is worth crossing the Atlantic. What great opportunities will you now have for new dreams?

    Anonymous: re poverty
    What can you do to change the picture you have created? What if the bully was frightened because he can’t swim; what if you are actually the more powerful one in the relationship; what if you stop struggling and float for a while – look up at the clouds in the sky and see how rich you really are.

    Anonymous: re anger and upset
    What one little tiny thing could you change today? Drink an extra glass of water? Smile at someone? Exchange one caffinated drink for a herbal tea? Notice the beneficial ripple effect on other parts of your life.

  27. Bruce Says:

    You have got to be kidding me! Why a “Polly and Marie” promo? First of all, what does that have to do with coaching? Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, why promote sexually-charged material that you must know many people will find offensive. I’m not saying whether I was offended by it. I’m just saying that such promotions are not what I expected to receive when I signed up for your newletter. What gives? This seems out of place!

  28. David Wood Says:

    hmmm – fair question – I’ll take a shot.

    I figure a little rockin the boat, in the interests of a little mind expansion, is OK.

    Sure I won’t do anything too chargey. But after publishing 100 free newsletters, I figure I can take a little license. People can always vote with the unsubscribe button, right?


  29. Pukkanasha Says:

    i think your last message of just register the feelings was helpful and not just for losing something but for feelings of anxiety, when you feel the worst will happen..thanks mate Deepa

  30. David Wood Says:

    Boy – you just fed that back to me at the right time Pukkanasha. Just had two weeks of anxiety – thanks for the comment ;-)

  31. torriahere Says:

    I read often about letting go. I understand the concept intellectually but emotionally I haven’t got it yet. I know there is a key to this lock but where is it? I too have a problem with people that think the world revolves around them and they can treat others like crap. I find myself coming close to saying to this person these days – Hey do it yourself! I’m working on myself but it is easier said than done.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    Today I noticed that the thing that upsets me the most at work is dealing with my boss. I know I cannot change her only the way I react to her but it angers me that a woman (in a male dominated company) who has managed to get to a level of power would have such a chip on her shoulder. Instead of applauding my drive and ambition she does everything in her power to suck every last bit of life from me. No personal accountability at all! I want out so bad and try but cannot realistically just quit without another job offer in hand.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Oh my God, you have really started a revelation to unfold in my life. I have been miserable and could not seem to break free until just now. I finally figured out why I was being forced to deal with this bad work situation, why I could not seem to get out despite my continual efforts to get out. I needed to learn a lesson that I have been dealing with since childhood. You know the whole history destined to repeat thing… Well after posting my last comment I realized what I really hated about my boss was something she symbolized. Sure she is not the greatest and needs help but that is not the biggest issue I have with her. The problem I had with her was deep rooted. See she once told us that her parents took in children as foster kids and I was once a foster child. No not in her parents custody but she epitomized the “real kid” the one they gave birth to not the throw away kid (like me) Wow. It was like a light went on in my head. She is everything I hated back then. She is manipulative and needy, she uses people to get what she wants and feels like we should be greatful to her that we were “saved” by her. Finally I can break free. I understand. See I like my job, I like the company it is her I hate. LOL My past revisted but that is ok, I am older and wiser and can fight for myself this time. God does work on his own time, I sure would have appreciated this revelation a few months ago at a decent hour. LOL FREEDOM!!!! Thank you for your part.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    I’m a little down on myself lately because I have chosen to make a career change, but haven’t quite decided what the new career is and already resigned from the old one. It’s been a month and I thought I would have this all figured out by now. I wish I could let this go and just be happy about not having to go to the old job I didn’t enjoy and that new beginnings are coming.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    Hi, this is the 1st time to write to you. I am going through big issues currentely (moving to another city, new job, separating from my family,friends….etc….going through emotional turmoil. would you kindly inlight me about the tichnique of letting go, as I don`t seem to have grasped it and I believe it may help me save through……thank you

  36. David Wood Says:

    You accept what is.
    It’s completely valid for you to feel turmoil and upside down given what’s happening. Accept it, feel it, be gentle with yourself, and give your body/soul what comfort you can.
    As you accept the turmoil and ‘find it right’, you are letting go of your resistance, and allow more peace in.
    ‘The Power of Now’ CD’s or book from Eckhardt Tolle are amazing and can show you how to have freedom from the mind-created turmoil.
    Love David

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