Art by Mattias Adolfsson
Ev Bogue has written extensively about untethering, the process of severing our ties to places, commitments, habits, physical objects and people. Untethering may seem like escapism to some, but its true value lies in the opportunities that we can open up for ourselves by letting go of things that don’t help us anymore.
I’ve spent several months untethering in anticipation of a big change in my life (more on that later) and based on my experience untethering has helped me learn a great deal about myself and what’s important to me. When you think of tethers, the scene of Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians may come to mind. I know that I’ve felt this way before, as if other people were the ones responsible for tying me down. What you quickly realize though, once you begin to untether, is that you are responsible for your tethers. We choose to tether ourselves to a job, a geographical location, a mortgage, a car, friends, habits, a girlfriend or wife and myriad other things. Being tethered isn’t necessarily bad, as long as your tether adds value to your life. If you’re like me, you may have already realized that many tethers aren’t beneficial but have accumulated over time due to complacency, laziness, fear of change or habit.
Some of the things I’ll be untethering from over the course of the next 6 weeks are: my apartment lease, my full-time job, a five-year mentoring commitment, my car, my physical location. Sometimes untethering may be as simple as tossing something in the garbage. Depending on your situation you may not want to quit your job on the spot and hop on an international flight, but perhaps thats something you could do in two months, why not? I’d like to invite you to read some of what Ev has written about untethering. Can you think of anything thats a tether in your life that’s no longer helping you? What steps would you have to take to let go of that commitment, person, place or thing?
The more you untether and become conscious of the tethers you keep, the more you’ll see that other people around you have willfully tied themselves down and don’t even realize it was their choice. I try not to concern myself with other people’s decisions but I do take full responsibility for my own. As I’ve matured time has become more valuable to me and I see that I have a finite amount of time to use my talents to realize my ambitions. I can’t afford to waste time on things that don’t benefit me or the world any longer. I want to focus my time and effort on whats important. That’s why I’m untethering.