By Mindy Arbuckle
I once had a client tell me that he wasn’t sure who he was anymore. I can’t imagine how many of you have felt this at some point in your life. I’ve been there a number of times. Hell, that’s what you call a midlife crisis in our culture. The fact that you’ve come this far and realize that you are so far away from the person you used to be that you barely recognize yourself. Most people tend to buy a new car, go on a vacation or avoid learning about themselves rather than really getting to know the person they are.
Life is interesting. So often we really think about how we need to change ourselves. How life would be so much better if I didn’t have to deal with this person or that person, if I got a face lift, if my spouse would just be nicer to me, etc. What is so interesting is if we don’t really feel like we know who we are, how is change going to help anything? If you don’t know where you are going changing your red car in for a green one isn’t going to help.
What will help is a willingness to discover. What if that’s all it is? Just change the vocabulary from I need to change who I am to I need to discover who I am. When you think about it that way it feels so much more less daunting. Like it’s an adventure waiting to happen. When Columbus sailed the ocean blue, looking back helped no one. If the captain would have been looking back searching for what he knew, the rest of the crew would begin to worry. It would have created fear and doubt for everyone on board.
Essentially that is what we do to ourselves when we continue to look back at who we use to be. I used to be able to run so much faster and farther, I use to be so thin and outgoing, I use to travel more. Its ok to look back in order to judge distance and gain perspective. But if we can’t stop looking backward we will never be able to move forward and discover ourselves for who we are today. Always comparing where you’ve been and who you were to yourself today will just cause stress and worry that you aren’t that any more. You will feel doubtful of your essence and be afraid to really embrace life.
Once Columbus decided to set sail he focused on what was to come, with optimism and faith. He didn’t know where he was going really. He thought he’d land in India. What a surprise when he found the Americas. Can we do this? Can we move forward in life, relying on the experience of our lives to move us forward but not looking back? If you have a goal in mind and do everything to achieve it but the result is something completely different that you expected, can you take pride in what you did and enjoy what is?
Life is about living in the now. The now is a blissfully ever-changing moment that we can choose to stay with or fall behind. Holding onto what was will only bring pain and suffering into your life. Experiencing everything for what it is in the now is the best way to live. You can overcome doubts, fears, and stress if you are willing to discover your Self and live your life here, in this moment. There is no need to run away from the challenges or successes in your life. ALL your experiences (the ones that seem good and the ones that seem bad) are just experiences. They can all be learned from and can help us to understand yourself better. Be kind to yourself on this journey of discovery. It takes practice and patience to discover who you really are and a willingness to learn from your past in order to heal and be you in the present.
Mindy is an inspired yogini searching for and sharing the truth of yoga. Follow her on her facebook page for insights and how to live your yoga daily.