Have you ever wondered to yourself, what if I made this decision, where would I be?
I sometimes think – what if I had stayed on with xyz…
What if I never left PNG and stayed close to home and to my parents in 1996?
What if I stayed with my first love and we had children when we were 21?
What if I stayed working in Canada and depression and anxiety never took a hold of me in 2013? Where would I be, what money would I be earning, what would my life look like?
What if I started practicing yoga 30 years ago?
This is a conversation I had a couple of times with separate friendship circles towards the end of last year and at the beginning of this year.
What would my life look like if I had taken this path instead of that path…kind of like Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors. Except, I am not Gwyneth!
These thoughts are natural at the end of the year and beginning when we can start to reflect and look around. Sure, it’s lovely to play ‘What if’ and also interesting to notice where the mind goes. Hindsight is great and we are always so wise – after the fact. Sometimes these thoughts can feelings can also come up because of our game of comparison. My question is – could you show yourself more compassion? My feeling is that we make the best decision at the time, based on the information we have. The risk with staying in this game of ‘What if’ and looking back is that it can paralyse us. It depends on how we are looking back and reflecting…if we are taking lessons or perhaps looking back with regret with feelings of discontent.
My view is to live a full life with lots of love and no regrets, and to be able to see the lessons. I also feel that we are the sum of all of our experiences and the path we have walked has equipped us with the skills to be able to manage and navigate now. We are where we are meant to be. Let’s not wish away this moment and the gift of now. My intention is to be present and to love deeply, here and now. Sure, life would look different if I had made alternative decisions, yet this is the life I choose to live. I am so grateful for it, because it’s taken me a long time to get back to here! To feel at home in my skin.
If you find yourself questioning or constantly looking back, here are some ideas on how you can navigate this:
- Journal: ask yourself to name your feelings, where does your mind go when you think ‘What if’ and look back. If you feel regretful, ask yourself why? Challenge your thoughts and explore how you can guide yourself back to your intention and purpose, trusting that you are where you are meant to be. You don’t have to stay here, but this is part of your heroine’s journey.
- Ask yourself: Are you happy? Why/why not? If not, how can you take steps to incorporate more joy into your life?
- Meditation: connect in with your breath to practice presence, in this moment. All we have is now. Our past has gone and we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
- Practice yoga: shift energy, breathe, connect and reset. Each breath and each day is a whole new opportunity to start again.
You are where you are meant to be.