Two barriers to mindfulness every yoga and meditation practitioner runs up against are worry and rumination. Worry is what our minds do for events that are in the future; rumination is the film reel of regret that plays for past mistakes and seasons of our lives. While it’s true that these experiences are part of being human, for those of us who have lived through repeated trauma or are highly sensitive/empathetic, worry and rumination can become the foundation for much more serious conditions, like anxiety and depression.
It’s so easy to view past events with rose-colored glasses and ask pointless “what if” questions. Rather than effectively working through conflict with current partners, we scroll through pictures taken with exes and remember the emotion of a special event rather than the heartbreak or unacceptable behavior that led up to becoming exes in the first place. Or we look at dating apps or attractive coworkers and fantasize about “perfect” coupledom--as if that exists. There are many other variations of this (“why did I quit that job” “I never should have left the city”), and they all serve only one purpose: to keep us stuck and miserable.
Through yoga we learn to let go of thoughts and behaviors that aren’t serving us. By accepting and learning to love our own imperfect selves, we open our hearts to do the same for the imperfect humans we have chosen to love. Or, we become empowered to make necessary changes in order to live up to our own highest potential.
Accept the choices and events of the past non-judgmentally: you likely did the best you could with the skills you possessed at the time (as did the other parties). If you aren’t happy where you find yourself in your life, shift your focus away from past regrets and to the present moment where you are in complete control of your next move.
“Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a long time making it”~Daniel Senyard