Ever eat something and think whoah, that’s going to come back to haunt me? A dodgy oyster perhaps? The morning after the rum before?
Wise people tell us that we regret the chances we didn’t take more than the crazy-stupid ones we did. I think it was Lewis Carrol but I don’t think he used the term crazy-stupid.
I’ve had an injury in my lower back all year. It had the potential to be really frustrating, but my teacher told me very early in the year that my (yoga) practice would deepen as a result, and whaddya know? She was right. The injury came from a combination of working in a job I hated and moving un-mindfully (skiing, sea-kayaking, salsa dancing…) So naturally learning how to move and stretch properly and leaving the shitty job has been the path to regaining my flexibility.
Do I regret getting the injury? No, because it has taught me so much. Do I regret needed to get the damn injury in order to learn the lessons? Hell yes. I am working on what Dr. Joe Dispenza tells us is possible – that we can learn from joy just as easily as we can learn from suffering!
Regret can be harnessed in our lives to make us more mindful of the decisions and choices we make. Really tuning in an questioning why we do what we do is key.
Creatives tend to question the point of why they make what they do. When I was painting the point was to make money. Well, it became the point. Originally I painted because I loved painting! Over time, my love for the work was eroded by a toxic environment and my own toxic thoughts.
I regret not continuing with my writing over the years and I think it’s okay that, just for a while, I use the fear of more regret to spur me on when I start to wonder why the hell I am writing thousands of words each day. The benefits that have rippled out through my own life should be enough but hey, I’m only human.
We bring more joy into our lives through GRATITUDE and using tools such as journaling, visualisation, and self-care. Of all the many tools available, a daily gratitude practice i.e. writing down ten things each night that you were grateful for that day is the best place to start. If you only do one thing different in your life, do this.