Living Without Regret + Sale Time March 30 2017 by Simone Denny
A friend once said to me that 'regret is a wasted emotion'. Part of me agrees - the past is the past and there is nothing we can do to change it. However regret can make us change our behaviour; it can inspire us to be a better version of ourselves and it can make us more aware of the consequences of our actions.
Do you already know what you are going to regret in the future? Do you sometimes catch yourself thinking - I know I will regret spending this much time doing this 'thing' one day? Here are some common regrets I hear....
- Missing magic moments by scrolling through other people's lives on social media rather than being in the present with your kids, your friends and your partners
- Wishing you had played with the kids more and cleaned the house less.
- Wishing you had held your loved ones closer, told them you loved them more and shown them more love and affection
- Wishing you had spent less hours in the office in a job you didn't love and more time doing the things you love and are passionate about.
- Wishing you had loved your body more and respected it for how it has served you your entire life.
The list goes on. So why do we continue doing things we know we will regret? Why does it take a life threatening illness or someone else's death for us to really stop and pay attention to what is important in life? Somehow we forget how short this life is and that everything and everyone is so impermanent. How do we live the with passion, love and presence like we do when we know it is our last moments with someone? I have a few ideas that might help....
Meditate on Dying
I know this sounds very morbid but bear with me, it is one of the oldest practices of buddhist traditions. When I use to attend buddhist teaching in London some years ago, I remember one of the greatest teachings being the Buddhist Meditation of Dying. The one thing that is for sure in life is that we are born and we will die. Buddhists believe that by meditating on our own death and the death of those close to us we become more present and appreciate what and who we have in our life.
For most of us we want to shy away from thinking about death, however this meditation makes us more fully aware of LIFE and how fortunate we are to be here. 'Analysis of death is not for the sake of becoming fearful but to appreciate this precious lifetime' - the Dalai Lama.
This meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breathing and then visualising your own death or someone close to you and then feeling how that feels for you.
Gratitude, Love and Forgiveness
The more we practise gratitude for what we have the more present we become in this moment in our lives. Simply jotting down 3 things we are grateful for each day, or telling those around us why you are grateful to have them in our lives, can help us live without regret.
Love fearlessly: by expressing love everyday through words and gestures we are living our truth. Don't wait till our days are limited - say and show your love and gratitude to those around you.
Forgiveness is one of the most challenging emotions for many of us but it can also be the most liberating. When we forgive someone we allow peace to enter our own lives and we allow ourselves to heal from the wounds of the past. According to Eckhart Tolle 'guild, regret, resentment, sadness and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past and not enough presence'.
Take a Mindful Snapshot
I have been doing this little practice recently and it is a beautiful way to capture precious moments with those you love in your life. The snapshot is not a photo, it's a little snapshot in your mind of someone in your life. Take a moment to watch one of your family members or a loved one doing anything at all - they may be reading, dancing or cooking - just any day to day activity.
As you watch them feel your love for them and know that this is a precious moment in time that will never be the same again. Save it in your memory, treasure it and call on it when you want to hold this person close to you. So many simple moments slip by in life when are too busy to notice how magical they are. Only later do we wish we could have savoured them more.
Follow your passion
Life is too short not to do the things you dream of. What I am noticing is that every year that goes by makes time speed up exponentially. Time feels like it is closing in on the growing bucket list of dreams. Take a gap year (or few months) - you can either go alone, with friends or with family. Work towards an exit plan from a job that just pays the bills and replace it with one that fulfils you. Learn something new in the evenings. Spend less time watching other people's lives (on TV or gadgets) and take small steps everyday towards the big things you want to have or achieve.
One last word on regret....
When you die no one will ever remember those extra hours you did in the office every day, they won't remember how tidy your house was, they won't remember the letters that came after your name or what was on their business card. They won't remember the type of car you drove or how many likes you got on Facebook. What they will remember is how happy and fulfilled you were in life, what kind of a mum, dad or friend you were and most importantly they will remember how YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
Not sure where to start? One thing that lights me up is working with people to help them follow their passion and start living their bucket list. If you want to know more - just email me about a free 30 minute discovery coaching call: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you much love and joy
PS Sale time on the Nourishing Hub
SALE TIME. We have a special subscriber sale on at the moment for anyone who missed our sale on Facebook. Enjoy 20% off everything - simply enter the code: HUBSALE
Offer ends Sunday the 2nd April.