I’m realizing what I learn on the yoga mat can help me in life off the mat. One idea that I’m clinging to these days has nothing to do with the anthemic “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen, but just might have you singing that refrain anyway.
I follow a yoga teacher who is known for saying, in her soft voice, “Now, let that go.” It’s a phrase that usually follows a pretty challenging sequence, like a series of balance poses, for example. There are days when my poses are wobbly or one leg is significantly weaker than another. There are days when I can hardly do at all what I did the previous practice. Yet, she says every time
“Now, let that go.”
It’s a gentle reminder that what’s done is done. You can’t undo. You might try again, of course, but the act of erasing or having a do-over just doesn’t exist in this life. Whatever just happened, is past tense. It no longer has to affect your present.
When it’s over, it’s over.
Even on the days when my balance poses are strong and transition from eagle to dancer is seamless, ultimately, when it’s over, it’s over. I can’t even rejoice in that too long. The next sequence is coming and I must focus on that. So I rocked half-moon? Standing splits is coming up! I do learn from each series and can apply it next time, but beating myself up because I was shaky or couldn’t hold it as long as everyone else doesn’t help.
It reminds me of the infamous “mom guilt.” So much of that comes in regrets of the past: recent or not-so recent. “I wish I’d known this.” “I should have said that.” “I hate that I didn’t know.” “I shouldn’t have reacted more fill-in-the-blank.”
We can slowly kill ourselves with regret.
We must do our best to try to live in the present moment. What needs to be done right now? Focus on that. Each day, each moment, will give new facts to assimilate and new life lessons to process. How can we use what we learn to do better in the next challenge? Whatever hard, crazy or even insanely awesome thing happened yesterday –now, let that go. It’s right now that really matters.