Do you even think “If only I had done this differently in the past, then I’d be in a different (easier, better, less challenging) situation now”?
Not necessarily true. Eckhart Tolle tells us:
“Guilt, regret, resentment, sadness and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past and not enough presence.”
Looking back and re-thinking choices made at an earlier time in your life can be a trap.
Freedom lies now and in your next steps. Life wants to move forward—stay with the movement and flow of life.
Take the focus off the problem and onto the possibility for possible solutions. Try to stop analyzing, interpreting, and labeling.
Return to noticing your breath—not in a forceful way, but in an easy, gentle way. That will bring you into the now, the only place from which solutions can be found. Stay with what is and remain open to new ideas. They will surely come from that deep, timeless space within you.
Practicing mindfulness on a regular basis will help you return to the the present and your breath in times of stress.
A Brief Mindfulness Meditation
Feel the support of whatever you’re sitting on, your connection with the earth. Notice the ground beneath your feet, or just how your feet feel wherever they are resting. Close your eyes or keep them in a soft gaze in front of you.
As you breathe, become aware of the heavens and the sky. Feel your connection with that as well.
Don’t try to control the breath. If you want to take a deep breath, take a deep breath. If your breath is shallow that’s ok too. No two breaths will be the same. Just follow the breath like a path.
On the in breath, you can silently repeat to yourself, breathing in, I’m aware I’m breathing in; breathing out, I’m aware I’m breathing out.
Whatever thoughts are on your mind, just notice them, and let them pass by like the clouds in the sky.
In, aware of breathing in, out, aware of breathing out.
If you notice yourself being pulled into thoughts, feelings, sensations, or sounds, just notice those and gently return to your breath.
After a few moments, or whenever you are ready, slowly open your eyes and allow yourself a moment to return to your activities. Try to bring the mindful awareness you experienced into the rest of your day.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”