Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey
Many months ago, a friend of mine offered me a book. That might sound a little silly but trust me, it is not a normal book. And now that I do have a purpose of writing down my feelings about it, I am using one of my Monday Motivations to share it. “What I know for sure”, written by that fantastic, strong, hard-working and passionate American philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey, is a genuine treasure. From page to page, with all these meaningful words, terrific examples, sparkling and awe-inspiring life lessons, the reader is enabled to nourish her routine, thoughts and feelings with liquid happiness. Even though I might well call it my bedside book, being in love with every single thing in it, there only are a few things that affected deeply me. This quote is one of them.
Enjoy the present moment. Never look back, only if this is to see how far you went. Try not to think about what the future holds. These are simple sentences, ones that we may hear everywhere, in everyone’s mouth. But if one really thinks about them, and try to apply them on a day-to-day basis, it may change so many things. For example, I used to have regrets all the time, for every single action. I am not saying that I do not have any anymore, which is quite human. But whenever I am making a decision, and that it involves dropping something else down, or that I am not proud of my accomplishments, I look at things the other way round: how wonderful the thing I chose is, how great my results, actions or successes are and how they enabled me to grow a little more. Switch negativity for positivity. Look at things from another point of view. Life is beautiful; being able to make decisions, to evolve, to grow and to share is truly magnificent. So take advantage of it and live that life you’ve been given.
Last week, half way through the Hot Yoga Teacher Training, while we were practicing our teaching skills, our teacher told us something so simple and yet so effective, I wonder why I never thought about it before. Nervousness and anxiety are feelings that belong to the past or the future, not to the present. Dwelling on the error we made the previous day, and not willing to do it again, being afraid to disappoint someone, thinking that one of our performances/actions will influence our future situation, and so one. These are thoughts that create anxiety, and in order to be ourselves fully, without any boundary, we must give these thoughts up. The present would be so much better and rewarding, if we were not always judging ourselves or asking ourselves thousands of questions.
Furthermore, life is short and fragile, and instants are fleeting like feather into the wind; thus, one should enjoy the present as if it was the only thing that counted. I am not saying that we should all give up on our responsibilities and think about our happiness and our ego. What I mean is that it’s essential, before doing anything, to ask ourselves if we really want to do it, the reasons that motivate us, the pleasure we will gather from it, and if someone’s disappointment or irritation is going to make us feel guilty. I am doing things for others, I am trying to at least, even though I know that there’s nothing for me to enjoy from, except the other person’s happiness. But now that I am aware of those things, I am thinking twice before giving any attention or care…and that feels good.
And last but not least, I wanted to talk about expectations. This is something I’ve learned through this first amazing week of teacher training. Have no expectation. Neither about yourself nor others. This is such a powerful sentence, so true and yet so hard to apply. Expectations are drawing us back, because they simply inform us that what’ve done, chosen or thought was wrong, that we somehow failed. But looking at it the other way round, we did not fail but simply did not succeeded at a 100%; that leaves a certain number behind, number of things that have done correctly, that we’re good at and which we should be proud of. I strongly believe that if we want to stop regretting, or dwelling on meaningless things in our lives, having no expectations already is a great step on the way to happiness.