Past, Present & Future

By Diane

The 12 Guiding Principles are all of the lessons I have learned along the way, all of the tools and ideas that have helped me to reframe the story of my life.  Over the past 10 or 15 years I have spent a lot of time exploring the power of story – the stories we tell others and the stories we tell ourselves.   I have experienced over the past couple of years what is possible when we firmly decide to reframe the way we share and consider our stories from the past, live consciously in the present moment and then write a new story, the story we desire, the story filled with endless potential, with unlimited possibility.

Our first Guiding Principle is:

“Learn from the Past, Live in the Present
and Intend for the Future.”

One of my father’s favorite sayings is, “You can not dwell in the past.”  I am pretty sure I have heard him make this statement over a thousand times.  I often want to shout back at him, “but I just want to tell the story!”  Why?  Why is it so important for us to re-tell that same story over and over again?

Many of us dwell in the past because it is the known versus unknown.  We tend to be more comfortable in the known even when it is uncomfortable.  We may dwell in the past because it keeps us in a place where we can be the victim. Our stories of the past provide proof that certain things can happen or that certain things can NEVER happen.

We can end this cycle and bring healing closure to past when we seek out the lesson and throw away the details of an old story.  One of the coolest things I experienced in my study of Neuro-Lingusitic Programming was an exercise where we were asked to envision a painful or hurtful past event that we spent a lot of time dwelling on.  The instructor requested us to consider the event and to find a lesson or learning that we could “take away” from the event.  The activity involved actually physically reaching our hands up into the air, reaching for and taking hold of the lesson, bringing the lesson down into our heart and then taking the other hand and throwing away behind us the unnecessary, no longer needed, details of the old story.

We can reframe the past.   We can choose to tell our story in a new and uplifting way by uncovering a learning, and then sharing the lesson, the transformation and the healing that took place as a result of the experience.

Yoga has also taught me how to release the grip of old stories that no longer serve me – BEING PRESENT.  For me being present means having the ability to separate myself from my thoughts. I can notice my thoughts but I do not have to react to them in the moment.  I can listen, notice, slow down and most importantly breathe!  As I learn to breathe more deeply I am able to listen to others and really hear them.  I am able to listen to my inner voices, the voices of my heart and intuition, and I am able to recognize the old thought patterns stories that flow through my brain. I can then practice focusing on new thoughts and new stories to break through the shroud of impossibility and open the door to the possible.

And in that moment I am beginning to write a new story for the future.  I absolutely CAN NOT control the future.  I can, however, INTEND for I know is possible.

About 8 years ago I began to listen to a really wonderful meditation on abundance and prosperity.  There was a place in the meditation where I was asked to visualize a place where I wanted to be in the future, a place that felt safe and comfortable, a place of abundance and contentment.  It was always the same, or at least fairly similar.  I would imagine myself on a dock, on a sailboat, or on a deck overlooking a morning sunrise or an evening sunset.  I always had a cup of hot tea in my hand.  I always imagined myself sitting there peacefully on the water either preparing to start a day, or ending a day of doing yoga, writing and teaching.  That picture, that intention, has been in my mind for years. I have always believed that one day it would be possible, it would be my life.  I was never sure how it would happen, how I would get there, where I would be or what it would look like specifically – but I knew the water, the sun, the tea, the work and the feeling I desired for my life would be there waiting for me.

And for those of you that know me well you know that slowly, as the years have passed, this picture has taken shape in ways I could have never imagined.  And yet at its core it is the same picture.  I live by the water.  I watch the sunsets from the deck of our sailing club or the sunrise from the deck of my boat throughout the summer months.  I spend my days writing, teaching, doing yoga, coaching and living in a harbor side town I love and never expected.

I have learned that my intentions for my life, the stories and thoughts I tell myself about my past and my future, are each day adding a brush stroke to the painting of my life.  I know that I am the master painter.  I also know that the energy of love and spirit often guide the brush strokes, adding in a few that are unexpected and sometimes challenging to support my learning and growth.

There is deep faith in my life, there is trust in the goodness of life, there is an understanding in the power of my thoughts, my words and my voice.  And there is an absolute knowing that if I take the time to learn from past, live in the present and intend for the future that I can live each day feeling fully alive.