Do a Google search for quotes about the past, and most that come up suggest you forget the past, live in the present and pursue the future.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present. Buddha
Good advice to be sure. But maybe exploring the past is the key to moving forward into your best future possible.
Study the past if you would define the future. Confucius
For most of us, that’s not a pleasurable experience. Releasing some memories and asking questions of them may feel like opening the kitchen junk drawer. You know you’ve got one too.
You’re just looking for a screwdriver but end up emptying and organizing the whole damn drawer. In that process, you throw out things you never needed and discover tools you never knew you had. Let’s periodically open the vault together, see what we can throw out by putting it to rest, find our strengths that we may have forgotten or ignored, and move forward to our best lives ever.
Try this memoir exercise.
Be specific. The more you dive into this, the more you will grow.
- Whether you keep a “proper” diary, gratitude journal, planner or just a a to-do list on a shitty pad of paper, take a few minutes a day to wrack your brain for a memory.
- Write it down.
- If it’s a happy memory, what is it about that day that brought you pleasure? Is it something you could recreate for yourself? How and when will you do that? Don’t you dare answer “someday”.
- If it’s sad, infuriating, embarrassing, how did you contribute to the situation? If you could go back, would you change your reaction? Is there a trait here, either as instigator or as victim that you can work on to improve your everyday interactions?
We’re not saying you have to use this as the basis of writing your life story, although, who knows? Some of you writers may just well be inspired! But we do think you will be surprised at what comes to the surface if you allow it. And what comes to the surface may be enlightening. When you can see the patterns, you will be able to break the patterns and that may be the key to a happier future.
Join us in the conversation. Show us your “junk drawers”. We’ll rage clean together.
xo, Your Sages