A few months ago I discovered yoga. I had heard about its physical and mental benefits, and I wanted to check it out. After the first class, I was hooked. Like my big chop, why hadn’t I done this sooner? After a few sessions I was standing taller, feeling stronger and thinking clearer.
One day I was in class, quietly trying to master the Warrior 2 pose. Anyone who has practiced yoga knows this can be a tricky pose: right arm extended in front, left arm extended behind, left hip back, right knee bent, belly in, shoulders over the hips, gaze forward. In my determination to master the pose, I didn’t notice I was looking backward to check my form.
But my yoga instructor certainly noticed.
“Andrea!” he shouted, his sharp voice destroying the Zen-like vibe of the yoga studio. A few sets of inquisitive eyes glanced at me, then politely looked away.
“Stop looking back!” the instructor continued. “There’s nothing back there for you!”
I quickly shifted my gaze forward, where it was supposed to be. Embarrassed? At that moment, yes. But later that evening I reflected on his words, and I found the lesson.
The truth is I was looking back in many areas of my life, not just in my Warrior 2 pose. I had recently moved from a large city where I had a good job with great pay and benefits, to a small community 3000 miles away where jobs weren’t so easy to find. I was discouraged. Every day I was looking back, thinking about what I had left behind, wondering if moving had been a mistake. This “looking back” mentality wasn’t helping me. If anything it was blocking my ability to move forward in the new life I had chosen.
My yoga instructor’s words impacted me far beyond the yoga studio. They helped me begin the process of letting go of what I once had, and search for the new opportunities that lay ahead of me.
It’s easy to look back, whether it’s in regard to one’s natural hair journey, a life situation, a personal disappointment, the road not taken…the list is endless. Looking back can be beneficial if a lesson can be learned and applied. But in the end, forward is the only way to go.
A friend and very wise business woman recently reminded me that it’s hard to drive a car forward by looking in the rearview mirror. CHURCH.