Why Do-Overs Kick Ass

Fotolia_6075754_Subscription_L-200x133Regrets are brutal. They are energy vampires. Happiness slayers. Joy slammers.

The thing is – we wake up every day with the potential to start over! That cliché about “today is a new day” is totally true…even though you may want to throw rotten veggies at someone saying it to you in the moment. Here’s why:

When we feel regret about something – your last relationship, your birth experience, how you handled your last argument with your partner or friend – we can stay open to a time and space that feels similar to that moment/resonates with that moment. Then, we can see that moment of resonance with the past as an opportunity to create a new one. As my colleague, Dr. Claudia Welch, says, “That new space/time makes the old new again, and we are then allowed to have a ‘do-over.'” Really? Yes.

For example, I think about how lately I’ve been leaning more into my morning ritual, and making sure I prioritize it so that I start the day off fresh and inspired and grounded. This helps me feel at ease with all the mornings that I wasted away with lazily sleeping in (which, BTW, is perfectly fine if it doesn’t bother you or throw off your day!), gluten or wine hangovers, or ruminating about all my worries. I am making up for those big time, because my NEW mornings are infused with freakin’ magic, peeps. My mornings, even before a day filled with ho-hum errands, are started with epic spiritual refining and tuning-in.

I’ve been working with many of my clients in developing these morning rituals as well, and they are reporting massive results – more energy, more creativity, more groundedness, more juicy living. You see, mornings are energetically in alignment with the beginnings of our lives, and with every other new day in the past, so we can harness that and create a new experience and oust the regrets – every morning! In Ayurveda, this is particularly true, and this philosophy or health places a big emphasis on moments and transitions throughout the day. Each moment, each day, is so full of potential for changing how we experience life.

Think of how you start your days. Do you wake up at the last minute so you are rushing out of the house and spilling your tea or coffee everywhere? Do you lie in bed for minutes or hours putting off shit you need to get done? Do you feel foggy and sluggish because of eating unhealthfully or living a less-than-healthy lifestyle? You can indeed do it differently in the morning. And really, when you honor and reshape your mornings to a ritual that serves you best, you can honor and reshape your early life experiences too! Like childhood, birth, or other powerful beginnings like giving birth, starting a new stage in life, starting a new relationship. Cool, eh?

In Tibetan Buddhism there is a four-step formula for making amends with a regret (also applicable to apologizing). It involves:

  • recognize that either there was an experience you regret having had, or that perhaps you did something wrong – or let’s take the judgment out of it and change “wrong” to “something you weren’t so proud of”
  • sit with the feeling of remorse and regret so that you don’t half-ass it and have it lingering sneakily behind you for months or years. Feel it fully, knowing you can release it.
  • move into a place of compassion for yourself (and the person you’ve harmed if it is applicable). Notice the whole “compassion for yourself” part! Don’t skip over that! In fact, start with it.
  • then, set the intention that you won’t do it again and take a positive action. So if you stole something, you could give something away when you saw someone in need. If you hurt someone with aggressive language, you can more openly and quickly forgive someone for the same infraction and send them loving kindness.

The new moments that resonate with the old are perfect opportunities for taking this new, positive action.

But get this: not only is every day a new day, but every MOMENT is fertile with opportunity to create something new. Whatcha think about that?

What about the rest of your day? Do you spend your free time perusing other people’s successes and feeling bad about where you are at? Do you go to bed checking your email and thinking about all the shizzle you have to get done tomorrow? Do you say “I’m sorry” just for speaking or taking up space or asking for advice or help? These are all energy suckers!

You can instead examine why you are apologizing. You can examine why you are obsessed about everything you have to do tomorrow (what’s the story you tell yourself about what happens, or who it means you are, if you don’t get everything done?). You can examine why you are jealous about someone else’s success and are focusing on that instead of creating your own. Often the motivator is some kind of regret, and we just need to stop that living-in-the-past shizzle if we are going to move forward with a life of freedom! Create a NEW way of approaching things when those feeling come up.

If you regret something and it is taking over your mind, choose RIGHT NOW to do something to offset it. And when you find a moment that resonates particularly powerfully with a regret, make a strong intention that how you handle it will help you release the old regret.

Do-overs kick ass. Share with me how you are going to do-over something soon – or a way in which  you have already – by commenting below!

16 Comments on Why Do-Overs Kick Ass

  1. nutrikrystal
    March 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm (6 years ago)

    I love your idea about a morning routine. When I focus on making my mornings good, I always have a more focused day. There are so many things I would like to do over, next time this happens to me I will keep your tips in mind 🙂

  2. Stephanie Garcia (@heystephanie)
    March 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm (6 years ago)

    I love that you covered the Tibetan Buddhism 4-step formula. The second bullet really hit home. I agree with feeling it fully so the regret doesn’t linger.

  3. angie
    March 5, 2014 at 7:26 am (6 years ago)

    I completely agree with you about having a morning ritual. For too long I woke up with only enough time to race out the door. My days felt hectic. Now I have a consistent morning ritual and my days feel so much better. If I skip a day, I really feel it! Thanks for reminding me why this is so important!

  4. Ana Verzone (Neff)
    March 5, 2014 at 8:46 am (6 years ago)

    Exactly, Angie! I really feel it too – kind of a bummer that way, but its for the better 😉 I found the same with yoga – I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I started, then when I started, I’d feel crappy if I didn’t do it! Totally worth it!

  5. Ana Verzone (Neff)
    March 5, 2014 at 8:47 am (6 years ago)

    Totally – I think that principle has helped me move through so many hard times, not just regret. When I feel a powerful emotion, like grief, I let is wash over me. It has always felt like it passed through me quicker and more completely when I let that happen.

  6. Ana Verzone (Neff)
    March 5, 2014 at 8:50 am (6 years ago)

    Awesome;) I would like to offer the idea of committing to make a morning routine a part of your daily life – it really does make a HUGE difference! Not just mentally, but also physically. While we all like a level of excitement and adventure in our lives, our bodies love routines, and a morning ritual also helps to feel more calm and more resilient throughout the day – especially when it involves some kind of movement or breathing exercises to set the tone for the body too.

  7. Karen Yankovich
    March 6, 2014 at 6:24 am (6 years ago)

    So so true! I’m a fairly positive person (almost to a fault I’m told!) but even I can get caught up in this. I love the way you laid all of this out.

  8. christen
    March 6, 2014 at 8:15 am (6 years ago)

    “Regrets are brutal. They are energy vampires.” Love this. It’s so true! My morning routine really need some work. During the week I have a day job so I’m rushing to get ready because I had to drag myself out of bed. On the weekend, I start slow but it feels like time just slips away.

  9. Deborah
    March 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm (6 years ago)

    yes! Morning routine. I seemed to have forgotten about this since moving in with my boyfriend. I used to live alone and have a spare bedroom to do yoga in. Now we live in a log cabin with no doors. Do you have any suggestions on how to ‘get away’ or have personal time while living with someone. I am thinking the first step would be talking to him and explaining my plan.

  10. Ana Verzone (Neff)
    March 6, 2014 at 1:29 pm (6 years ago)

    Exactly, Christen. I had to really force myself to get to bed so I had time to wake up a bit more slowly. I used to think I was making the most of my sleep by getting up at the last minute, but I feel much more rested an centered with a morning routine!

  11. Ana Verzone (Neff)
    March 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm (6 years ago)

    You’re exactly right, Deb! Having that talk first is key, so that he knows that it is important to you and not “just” something fun you want to do. I have found that in particular, men like to hear how they help you and make you happier, so things like, “I’d love it if you helped me do this every day, because then you’d be helping me feel healthier and happier and more balanced. I’d love that!” are more effective than, “I need you to do x,y,z and it would mean a lot to me.” Not like he’d need you to say that to support you, but it helps him feel good about doing it even moreso!

    Also, I lived in a yurt in Alaska with my husband for 2 years, and we had one circular space we shared, and he slept in later than I did. I didn’t want to wake him up, so part of my morning routine was getting up and walking to the yoga studio (we had an urban off-the-grid yurt LOL!) and have my hot shower there, chat with some girlfriends, then come back to the yurt. He’d be sleeping still and I’d crawl back into bed to get in snuggle time.

    The other thing is I would schedule my self-care for when he was out of the yurt – even if that was him working in the garden outside or on another project. Sometimes with him in the yurt I couldn’t easily drop into the zone. Or he would intentionally go outside and do something for 30 minutes while I did my routine in the morning.

    It takes more communication for sure, but it is possible! Also, a yoga mat takes up very little room, so space wise you can get a lot done on that little mat;)

    Good luck to you – and let me know if you come across any other challenges!

  12. Brenda Tolentino
    March 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm (6 years ago)

    I’ve bee trying to start my day with exercise , bible study and prayer. When I do it, it’s the best days. I just need to be consistent. Thanks for the reminder.

  13. Lisa Van Ahn
    March 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm (6 years ago)

    Thanks for this awesome post Ana!

    Every winter in MN gets harder and harder for me. My body just doesn’t love the dark, damp, cold.

    I’m taking measures to set myself up for a location independent running biz by next winter so that I can travel and follow the sun when the snow makes its way here.

  14. Ana Verzone (Neff)
    March 9, 2014 at 7:57 pm (6 years ago)

    Brenda that is awesome! You’re right – consistency is something to really aim for, because it’s the things we do every day that lead to the big shifts. Sounds like you’re off to a great start;)

  15. Ana Verzone (Neff)
    March 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm (6 years ago)

    You’re so welcome, Lisa! My husband and I leave Alaska for a month or two (or three!) every winter, and it helps us not grow weary of this stunningly beautiful place to live. Keep holding the goal of your location-independent business close to your heart and taking regular action on it – I have found it is incredibly worth it! Getting my blood flowing first thing in the morning helps when we ARE in Alaska during the dark cold winter, though;)

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