Be Free of Regret in 2006
Our beloved visiting faculty yoga teacher, Aadil Palkhivala: a great storyteller, shared this powerful story. It's his favorite story and an awesome way to set the energy for 2006.
Aadil talked of a study conducted about 15 years ago with seven thousand people of different ages and with different religious, cultural, national and racial backgrounds. There was one criterion for participation in the study: Each person interviewed knew that he or she was going to die soon. The one question posed: "What would you do different? What are your regrets?"
"What blew the researchers away," said Aadil, "was that 90% of the people had the same answer: 'I wish I had loved more.'
Nobody wished they had done more yoga. Nobody wished they had become the CEO of a corporation. When it really counts, our wishes become pretty unified. They said: 'I wish I had loved my wife more, kids more, God more, my family more.' Nobody wished they had bought better clothes or a better car." And, interesting, most of the other 10% regretted they had not felt more loved.
Aadil, in his gentle voice, suggested we should ask ourselves all the time, "Am I loving enough now?" He said he was not referring to romantic love but the true bond that makes us feel whole. The very word 'yuj' [from which 'yoga' is derived] means to be unified. When you love the Divine, you are one with the Divine. When you love another person, you are one with that person. The state of yoga is unity.
"Knowledge changes nothing," Aadil said. "Nothing happens until something moves," he said quoting Einstein. To get from knowledge to action requires (1) mindfulness, (2) will, or intention, and (3) prana (breath with grace). The prana strengthens your intention, and mindfulness carries out the knowledge, said Aadil.
Another perspective 2005 brought to the wise one in each of us is the great need for our country and its citizens to become free of blame. Blaming another, the government, organizations, employers, etc. is a fierce force of the negative ego. When we blame, we move away from love and block our power to be responsible.
The famous yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar has said, "Space is freedom, freedom is love, and love is God."
Recently, my friend of 38 years' mother died. I was scheduled to attend a 3-day meditation conference, and the funeral was booked for the same days. After I hung up the phone with her I knew how much her support meant to me at my mom's funeral and asked myself the question, "What does love do now?" I called to say I would cancel my plans and instead travel to Chicago. Feeling disappointed I knew my choice was the right choice. The next morning, she called to say the funeral director could not book the event until the following Tuesday, plenty of time for me to fly from Los Angeles to Chicago with space to attend both events.
I was elated! Truly, miracles and all things become more possible with the powerful choice to love. "What does love choose now?" will be my core strategy for 2006 when those moments of conflict arise.
I am honored to share this new column Wisdom Within. Wisdom is the "third eye" which is the eye of understanding the great mysteries of love. It is the eye of unconditional love. It is the eye of empathy and compassion. It opens with meditation and yoga. Paramahansa Yogananda wrote "When my two eyes that behold both good and evil become single, I shall see body, mind, and soul filled with light."
Suzette Scholtes is founder and Director of Teacher's Training of the Yoga School of Therapeutics. She is author of many national columns and articles as well as published by New Leaf, Atlanta. She has earned over 8000 CEUs in her many studies worldwide. The school is a National Yoga Alliance Teacher's Training School. The l2-member staff teach classic yoga and related therapeutics to help each person strengthen inner resources for ongoing health, happiness, and quality of life.