A quick search on Google tells us that there is much conventional wisdom about not looking back. From books such as that by Marcia Wallace titled Don’t Look Back, We’re Not Going That Way to the common adage we use to advise friends in need to forget the past and not look back. After all the future is in front of us right?
Or is it? In any piece of wisdom is it not advisable to sometimes stop and question these comforting quips? What about the somewhat juxtaposed piece of wisdom we need to learn from our mistakes? Or history keeps repeating itself until we get it right?
There is a Hawaiian moving meditation that draws upon ancient Hawaiian wisdom that has the body move in a rhythmic dance resembling an infinity sign. The meditation provides a sense of balance, ease, clarity and energy to those who practice it. In the movement, the future is considered to be behind us as we cannot see it and the past including that of our and our ancestors is before us as we can see it. The body moves in an even rhythm from the future though the present which is within our embrace, to the past, then moves in reverse through the present to the future. Watching the movement is like watching poetry in motion. Performing the movement is challenging until you can disengage the mind and stops worrying about your form and whether you are doing it right. When the mind settles and the movement emanates from the within the body the feeling of flow and connection is incredible. The movement is called flying and my teacher is Jody Soltau Mountain.
How many times do we get caught repeating a pattern in our life that is not serving us? Are we in a Ground Hog Loop? This loop is aptly named from the movie Ground Hog Day where the main character is doomed to repeat the same day until he makes the right correction. Are we stuck there because we are not recognizing the flow from the future, embracing the present, and looking to the past?
When I am offered a new view on something I have taken for granted, I embrace the opportunity to consciously look at my patterns and view my world with somewhat fresh eyes. Stop and think about it for a minute. Most people will concede that we are not prophetic and cannot see the future yet many of us focus on it almost to the exclusion of the present. Often this attempt at control is rooted in the past. We may not look to the past for help – we encourage not looking at it because it may be too upsetting or there may be too many unanswered questions.
We do not know what the next phone call or knock on the door will bring and try as we might, we cannot control it. Are we ignoring the calls or knocks in an attempt to forget the past rather than seeking the gifts of the lessons the past has to share with us so we can greet whoever is calling or knocking?
Consider what effect on your daily life patterns could be if you approached the past in the light of the dance? Begin with a slow and steady rhythmic approach of looking back at the future, embrace the present, and look forward at the past then continue the flow back to the present and the future. What would your life be like if you were not rushing through your days unconsciously, not blocking the past, and not attempting to control the future? The past, present, and future form the whole.