Life is full of missed opportunities – get over it!



there are opportunities everywhere. just.decide.

So this morning I cancelled my participation at an event I really wanted to go to at the end of the week – it was riddled with opportunities for me on many levels. The thing was, as I was looking into getting myself there, arranging the intricacies of travel and going through all the things I’d have to ‘have done’ by then, ladidadidah-you-know-the-chatter, I felt a tingling sense of nausea that I have come to listen to… something wasn’t right, and my gut said so.

And, just like that, I knew I wasn’t going to go.

And just like that, I let go of countless opportunities I will never know I had.

I’ll use this example to elaborate a new thinking that has been building up in me. Taking decisions is not something I’ve always been assertive at, I still find it a workout. Because, for one, it means I am letting a someone, or something, down, either it is myself, or another, or everyone… for another it is because of the opportunities I may be missing.

Monkey mind going haywire

That is the hard part, that of overruling my chorus of inner voices that is loud and chirping at best of times, and starts frantically shouting at me in the run-up to taking a decision – because of course, there are as many great reasons FOR doing something as there are for not.

I also like to see myself as a pacifist, and as such I have a tendency to listen to all the voices that come at me, yes, I believe in finding peaceful alignment, always. I apply this to my inside voices even more than to the outside ones – and there is often somewhat of a cacophony in my mind yelling perspectives and possibilities at me at all times.

They all have a point!

The bottom-line is: I am the boss lady.

I have that great executive responsibility of listening to what is useful and taking the lead in action that best serves us all, the voices, me and my good self.

Pretty much at the same time as I was deliberating with my monkey mind on my big decision, I had a conversation with a friend, who was ‘not feeling’ an event she was supposed to go to, either – I bluntly suggested: ‘don’t go’, to which she replied ‘but I hate missed opportunities‘.

And just then, a penny dropped in me.
It was this little statement that I’ve heard and said a million times before that suddenly, today, had me come to a new conclusion and that I will be trying on for a little while:

‘Life is FULL of missed opportunities.’

In any given moment, we could be in a whole other place. I can be in my home building my business or lying lazily on my couch, just as much as I could be on a safari in Zanzibar, or anywhere in between – whatever I do can be just as real and as important to me as anything else would and could be.

See, a while back on my, for lack of a better word, journey through life I started exploring the attitude of searching for the silver lining in every thing.

Whatever happens to us, whatever the circumstance, we have the power to make it worth while.

In the best of cases we are showered with an abundance of successes and magic, and in other cases, the best we can do is find a learning, grab it, drop the rest and move on.

And in living in that belief, I have come to understand that

every single moment in this our life is an opportunity.

So if that is the truth, whatever we decide to do is a YES to one opportunity and a NO to another.

We can’t be everywhere at the same time, therefore life IS, indeed, filled with missed opportunities.

Regret – concept deleted!

“Maybe, if I’d taken a left instead of a right, I would have met the man of my dreams and we’d be living happily ever after by now?”

Over time, I’ve come to decide that regret is one of the most useless feelings we can have.
Regret not only holds us in the past, feeling miserable, it also impacts our power in the present as we make huge efforts to dodge potential future regrets.

There is no way of knowing what could have been ‘had I only…’; for one, there are innumerable possible ‘had I only…’ options and dwelling in those thoughts serves no apparent purpose.

Trust that synchronicities will happen when they need to happen, the universe and its energies have our back – all we need to do is follow the heart and stay alert.

So here’s my new statement, which I share while I shall keep exploring it myself:

1 -Just.Decide.

Learn to listen to your heart and gut, follow them, they really do know the way. Make your decision, make it right for yourself in the moment, and own it. You are the boss lady, or man!

2 -Be in the moment as fully as you can.

Live the moment. Make the most of where you are, learn from it, and find and seize the opportunity you are in: embrace it with love, gratitude and creativity, as I like to say, ‘magic lies in the simplicity of appreciation’.

3 – And: let go.

Let go of what coulda-shoulda-woulda been.

Yes, life is full of missed opportunities, get over it.

And keep moving.

‘Be in the moment’, and let go – NOW

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.

Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
― Eckhart Tolle, THE POWER OF NOW

Ha! It is so smug and almost slapstick to say to ‘be in the moment’, ‘live in the now’… and I always thought being in the moment was ‘merely‘ about cherishing what is when it is, to be present as per Tolle’s quote above, to let go of those anxieties for the future and hurts from the past.

In the past three months I have been travelling, and one of the many things I am learning as a self-named collector of moments is that it is so important to live IN the moment because sometimes moments accumulate so quickly that it is sheer impossible to process them all later! So be in the moment if you want to somehow ‘save it’. I say ‘save it’, because I have taken to writing about what is meaningful to me, in an attempt to hold it safe and in honour.

Overwhelmed by moments

Granted, this is a state I find myself in a lot and, granted, overwhelm often accompanies transformative journeys, but during the two two months I spent in India it was amplified – it was as if someone had turned the volume up and I couldn’t find earplugs! Amazing things kept happening, tiny gestures and crazy synchronicities that blew my mind in both subtle and fantastic ways, literally.
And everyone I met seemed to agree:
the spiritual and energetic resonance is so strong and so clear in India that you feel your emotions rather fiercely.
The ups and the downs hit from one moment to the next, constantly. I have gone from heartbroken tears to belly laughs to life-changing inspiration to deep down dark inner caves and back so often that I had to teach myself that there is no point in dwelling on or deciding from any of them as they are bound to be overruled very soon – and that I would miss out on what’s next if I don’t just flow with them all. The other thing is that anything but going with the flow became exhausting.
I kept being reminded of what a lady said to me within my very first hours in India ever, in 2014. Our flights were delayed, we shared a table at the only coffee shop in Mumbai’s domestic airport terminal, she was a student in Indian medicine and told me
‘The energy here is so clear that karma moves fast. You’ll feel the effects of whatever you put out there very quickly.’
Her words kept proving her right. To the point that I stopped being surprised when things like this happened: I set the intention one day to get cracking on facilitating leadership trainings – and was asked three days later by the director of an NGO whom I’d only just met to do just that: lead a team building workshop for her staff the very next day.

An attempt to process moments: stay.

It is an acclaimed leadership skill, that of ‘staying’ after acting. As is Savasana in yoga, the pose in which we are still, to catch our breath and let things settle.
So after six weeks on a yoga training, in ashrams and rickshawing around Bangalore, to put it in a tiny nutshell, I found myself ‘staying’ in Pondicherry for 10 days. I had not intentionally chosen Pondicherry, it just happened to be where I was when I felt saturated.
My intentions was simple: to do my yoga practice daily and to write, ‘save my moments’. Just that!

Moments will keep fleeting by

I failed at staying. Why? Because things kept happening, even in my ‘out’ time.
I was being given a Ganesha figurine by my airbnb host as a gift, my other airbnb host gave me a spontaneous pendulum reading and arranged for a meditation master to ‘sit with me’ to help me ‘stay’, the waiters at the restaurant I went to for my dinner every night surprised me with a desert on the house and a dear handwritten ‘thank you’ note at my last luncheon… in a nutshell, I kept being overwhelmed by more things to be grateful for, yet more events to ‘process’.

Retreating from the moment

I related it to that special energy of The India – and the time came to leave, ‘to geographically remove myself’, to catch my breath and write about it all from a safe distance. So I packed my big backpack and so many scribbles of notes and snippets of memories I intended to write down properly.
Not a chance, my next destinations took hold of me in different, just as beautiful ways…
Days and events go on, feelings keep feeling, learnings, appreciation, more questions… all ongoing ongoing ongoing!

So my new Eureka on living in the now is actually a practice of letting go.

Live in the now because you can’t ever really honour it later, and you’ll just end up schlepping the ‘to do list’ of saving the memory into your next NOWs…

Whatever moment you want to capture, whatever learning you want to process, whatever event you want to journal about, whatever it is you do to ‘keep experiences safe’… do it right now! N O W!
Not tomorrow, not afterwards and definitely not during emergency Savasana in Pondicherry, Reunion or Dubai… time keeps moving, things keep happening; take in what you can, let go of the rest.
Oh there will be memories and transformative clicks that will arise in hindsight… but the true honouring has to happen in the moment.

What an exercize of seizing and letting go at the same time.

Now. Now. Now!

'Happiness is within, it cannot be without.' - Swami Sivananda

‘Realize deeply that the present moment is all we’ll ever have’
– Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now