ReEnvisioning History

An Exercise with Tracey Rich

As we look back on our nations history, let us also take the opportunity to look back on our own personal histories. We have all had lost loves, and had life opportunities not expressed or experienced. There are times when we have each made poor choices that sometimes cling like ghosts or are carried like invisible weights. Or, we have just plain wondered how we might be different had we chosen other options; if we had said yes, not no, or perhaps said nothing at all.

It is natural to ponder a road not taken or to imagine how our lives might have been affected if we chose differently or had other opportunities. Spending time in our imagination can lead to valuable insights and surprising, creative manifestations. Regrets though, like guilt, only serve when they initiate the possibility for change. Whether that change is compassion towards ourselves or others in learning to live with something we can not go back and literally change, or whether it is a call to action in the way you take care of yourself, your family, planet or community. Even if you are perfectly happy or content with your life as it is, there are always moments where we muse upon the "what if."

Imagine a time in your life where you could have said or done something differently. Or remember an incident or interaction and imagine if you made a different choice, be it in words or actions. What outcome may have occurred? Take this opportunity to envision a time that you would like to recreate. Rewrite the original conversation, interaction, or an action chosen or not chosen.

Carve out a moment to sit down and reenvision your history. Sit with your chosen scenario and let it be a meditation. Let the moment blossom into a full-blown vision. Let it live in 3-D in your heart and mind. In your mind's-eye, walk through what was, until you embody it fully, seeing it for what it was at the time. If discomfort comes, don't push it away. Embracing discomfort can be a pathway for what is possible. Waiting patiently to find what is underneath discomfort can be rewarding. Things can change in our hearts and minds.

After you have walked down memory lane, rewritten your history, and sat with the past--whether with full apology or with triumph, celebration, or appreciation, write down where it has taken you in the present. Let your new past become fully present in the now.