Happy Reverse Thinking New Year!
“It takes a strong person to say “I am sorry” and even a stronger person to forgive.”
Last night we were all watching a movie covered by warm alpaca wool blankets hugging the kids in our arms. We felt so grateful for this amazing moment spent with our kids and pets. The cats were all over us making that noise of sleeping with healing effect and the dog was clapping the tongue in his mouth as proof of content and happiness.
The movie was about an old woman who was dying and all the family aspects which come out from this drama. At one point she shared what were the biggest regrets in her life. Don’t worry, this post is not about death, in fact it’s about celebrating life at its full potential! Now, what is “reverse thinking”? Reverse thinking is this concept that you have to live your life in such a manner that you don’t reach a moment where, looking back at your life, you wish you’d have lived differently. A moment when, of course, it is too late.
On the internet I stumbled across a research called “top regrets people have on their deathbeds” and none of these regrets was about not having enough pair of shoes or not (damn it!) buying that Prada bag. They were about experiences and memories. I really didn’t want to feel any of these regrets so I changed my life accordingly. Long process, amazing results!
So, in the last night of 2016, we did the most interesting retrospection, in a cave. This post is about ending an amazing year the way Indian ancestors did thousands of years ago, at Killa Rumiyoc (Moonstone in Quechua) in a magical cave in Peru, South America.
The archaeological sit was built by the Inca Tupac, son of Pachacutec. It is located 46 km from the city of Cusco in Ancahuasi, in Anta province, at 3650 meters altitude and covers 5000 square meters. Here, there is a bas-relief sculpture in the form of a crescent with seven stairs, which symbolises the seven colours of the rainbow and a fall of water from Soqomarca, the sacred mountain. The place has a deep feminine energy.
Here we spent The New Year’s Eve with friends, dogs and children. We climbed mountains, we touched and observed in detail the perfect inca stones, we made a fire in the cave, we ate boiled potatoes, fruits and nuts, we drank red wine and hot “muña” (a kind of mint) tea. We “picha” coca leaves (chewing green coca leaves, a cultural tradition of indigenous people In Andean countries for centuries; coca leaves are used in religious ceremonies as well as a remedy for headaches, tooth pains, altitude sickness and many more). We sent all the love in the Universe to our family in Romania and to all our friends worldwide.
But what we did most was to debate all the points of “reverse thinking” with our beautiful amazing friend, shaman Manco Sayree in the heart of the Andes. Imagine this: a psychologist (my husband, Gabi) and a shaman (Sayree) debating on important aspects in life from such different perspectives. Oh, mamma, this is something you would love to hear! Anyway, the last day of your life should be a day of celebrating a life without regrets. Of any kind.
With this reverse thinking in mind, think of regrets that you don’t want to come across later in life. The time to take action is now!
I wish I had spent more time with my family, my kids or the people I love
You can never go back in time and live again. The time slips away so easily, in a blink of an eye your kids will be grown ups, they will make their own families. You will feel a huge regret that you spent more time being worried about how to make money for them, spending all your life in an office than watching your kids grow and being an active part of their lives. When we decided to let go of our busy business family life and choose a new, fresh, slow travel life, unschooling the children and being present in the moment, we realised that “I wish I had spent more time with my kids” is out of our questions as we spent all the time with them!
I wish I had worried less
I succeeded to develop in life an anxious, full of worries lifestyle which in time brought me serious health problems. I was worried of everything: my kids, my parents, my family not to get sick, not being good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, I was worried of my capacity of making enough money for my family needs, I was even worry about what people are saying or thinking about me. Living like this brings so much stress and anxiety that you become more and more sad and overwhelmed. So day by day I taught myself how to let go…. I learnt to love and respect myself and this became one of my precious life lesson I teach my children.
I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
All my life I tried to fit something or somebody. In school I tried to be the best in my class, not necessarily for myself, for my own knowledge but I was addicted to the attention I received from parents, teachers and colleagues. When life gave me its harsh, extreme lessons it was very hard for me to meet others’ expectations. I lost myself so many times just in order to remember who I really am… later. As Meryl Streep said in a speech at Golden Globe Awards “Take your broken heart and make it into art”. This is what I finally did.
I wish I didn’t work so hard.
We both worked so hard. We had the first NON-STOP Pizzeria in Bucharest, a company which sold ATV-s, a bar on the beach in Portimao, Portugal and a mini-market in Coimbra . We hardly had time for ourselves or for the kids and the frustration was enormous. Now we work less but more efficient, we have time to play with the kids, to cook and to read. 2016 was a good year for my family. Our work culminated with a full article in National Geographic Traveler, Romania, winter edition. It was like a recognition of our lifestyle and our children’s non-formal education. Do what you love and the perception of work will change into play. And who doesn’t like to play?
I wish I had the courage to express my feelings
I used to suppress my feelings to keep the peace with others, especially with loved ones. In time I developed illnesses related to the bitterness, resentment. Sometimes, I couldn’t sleep well or I carried a sadness that could change my whole family’s energy. I was expecting respect and appreciation for the sacrifice to keep my mouth shut, unhealthy way of thinking! We cannot control the reactions of others. People may initially react when you change the way you interact by speaking honestly, sincere, transparent. In the end it raises the relationship to the ultimate level, complete and healthier or it releases the “poisoned” relationship from your life. Either way, you win. I also learnt to say “NO” to people, a luxury that before I could’t afford. We always encourage our kids to speak the truth without any kind of fear of expressing themselves.
I wish I had faced my fears.
Let go of your fears. All of them. One step at a time. The process is long and uncomfortable, but the freedom you will feel after is beyond your imagination.
I wish I lived more in the moment
This is the ultimate lesson we all learnt. The best teacher was life itself and the best tool was the nature with its small miracles. We learnt to let go of all things not suiting us anymore and to make place for beautiful people and amazing adventures. A simple living the moment lifestyle is the road to genuine happiness.
We continuously learn to make the most of our life.
“ What has a beginning has also an end, but the end is nothing else but a new beginning, what was born will end up dying but death is nothing else but a rebirth.” Sayree