Always Do Your Best - Lessons From Lembognan, Bali

"Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment...always do your best and avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret." - Don Miguel Ruiz

I sat down for dinner in this tiny island in Bali in an empty restaurant, on an empty street, when unexpectedly this tall man walked in. We exchanged friendly hellos before he walked away.

He returned: "My gut kept telling me I had to come back."

Your life teachers will find you wherever you are. I was in an empty restaurant in a secluded street on a tiny island with no one around and this new friend found me. As the Course says, "those who are meant to meet, we meet."

This person taught me about the PAST - and how to not cling to past wrongs. He used to be a really angry and resentful person until he decided one day that he didn't want to be that way anymore. He chose again.

It wasn't easy to unravel his reactive patterns, but every time he had an angry or regretful thought he would picture a big STOP sign. This brought him back to the present. Over time, through neuroplasticity and what we know about the brain, he re-wired it to no longer be attached to these feelings. To watch them come and go, and eventually he rarely experienced them.

On regret, he said, why dwell in it? You made the decision based upon what you knew at the time and all you can do is learn from it and move on- there's no use in replaying it over and over. I thought of all the times I had let myself feel guilty for things that I wish I had done differently. Have you? I now look at past actions, explore what I could've done better, and then MOVE on. I ask in meditation to release the regret. It can be tough - that's why I ask for help - but it's deeply freeing to unlock ourselves from past mistakes. In doing this, you cultivate more compassion and gentleness for yourself. You were doing the best you could at the time, based upon what you knew then.