Never Say Never

 Never Say Never

By Jennifer Kelleher

Have you ever had a traumatic experience that made you say, “I’ll never do that again!”? I certainly have. Immediately swearing off something that has trauma attached to it can help us to feel safe. We assure ourselves that we will never get caught up in a situation that could lead to similar outcomes again.

With some things, this approach is sensible– we learn from our mistakes and do our best to not repeat them. However, it is important to look at what we are closing ourselves to and make sure that we are not letting one bad experience ruin our possibility of having something we’ve always wanted. Personally, I know that I can never say never. While at one point in time I might feel like I need to shut something out to feel safe, I also recognize that as I heal and grow from that situation over time, I may very well open to the possibility of doing it again; however, with differences: I am wiser, more aware, and more equipped to make better decisions around the details.

Let’s play with an example. Suppose it was your dream to travel outside of the country and get to know different cultures. You finally got the opportunity, and it came with some bumps in the road. You were pickpocketed leaving the airport, the hotel you booked had bedbugs, and you got sick from drinking the tap water. You came home with crushed expectations, physical discomfort, and heated emotions. Maybe initially you will take some time to stay put and appreciate where you live and what you have. But will you close yourself off to traveling forever? Or will you try again and use the lessons from your previous experience to better prepare you?

The mind will jump to say ‘never’ as a form of protection, but the truth is that no two experiences are the same. Even in your daily routine, while you may think you are doing the same thing you did the day before, it is never exactly the same. You are a different person than you were yesterday, whether you realize it or not. While the conditions may be similar, they are never identical. There is a quote (I don’t remember who said it) that says, “This place (the present moment) is always the most exotic place you will ever be.” Will you keep your mind open and let yourself have this present experience for what it is? Or will you draw conclusions, limiting the experience and what could potentially come from it?

Sometimes, we have to take a chance and try something again. Personally, when the universe presents me with an opportunity that feels a little scary because my prior  experience with something similar was traumatic, I take my time with it. I do not rush any decisions. Knowing the opportunity exists, I do my best to stay grounded and calm. I visualize myself saying ‘yes’ and saying ‘no’, what each of these could mean, and the different ways in which it could play out. I stay open to signs, and I trust that eventually my answer will come. For me, my answers arrive through feelings and visualizations. I pay attention to if making the decision a certain way feels like moving with the current, or swimming against it. Also, as I get closer to having to make the decision, I naturally start to visualize how it will play out. I think the most important thing is to stay calm, be open, and not rush anything. Let yourself be surprised!

I invite you to join me at Ocean Bliss Yoga next Wednesday, July 17, at 7 p.m. for a Sound Bath for Forgiveness. Read the description and sign up at or call me at 917-318-1168 with any questions. Follow us on Instagram @ocean_blissyoga.

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