By: Heather Blanchard
We recently sold our home in a wonderful neighborhood that our girls loved. It was time to downsize and simplify, and though my husband and I were ready for the change, our girls carried mixed emotions as they love their friends and the comforts of our old community and space. After the move, as I was scanning through books deciding which ones to keep versus donate I came across a magazine article on the Beauty Of Nostalgia, and paused to read it knowing how cherished memories can fill us with joy.
In yoga, we’re mostly concerned with presence, and while it’s important to focus on the pwer of repsence in our movement and meditation practices, it’s ok to let your mind wander from time to time. Form sun-filled days of playing with friends to a great concert in your teens, from treasured events to spcial holiday gatherings. Those were the good ol’ days, and nostalgia helps us capture beautiful moments within them. These are most often times when we had less responsibilities and worries, and we were able to focus on the fun. And there’s warmth to be found in the reminiscience.
Here is a fun fact on nostaglia. Numerous neurological studies revealed it doesn’t actually relate to one specific memory, but rather a screen of several memories integrated together that filters out any negative emotions from the past. These emotional events produce a loop of positive emotions, and can even help us through times of transition and uncertainty. Additionally, they serve to boost our self-image and brighten our outlook on the future as these memories were often created in a circle of love and support with family or friends.
The biggest triggers of nostalgia are our senses of smell and hearing. Perhaps that’s why it’s so gratifying to cook up an old family recipe, watch old movies or turn the volume up on a song that’s a blast from the past. There’s a sense of comfort in the old – especially when it’s an object attached to someone you loved. These senses touch a part of our brain that processes intense emotions, and can produce powerfully good emotions.
So allow yourself a bit of time to relish in a healthy love for the past, and find solace in what was. Embrace and rediscover the wisdom of cherished memories, and learn how to weave them into uncharted experiences. I’ll leave you with my personal quote below.
“Nostalgia is a beautifully balanced image of the past woven into the midst of joyful presence.” – HCB
xoxo, Namaste, Heather