I was unfortunately struck down by covid recently, and thank goodness it was very mild for me, but the knock on effect of having to suddenly quarantine and change my plans at short notice made me reflect on dealing with change. At certain points during my enforced 10 days isolation I felt low and lost without my usual routine to ground me and keep me on track.  I (thankfully) wasn’t feeling too ill, but I was having to recalibrate and adjust as I couldn’t do what I had planned during the week. 

I kept coming back to one helpful phrase that I had heard Eckhart Tolle talking about in his Super Soul podcast, which was all about staying in the present moment, focussing on now and letting go of our articifical ideas that we have any control over the future.  He said we should treat every moment as if we had chosen it for ourselves. As if that moment was the perfect moment and it was just exactly how we had wanted it to be.  It really struck a chord with me, and the idea that we can accept the present moment and see it as something that we can grow from. It means that we focus on the present moment not as a passive observer, but instead it is an active invitation to bring it on, without resistance. To me, it means that we could treat each moment as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to develop.  Each moment can be a gift, because it is an invitation to be present.

Sometimes when you’re struggling, feeling low, exhausted or unwell, it can be tempting to allow thoughts to be about how difficult your life is, or to feel that you are a victim of circumstances, of what has happened to you, or of what other people have done to you. When you are in this situation, it can be helpful to go back to that phrase, and say it to yourself. “I choose this moment”.

Choosing, and telling yourself this is the perfect moment, even if you don’t yet believe it, can help you shift your mindset, to a more accepting and less resistant frame of mind.  It is a way of looking at the world slightly differently, and, in my case, instead of railing against the enforced quarantine, I could say, I choose this to remind me of the fragility of our lives, I choose to have some reflective moments where I take more time to look inwards, I can be grateful for my health, my family and my life, and find a new appreciation for these things, even though my initial reaction was to be very frustrated. Even, I choose this moment of feeling unwell. Allowing this thought means I can then remind myself how important it is to prioritise self care, looking after the body and immune system, eating well and exercising, and maybe an adjustment is needed. I love this concept of treating each moment like you chose it, and it’s the perfect moment.

I was also reminded through the enforced time out, that it’s an illusion that I have any control over the future.  We go through our lives acting as if we have control over the external world, and of course we don’t. The only things that we have control over are our own thoughts, and that to me, is liberating, because we can change our thoughts to something altogether more helpful. 

I can help you discover what is holding you

back and restricting you.

Top Tips

How to stay present

1. Journalling is a great way to pause and take stock at a set time each day. Spend just 5 minutes writing your thoughts, and set your intention for the day.

2. Sit quietly for 2 minutes, just listening to the noises around you. What have you noticed that you wouldn’t have noticed without the act of stopping and listening?

3. Go outside, walk a little slower than usual and take deep breaths, look around at nature even in the most urban of places, there is natural life living in the present moment.

4. When you eat, slow down and chew mindfully, savouring each taste, and flavour.

5. Breathing mindfully, counting 5 inhale, hold for 2 and 5 exhale hold for 2. Repeat this for several rounds and notice your mind focusing on the breathing and enjoy the present moment. 

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