The best way to win me over is books. Recommend me a book, loan me a book, ask me for a recommendation, or tell me you read something I recommended and I’m yours!

So when I met someone earlier this year who recommended that I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, I couldn’t help but buy it. Despite my fairly hippy upbringing, spirituality and meditation are relatively alien concepts to me and this isn’t a book I would otherwise have sought out.

I really enjoyed the book and feel that my life is significantly better as a result of what I learned from it. The key message for me was: whatever worries we have about the past or future don’t matter right now, they have already had or will have their own “now” someday. The present here and now moment is the only one that matters. And that present moment likely isn’t as bad as you think once you get your past and future stresses out of your head.

eckhart tolle, power of now

Soon after reading it, my husband and I found ourselves stuck in a traffic jam. What should have been a two hour drive to the airport for his birthday weekend away ended up taking four and meant that we missed our flight. That would be bad enough for anyone, but my husband has suffered with severe anxiety specifically rooted around being stuck in traffic so it could have been a really difficult day.

I used my learning from The Power of Now to help mindfully ground him in the moment, to think about all five senses right there and then – what could he see, smell, taste, hear, touch? Sure, he could see lots of cars and angry people, but he could also see people jovially chatting between cars or rolling their eyes at the situation, he could see fields and cows and clouds in the blue sky as well as the cars in front and behind.

Next, I asked him what he was grateful for about our situation. After initially looking at me like I’d lost the plot, he was able to reel off a whole host of things. He was grateful the sun was shining, that we were warm and safe, that we had snacks and drinks, that we were comfortable. He was grateful to be facing this situation with me, whom he felt safe with, and not with anyone else. He was grateful we didn’t have our children with us getting impatient. He was grateful that we could afford to get an airport hotel for the night and get new flights the next morning, something which wouldn’t have been true a year earlier.

If you would like to learn to be more mindful and grateful, please give me a call!