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The Power of Now

Last week I attended a Mental Health First Aid course and it reinforced a number of principals that I already knew to be true. Although I have lived with a with a mental illness, for two and a half years I think that it is my yoga practice that has given me the greatest understanding of mental health issues and the best way to live sustainably them.

I have read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”, by the way I would not recommend reading or even listening to this audio book because although Eckhart’s message is sound and profound id is long and it can basically be summed up in 3 points in my opinion:

1. Be present in every interaction with yourself or others - when you are having a shower, have a shower, when you are having a conversation – be in the conversation

2. Surrender (let go of all expectations) How do you know when you have truly surrendered? - you will no longer have to ask the question

3. Depression is fueled by the living in the past Anxiety is fueled by focusing on the future and the only place to find peace is right now.

I come from a family where mental health issues are quite prevalent, I remember telling a Aunty of mine many years ago that I was scared that my job was going to be made redundant and she said “don’t worry about it, you can’t change anything.” This could be perceived that she did not have empathy for my situation, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I know that my Aunty’s, Uncle’s and father grew up with a father who suffered with mental health conditions and what they learned from that time was that worrying did not improve any situation. They were right; however, this is easier said than believed by someone suffering from anxiety. It is important that we all know what helps to keep us present. I know for me walking my dog, hugging my husband, calling my friends, practicing yoga, and being near the water reminds me of the power of now. What keeps you present?

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