'The point of power is always in the present moment.'

‘El punto de poder radica siempre en el momento presente.’

Up early to watch the sunrise and have a bit of 'grounding and resetting' time this morning.

In my 20s, I was certainly not a morning person, but now through lifestyle and necessity, pre-daybreak or day-break has become treasured time when it makes sense to try and ‘harvest’ calmness and clarity if I can.

I feel much better today than yesterday. Yesterday, I felt physically unwell which led to me feeling quite anxious in the evening and during the night. I guard both my physical and mental wellness as sacred. Health is our most important possession.

Having been significantly unwell in the past, but trying to battle on regardless, has taught me never to take good health for granted. And when we don’t feel well, act. Do something about it. Respond rather than ignore. It’s our body’s way of telling us something isn’t right.  

Yesterday’s unexpected wellness-dip came after 3 days of feeling particularly strong and powerful. I had my mojo and va-va-voom going on, and a swagger in my step. On Monday night, I even mentioned to a good friend how peaceful and powerful I had felt, especially in my pilates class. But boy! That came back to bite me the very next day! Suddenly whoosh, it had vanished!

Often, in the uncertainty of life, we can't know how we are going to feel from one day to the next. Sometimes fabulous, sometimes our day is a struggle. When we're in that peaceful, powerful place, we must note it, lean in to it and absorb it. It's great.

But, we shouldn't overstretch ourselves, which is what I think I what I did. My endorphins got the better of me and I forgot to pace myself. I didn’t refuel enough to keep the levels steady and consistent, leading to the energy-less, drained 'crash' the next day.

When my body can’t manage the expectations of my mind, I feel vulnerable and afraid. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen often anymore as physical and mental balance are key factors in my life. However, no one is perfect and despite our instincts and best efforts, and even though we know better, we can still sometimes slip into past habits.

It is helpful to have strategies up our sleeves to help and support us when we have days that make us feel inadequate or a bit disorientated, ‘Last week, I thought I was super-woman, but today the idea of just washing my face seems like it might finish me off. As for work and speaking to other people… how am I going to manage that?!’ From my counselling and helping practice, and from my friendships and family life too, I know we all have days like this. It’s totally normal.

It is also helpful to give ourselves a break and not be cross with ourselves when we do have days of feeling less than brilliant. Being kind to ourselves is crucial. Don't listen to that critical voice... 'What's wrong with me?' Why can't I be more...?' We aren’t crazy for needing to live life at our own pace when we can. It's perfectly natural to need balance. Our nervous systems require it on a physiological and psychological level. And that balance will be different for everyone.

Even if we have a multitude of things in our lives that we're truly grateful for, it is totally normal and ok to have a wobble. We are not bad, ungrateful people. We are truly thankful for what we have, but also acknowledge that for those of us living with trauma in our past, we are more susceptible to sudden delicate moments. These 'wobbles' it should be noted, often stem from past trauma that on a subconsicous (unconscious in psychotherapeutic terms) level, make their way into our present, sometimes for no apparent reason initially.

2022 was not an easy year. I put myself through some pretty physical and mental demands. I had 4 IVF treatments. For good reason, it had to be done and it was my choice to do it. But still, it was super tough alongside working full-time. One of which, an extended long protocol mock cycle, was particularly difficult and made me quite ill.

At the same time, I was experiencing episodes of not being able to breathe, sudden racing heart and passing out. Several times, I woke up on the floor surrounded by a gaggle of concerned helpers. Extremely embarrassing. And frustrating. I wanted desperately to be ‘normal.’ This also happened when driving. I would feel the sensation begin and have to pull over and wait for it pass. It was also worrying as I have a minor congenital heart condition.

This is not the first time that these scary being unwell moments have taken place in my life, and actually, it wasn’t so bad. As a woman in my 40s, I know how to manage my health. I have the skills and am better equipped to deal with stuff like this than say, 10 years ago. I’ve made that a priority to help myself and to help others too.

Understanding what is happening in our bodies and our minds, in many contexts (not all) makes things less scary. The passing out episodes, I knew were related to trauma; past multiple IVFs, past losses, all the past stuff wrapped up in my infertility journey which though dealt with, still have the capacity to influence my present because that journey, those experiences are still part of who I am.

Making the effort to be positive, strong and mighty during the present IVFs, when actually becoming increasingly worn out, left very little in the tank to function in the way that I wanted throughout 2022.

I spent a lot of that year knowing that I had to be really careful. Doing 4 IVFs in 9 months, meant applying all my skills and awareness to do everything within my power to maintain my physical and mental health to manage it. At the age of 43/44, and after losing 8 previous embryos, it was quite a big ask of my body and mind.

Something like this would be overwhelming for anyone’s nervous system. My mind has always been ‘Lets do this!’ whilst the reality has sometimes been, well actually, just be calm, gentle and realistic. We don’t always need to be in warrior mode. In flight, flight, or freeze mentality. We can’t be. If we were, we’d be at major risk of burnout with our cortisol, adrenalin and epinephrine levels always in overdrive.

I welcomed 2023, with wide open arms and a full heart knowing that somehow, I had to prioritise rest to recover from the previous 12 months. This morning, after getting up early to greet the sunrise, I gave myself time to do two things I love that help me reset. Writing. Hence, this blog post. And, resetting my expectations for my day.

As well as other simple mindfulness techniques, I use Power Thought Cards at the moment. I flip over these cards for my affirmation for the next few days. Clearly, I can’t do this every day. But I do plan time for this into my diary, in particular when I’m really busy. If don’t do this, it doesn’t happen. When it’s written into my calendar, I can see where I have the space and time to invest in my mental health.

Today’s message was amazingly and reassuringly appropriate, so timely and fitting for how I was feeling when I woke up.

'The point of power is always in the present moment.'

‘El punto de poder radica siempre en el momento presente.’

‘The past is over and done and has no power over me. I can begin to be free in this moment. Today’s thoughts create my future. I am in charge. I now take my own power back. I am safe and I am free.’

It’s a remarkable reflection, totally in keeping with what I needed to read and think about realigning myself with where I’m at in my present whilst acknowledging, yet letting go of past difficulties. These words really hit the spot and couldn’t be anymore congruent to how I felt yesterday.

In fact, these words in Spanish, for visualisation purposes, are even more powerful than the English translation. ‘The focal point of power always radiates from/in this present moment.’ That is to say, where we are right now is our most powerful moment. Not our past, or our future, but our ‘here and now.’

It is through this centralising radiating lens that we view our past and our future. If we work on a healthy mind-set and perspective in the ’here and now,’ then our past and future experiences can also be viewed through this ‘lens.’ A truly powerful concept.

This powerful message will now sit on my desk all day as I work. And as I sip my water, pause, and look over to my ‘reminder’ I know I will lean into these words as the truth for my day.

Whatever words, affirmations and positive reflections you choose to have with you throughout your day as your ‘guiding thoughts or principles’, I hope that they will bring you a renewed energy and a sense of freedom that you will be ok. No matter what you have faced, are facing, or are feeling in the present, you can do this. You survived before, you are stronger than you once were. Trust yourself. Your past has no power over you. Be kind to yourself today.

Tagged under: Therapy   Wellbeing   Mental Health