|Posted by Elfreda Manahan-Vaughan on January 25, 2019 at 8:15 AM|
As many of you who follow my blogs post or who know me will know, I am no stranger to heartbreak and loss. When my parents passed away, in my twenties, I had no mindfulness practice to see me through that challenging time. In more recent years I’ve lost two uncles, my father in law as well as two cats and a dog. When each of these occasions arose, I returned to the present moment as best as I could and although I was sad, I was able to cope much better than I had previously.
As I write today my beloved dog McLovin is very ill with a suspected brain tumour, how much time he has or whether he will recover enough to have some time left is uncertain. Times like these have the ability to pull you from the present moment very easily, like leaving money at the atm in a supermarket, only for a staff member to find you after a customer had handed it in, that happened yesterday. That situation had two lessons for me, one is that I need to be more present and the second was that there are some kind and honest people out there in the world.
I am acutely aware that when I dwell on what’s happening, I fall into tears and a sense of loss but if I bring myself to what is here, right now, I can still work and take care of what’s important but most importantly be there for my ill dog. It is every easy to slide into the past, remembering how he was before, going over the events in the run up to this day, wondering what we could have done differently and yet none of that will change where I am now, other than make it harder. If I rush ahead to the future, I am consumed with potential grief, loss and imagining my life without him. This is neither useful or beneficial either.
Staying in the present allows me to be with my emotions as they arise, letting them ebb and flow knowing that they will soon pass to be replaced by another. Focusing on what is right in front of me keeps me in the here and now and helps me to experiencing gratitude for what I have. I am glad that Mc’s illness gives me time to prepare for what is yet to come. I am grateful for all people who are supporting me and James through this, friends, family and the veterinary staff who have all been so kind. I am grateful for the concerned comments from colleagues and neighbours as they enquire about his welfare and I am grateful for my mindfulness practice that keeps pulling me back to the present.
I cannot know what will happen but for now I can rest in what is within my power and allow myself to experience the fullness of my life in each passing moment.
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I hope our paths cross gain in future,
Elfreda (Mind Coach, Trainer & Meditation Instructor)