The last few weeks have been stressful. Having moved into our first joint home 6 months ago, Ian & I have embarked on a major refurbishment programme to turn Corner Cottage into our dream home. At first it’s fun, deciding what to have, then come the headaches of making the budget stretch to everything we want to achieve now there is the noise. Power tools, diggers, tinny radios, men in heavy boots tramping through my personal space is it any wonder I’m feeling a bit frazzled? To make it even more intense I work from home – there’s no let up. Yesterday I’m sat at my desk with bits of breeze block flying at me as a plumber is chasing some pipe into the wall. As I said – stressful! 
By the end of the day when they’ve all gone home and peace reigns I think to myself finally I can do some work but it’s hard to focus, I’m tired, fed up and wondering why on earth I started this project. So I freed the dogs from their room and we all went outside for some air and it was then that Lily discovered the big pile of builders sand. What fun! 
My first reaction was irritation – she was already covered in sand that would have to be cleaned off and I was sure the builder wasn’t going to be impressed. Then before I could call her off Rusty joined in. At that point I made a decision. I looked at the joy on their faces and chose to change my attitude. This was not an irritation – this was fun! The three dogs had a wonderful time wrestling, digging, and playing with the sand. Then they ran around, found the trench full of water, went for a paddle and back in the sand. For twenty minutes we enjoyed the spectacle of 3 creatures running and interacting for the pure joy of it. It was hilarious watching the two black dogs become the colour of the red one and boy it felt good to laugh. We then had to play the hosepipe game to rinse everyone off which the boys loved but Lily wasn’t so keen on. 
As we came in, sent the dogs to bed to dry and sleep it off we both realised just how much tension and stress had been relieved simply by enjoying the moment. Not projecting our thoughts into the future ie worrying about cleaning up the mess but staying right in the present moment – mind and body in the same place experiencing real happiness and harmony. 
This morning, writing this with 3 plumbers, 1 builder and 1 kitchen fitter banging and crashing and arguing with the radio talk show it’s pretty difficult to see the joy in the now but it’s there. I’m sat with views of open countryside with the sun on the fields, immediately next to me a beautiful plant which was a thank you present from a grateful client I’d helped using the Grief Recovery Method and most importantly I’m sitting here healthy, with all my faculties able to do work I love. 
We all spend so much of our lives time travelling we barely notice it. Travelling into the past with our thoughts to find things to beat ourselves up with then projecting ourselves into the future to worry, creating stress, anxiety and pain much of which could be avoided if we simply stayed in the present. Yes we need to go to the past from time to time – that’s where fond memories and useful lessons lie. Yes we need to go to the future in order to plan and there can be pleasure in anticipation. Joy however is found in the now, in noticing what is happening right this second, experiencing emotions as they happen then letting them go to move to the next one. 
It’s taken me a lot practice to spend more time in the present. I couldn’t have done it before completing my unresolved grief as the past had too powerful a hold on my heart. The good news is that the tools the Grief Recovery Method have given me mean the past doesn’t own me any longer. 
If you have comments or experiences you’d like to share on this topic I’d love to hear them below. 
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