I recently went to France to help sell a property for my mother who lives in Norway. There was a lot of debating back and forth before leaving. I bought my plane ticket as France became a country we could travel to from the UK without justifying essential reason. Then the virus situation in France worsened and suddenly everything seemed uncertain regarding my trip.

Four days before leaving I was still hesitating about going. And then I decided to take the leap. A big word, but it felt like one! There were virus tests to be taken as well as documents to prepare to back up my trip. At the end I had a big folder ready.

The uncertainty was the hardest part to deal with. Would I be allowed into France? Would I be stopped at Heathrow and asked to return home? Would all my document preparation and expensive Covid tests be in vain? What if France became a red country while I was there and I couldn’t come back to the UK? What if I would have to do two weeks quarantining in an airport hotel? What about care for my dog if my stay in France was prolonged? What if my flight got cancelled for my return? What if it was actually not wise to travel at all… Perhaps it would be better to delay the selling of the flat to another time?

Oh so many fear-based questions. I promise you there were many more. For each of them I could easily attach a long chain of negative thoughts and make up a worse case scenario.

This is how the mind works. It is looking to analyse a situation again and again. It does so to protect you against an imaginary potential future outcome and make sure you choose the safest option. Often the beliefs and stories the mind is basing its analysis on are from events that happened long time ago, maybe even something you were told as a child! It is stored in your subconsciousness. The mind will also make conclusions from what you have heard in the news (which are often negative). It is very easy to go with fear when making a decision and you don’t have 100% guarantee for the outcome you desire.

The thing is, the mind can be wrong. It is important to remember that you are in charge, not your mind. The mind is a powerful tool and you are the boss. You make the decisions. If you train your awareness, this could be through meditation, you will be able to catch yourself when the mind takes off in negative thinking. You will know when you don’t need to listen. It is powerful to become aware of the thoughts that control your decisions. It expands your consciousness.

I know intellectually that magic happens when you go out of comfort zone. I have read it is good to do things that scare you. I saw my trip to France as an opportunity to try out this truth. Yes, it felt scary. And yes, the trip went super well.

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children.