Life Mental health Purpose Reflection Self awareness

The undeniable and magnificent power of now

About mastering the courage to escape denial and check in with your thoughts and feelings.

Losing a loved one is the most significant test for embracing the now.

I lost my mother recently. Unexpected.

I won’t elaborate more on that event itself, but more about my experience from when it happened until a few days after.

It has everything to do with the power of now. 

And it’s an incredible learning experience.

Coincidentally, or perhaps not if you don’t believe in coincidence, I was reading (listening to) the book Power of Now by Eckart Tolle at the moment of the event.

This quote was, for me, the greatest piece of awareness in the process.

“Nothing has happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.” — Eckhart Tolle.

The day after, I had to drive from the Czech Republic to the Netherlands to be with my family and prepare.

Driving more than 800km was not something I was looking for with all the sadness I had inside.

It was the first important step in getting my head around the event.

Listening to the book while driving was a godsend. It forced me to think about the moment of now, about accepting what had happened, about embracing the process I was unwillingly and unexpectedly put into.

When you lose a loved one, one thing is for sure.

Whatever you think or do, you won’t bring the person back. 

Never. Ever.

You can try as hard as you probably want to; it won’t happen.

It may sound icy, I get that, but it’s the hard truth.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to start a conversation with your mind and emotions. 

And that’s the lesson for any situation in life and at work.

When you make a mistake that impacts your performance at work, you can’t undo the mistake.

If you breached someone’s trust with your mistake, you probably want to make it up as soon as possible. 

It’s not going to work. It’s a process, just like grief.

You can’t undo it now, and you can’t repair it now.

You can only accept it now.

You must master the courage to escape denial and check in with your thoughts and feelings.

It’s easier said than done, but the sooner you can embrace the now, the sooner you get out of your head and move on.

Time heals all the wounds, I know. But you can help time a little.

I made a point to be aware of everything I was thinking, feeling, and doing.

Hyper aware.

I had no clue where it was leading, but it felt like the right thing to do.

You can’t move on by dwelling on the past.

You can also not move on by jumping into the future.

You can only move on by being fully present at the first step forward.

And I can’t say what that means better than this quote.

What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, we call a butterfly.” — Eckhart Tolle.

No matter how dark the sky may look or how heavy the wind and rain may be, the sun will eventually come out again. 


Are you the caterpillar or the butterfly?

That’s, in a nutshell, what it’s all about. 

Being hyper-aware, embracing the process, and accepting the facts was a tremendous growth process.

And carry a sense of gratitude with you all the time.

Your turn: Caterpillar 🐛 or Butterfly 🦋 

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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