I woke this morning with a “shiner” – my right eye quite bruised. After multiple facial injections midweek to improve the symmetry and function in my face, a purple ugly bruise emerged – visual proof that the facial pain and discomfort I’d been experiencing this week was ‘real’. Despite having a valid physical reason to stay in bed, I knew deep down that I needed to get up and move to better manage my pain. I had a long flight ahead of me in a few days, so attending my regular yoga session was essential.

I whacked on some concealer to minimise the stares and showed up to my yoga class.

Throughout the class, adopting many poses just seemed to worsen the throbbing on the right side of my face. I struggled to divert my attention from the pulsating feeling in my eye. The pain just seemed to radiate into my nose.

However, the teacher reminded us of Michael Beckwith’s quote “ Energy flows where attention goes”. So, being mindful of this, I tried hard to instead focus on my breathing and balance. Choosing to direct my energy into other areas in my practice. As a result, the facial pain lessened.

When faced with difficulties (whether it’s an upcoming exam, head cold or death of a loved one) it’s easier sometimes to be so focused on the negativity of the situation. Subsequently, we can feel engulfed by this and fail to focus our attention on thoughts, areas or actions that can enhance our well-being. Whilst it’s important to recognise the obstacles, we have a choice in how much of our energy and attention we give them.

In my case, I know that by simply moving to help manage my pain and choosing to shift my mindset, changed my outlook for the entire day. I can’t control the bruising or pain but I can shift my attention to improve things!