I have had a barrage of thoughts about the Corona virus and the changes it is forcing upon us all across the world in an unprecedented way. It’s been difficult to know where to start, because many of the thoughts are so conflicting, hence it’s taken me a while to put pen to paper.

Lieselle and I are at home in France on lockdown. We were in the UK a little over a week ago visiting family, and whilst the conversations revolved around the virus and its potential effects, at that stage life was completely normal, aside from the financial losses on my shares (but I genuinely learned money is only a tool, and every threat can also be an opportunity—so I have no need to dwell on them).

We drove to Cornwall on Friday 13th, leaving early to have lunch in Port Isaac, and then to explore my favourite county and the place of my birth. By the time we got to the ferry in the evening, news of the Spanish state of emergency was breaking, so rather than taking the ferry to Santander and heading to the boat, we decided at the last minute to change our plans and come home to hunker down. That turned out to be a very fortuitous decision.

We were able to shop normally until the following Tuesday when France went into lockdown. And then life changed in a way that was unimaginable just a few weeks ago.

To be honest I think, like many of you, we are both still slightly in shock. I can no longer cycle every morning, and a trip to the shop may only be local and with a certificate authorising the trip. Like most places, only grocery shops and pharmacies are open.

So, effectively, we are in a large cage.

But the truth is we are trapped in paradise. We are so lucky to be surrounded by countryside, to have space to plant vegetables, and many of my family and friends will tell you, that the life of a hermit suits me.

I really hurt my back on our last full day in New Zealand, I could barely walk. But with a copious amount of pain killers, we travelled anyway. Then I had terrible food poisoning in Portugal, the sort that keeps you on all fours in the bathroom all night. Again I travelled 24 hours later. And now this.

I have had to stop, and it’s a blessed relief to let go of the timetable that drove my life and instead begin to live a simple life.

I don’t overly worry about Lieselle or I catching the virus  (in fact I would quite like to get it out of the way before my seasonal asthma kicks in.) We both know this is only a small part of our journey, and I don’t believe it will present a serious threat to our health.

Likewise, I think my four wonderful kids and grandkids, my sister and her special family will be fine, although I miss them. But my main concern is for my parents, especially my Mum who has a lung condition. They are isolated at home with supermarket deliveries. But I feel a little hopeless, it all feels a bit like a lottery.

I know I must watch my thoughts, but I am struggling at times to even imagine a life without the daily communication with my parents.  They are wonderful and we are close. They are both 84 and still live a full life. My father only gave up being a display pilot four years ago. I try not to imagine the worst—in many ways it all feels so unreal that this thing has crept up on us and turned everyone’s world upside down.

Its hard to comprehend that I cannot simply get in my car and drive to England to be near them, even if I can only look in the window to see them! For someone who has travelled all my life certainly to the majority of countries around the world (being in the navy helped), the lack of freedom to travel is hard to get my head around.

But rather than look at the down side, and knowing that its important to keep my thoughts positive, Lieselle and I are looking to the positive. I can’t help feeling that overall, despite the financial pain and despite the lack of freedoms, that this gives us all a chance to simplify, to get back to the basics and to see that the real value in life is family and friends, health, and that travel is a gift we should not take for granted.

Living simply in nature with someone you love is the biggest gift.

We have returned to our routine of exercise and meditation first thing in the morning, followed by a couple of hours at our desks before an afternoon of gardening. Most days we add another meditation and or yoga.

We are eating a 90% vegetarian diet with the occasional fish inclusion. Twice a week we fast ( to build up the immune system)  and once a week we spend the whole day meditating or in other spiritual practices.

As soon as we are on top of the garden and now I can again sit at my desk (up to 10 days ago my back made sitting for any length of time too painful), I can restart my book that I last put down in New Zealand.

I think more people are beginning to re-evaluate the life they were living and starting to see what truly matters. Meanwhile, nature as a whole breathes a sigh of relief as our emissions cascade downwards.

The free tools on the thinkmiracle website are there to help you re evaluate, I would be. Even as founder, I still need to remind myself from time to time what matters in life, and I use them every day.

I hope they can also help you remodel your life as I remodelled mine.

With Love

Mark