It’s been like living in a lightning storm lately. The rumbles in the distance sound foreboding, dark clouds gathering. Then CRACK! A strike hits too close and it feels dangerous. Adrenalin rushes, surges, subsides…followed by nagging worry. It’s not very mindful to get caught up in cycles of worry, but it’s hard not to wonder what will come next. Nothing? Maybe something? Maybe the storm has passed? Then another flash, and then another thunderclap. It echoes through the atmosphere, rattling the windowpanes. Maybe the storm isn’t moving along like we thought. Maybe it’s not just a passing weather front. Maybe this is a hurricane.
Keeping our peace of mind intact is a continuous challenge in this charged atmosphere. The question shifts from maintaining peace to facing the threat. How do we stay grounded? Should we even try? Perhaps we need to evacuate to a place where there are no hurricanes. But what if we could harness the electricity and direct it into something equally powerful, except intentional and beneficial for the whole?
I always find myself watching these types of storms unfold, mesmerized and frightened, hoping it won’t hit me—at least not directly. At the same time, I get skittish with a frenetic need to board up the house, gather my list of resources, lay out all of my flashlights and candles, bemoan my decision to postpone purchasing a generator. I worry about the kids, the pets, the cars, and if the old trees shading my house are going to fall on it. I put on some comfortable, but presentable, clothes so I won’t look like a crazy person if I somehow wind up on the local news station. I wonder if we’ll need a boat if it starts to flood. I pray we don’t because I don’t have one anyway. If the water keeps rising after the rain is blowing through for days, when the wind is whipping raindrops into needles and peeling off the shingles, what am I really going to do? I dutifully pack a bag, but I don’t really want to leave. This is my home, after all.
There are times when the storm makes me feel more alive and hyper-aware; determined and committed to withstanding the onslaught. Part of me wants to face it and rage at it, matching energy in an exhilarating opportunity to scream into the crescendo. But I understand that the storm can end me if I’m not careful. My voice will be lost in the howl of the wind. I’m nothing but a speck compared to this whirling system. It cares nothing for me, nor about me. And this is about when the realization hits that I need to hang on tight to keep myself safe, to dial back my perspective to my own soul. If I have to temporarily get out of its way to ensure that I will make it out alive, that is absolutely one way to do it.
The truth is, there are many ways to navigate hurricane season that are valid. Hunker down, prepare for the deluge, flee for the short term, or completely remove yourself from where it may come ashore. No one can define what’s best for you and your sanity but you. But if you find yourself facing this hurricane (or the next or the next after that one), and you cannot get out of its path, do not give in or grow weary. It is possible to maintain your mindfulness, centeredness, groundedness, and to work wisely with what you have to abide and stay strong.
Others may try to diminish your worries, claiming that it’s all happened before, and it all turned out fine. “It’s not even a bad one,” they say. “Not like Katrina, not like Andrew, not like Hugo, not like Galveston.” But you’ve seen the scars they bear—that maybe your own family bears. Sure, storms have always happened, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from the past and choose wisely. It certainly is prudent to pay attention to the forecast, at a minimum.
I need something to envision this time that will help me feel like I am doing something instead of just camping out in the closet with a box of saltines and a jar of peanut butter and a hefty romance novel.
Sit down. Take a deep breath. And close your eyes.
Allow yourself to imagine walking into the storm. You relish the feeling of the wind on your skin. You can feel the electricity around you. If you hold out your hands, you can collect the energy between your palms where it becomes a ball of blue light. You are going to grow that globe of light until it is as big as a beachball, and you need both arms to hold it. You are going to sit it on the ground, and step inside. The ball will grow around you like a forcefield that only you can see. If you move, it will move with you. You have collected the storm’s energy to energize your protection. The electrons’ negative charge will repel other electrons and attract the positive.
Now, you are going to imagine what you want life to look like when the storm passes. Your ideal existence should make you feel happy, peaceful, and safe. Hold out your hands again, and feel the wind blowing past them. Cup your fingers and carve through the rushing air, imagining the slipstream swirling around you. Turn your hands like paddles until you feel yourself moving like a canoe on a current, just moving along, avoiding the rocks and whirlpools, until you find yourself at the shore of the destination you chose.
Imagine once more that you are holding your hands together to catch the rain. Bring your hands to your lips and drink the cool, crisp, sweet water coming down around you. You feel it slide down your throat, slaking your thirst and filling your heart with hope, calmness, and determination.
You are in communion with the world around you, and have captured the elements of the storm that will lift you and see you through into tomorrow.
Eventually, hurricane season will pass. The energy will settle. The atmosphere will lighten, and the sun will come out. We can sigh with relief and stop the active management of dealing with the threat. But we can retain what the storm gave us, and use it in our favor.
INSPIRATIONS THIS WEEK
We’re feeling inspired by these incredible and thought provoking pieces:
- In Pompeii, Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Pregnant TortoiseThe tortoise was likely looking for a safe place to lay her egg when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E.
- 5 Unexpected Ways Meditation Improves Relationships, a LotMeditation is not just good for you, it’s good for your relationships.
- 7 moments of activism that defined the pain and hope of 2022A year marked by tragedy sees communities rallying together.
That’s all for today, y’all – remember, taking time to focus on you is an act of love.
We hope you found this helpful – don’t hesitate to reply with any feedback on how we can improve future Mindful Moments! We can’t wait to hear from you.
See you next time!
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