Lessons come to us when we most need to learn them, often in surprising ways. I learned a few things recently from one of my favorite teachers - Mother Nature.
Let’s rewind a few weeks, and you’ll find me praying for angelic help and a little extra time to meet my deadline and put the finishing touches on the forthcoming Every Day Spirit Gratitude Journal.
(Which I can't wait to tell you about soon!)
Meanwhile, Hurricane Dorian was an enormous, swirling mass of destruction taking aim at the barrier island that I call home - with the power to flatten the place.
So imagine a busy me, when, with almost no warning, everything outside my house needs to come inside (picture a living room with porch furniture and outdoor plants everywhere, complete with hitchhiking lizards and bugs), the windows need to be shuttered, the fridge filled with ice, a suitcase packed for an unknown number of days, appliances unplugged from the walls, and decisions made about what qualifies as “important papers.” (I have no idea what I took.)
Then see me leaving town. And hear me yelling out the car window to the sky, “Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something here?”
(Okay, I’m tired just thinking about the porch furniture paragraph. And no, I didn’t really yell that, but I did think it. Maybe with a swear word involved.)
When I arrive inland at Tiny Guru’s place (my adorable little spiritual mom), she, too, is a little out of sorts with the looming forecast.
In an attempt to lighten the mood I kid, “Oh Mom, don’t get your panties in a twist.” It must have hit home because she says enthusiastically, “My panties are in a COLOSSAL twist! That describes me perfectly.”
So now there are two of us facing the wind in a twist. :)
As most of you know, I am walking this road of spiritual awakening and enlightenment with you, reading the pages of Every Day Spirit daily and applying the principles in my own life too.
So, um, where do I find inner peace and gratitude in the midst of this literal hot mess?
As we sit on the couch watching Tiny’s TV, awed by the enormity of the massive hurricane, I realize the answer is right there in front of us.
I have a vision of me standing heart deep in the eye of the hurricane.
It’s unimaginably serene in this calm center. Just like it is in us.
As winds of change race around the circumference, there is a tranquil oasis within. Just like there is in us.
There is “being” in the center of the “doing.” Just like there is in us.
Mind, body and spirit. We are not only what we see on the outside. We are also a rich well of magnificent spiritual wisdom, joy and peace that never changes and never dims.
The calm in our storm is always ready to reveal itself at the invitation of a few deep breaths, a positive affirmation, a whisper of gratitude.
It’s right here. In the center of us.
As I breathe into the place of inner peace, I see the porch furniture in my living room. Instead of feeling the sweaty inconvenience of moving it, I feel privileged that it is there at all. I am grateful.
As I breathe into the place of inner peace, I feel the overwhelming good fortune of having an extended visit with Tiny. I am grateful.
As I breathe into the place of inner peace, I recognize that if all of the things I own were gone but I was spared, I would still have my life. I could still love and be loved. I am grateful.
Inner peace and gratitude. Who knew a hurricane could bring lessons of each? I am grateful.
So when the winds of change are swirling or the noise of the world is more than we can bear, there lies a calm center of inner peace and gratitude, offering a soul-awakening alternative to stress and complaint.
And for that we can be grateful.
(This post was written with heartfelt prayers for all those severely affected by this storm.)
Next week, more on gratitude and what research tells us is a sure way to bring more joy into our lives.