Weathering the Storms

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Transitions are not always easy. 

When the storms hit

When the winds blow

When the waves crash

And it’s intense    

And our homes are gone

And the babies cry

And our jobs are lost

And the family breaks

And the sickness comes

And the cancer spreads

And our faith is torn

And our courage fails

And our strength is weak

And all hope is lost.

So often during the storms of life we get scared, overwhelmed.  Doubt overpowers us.  Fear envelopes us. Chaos surrounds us and we are lost.  We feel alone.  We cannot see clearly.  And sometimes, when it gets really cloudy, we lose trust in our own inner guidance.   We don’t know the next step.  And so we resist.  

We resist the storm. 

We resist the change. 

We resist the transformation.  

We try to cling to what is comfortable.  We seek old patterns.  We search for what is stable.  

But, in truth, sometimes what is comfortable is not necessarily sustainable.  And sometimes the storm is present to break us free to expand, grow, change and transform for the better.  

Sometimes the storm is just what we need.  

A while ago I experienced my first sweat lodge.  Talk about all of your fears coming to the surface all at once.  

Claustrophobic.  Check.  

Feeling like you are not able to breathe.  Check.

Spiders.  Check. Check.  

And yet, there I sat.  In complete darkness.  No exit.  No escape.  No alternative.  

All I could do is sit.  In my fear.  In the heat.  In the darkness.  And (try to) breathe.  

But what happened in that lodge was beautiful.  

Within that lodge, I was eternally grateful for the people that were sitting next to me.  I could not see them, but they are present.  They were my Tribe.  The ones outside the lodge, praying for me, holding sacred space for me, supporting my growth and transformation, were my Tribe.  I was grateful I was not weathering this storm alone.  I was grateful for their presence.  Grateful that they were willing to transform as well.   

Within that lodge, I also had to surrender to the process.  Surrender my fear.  Surrender my expectations.  Surrender my agenda.  In all actuality, that lodge was hot, and enclosed, and uncomfortable, and hard - really, really, hard - until I surrendered. 

After the mind finally quieted down.  After the panic.  After the “what if’s” and intense fear.  

It finally released.  I finally let go. 

What was complete darkness before transitioned into silhouettes.  With each round I could see the glow of the rocks, the burning cedar.  Not only that,  my spacial awareness expanded.  The lodge that was so small you had to bow into and crawl and around in, did not seem so confined.  Space, even time, expanded.  It shifted.  And its altered state allowed more room to breathe.  

It seems transitions can flow a WHOLE lot smoother when we are willing to surrender.  

In his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle describes surrender as “the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life...to accept the present moment unconditionally.  It is to relinquish inner resistance to what is.”

He goes on to express the two choices we have when confronted with the storms of life.  

“You always have two choices: resistance or surrender.  Bondage or inner freedom from external conditions.  Suffering or inner peace.  Surrender does not transform what is, at least not directly.  Surrender transforms you.” 

Life can be hard.  It can be overwhelming at times. But if we unclench our fists from that which does not matter and if we silence the mind , then we are able to sit in our seat...  

  

And we trust the process

And we learn the lesson

And we find our tribe

And we release the pain

And we stand in integrity

And we follow Spirits’ lead

And we say yes to the universe

And we seek inner Healing

And we speak our truth

And we act with loving kindness

And we are reminded we are resilient

And we honor the process

And we weather the storms in life

And we dance in the rain

Together. 

It can be worth it.  The rain.  The storm.  It can bring nourishment to the soil of our soul and restore health, life, breath.  It can be worth it on the other side of the storm, no matter how long it takes.  

So whether it is -10 degrees, a heat wave, tsunami, or gentle rain - be in the elements.  

Get your feet dirty.  

Get wet.  Go all in. 

Be prepared to be suprised at who you are on the other side.  

Aho.