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When Life is Like a Tornado

In reviewing the blog post I wrote in May 2011 reflecting upon a devastating storm, it seemed eerily relevant to today. This time, not just one community impacted, but on a global scale from Covid.

Whatever your beliefs about C-19, it has brought massive changes to the world we knew not too long ago. It's wrought chaos throughout nations, transforming countless ways in conducting business, education, shopping, family dynamics, friendships, the onset of social distancing and more. While many rules have been created, and no matter what has been changed or been taken away, we still have dominion over our own thoughts and how we choose to envision the present and implications for the future. It's having to remember that sometimes moment by moment, taking charge of the direction we want to go, whether into fear or freedom.

I've found monitoring my attitudes to be an excellent opportunity for projecting what I desire in creating a post-pandemic world. So, with this time for plenty of reflection, I've envisioned some of the changes I'd like to see: A time gathering together in unity, of finally coming together after so much polarization and isolation. I look forward to unmasked smiles, connecting in joy, and in gratitude for our humanity. I envision a revolutionized healthcare system equipped with new therapies and technologies for the wellness and wellbeing of young and old alike. I look forward to the spirit of innovation upgrading every system in need of renovation.

There are many more since I have a very active imagination, yet above all relishing the fruits of freedom, forever ripe for creating worlds of rich supply and manifestation for the wellbeing of all global citizens.

Even now while storm clouds gather, I see on the horizon a new world taking shape, transforming today's realities into tomorrow's dreams for a bright future beyond our wildest imaginings. Our thoughts are powerful in bringing them into reality, and united together with similar vision what a world we will create!“

Original post, May 2011

Will life ever be the same for you?” the reporter asked a Joplin resident on this morning’s newscast following the flattening of a city from a Midwestern monster tornado. What a preposterous question! How could life ever be the same when an entire community is physically decimated with few remnants, if any, of familiarity?  Residents will begin again, rebuilding a new life that could never fully resemble the old. Experiencing such utter destruction shakes up everything, usually  including our priorities, and that changes how a new life is reassembled.

As a metaphor, a storm that twists and tears your life apart as you once knew it, can never be reassembled in the same way.  There’s a natural desire to hang on to the pieces. Just as they’re doing now in Joplin, people sifting through the rubble, to find remnants from the past, of something tangible, representing life before the storm.

When life twists us in new directions–whether through natural disasters or changes in health, relationships, finances, employment and other events, we’re given an opportunity to examine how to re-engineer from the perspective of “what is.”  This means bracing for the arduous task of starting over along with an attitude of acceptance that our life for awhile and perhaps a very long time, will be chaotic, far from the comfort zone of the past.  There’s much to overcome including our own resistance–that’s required for firing up a spirit of resilience to meet all the challenges, but ultimately, that is what’s needed.

Tess Gallagher reminds us, “The past is not only that which happened but also that which could have happened but did not.” So we have to embrace the new reality and not rail against what we have to do to put life back together, if it hadn’t happened. It did. Looking back and wishing your present wasn’t what it is, does nothing to support needed next steps. Moving forward is where you need to focus your energy along with remembering to have patience through the process, often reminding yourself regularly to be patient especially when it’s hard, because it is. Building a new life takes time, an endurance run for the heart.

Taking time to reflect how you want to experience your present as well as how you want your future to look like, is a valuable stress-reducer. That way you’re consciously creating your attitude which is within your control–of setting your intentions, a powerful and productive use of your energy. It’s scary being in uncharted territory, not knowing what’s next, and lots of “what if’s” that rise up  adding to your angst.  Yet,  when you take command by committing to how you will maneuver through all the changes, things fall into place rather than apart.

When my life was in full-blown chaos from the unexpected journey taken in 2004, I remember wailing, “I don’t like my life much right now!” My world had shaken apart, and found myself spinning in so many directions–stressed, confused, with fear thoughts swirling through my head. After a year enmeshed in daily stress, with few moments of joy, a friend shared a reality check, “Sandy, this is your life!” That was my wake-up call to stop resisting and get busy accepting that my life had changed. Not to say, it was all flow from that point forward, but I was determined to focus on gratitude for friends and the support that enveloped me, and to find more things to be happy about, along with creating more moments of joy to lighten the way. One of the gifts from my own journey, led me to present programs on living with gusto, to feel good, in spite of challenging circumstances and to discover that resilient spirit within.

When swept up into chaos, our job is taking personal responsibility to pick up  the scattered shards of what was, see what still fits if at all, or must now be discarded, and consciously re-assemble a life in tune with what is of the highest priority.

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