Being centered amidst the turbulence
The eye of the hurricane lies at its center where there is absolute calmness, surrounded by a ring of turbulent thunderstorms.
This is the area where the weather is calm, the sky is clear, and the winds are just light breezes.
We have been experiencing turbulent thunderstorms in the recent past and this is bound to shake us to the core. The global epidemic of COVID-19 is changing our world as we know it. Life is taking another direction, but we can remain stable amidst this turbulence.
The eye of the hurricane is aware of all that is happening around it, but it cannot be moved. It is a stronghold. It doesn’t take part in the turbulence around it. The eye is deep within the hurricane, but not consumed by the force of the hurricane.
At times we may not be able to see the eye, but it is there. We need to be patient, and observant, not with our external eyes, but our internal vision that is crystal clear.
We are not the turbulent – despite being affected by it. We are separate from it – we are the silent center of the hurricane. We do not react, we just observe.
The surrounding is moving frantically, but we are stable – because God is within us. We watch what is happening, with curiosity, but not judging or condemning it, just observing. We know we cannot be moved no matter how intense things get. Not even the most powerful hurricane can affect the eye – the eye is always safe.
Each one of us has been affected in one way or the other, and there is a lot of information out there about the impact this unprecedented challenge has brought.
However, it is time for us to take stock of our life. It is important for us to go deep into ourselves where the eye of our hurricane sits, unperturbed, stable, calm, quiet. This is where our strength lies.
By breathing in and out deeply, we connect with our inner core. That is where all truth lies. That is where our strength lies. That is where we function from.
What can we do to ensure we are grounded?
Meditation– we need to connect with ourselves. By breathing deeply and being aware of our breath, we place ourselves in the eye of the storm. We are in control – we choose not to let in any turbulence. I keep an emotional safe distance from whatever is out there, while I remain the eye of the storm. The storm will pass – I wait in the eye, keeping myself safe, strong, and peaceful. When I breath deeply and consciously, I transform stress hormones (adrenalin, cortisol, norepinephrine etc.) to feel good hormones (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, estrogen, progesterone etc.).
Gratitude– When we recognize the good things in our life, we set off a neurobiological mechanism that leaves us feeling good. You cannot be grateful and depressed at the same time. In the midst of a hurricane, when we are grateful, we shift focus from what is troubling us to what is working. We don’t need big things to be grateful for, but even the simple act of breathing, or a cup of tea or coffee that we took, or a message we received from someone, or the sun shining, or the clothes we are in irrespective of their cost, or the water we used to wash our hands, etc. can leave us feeling rejuvenated. The list is endless. There is always something to be grateful for, we only need to open our eyes.
Focus on what is working, not what is not working: In the midst of all the turbulence, there are things that are working. For instance:
- People are communicating more – social distancing is not social isolation
- People are having time with family members
- We are appreciating the mere fact that we can breath
- People have been reaching out to help others
- We realize that we are all the same – irrespective of our social, racial, financial, religious, etc. status
- We are not in control. A virus can paralyze the whole world, so we need to put everything into the right perspective
- Parents are learning from their children and appreciating the role of teachers in their children`s lives
- People are becoming more and more creative
- We understand better about the impact of collective consciousness – we are energy beings and we communicate on a very deep level despite our differences
- We are going back to the basics – washing our hands, returning to the family, going out when it is absolutely necessary…
- And many more.
Reach out to others – Sometimes we may think that a small act has no meaning. This act could be life-saving for someone. This is what I call being Auntie Rosie in my book Breaking the Cycle – The Role of Auntie Rosie in Childhood Trauma Informed Care. Reaching out to others boosts our mood, and it makes us brothers and sisters.
Exercise– we do not need a physical gym to exercise, we can do some physical activities in our homes or backyards. Exercise boosts dopamine and gives us a sense of wellbeing, besides helping us to keep fit.
Do something you like – we all have things we have postponed because of lack of time. This is the time to revisit them. It helps us to be creative as well as use our time well. It is also boosts our sense of fulfilment.
Mind what you read or watch – Social media is full of information and we risk information overload which can be counter-productive to our wellbeing. Choose what you read, you are in control of that. Avoid too much obsession with the epidemic, otherwise it will control you.
All these are ways that could help us stay focused from our deepest self. Rember that emotions are more contagious than the virus, and what we send out there tends to return to us magnified.
Finally, this prayer has loads of sense:
God, Grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
An the Wisdom to know the difference.