The Eye of the Storm
In 1998, I experienced Hurricane Georges while living in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. The hurricane was a category 4 with sustained winds of 115 mph. Needless to say, it was very exciting and very scary at the same time. I remember boarding up our apartment, collecting water and stock-piling canned goods in preparation for the storm. Batteries, flashlights, tarp, a radio…all were things we anticipated we’d need post-hurricane. When the hurricane got close, we realized we were not in the safest place so we went to stay at a very nice hotel where they also had a generator to keep things somewhat operational.
Being this was the first hurricane experience of my life, I knew from the news how to prepare, but I didn’t know exactly what to expect. What I saw next was truly awesome in every sense of the word. I remember sitting in the middle of the bed worried about what would happen. Would we be safe? Would we be hurt? Or worse? Would our material possessions be spared or lost? As the hurricane hit St. Thomas and I sat there in the middle of the bed I remember my ears popping from the pressure as if I was on a plane. The water in the toilet would suddenly disappear and then come rushing back. The palm trees, thick at their trunks, bent down to the ground with the powers of the wind. The normally calm Caribbean Ocean swelled with 20 foot waves. Roofs, glass, debris all flew through the air. Then there was calm. Absolute calm. Eerie calm. The sun poked through the clouds. And all was peaceful. For 30 minutes. Then Hurricane Georges gave us round two of its wrath. The winds picked back up. The rain started again. And the roofs, glass, debris and trees all started to fly away and sway THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. When all was said and done, Hurricane Georges took 600 souls and did $10 billion in damages from the Lesser Antilles through Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the U.S. mainland.
This experience, while devastating to some and less impactful to others symbolizes our daily lives. The hurricane came through with seemingly reckless abandoned. Destruction. Annihilation. Damage. Ruin. These are the winds that attack our daily lives and seek to obliterate happiness, joy, contentment and peace. We look to “prepare” for the storms by hedging our bets for disappointment. i.e. “well I know it won’t work out so I’ll just be okay staying in the same place if it doesn’t work.” Or we relegate our circumstances as something elusive or beyond our emotions such as “well, it is what it is.” Or we have developed a sense of unworthiness that keeps us stagnant, “well it’s just the way my life goes, so I’m just going to go with it.” But more specifically, the hurricane winds symbolize seemingly, uncontrollable chaos that we tend to accept as real. But the true reality is, we control the calm.
As I experienced Hurricane Georges, I realized after it was over that the 30 minutes of peace when I thought the hurricane was complete, was actually the eye of the storm passing over the island. The eye of the storm was completely calm yet it was surrounded by destruction, annihilation, damage, ruin and chaos. The eye of the storm allowed for the sun to peak through and provided a sense of relief, peace and serenity. It was quiet, tranquil and still. In our everyday lives, we should strive to live in the eye and not in the chaos of the winds. The eye is the inner you. Your authentic being. Your true reality. Discovering the inner, quiet, still being that is your true authentic self provides protection against the destructive blustering chaos of what we live everyday. The anarchy of the world’s challenges. The disorder of the judicial system. The turmoil of your working environment. The disarray of unsatisfying and disappointing relationships. Being the eye of the storm or in other words, living from within…provides the peace, tranquility and serenity we all covet. Being the eye of the storm or living from within provides a safe haven that produces joy, happiness and peace, no matter the surrounding circumstances.
“In true reality, NOTHING exists outside the self. The only goal worth attaining is complete freedom to be yourself, without illusions and false beliefs” Deepak Chopra. The winds of chaos exist outside of self. Therefore, look inward to discover the natural happiness, joy, peace and love you seek. These gifts are not achieved from receiving from the outside in, but are created from the inside out. Walking and living in the eye of the storm allows us to be confident, happy, loving and self-assured no matter what the outside circumstances. Because they are just that…outside circumstances. Even when you feel they are happening directly to you, they still remain outside circumstances. And you have the power to manifest your calm in the midst of it all. We are not relegated to be victims of our circumstances. Instead we are empowered to co-create the circumstances we desire. We are endowed to create and manage the emotions we desire most. At any given moment in time. We have the ability to produce whatever we want in the current moment and construct something different in the very next moment. Be proactive in your creation as God has ordained instead of being a passive observer of your life as it passes you by and delivers what you have simply responded to instead of created. Commune with God, your Creator in prayer. Find yourself in meditation. Create your physical life from your soul.
Live in the calm. Not in the chaos that surrounds you.