When Life Gets Stormy

One of my favorite meditation spots is a little cove at the beach. Today the surf was rough, and as I sat there with my eyes closed it sounded like I was in the middle of a storm. The waves in front of me roared as they crashed into the sand, and the waves that were coming from the left sounded just like thunder before they violently slammed into the rocks. The sounds were chaotic, but I was completely at peace — even comforted. In my meditative state, I was slightly above it all and, of course, it was just the ocean — I was not in any danger from my perch on the sand. But it reminded me of life.

Sometimes we are strolling along and suddenly find ourselves in the middle of a storm. Some form of chaos arises and we are suddenly engulfed in it. It could be an argument with a loved one … a boss complaining about your performance … a traffic jam when you’re in a hurry … bad news. In our primitive brain state, we often find ourselves reacting immediately — lashing out, trying to defend ourselves, or running away by either physically or mentally or emotionally withdrawing to try to save ourselves.  Yoga and meditation can give you the tools to be able to rise above that primitive brain and look at a situation with perspective.  The next time you find yourself in the middle of a storm, take a breath. Pause. Give yourself a moment. Even if you don’t remember to do it immediately, you can stop as soon as you remember and collect yourself.  Breathe.  The storm can be raging all around you, and you have the power to stay calm and act as needed, rather than acting out from a state of panic or being overwhelmed.

After my meditation, I was shaking the sand out of my blanket when I saw a pod of nine dolphins gliding effortlessly through the rough water. I was absolutely enthralled when three dolphins broke off from the group to ride a wave toward the shore. A good reminder to always look for the joy!


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