I spent the night on the couch last night. The weather turned in the early hours of the morning, waking me from a deep sleep. Gripping me with fear. It's safer on the main level, I told myself. I'm closer to the kids - in a better position to get to them should something wicked this way come. Late this morning as the skies darkened and weather watches were issued, I was again gripped with fear. My kids weren't near. I was across town, sitting by myself in an old train station obsessively watching the weather radar, trying to figure out how to get to the basement of this old building, trying to figure out how to get to my kids should the worst blow through our town. It has happened before. Ironically, as I sat at my desk fretting, the East Street Station newsletter was glaring at me, almost shouting 'Amy, get a grip!'. But I couldn't see it, couldn't listen until late in the day when I dropped my head to my desk in computer-related frustration. Only then did I see it - 'Your Port in the Storm'. I've been looking at this story since it was published back in December...heck, I even edited it and laid it out on the page. But this time it stopped me in my tracks, and really helped me to get a grip! Here are some excerpts of the passage written by Katrina Bos that I thought I would share here, since I'm sure I'm not the only one who is fretting about this uncertain weather, or about any of the many uncertainties in life.
When life get hard, we all need somewhere to go that is safe. We need a place that we can relax, regroup and feel centred again – even if the world around us is still going crazy. What do we do to feel sane? Where do we go? What makes us feel safe and secure?
After the tornado this year, we learned how quickly our sense of security can be taken away. In 12 seconds, we lost homes, businesses, jobs, security, and peace of mind.
But we have tornadoes in our lives all of the time – deaths of family and friends, difficult times with our jobs, relationships, and personal issues. Something happens and our world feels completely inside out and doesn't make any sense. We feel like there is a storm raging around us and if we don't find a “safe port”, we might just go crazy. This kind of chaos happens inside of us all of the time - the tornado just showed us what it looks like on the outside.
So where is this “port in the storm”? Where can we always feel safe – no matter how the wind blows? It is a place deep inside of us. It is our soul, our still place, our meditative centre. It is always still, never-changing, and always peaceful. We seldom go there because we are too busy and our eyes are always fixed on external things – often for the best reasons – doing our jobs well, caring for our families, helping others, trying to do the best job we can. But unfortunately, when we don't go there regularly, it's a hard place to find when our world turns upside down!
Finding this stillness and peace is the ultimate goal of yoga and meditation – this is the secret to happiness that was handed down in secrecy for thousands of years. But yoga is not just postures and meditation. Yoga is whatever brings us to that still, divine, peaceful place.
For some it might be painting or playing an instrument. Or it could be a walk in the woods or by the water. It could be a cup of coffee, hearing a specific piece of music or going for an early morning run. It could be playing with our grandkids or going for a drive.
Whatever it is, when we do it, we remember what is real. We remember that this chaos around us is temporary – it is shifting and always changing. We remember that we are greater than our physical bodies and our homes and our jobs.
This deep remembering is the source of our peace. It is our medicine.
It is our personal port in the storm.