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Nella Coiro

Maintaining Calm in Stormy Seas

“The cyclone derives its power from a calm center. So does a person.”
Norman. Vincent Peale

In life, it’s impossible to avoid obstacles, and we are going to have our own personal storms. Life can drastically change within the link of an eye – an unexpected illness, untimely deaths, loss of a job, misunderstandings, harsh words that cannot be retracted, difficulties in forgiveness - the list is endless. 

Life happens, and it can easily push us from our calm center into the chaotic turmoil of the  whirling cyclone. Other times, we can inadvertently get pulled into someone else’s tornado. And for a time, we feel helpless and barely able to conquer the storm unscathed.

This is when we when we need to remember our mindfulness exercises that bring us back to our calm center. On an intellectual level, we know what we need to do. However, when we dragged into the storm, sometimes it seems as if our emotions have taken control, and our ability to practice restraint and mindfulness have gone on vacation.

When this happens, we need to regroup. Our first impulse is usually fight or flight. We either want to run away, or we want to give into our anger and engage in battle. Neither choice will help to calm the tidal waves. 

Carl Jung said, "What we resist, persists.” Resistance is like quicksand. The more you struggle, often the deeper you sink. We can only survive our storms by moving back to our calm center, gracefully accepting what we cannot change. Then, after careful thought and perhaps prayers for spiritual guidance, we can relax, ride the wave, and navigate our minds toward calmer shores - changing that which is within our control… our attitude and our perspective. And, remember the words of a wise Persian poet, who once said, “This too shall pass.”

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