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Storms of Life

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I had an eventful week last week. It reminded me that we could compare going through life with surfing the waves. When the sea is calm, we have an easy ride, going up and down the small daily positive and negative waves. And sometimes we hit a storm. Once moment we can be on a high and the next we might get totally under water. Those are the moments that invite us to go deeper, to be grateful for the highs and have (self)-compassion when we are taken over by a wave. That helps us to stay calm and survive in the storm, and when it passes, we can enjoy surfing the calm sea again.

Back to my mini storm, from a real high to quite a low in a space of few days. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I could put both events beside me. I thank my spiritual path for being able to feel that way, experience the highs and the lows with the equanimity of mind, without getting fully absorbed by them. In more practical terms, it means I did not have a long stress reaction (positive or negative), was able to sleep well and felt relaxed.

Last weekend I was lucky to be part of a 3-day retreat on mindful parenting, with a group of 11 parents and 3 different teachers helping us on our journeys. It was an amazing experience, we laughed, we cried, we opened up and we connected. Personally I had a significant moment of discovering another piece of myself that needed healing, the tears were flowing. The cherry on the top was that the event was organized by the dutch television for a documentary, and it will hopefully touch few more hearts that happen to watch it on the 19 December in the afternoon (KRO-NCRV ‘De Boeddhistische Blik’). Even though I felt incredibly grateful for this present that life has given me, I did not go over the top with excitement (not unusual for me) and could enjoy and let others enjoy the experience to the fullest.

And this Wednesday I was scammed, trapping into a cyber attack out of nowhere in the middle of a nice sunny day (lesson – never stay on the phone with anyone pretending to be police and telling you that your social security number has been hacked!).  I lost some money, lets say the price of a skiing holiday (which wasn’t likely to happen anyway, so no big deal;)). In the past, it would have taken me days to recover from this, blaming myself, being angry and worrying about the money. And now, when I discovered it was a scam, I felt no anger whatsoever. Not with myself, for being stupid, not with the criminal scammers. I actually felt relief and compassion.

I believe that everything and everyone are connected on some level. Now that the collective, the whole world, is in a huge storm, it seems that individually we get to face our mini-storms more often. I see those as an invitations. To get closer to oneSelf, practice staying calm in the storm and remembering that every crisis gives rise to something new. What about you, how do you deal with the storms of Life?

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