How's the weather where you are today? Is the sun out, or is it hiding behind the clouds while rain falls from the sky? You know the time between lightning strikes and thunder roars is silent.
In the calm moment at the Caribbean sea, before last week’s storm, I took the header picture of this post. I had just finished a yoga, capoeira, and swimming session with anticipation that by the evening, Tropical Storm Grace would change the landscape of that spot on the beach. The header image was an attempt to get a before and after picture.
Meteorologists predicted that Tropical Storm Grace would arrive in Antigua and Barbuda last Saturday evening. They observed the storm’s pattern and believed we would experience heavy rainfall, dangerous wind conditions, and flash floods. Instead, Tropical Storm Grace showed us grace and decided to take another last-minute turn.
There was rain and wind, but not as much as we braced to receive.
Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about Mother Nature and other Caribbean nations. As you know, the beautiful people of Haiti, were hit by two natural disasters in nine days. First, an earthquake shook the small Island on Saturday morning. Then, on Monday, Tropical Storm Grace poured rain on the survivors. The quake was larger in magnitude (7.2) than the 2010 earthquake (7.0) that took an estimated 300,000 lives and crippled the country’s economy.
With the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, the devastating earthquake, and the tropical storm, Haitians are in the middle of political and natural storms.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban have resumed control of the government. Reports indicate that the takeover resulted in many Afghan lives lost and thousands fleeing the country. Despite the Taliban's claims of intentions to provide women with rights comparable to men, the world's governments are not holding their breaths.
This week, former soldiers expressed their rage about the Taliban’s gain of power in Afghanistan. They are trying to see clearly through an internal storm of emotions clouded with anger, frustration, and fear.
Chances are you are not in Haiti or Afghanistan. You may not know any Haitian or Afghan people, but you are going through a storm in your life. You need calmness to think about a solution to your problems.
Before I suggest a few ways to help you unlock internal peace, let me tell you how death visited my family twice in twenty-four hours this week. The passing of a human and a beloved pet pushed me to get calm and reflect on what matters most in life.
After leaving the beach on Saturday morning, I drove home and witnessed a scene that will stay with more a while. As I made it into my village, I saw a lady standing in her driveway crying and screaming. Other members of the community were standing on the sidewalk and also looking visibly upset. Slowly driving past the house, I saw another body on the ground.
The lady standing in her driveway was grieving the loss of someone who just passed away. A few minutes later, an ambulance arrived and placed a white sheet over the lady's friend or family member's body.
The day after we lost a neighbor, my family’s cat was hit and killed by a car. Without being asked to join us, Oreo the cat often followed us to the beach. He didn’t like being left behind when we took the dog for a walk.
On Sunday, he followed us across the busy road to the nearest beach. The cat chased lizards on the sand while the kids, me, and the dog played in the water. After about thirty minutes, we decided to return home.
The kids, the dog, and I looked both ways and safely crossed the street. Soon after, the cat attempted to follow, but a car hit his little body and killed him instantly. The driver of the vehicle continued down the road without stopping to apologize.
Seeing the death of a human or a pet can put things into perspective. It forces you to realize how unpredictable life is on this planet.
For the rest of our lives, we will experience a variety of storms. Some are natural and unique to our environments. Others may produce political consequences for the world.
You must locate the calmness within yourself to survive and thrive when things get tough. How is this calmness I write about possible before, during, and after difficult moments?
Try prayer, yoga, meditation, capoeira, journaling, having a conversation with someone, or a combination of these mindful practices. These are my go-to activities for self-care therapies. Pay closer attention to your daily activities and find something that works for you.
I began this post by asking about the weather in your location. It was an attempt to make a creative connection to storms. I also posed the weather question to engage you in this piece’s intention of supporting you to discover the power of self-care during the figurative and literal storms of life.
Comment below and let me know if whether you followed the logic in this blog entry. For help with creating courses reflective of the message in this post, review my instructional design services or buy one of my books.