After working with a client recently on his emotional stress reactions, he had an image of being at peace in the eye of a storm with a growing white protective bubble around him and the dark clouds receding farther and farther out. With time and practice, his intention is to make those dark clouds less dense so the space of peace expands farther and farther.
This is a powerful image and one that came after entering the storm and discovering that by facing it with courage, presence and compassion, he was able to discover a peaceful center that was there all along. His mind and body were caught up in the whirl of the storm, however and he didn’t notice it. The photo is taken from the eye of Hurricane Dorian. Amazing image!
In the eye of the storm
You remain in control
And in the middle of the war
You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor
When my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm
Lyrics by Ryan Stevenson
Our nervous system was designed to handle occasional stressors with the fight or flight response; major threats with the freeze response. The rest of the time, our system is supposed to be in the “rest and digest or rest and repair” mode. This ensures the health of our whole system. Challenges are balanced with times of recovery.
Lately, the challenges keep coming and we aren’t handling the stress so well with mental health issues on the rise. Our old ways of coping aren’t working or not possible. The nervous system is calmed through supportive social connections which are not as easy to do safely now.
So, how do we find that peaceful center? It takes discipline and practice. Our minds are on high alert so it will be like taming a wild horse but start we must as we are in an era of great change and chaos.
Find Your Peaceful Center:
- Make time to just sit with yourself and breathe. Connecting to the breath brings the mind back in alignment with the body and spirit. The Latin term for breath is spiritus. Notice you are being breathed. Relax into that awareness of a force beyond your understanding that breathes you and keeps you alive.
- Connect with nature. Nature shows us that everything is in motion and change; flowers bud and then whither, fruit ripens and then turns to seed. We are part of it all and when we notice, there is beauty and joy and also the understanding that we are not in control!
- Connect with your loved ones, especially now when we can be outside. Be a source of support for someone with a calm voice and listening presence.
- Find something you are grateful for and savor it – the brain loves to stick to negative things. We have to pay attention and savor for the brain to shift to the positive.
- A recent survey found that 70% of participants described themselves as spiritual. Use that belief or inner knowing as a source of support now. Relax into your inner knowing of a higher power.
- Give yourself the gift of moments of silence. That’s where the healing happens, that’s when the insights come, that’s how Grace works its magic, subtly and sometimes dramatically letting us know All Will Be Well.