Nov 05
November 5, 2012

What Hurricane Sandy Sparks

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First and foremost, I want to express my deep sympathy to those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. It is a great tragedy and post Sandy many of us have a new perspective on our lives. The wind blew away what we had once thought about our life in the NJ//NY area. We all know that hurricanes don’t spark electricity. So, what does it spark?

1. Uncertainty

When we are uncertain it activates fear. In cases of storms and extreme weather, it may become very clear to us about how we react to fear.  Do we take action, turn to others to lead, or deny the circumstances? Learning to overcome this fear will clear away the uncertainty allow you to handle the present moment to the best of your ability. Tony Robbins says, “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” Can you be more comfortable not knowing?

2. Creativity

The comforts and resources that we are use to having access to become unavailable– this requires us to think “outside of the box”.  These new circumstances invite us to re-program our thinking, form new associations and ask you to intelligently maximize your resources. For example, come up with creative ways to make hot coffee, prepare food, help friends and family. Write down the new things you learned! Using your intelligence then becomes an engine for our creativity.

3. Community

It is difficult for us to survive on our own, without support from one another. During a storm, we can get to know our neighbors and create more of a bond with each other. We’re all in this together. We are not separate from one another and we come together to achieve a common goal. The power of a community is huge. I know it’s true for me, that sometimes living in NY I feel like I lack community, but after this storm, the sense of community feels stronger.  There are many ways in which you can volunteer and donate to the red cross.

4. Gratitude

When something goes “wrong” it brings our attention straight to what we have and you begin to focus on what’s really important. Some things that we typically go without noticing such as turning the lights on or off, food, water, heat and shelter become something we are so grateful for. The luxuries of modern day society that we usually take for granted, we realize how much we appreciate them. Gratitude ultimately makes us appreciate our lives more.

5. Impermanence/Non-attachment

The term expresses the Buddhist notion that all of conditioned existence, without exception, is in a constant state of flux. We can’t depend on things staying the same – everything is constantly changing including our environment. This is the reality and we must accept this. Things do change and we can’t depend on something external that is constantly changing to bring us happiness. When it comes to happiness, we are trying to get it, buy it, and find it in something – but ultimately happiness lies in our hearts and our state of mind. When things do go wrong, our attitude during a storm is the most important thing to cultivate.

Having Sandy spread through our town is an experience that has already changed us and the NJ/NY area forever. Certain things will never be the same as they were. From this experience, we most likely will implement solutions to manage these conditions better if they do occur in our future. Although storms can be difficult, it shows us how strong and resilient we are. While often we resist change, it shows us how flexible we can be. During times of vulnerability, it gives us the opportunity to grow spiritually, come together as a community and ultimately as a human race.