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Lessons from Irma: It’s time to show up!

“90% of life is just showing up.” Woody Allen

Paralyzed. I sat unable to move. So much was coming at me. So much information. Having been a direct witness to the power of Mother Nature before, I respected the possible fury that this storm of historical proportions could unleash. Yet, the uncertainty of its direction, the overwhelming number of individuals who were evacuating North and the lack of gas available had me moving forward at a snail’s pace when decisiveness was called for. They said we had to leave, many concerned begged us not to stay on the Key, many said I was crazy not to act. However, the forecast report changed every three hours, as the models predicted a different shift in the cone each time. We had supplies, we were prepared, we even had our bags packed and ready to go. I just did not know what to do. I was not listening to myself without fear of what if. And, I even imagined what it would feel like if I had to sit in my condo on the Bay for the duration of Irma’s wrath just waiting for the 150 mph beating down on the shutters right before they were ripped away bearing every vulnerability, exposing my loved ones to harm. Could I live with that?

So I sat paralyzed. A tightness in my chest, knowing the symptoms of anxiety, breathing through them. Doing what I could to clear my head. Praying for direction.  And finally, when I calmed down.  I chose to sit in silence, only then when the chatter ceased could I hear that inner voice repeat over and over again, pay attention, wait and see, all will be well. And there in that moment, I decided to show up. I decided to counteract my initial desire to bury my head in the sand, I chose not to make my decision based in panic, I followed the evidence before me. I showed up. No one made the decision for me. I took accountability for my life and for those I was charged to do my best to protect. And as the cone moved in a westwardly direction every new forecast, my body relaxed and I knew that staying put was the best option and that we would make it through the storm in our concrete bunker.  And thankfully, trusting my inner guide, I learned to trust myself and the storm did pass.

While life presents to us many challenges, many choices waiting to be made, a lesson that I took away from Irma was no matter what the circumstances are, you must decide to show up. Show up and decide what you will do.  Take inspired action and stay true.  We all will go through many storms, many challenges that present many possible outcomes.  No one can ever be certain when we make those tough calls what kind of result we will be faced with. However, given the information at hand, subtracting fear from the equation, and eliminating any illusions of devastation that would visit us, get quiet. Sit in silence. Show up and be real. Pay attention to the path before you and make the best decision how to proceed. Be courageous and stand strong in your choice. Don’t look back, just look ahead and surround yourselves with others who will support you and pray for you along the way. And each 100 miles, make another choice and another moving yourself along to get to your destination. If you proceed in this way, you will make it through any storm you may face. And, when you do, you will be stronger for having trusted in the beauty that is you, no matter what the outcome is. And most importantly, the clouds will dissipate, the waves will calm, the flood will recede and your light will shine even brighter as you share your story with others sharing the gifts of showing up to shine once again.

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Butterflies, Blessings, and Bliss!

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