There is no denying that we are experiencing chaos worldwide. On October 9th, wild fires broke out in Northern California spreading devastation, loss of life and at least 8,500 homes/businesses destroyed.
The fire was stopped 1 mile from my home, I was evacuated for 9 days. My story is a fairy tale compared to others and yet it was my own personal harrowing journey and there was trauma involved.
The collective trauma sits heavy in the air, grief, loss and uncertainty prevail. Many people lost their homes and their jobs at the same time, there was nothing to return to in either place. I hear stories of families needing to leave the area to stay with friends or family even if they have a job, there is no housing for them here. Our community is strong and determined to rebuild, and yet, it will be years, one moment at a time.
We experience chaos every day in large and small ways. The car won’t start, traffic is at a standstill causing distress that we will not make an appointment, sick children, aging parents with unpredictable needs, heartbreak – the list is endless. As I was getting ready to for my Developing Alliances in-person event, the power went out, while I was in the shower! Chaos is in our daily lives period!
Why would I say chaos is good news? Chaos creates the openness where things fall apart and new creations arise. When you nearly crash your car, or slip and nearly fall you are immediately thrown into present time and can experience open space. This space allows us to “wake up.” During any given day, we can see where we are just going through the motions, lost in the past or the future, doing what we always do. The fires provided an instant awakening; fearing for your survival will do that. When I went to bed, Sunday night, I fully expected to wake in the morning to accomplish my Monday schedule, as usual. At 2:30 a.m. I opened the front door to witness utter chaos, and within 20 minutes I was driving away from flames moving quickly in my direction. What Truly Mattered was completely evident, picking up my dog at the pet sitter and getting the two people I love and treasure, and get us all to safety. In that moment, possessions meant nothing.
Another way chaos is good news is that when things seem very bad, there is a big opportunity for something good to take place. During my time of evacuation, staying in the downtown area of Santa Rosa, there was one directive I heard from people I passed on the street, simply, “stay safe.” Even as I write this it brings tears to my eyes; yes, let’s all stay safe. Hearts were open and love was flowing everywhere. My prayer is that this will continue.
The pain and confusion is now so vivid in the world that we have no choice but to acknowledge it. The possibility exists that we will all come to our senses and collectively discover and make higher level choices. Only by staring at the confusion and chaos while examining it, will we discover a way forward. To enlighten means to “fully illuminate.” We see the problem and find a solution. Being unaware of the problem is not being enlightened, it is being ignorant. Even on a personal level, when we have challenges in our life, the answer is already there; we just need to embrace it. If we are tired, rest; if we are overeating, stop and eat with moderation; if we are lonely, make a connection with another.
Every morning we get to contemplate what we are doing in our life today and choose the energy we want to bring to it. Are we adding to the fear and anxiety or are we adding to the positivity, compassion and encouragement?
When we consider that chaos is good news, whatever comes our way -good or bad- has less power to throw us off track and obstruct our progress.
When chaos is in your midst, be kind to yourself and be kind to others. JUST BE KIND.
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Love and blessings,