Most of us are not storm chasers, and many more of us close doors and windows when it’s very windy, when it rains very hard, or when snow is blowing. We learned as children to fear lightning, and even when we wear rain gear, we run for the nearest shelter when it pours.
I get it. It is one of those unpredictable and uncontrollable events, and we get scared.
Storms allow us to experience destruction. We witness changes in the landscape, as trees may be torn down, houses reduced to rubble and cars damaged. People suffer deeply and some may perish. It is scary.
Yet storms can be cleansing, as the destructive energy moves through, pulling weak roots and burying what may no longer work or need transformation.
Storms can teach hard lessons…
When our lives are not flowing, when our thoughts keep us stuck in a situation, when there is inaction based on fear, an inner storm can cause as profound shifts as outer storms.
When we didn’t get the job we wanted; when we had an accident, or the house we pined for went to another buyer; we didn’t pay attention. When we had a difficult disagreement with a co-worker, or with someone we love; we didn’t notice patterns.
Instead, we reacted emotionally by perceiving events as befallen to us. The more chaotic and stormier things got; the more we panicked. It was scary.
If we are able to get over our shock and pay close attention, we may see that what is being destroyed are actually aspects of ourselves that were unstable. If we get calm enough to see howling winds as powerful cleansing agents with messages, we will notice that our attachment to what we think we own-ideas, opinions, or property, kept us from seeing what needed changing long before the present forced purging.
We chose to ignore that we bought property in a flood plain because we just loved that house! We elected to overlook cracks in relationships, and we decided to dwell in total exhaustion when every night we returned from work listless. We were so tired that we couldn’t remember the last time we had a romantic dinner with our mate, or relished attending the ballet with dear friends. When we arrived at a meeting breathless, we told ourselves that this is the way to succeed.
Instead of witnessing our storms, we relinquish our power to others, or to nature. We suffer because we look at the surface of what goes on in our lives and blame “circumstances” for our misfortunes.
Storms bring some of the greatest gifts…
When we look deeper, we may notice that what is being destroyed, just like in nature, are weakly rooted elements in our lives.
If you ever doubt this, just take a trip to Hawaii. With three out of five active volcanoes, Kilauea, Hawaii’s most famous one, erupts frequently and unpredictably. Yet volcanic activity has added land mass and the state can boast being one of the world’s most diverse eco-systems, housing lush rainforests of incomparable beauty.
Meditating with this painting I saw that playing with a new technique affording little control and requiring long drying time, forced me to pay close attention to what unfolded every day. The mixture of pouring medium, acrylic paint and silicone was quite fluid, so that if I moved the art ever so slightly, I could cause dramatic changes. And if I were impatient with the drying process, I could see some unpleasant results.
I did just that; I touched an almost dried area and it set in an unlikable way, but I knew that unpredictable and uncontrollable events lead to surprisingly good results. Thus, I transformed what I disliked by adding complementary textural paints.
The art now resembled a storm and the red blobs wrapped in gold and arising from it, became a metaphor for the gifts (volcanic eruptions) we allow in our lives when we consider that like the outer storms, our disasters turn out to be the best thing that happened to us!
As we allow ourselves to walk slowly when it rains, or be fully present when we witness severe weather patterns; if we can release the grip on fear; we invite awareness that leads to inspired action, and begin to understand how outer storms mimic rhythms in our life.
Storm was juried into a local holiday event, starting in December. If you purchase it now, you can get ahead of the season of giving and enjoy it for years to come to remind you to accept any and all storms. They may bring pain, but they also bring gifts!