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hurricane irene on the radar: lessons we can learn from the storm

Posted Aug 26 2011 12:15pm

Holy cow! New England will potentially be hit  by the strongest hurricane in nearly two decades this weekend. It’s easy to see that a destructive weather threat ignites a number of emotions and reactions out of people – anywhere from fear and vulnerability to excitement and thrill.

I couldn’t help but think, is there any good that can come from such impeding disaster? Can beauty come from something so violent?

Since addressing one of my biggest well-being issues means focusing on the positive in any situation, I started to think about what we can learn and apply to our own lives from one of nature’s most powerful and unwavering storms.

Here are 5 encouraging and positive lessons we can apply to the damaging storms in our own lives:

Lesson #1: Hurricanes are steady and sporadic

They revolve in a predictable pattern but can gain or lose speed quite radically. They start on a set path but easily veer in one direction or another as conditions change.

Random balance is the name of the game. We need to be flexible and stable, fluid and static in order to seamlessly navigate through life. We can’t control others, or situations, or every little thing that comes our way. But when we stake our ground, know ourselves, but also be open to adjusting for unplanned scenarios, we find an ability to remain confident in the shift.

Lesson #2: Hurricanes start small and gain momentum

They really just start out as a little wind and a little warm water. Nothing more. So how does something so powerful start from 2 things as basic as that?

The answer here is baby steps. Any new or big change in life takes one small movement forward and as soon as we’ve mastered that step, then the next, slightly bigger step doesn’t feel as frightening.

Looking to make a change in your life? Maybe a job change, a new home, or a big move. Starting small and steady is the easiest way to start making progress and gaining momentum.

Lesson #3: Hurricanes lose their steam when they hit land

Ever  been chugging along with a project only to suddenly and unexpectedly hit a wall? We all have limitations, what helps us overcome them is awareness and a little creativity.

Maybe you’re having trouble finding time. Or money. Perhaps the creative juices just stopped flowing (one of my signature pitfalls).  First and foremost, try not to be so hard on yourself. It happens to everyone! Give yourself the time you need, and when you feel ready, get back to your project ‘full steam ahead.’

Lesson #4: Hurricanes can’t make everyone happy

And neither can you! Whether your quest be for a balanced life, a new job, or a fun event, just remember that not everything we do will be acceptable, pleasing, or appropriate for all. The best we can do is live by our real selves and discover our true needs at heart.

Lesson #5: Sometimes the calm is worth the storm

It’s a fact that many big storms leave a lot of people in devastation, sometimes without anything left of the life they once knew! I’m praying Irene won’t be as bad as some predict, but since we can’t control it, we can only be well prepared.

However, many storms come and go with just a fury of wind and rain. For those lucky enough to come through without significant damage, often times the period after the storm is a time of stillness and peace that we rarely experience.

We need to be reminded that the ‘storms’ that wreak havoc on our lives every so often can actually leave us exactly where we need. Tumultuous times of anger, sadness, uncertainty or guilt can bring us down suddenly but typically leave us in a more positive place and more closely aligned with what’s important.

Think of the last time you went through a particularly hard time. Was it after a break-up? An illness? Or even a significant business failure?

Negative emotions urge us to make change and take our lives in a positive direction. The next storm you weather, never forget that you will find peace and calm with time.


I hope everyone on the east coast stays safe this weekend! If you’re in the path of the hurricane, what are you doing to prepare?


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