The wind is picking up outside as Hurricane Irene whirls her way toward Wilmington, Delware. Right now I feel cozy and safe, having prepared as well as I can for the storm (and still enjoying my fully-functioning electricity). My laundry is on its last cycle of drying, my cats are safe and sleepy, and I just concluded a deeply satisfying session with a wonderful client. In this moment, I am at peace. And staying connected with that inner core of peace is the intention I am holding as the weekend unfolds, even with the apparent likelihood of turbulence on the surface!
This morning I was reminded of the beauty and simplicity of a practice I often give clients, as a means of helping them regain a sense of inner rhythm and harmony with the flow of life. The practice is this: for some period of time (at least several hours but ideally for an entire day), do only what you have the authentic impulse, the energy and the willingness to do. All three must be present. More often than not, clients resist this exercise, fearing that their lazy selves will jump into the driver’s seat and, well, stop driving; they’re afraid they’ll end up doing nothing but eating cheese curls and watching bad reality TV shows.
But when they actually do the exercise with sincerity and curiosity, they find what I’ve found time and again: that when we give ourselves the space, depth and self-trust to recognize and honor our true rhythm, that rhythm carries us into an almost effortless flow of action and rest, one that recognizes the true needs of the present moment.
This morning I gratefully experienced that effortless flow as I gave myself over to preparations for the storm. I cancelled a meeting that had been scheduled for weeks as my authentic impulse guided me to do, to free up time for taking care of things I would normally do on Sunday that require electricity. Although a disdainful voice tried to convince me I was shirking my responsibilities and that my cancelling would inconvenience the other person – surely if I just pushed harder I could accommodate both the meeting and the storm preparations! – I trusted the authentic impulse instead. And my meeting partner, who is on the west coast and unaffected by the storm, could not have been more gracious about my request to reschedule.
I went about my tasks at a swift yet unhurried pace. Flowing from one thing to the next without analysis or timekeepking, I even caught the “now would be a good time to vaccuum” wave – which, if you knew how much I dislike vaccuuming, you’d appreciate as the small miracle that it was. And when I close the laptop I will rest in the space of an unplanned afternoon. Who knows what new impulse might arise?
Of course by the time you read this I might be exhausted from bailing water out of my basement and really, really frustrated at the great inconvenience this storm has caused. (Or perhaps despairing at the damage and suffering it might have wrought.) But in this moment I am grateful for the peace I feel, because there was a time when I would have worried myself into a pointless frenzy over the weather forecast. And instead, I now hold an intention to be in harmony with this moment, and to deepen my capacity for releasing resistance to what is.
And perhaps I can even look to Irene as a reflection of my own inner power and ability to move forward with focus and force. I’m inspired by Jean Houston’s Facebook post today, which she wrote in reference to the opening weekend of her Mystery School (which is in Irene’s path):
“The weather and charged atmosphere inspires flights of thought and practices and action that stun and astonish one and all.”
May we each listen to the voice within to guide us to safety, and be willing to be astonished by our own inner power.