stormLots of us spend lots of time talking about being happy.

We meditate and do yoga and we pray and we work on our “inner selves”.

I claim on a nearly daily basis “there’s no way out but in”.

But what happens when a storm comes… a mental storm of fear and drama, a real storm of floodwaters and destruction?

Do we keep our practice?

Do we remember what really matters?

Does our happiness and wellbeing have resilience?

I think these are the times that show us who we really are, how solid our practice is, what matters and what doesn’t.

Who we show up as in the midst of big life struggle, I’m guessing, is representative of our true nature, the results of all our work…. Sortal like the results of the ultimate test.

I woke up today to a literal storm, flood waters like I’ve only seen on CNN.  8 feet of water in the basement.  Streets shut down.  Police orders for evacuation of some neighborhoods.

I tried to get somewhere but couldn’t get across town.

Cars were submerged.  I found the whole thing fascinating.

I’m a real estate guy – so I’ve got most of my life tied up in property.  I spent the better part of 3 hours surveying what happened to all my property, to my tenants—making sure my people were ok.

One family had to be evacuated.

The damage is huge and the insurance is zero— they don’t cover things like this.

It sounds sorta crazy, but I was so grateful for this moment, like I had been longing for it almost.

Lately, I’m really desiring a deeper understanding of myself—almost wanting to test myself and see how authentic I’m really being—to check in and make sure my spirit can “weather” the storm so to speak.. ( I guess literally ).

If all this drama was a test of my inner strength, a test of my how durable my happiness is, I passed.

I watched myself understand what was happening without panic.

I recognized fear as it moved in and I just observed its power without acting on it.  ((I quickly discovered that action is what fuels fear, and steady observation smothers it))

I was briefly stunned by the money and impact, but within an hour was considering all the people who would now have jobs cleaning this whole town up.

I took note of the greedy parts of me emerging and I calculated what the law told me I had to do in terms of financial responsibility versus what these people actually needed….

But as quickly as the greed came, it went away and I moved into the space inside me that remembers that everything I need shows up and just do right by people and everything always works out.

All of me showed up—the narrow fearful scared parts of me, the generous abundant optimistic parts… and as quickly as the water receded, so did any struggle I had with it.

Surrender to the inevitable, complete flexibility to flow with whatever is—it’s so liberating.

I realized then how free I am and I fell to my knees in gratitude for the sincere, rigorous practice that gave me this freedom.

happy with, happy without.  meditate-1