This is a collaboration blog by Erika Del Sordo and Meredith Kimmel, ACC. This blog can also be found at www.TodaysTalkwithErika.com.
Erika and I are both native (and current) Floridians, and this past week our beloved state found itself in the path of Hurricane Ian, which battered Cuba prior to making landfall in Florida, and then eventually ended up striking the Carolinas before dying out in the Northeastern United States. Living in Florida, you kind of become an amateur expert in storms and resilience.
We want to dedicate this week’s blog post to all of those affected by Hurricane Ian. Erika and I count ourselves as lucky because we weren’t in the direct path of this ferocious storm, though we did certainly feel its wrath due to the immense size of the storm.
Storms and Resilience
Erika and I often talk about resilience in our blog posts, and our society uses storms as a metaphor for the difficulties in our lives that build our resilience muscles.
In 2017, when Hurricane Irma struck Florida, I remember talking with a friend and she said to me, storms have an amazing capacity to clear what is in the way and allow for the new to grow and prosper. While we are far away from that with Hurricane Ian, this will be what happens. Florida will show resiliency and come back better and stronger.
One of the keys to resiliency is to learn lessons from the “storms” that happen in our lives. Something that stuck me with Hurricane Ian hitting Southwest Florida, is how prepared we were before the storm. The hurricane forecasting by the National Hurricane Center was excellent. People who needed to evacuate left. Electric grids were preemptively shut down to minimize damage and make it easier to put the grid back online post storm. Staging sites were set up before the storm to give people food, water, and gas.
These are all lessons learned from prior storms. After Hurricane Andrew hit South Miami in 1992, Florida’s building codes were updated. After Hurricane Wilma in 2005, gas stations had to change their infrastructure so that people could pump gas without electricity and lots of powerlines were moved from above ground and buried underground.
I was shocked to see that as the storm moved through Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, 2.5 million people were without power, as of Sunday only approximately 750,000 people are still without power. When Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005, I was without power for nine days, and that seemed pretty in line with people in my circle.
These changes are all results of the lessons learned thus building our resilience muscles. I know Florida will take lessons from Hurricane Ian and make even greater changes going forward.
We will be back and we will be even better!
When you are in the thick of the storm, you aren’t necessarily thinking about resilience. You are in basic survival mode. Once you find yourself on the other side of the storm, you can take stock of what is left and figure out how to rebuild. The same thing is true when you are going through a metaphorical “storm” in your life.
How to find resilience:
- Recognize that something has happened, and you can’t go back to how it was before.
- Remind yourself that this is not going to be how it is forever, it will get better.
- Reflect on how you want to change things for the future and create that future.
- Learn lessons from the event to build your resilience muscles.
- Have faith in God, the Universe, or your higher power of choice.
Erika, please share your thoughts on storms and resilience.
Once again, very well said by my esteemed co-blog collaborator. To elaborate on this, I believe that when we are in the thick of a storm, positive thinking has gone out the window. Right?
Finding Our Fight
Just like the palm fronds below, when we’re in a storm, our intuition is down, our motivation is down, our gratitude has been deflated, but we are physically still intact. And that means that we can and should prepare.
When a hurricane is barreling its way through the Atlantic and we’re getting watches and warnings, we’re also getting water, batteries and boards to survive the thing. Well, guess what?! We need to stock up on our personal lives for when the spiritual storms make their landing on us, as well.
Everyone at some point or another in their lives experiences a storm. Maybe it’s financial, maybe your health has declined, maybe severe overwhelm has set in. Have your spiritual armor ready to go. Recognize that you need to call in all of your planned saviors to dig you out of whatever spiritual warfare is going on. The #1 thing that helps me? Prayer. God comes first and foremost in my life. So even though life can bear down its heavy load, continue praying because He will dig you out.
Faith As Small As A Mustard Seed
Now, as Meredith mentioned above, if you are strictly a spiritual person, then send out vibes of love and gratitude. Maybe you have a different religion. Whoever and whatever you need to reach out to when preparing to tackle the storm, just seek help. Seek help early so that when the storm shows up, you know how to lessen the blow.
You see, all of your preparation isn’t going to keep the storm away. Oh it’s still coming. We’ve already learned how to be resilient as adults. So now what we have to do is constantly prepare for what’s next. Even the happiest, most positive person in the world isn’t going to escape a storm in life. It’s definitely how you prepare for it though.
For whatever you are going through now, or want to prepare for in the future, know that you are not alone. If you need help preparing, reach out to my co-blog collaborator Meredith Kimmel, who will professionally guide you to reaching your full potential, while assisting with the tools and resources necessary to become your best self.