Living in the Eye of the Storm: Coping With Crisis

Photo: our profound thanks to Rabie Madaci on Unsplash.

by Marcel Hernandez, N.D.

Raise your hand if you’re still reeling from the events of the past year.

Speaking for my family and friends, we’ve worked hard to keep our heads above the fray.

We’re trying to stay positive and remember that “this too shall pass.”

We’re trying to find the calmness of the eye of the storm.

It’s easy to get swept up in a tsunami of emotion about the events taking place in the greater world.  The only secure refuge from the external noise is always to find the peace that can be discovered deep in every human heart.  

Marcel Hernandez, ND

Of course, it’s easier said than done – the words slip effortlessly from my thoughts to the computer.

In practice, it’s more difficult.  Paramhansa Yogananda used to tell his disciples that environment is stronger than will power. To keep our inner environment healthy, Dr. Connie and I try to align our perspective with high truths. To this end, we’ve set ourselves a few simple rules:

We avoid the news. The carefully cultivated doom and gloom in the announcers’ voices is meant to enflame the scary content they’re reporting.  We do scan the headlines on news websites to avoid burying our heads in the sand.  And for a better perspective, we check the Good News Network. 

We don’t watch anything on TV that is even marginally violent in a deliberately realistic way. Does Star Trek count?  In fact, we’re finding the Hallmark Channel with its formulaic saccharine holiday movies actually refreshing – every movie ends with a kiss!

We load our leisure reading with words that exemplify positive living and/or spiritual fulfillment.  Other than the Bible, we’ve found no better example of mood-lifting spiritual teachings than Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. 

We make sure the people we hang with aren’t folks who are always expressing anger and discontent.  We may have little control over what happens in the world, but we can control our immediate environment.  If someone expresses negativity, we’ll change the subject or walk away. We’ve told everyone close to us that we aren’t interested in listening to their complaints about events in the world.

There are ways to reframe negative events as part of the flow of creation.  One understanding, verified with great consistency throughout the millennia, is that the golden ages in world history are generally preceded by periods of violence and turmoil.  The spiritual teachings of the East tell us that we are presently experiencing a maelstrom of transition from a dark age of materialism to an age of energy-awareness.  I pray the transition will happen quickly.

Cultivating peace and serenity takes lots of wide-awake practice.  That’s where a proven spiritual path is essential, because it can help us move beyond our little egos and connect with something loving and eternal that has our best interests always at heart.

A good starting point is to acknowledge that there’s an intelligent power underlying creation. Attuning ourselves with that power through prayer and meditation will bring us understanding and give us true happiness regardless of our circumstances.

May the blessings of Self-realization and peace flow through you and bless the Earth for a transformative and uplifting 2021!