Lessons from Sandy

by Susyn on November 1, 2012

SuperStorm Sandy has been my Teacher:

On Sunday, amidst predictions of Hurricane Sandy I went to the beach in Hampton Bays, NY – a few miles from my house – a short time after high tide. I stood at the water’s edge and felt the same feeling and thought the same thoughts as on the morning of September 11, 2001, about 30 minutes before the planes flew into two of the World Trade Center towers, ‘This is power.’ So, as I did on that day more than eleven years ago, I spoke aloud inviting the wind to, “Fill me.”

As I stood with my mouth open, and the wind breathing me, I thought, ‘This is a force of nature.’ Again, I spoke aloud, allowing my words to be carried on the wind, “I am a force of nature, filled with this power with each in-breath; and with each out-breath I contribute my unique signature to the collective consciousness, the Greater Field of Life. I commit to being a mighty force – a mighty power, a mighty expression of love in the world.”

Then with my booted foot, my foot that had been broken twenty-one months ago, I wrote in the sand, L O V E as my offering to the sea – to wash over these letters, this word and carry it’s essensce to all corners of the world.

The physical impact of Sandy has been minor for me, some newly planted small trees and mums uprooted which were easily placed back in their earthly home; some small branches strewn on the grass around my house and at 6:00pm on Monday, in a moment, the lights went out.

I now sit in my local Panera (What a customer friendly company. I am shouting from the proverbial rooftop your praises!) amongst so many others who have arrived with power strips to re-charge our electronics.

I send a loving embrace to all those who are suffering in the aftermath of the storm, as well as to all the crews who are working day and night to restore power, and to the generosity of people who show time and time again, in the presence of crisis, that in our heart of hearts we do know that We Are One.

Here is what I have learned, in no particular order, so far thru this unexpected teacher, Sandy:

  • My life is filled with soooooo much love – the calls and emails from friends and family all over the country is heart-warming.
  • When asked, people can identify the gifts in any situation. I went to a yoga class yesterday morning and Mary Angela Buffo, my dear friend and extraordinary teacher asked us at the beginning of the class what gift we have received thus far thru Sandy. Here are some of the responses:
  1. “I live alone and was amazed at how many people reached out to me to find out how I was. I see that my sense of isolation, has been of my own doing and I am going to stay more connected with people.”
  2.  “I’m grateful that the endless political messages stopped. The blaming, bashing and constant message of who is right and who is wrong stopped with no TV, radio, internet, phone available.” 
  3. “Four friends stayed at my house for three nights until this morning and one of them fixed my closet door that has come unhinged repeatedly during the past nine months.”
  4. “I have been reminded of how helpful and thoughtgful people are. A tree fell onto the roof of my house and dislodged electric wire. A neighbor, who I had never seen before, knocked on our door and asked if we were okay.”
  5. “I heard from people I had been out of touch with for years, who called to ask how we are. I feel so loved.” • The quiet of candlelight as the only source of light, at night, creates a quiet that is nourishing for my soul.”
  • Generosity is repaid more than ten-fold. Four of my friends were told to evacuate and arrived at my house before sundown on Sunday with food, water and much good cheer. We ate fabulous meals by candlelight. When the electricity went down we gathered in the living room in pj’s, cozied up in blankets and listened to a book on tape on an iPad. A perfect bedtime story. When they left after three nights, they cleaned the house and left it in better shape than when they arrived!
  • While I am not certain how deepening my commitment to be a mighty expression of love in the world will unfold, here are some experiences I’ve had since then:
  1. I had a lucid dream this morning – a conversation with my Mom – who passed on December 8, 2001. While I see her clearly, as I write, as she sat looking straight at me, I can only capture the essence of her words. She let me know that now in my 60’s and on thru my 70’s this is the time to use the gifts I have been given. She told me that in her mid-80’s until she was 92 years old she slowed down. I sense that this is a reminder that there will be time that slowing down will be my experience, as well. I feel my eyes fill with tears, as I write, so grateful for my Mom’s wisdom and her visit.
  2. It occurred to me when I woke this morning that since I have water, there is probably still hot water in my hot water tank. YAY there was! So I took a quick shower, so grateful for the conveniences in my life. As I stepped out of the shower, I knew that it is time to speak boldly, lovingly and regularly for a peaceful and loving world. While there is upheaval and obstacles, in life, that can make it appear that we are victims to outside circumstances, life is always a flow of expansion and contraction. An in-breath and out-breath.

For many years, actually decades, I have thought that one of the things I would love to do is write letters about what touches me deeply – open letters to whomever as well as letters to specific people who stir my imagination, illuminate my path, confront me with other points of view. I start this today – an open letter because the time is NOW.

Dear, dear brothers and sisters, with whom I share this time on this amazing Planet – Earth,

Could it be that each of us contributes to the turmoil that seems so evident in our world?  Massacre in the Middle East, financial unrest in countries all across the planet, a deep divide between the 1% and 99%, corporate and political corruption fueled by greed and self-interests, political campaigning that is filled with lies, rudeness and a greater focus on who is right and who is wrong than a fundamental understanding that there are many paths to the promise of the American dream and the greater dream of peace for all beings.

Could it be that each of us contributes to this turmoil as a reflection of the inner battle that directs our lives? This inner divide and separation between I’m not enough, I don’t make a difference – why should I bother to vote, it’s not going to matter anyway and the Divine spark that ignites the creativity that gives birth to all that exists.

What if you knew, that with each out-breath you contributed to the Greater Field of Life and with each in-breath you were being breathed by all that is?

What if you knew that your thoughts and the feelings, the energy, your thoughts generated did make a difference – would you take responsibility for your thoughts?

What if you knew that if you wanted change in your life, your family, your workplace, your community, our world that it started in your mind, the thoughts you think, the feelings you feel, the words you speak, the actions you take? Would your thoughts reflect love or war?

What if you are the 100th monkey, the tipping point the re-boot button? How would you approach each day? Would gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, generosity and love be the qualities you embody?

Join me – Be a Mighty Expression of Love in the World.

With Love, As Love, Being – Doing the Best I Can,


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