Creating Peace Through Life’s Storms

4 min read
Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay

Source: Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay

Life has seemed particularly stormy lately. Between the crisis in the Middle East, and personal and universal struggles, many people feel strained and/or at the end of their ropes.

Change as a Gift

As we travel through change, it’s a good time to see both its beauty and its gift, which can help us persevere. When I am grieving or feeling sad, I usually turn to poetry because of its healing nature and how grounding it can be. In her work, poet Mary Oliver often wrote about sorrow as being a gift. I agree, and I find her poetry offers solace during challenging times. Here’s a short and poignant poem of hers, which she dreamed in her sleep. Hopefully, it will prompt your own writing:

The Uses of Sorrow

Someone I loved once

gave me a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand that

this too, was a gift.

Finding Balance

If you’ve lived as many decades as I have, you will attest to the fact that life is laden with serenity and storms, which, as Oliver says can be burdens or gifts, depending on how we carry them. Our ability to survive life’s ebbs and flows is highly dependent on how we’re able to find balance between the two extremes and maintain a sense of equilibrium.

My ability to find balance is often challenged by my being an empath. I easily feel and react to the intense pain of others. While being an empath is aligned with other, more useful traits such as being creative and intuitive, I easily get bogged down by other people’s challenges. This is where my creative passion for writing can be a savior.

Connecting with Others

In addition, I’ve found that when so many shifts are taking place at once, it’s often a good time to connect with others so we don’t feel alone. With this in mind, I held an emergency free writing workshop last week for those who felt strained and overwhelmed by their personal challenges and the challenges of the world. Channeling our frustrations, fears, and sense of loneliness into writing can be a productive and healing endeavor.

A Grounding Practice

By grounding us and helping us feel connected to the world around us the writing ritual can help us combat any isolation we may feel. After we wrote using my guided prompts, we took turns sharing our deep emotional truths, in the genre of our choice, whether it was poetry, prose, or fiction.

But first, I began the writing session with a grounding meditation. This helps us connect with our greater life purpose and also helps minimize our distractions from the outside world.

How to do a grounding meditation:

  • Close your eyes and feel your feet flat on the floor.
  • Take a deep breath, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat this a few times.
  • With your feet still on the ground, feel your feet connecting you to the Earth.
  • With each exhale imagine roots beginning to sprout into the ground beneath you.
  • Now, imagine a white light coming in through your crown chakra into your physical body.
  • Imagine the light moving down your spine, down to the soles of your feet, and continuing into the center of the Earth.
  • Take some more grounding breaths and when you’re ready open your eyes.
  • Pick up your pen and write what sorrow feels like in your body, mind, and spirit.

A Gratitude Practice

Studies have shown that when we feel grateful, we are happier, healthier, kinder, and more resilient. Being grateful is a true practice, and with a grateful orientation we become more aware of life’s magic even during darkness.

Writing Prompt: Who are you grateful for? What are you grateful for?

You might want to consider writing a letter to someone and telling them how they have contributed to and/or changed your life.

There is a way through life’s darker moments, and hopefully these writing suggestions and prompts will help you on your journey.

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