Most people have their own individual storm brewing these days.

Collectively, we’re moving through a massive shit-storm of uncertainty.

My Mom recently went through her own individual storm, via a knee replacement, which was followed, 4 weeks later, by complications in other areas of her body.

Currently, she’s home, resting, doing well, and eager to get back on her feet.

During her recent stay in the hospital, I felt stressed, irritable, and scared.

At the same time, curious about the learning opportunities being presented for her.

Learning in times of crisis requires you to seize opportunities for reflection that include: 

Creating spaces to think

Slowing down

Being mindful and…

Paying attention to the way that you respond to the outside world.

There’s opportunities for…

Creating new patterns of thinking

Surfacing alternative interpretations of reality, and…

Creating new theories of action.

All of this sounds wonderful, but in reality, it often depends on whether, or not, you’re ready to bring these opportunities into your world. 

After a month of subpar surfing conditions, SoCal recently had its first swell in quite some time.

Many of the surfers in the area were salivating at the opportunity to get into the water and embrace the peak conditions.

I distinctly remember rising bright and early one morning, ready to surf, yet feeling a sense of irritability.Set featured image

I was experiencing ruminating thoughts, thinking about all the different facets of my life, including my struggles, desires, wants, needs and the elusive elements that would ultimately bring me joy.

With surfing, like any sport, when you’re in your head, and disembodied, things usually don’t go well….

Especially, when there’s a big swell, and the waves are charging pretty hard – literally creating a storm within the ocean.

My first attempt at catching a wave that morning proved to a mini-disaster, given my current state of affairs.  

I was out of position, got into the wave too late, and got tossed into the ocean’s underbelly.

As I submerged, gasping for air, mother nature quickly reminded me of the importance of being present….which includes, but isn’t limited too…

Getting into my body…

Taking deep breaths…

Being grateful for the opportunity to move through the storm.

As you move through your own storm, whatever it looks like, I encourage you to consider the various ways that you’re able to learn from it.

Being a student of your storm is one of the biggest gifts that you can give yourself.

Is it easy? Usually, no.

Is it worth it? Usually, yes.

It’s often where the most important learning takes place, and new opportunities are discovered.

Sometimes, it takes a few reminders to embrace your opportunity – to be a student of your storm…..

As for me, that particular day in the water lingered for a few more surf sessions, and as a result, my ass-kicking continued.

And for this, I am grateful.