What to Do in Times of Crisis

Sometimes the only right decision is to stop making decisions.

When we’re in a state of crisis, we often try to fix things with certainty. We want answers.

But this state of being is akin to quicksand: The harder we try to climb our way out, the lower we sink. The only way to survive is to make no sudden movements, to get comfortable with the discomfort, and to find peace without answers.

We can never glimpse the end of a path, but if we squint hard enough, we can see the next step. We squint by being still and quiet for a few minutes every day, through prayer.

We ignore the big decisions, knowing that they’ll make themselves, and we focus on the small ones. The ones right in front of us.

Crisis comes from the word meaning “to sift”. During times of crisis, if we let it all fall away, we’re left with what matters. What matters most cannot be taken away.

And maybe what we don’t know, we’re not supposed to know yet. More will be revealed. So we just do the next right thing, one thing at a time.

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Stillness

Learning to sit with conflict and uncertainty is a skill, much like riding a bike.

When you feel like you’re falling, steer into the fall. Lean into it instead of away, and you’ll be alright.

Have you ever tried making decisions when you’re upset or uncertain? It’s extremely trying.

Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to stop making decisions altogether. To learn to just sit and listen to the still, small voice that’s says don’t run. Don’t lean away. Take each day as it comes. One at a time. Lean into the not knowing. Carry on, because everything is going to be okay.

Be Grateful

I’ve given you a gift and you so deserve it, Child.

You’ve taken the gift and given it back to me. You are wise for this. For only a fool keeps my gifts for himself.

By giving it back to me, I will increase its fortitude and magnitude tenfold. I will multiply your gifts and shower you with more blessings because I have seen you are a good receiver and you are grateful.

Presence (A Poem Inspired by Ecclesiastes 3)

A time to be born
A time to die
A time to laugh
A time to cry
A time to love
A time to hate
A time to start
A time to wait
A time to keep quiet
A time to speak out
A time to grieve and mourn
A time to dance and shout
A time to heal
A time to kill
A time to take action
A time to be still

There is a time and a place for every last thing under the sun
But to know what a moment calls for, you must be present for one.

Stillness

I think I know why people are uncomfortable with stillness; being alone with the quiet of their mind.

What will my thoughts be? Will I be sad? Judgmental? Angry? Hateful? What if I am tormented by my racing mind? The inevitable underlying fear behind it all remains: Who am I?

But you are not your thoughts. Nor are you your feelings. If you can grasp this truth, you can learn to separate your self from your mind. The freedom that arises from this sort of separation will change your life. You will find that your thoughts are nothing to fear afterall. And more importantly, you will learn the healing power of stillness and the truth about how amazing you are, and have been all along.

Conversation with God – Galatians 5:22-23

It is written, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

This is where the fruit of the Spirit lives, in your heart. It is where I reside. If you can quiet your mind enough to listen to your heart and be present in every moment, there you will find all the fruits of the Spirit and many more gifts as well.

All you have to do is stay present and open. Here you will find all the fruits of the Spirit and they will fill your entire being, intertwining themselves in your life and relationships. I will be there. I am.

When Life Lessons Come Full Circle: A Personal Story

I’m an over achiever and a go getter. There’s a frantic, nitpicky air coursing through most of what I do. When I lived in Los Angeles, I shared an apartment with a wonderful free spirit. We contrasted well with her calming, almost floating presence.

I’ll never forget when she turned to me one day and asked, in her innocent, purely curiosity driven way, “What are you going to do when you’ve done it all?”

At the time, her question bounced right off me. Back then, fresh out of college, the only beatings I endured were from myself and generally, I saw no limits to what I could achieve.

Ironically (though probably not), she was the very person with me 2.5 years ago, when my world came crashing down around me. And although we no longer live together in Los Angeles, her question has haunted me throughout the years.

Today, 29 months and numerous universe inflicted battle wounds later, her words ring more powerful than ever.

While I’m still an over achiever and go getter, I now understand and appreciate the gifts of grace and presence, agents of change that my former LA roommate wisely knew all along.

struggle

There is No Cure for Hot and Cold

There is no cure for hot and cold.

There is no cure for the facts of life.

If we can stop trying to escape the inevitable alternation of pleasure and pain, we can simply relax and be fully present for the wonder that is our lives.

The greatest harm comes from our own aggressive minds.