This week was a demonstration of flexibility, strength and balance. While preparing for hurricane Joaquin, which developed as a threat much more quickly than the last hurricane, I observed much.
The senior staff of the Ashram guided every step. Presenters and guests were kindly and patiently led through alternative plans, while the rest of us began preparations for evacuation. The windows were again boarded up, and food was readied for travel if we needed it. Documents, Boutique merchandise and equipment were readied for secure storage in the event of evacuation.
And, we prayed. We prayed much the same as we usually do, but the prayers sounded stronger and more heartfelt.
With a smaller number of us at the Ashram, we were able to have our satsangs in the Meditation Room. This is an indoor, air conditioned, cozy room with cherry wood flooring and an abundance of deity art work. With candles lit for meditation and chanting, the room was the perfect place for our voices to fill the space with beautiful prayers.
It didn't hurt that the Meditation Room is less than a two minute walk from my room, which made it easier to be on time for satsang in the early morning:) This was a bonus for me!
I daily continued yoga class, missing only one day. My back bend surfaced in my thoughts as an interesting reminder that it is by God's grace that I am given a body that is flexible enough to attempt a back bend. It is practice that has increased my strength and balance, which in turn makes my spine yet, more flexible. I have a long way to go for a deeper arch in my back, but my pose is steady and comfortable. I wonder if back bends for me, signify flexibility in other areas?
I was intrigued this time to note reactions of people, as this was my second hurricane preparation experience. I knew about the preparations and had more presence of mind for observation.
I felt calm and confident in the procedures followed by senior staff. They had much practice. Strong willed and devoted people worked tirelessly to organize. Physically strong people put up all the boards around the Ashram. As for flexibility, the calm/balanced approach allowed us to be flexible and ready for whatever would come our way.
A few of the karma yogis who had not been here for the prior tropical storm alert were highly impacted by the messages they received from home. The media coverage for this hurricane was more sensational and increased in intensity as the storm moved closer. A couple people here became edgy and had meltdowns of one kind or another. Nothing major, but uncharacteristic verbal outbursts directed at others ensued.
While I learned that there are 700 islands in the Bahamas, the Western view and maybe even general worldview is that the Bahamas is one place. All of the Bahamas were certainly on alert, and unfortunately, much damage occurred on at least one of the islands, but we did not have any real impact.
The winds were stronger than usual for a few days, and the ocean was much rougher and churning up debris on the beach. Usually the waters here are so calm and clear that I feel like I am in a swimming pool. The beach sand is pristine, soft and rarely is there debris on the beach.
So, yes, evidence of the hurricane approaching was there. Yet, in the past two days, the sun has been shining and the waters are calming. Hurricanes are strong forces of nature not to be minimized, but it is amazing how our reactions can so easily be made calmer with practice, strength and flexibility.
I also think our prayers for the safety of all helped. And maybe God's gift was to show us our reactions in challenging situations?
Sending You Love from the Bahamas,🌞
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
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