Notes from the ATL's storm

  Seeing and recognizing the good

 

It’s been quite a couple of days in Atlanta. As you know, the South was not equipped for the ice / snow that fell on Tuesday, January 28th. Folks went to work as usual that morning, thousands upon thousands tried to leave around lunchtime, and the city just doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to deal with ice and snow like in the North. There are a lot of people in the North laughing about what occurred in the South, but it was no joke.

 

Although I was safe and warm throughout the day and night, thousands of people were stranded in their cars for hours. Commutes turned into 2, 3, 4…then 9, 10….16, 19, even 24+ hours. As of Wednesday, people were still stranded on the interstates, and hundreds of abandoned cars are scattered on the highways.

 

Snowmagedden 2014 Atlanta 

I woke up in the middle of the night Tuesday night. Between my next door neighbor’s house getting broken into that evening, and all of those people experiencing 14+ hour commutes, I felt helpless…especially as most people were stranded on the outskirts of Atlanta and I’m downtown.

 

As I read through the Facebook posts on SnowedOutAtlanta and other sources, I started to tear up. There were stories of people with medical emergencies, those with chronic conditions and no access to medication or their usual regimens. Cars running out of gas. Cell phone batteries dying. Parents with sick babies. Those who had no food, water, blankets or access to a restroom. Older adults. Some wheelchair-bound. Children. Pregnant. Cold. All trapped in their cars just trying to get home or other destination.

 

I kept wondering, how can I focus on faith and love over fear here, especially while not ignoring that there are people in need?

 

I asked for a miracle. Guidance. Maybe a shift in perspective. But how can people with life threatening conditions trapped in a cold car be positive? Will I "get it" later? Is it for me to worry about? Sure, life is what you make of it. And my guess is some people in the storm chose to make the best of it. Could they find a silver lining? Look at the bigger picture? Find things to be grateful for?

 

Challenging? Perhaps. It takes a conscious effort. I still felt unsettled about people stranded, especially those with special needs.

 

I took some deep breaths, and pictured angels surrounding and protecting those in need. My heart was breaking for them.

 

The next morning, I work up to a overwhelming theme of kindness and community. The outpour of love was apparent. How people banded together was amazing. So many stories of strangers helping strangers.  Volunteers in effected areas delivered food. People opened their homes to strangers. People gave rides as they could. People walked along the interstate to track down those in need. Businesses opened their doors to provide temporary shelters.

 

Even those in my neighborhood have banded together in ways we haven’t with the above-mentioned burglary that happened Tuesday evening.

 

While this does not take away from the fact that many people had to go through this experience, the stories of compassion and kindness made my heart smile. Who knows, perhaps this event will have a positive impact in different ways as well. (Infrastructure anyone? Prevention and preparedness?)

 

Sending lots of love, a helping hand, healing thoughts and prayers to those in need. Let’s continue to focus on the solutions, and how we can make a powerful impact individually and as a community.

 

"If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito."  ~ Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop

 

decisions, decisions, decisions

   

"The human heart has hidden treasures…" ~Charlotte Bronte

 

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know that a big part of my message is to be mindful of when you make a decision because you think (or someone else or society thinks) you “should.”

 

I struggled with this myself for a while in so many areas of my life.

 

There was a tennis match between my head and my heart. Looking back, I don’t think I always listened to my gut or my instincts.

 

What I learned is to make a conscious effort to follow my heart and trust myself.

 

We’ve all had the feeling at some point when something isn’t “quite right.” Well guess what? Our heart and inner voice always knows what’s right for us.

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people do something because they “should,” ultimately to realize or learn that the next time they will listen to – and trust – their own feelings and intuition.

 

Sometimes we tend to over-think things when we just need to sit still and listen to ourselves, God and the Universe giving us a nudge, even when it’s something that causes some fear to arise.

 

Can you think of a time in your life when something just didn’t feel right but you did it because you “should” or because you wanted to please someone else?

 

When something doesn’t feel right, trust the feeling. Again, I’m not talking about fear; I’m talking about when every cell in your body is resisting. Or you have that feeling in your gut. Just know there’s a difference between the universe giving you the nudge and not wanting to follow through out of fear. Some of the things we are being led to do may scare us…and that often means we need to do them. :)

 

Sometimes we feel the need to ask the opinion of everyone we know when we’re faced with a decision. This can confuse us even more because if we ask 10 people we will likely get a mixed bag of answers. And often people will tell us what THEY want.

 

When we stop resisting our feelings and start trusting ourselves more, we feel more in alignment with our truth, beliefs and values. Our actions will be more congruent with the highest good, and ultimately it feels like a weight is lifted. A sense of inner peace is what we’re going for, which can lead to a happier, healthier life.

 

Of course there will be things we do that we don’t enjoy, and I’m also not saying that you don’t need to plan strategically.

 

There will always be something we could do for our own growth.

 

It helps tremendously to meditate, pray / ask for guidance, and allow yourself to be still. When we listen to our “still small voice within” we will be lead down the right path.

 

Practice with small, everyday decisions. After all, it’s the smaller, consistent steps that lead to larger outcomes. Ultimately, there’s no wrong answer because we learn and grow from every experience no matter what. You’ll feel much lighter trusting yourself though.

 

And ultimately, we just KNOW. All the answers are within.

 

Be sure to share your insights and you next steps below. Specifically, I’d love to know in what ways you’re committing to listening to the voice within!