Oh, the things we take for granted in life; like heat, electricity, hot showers and refrigeration. I was amongst the 884,000 who lost power in Connecticut, for over a week. 767,000 lost power during Hurricane Irene.
I’ve backpacked in the Himalayas for 5 days and I’ve biked the South Island of New Zealand, some twenty years ago. It was thrilling to feel so self sufficient back then. That was by choice however. When life without power was not a choice, things began to go haywire in my mind on day eleven. Up until that point, I marveled at how well I could handle it.
I’d lug my 40 pound suitcase up the staircases of friends and family fortunate enough to still have power. I left small items behind, no less important because they were small. A misplaced cell phone charger forced me to conserve on telephone time; forgotten flip flops forced me to get creative in order to shower at the gym, without risking foot fungus, by standing on plastic bags. I mostly enjoyed the experience of my mind creating solutions to new problems – until day eleven when my mind began to implode.
I began to feel sad and angry that it happened at all, and even worse, that it happened to me. I began to worry what would happen when the power did finally come on – would the surge fry my computer? I began to wonder where to begin first in my basement where three inches of water sat for over a week. I fretted that I was becoming a nuisance to my friends and family who gave me shelter.
The miracle of it was that I knew what was causing me to feel so miserable. I knew that my mind was doing it to me. Fortunately, I had been exposed to an understanding of three Principles that explain all human experiences. It allowed me to rely upon the knowledge that my scared, helpless feelings would pass, that human beings are resilient and capable of bouncing back when the mind clears. I could rely upon that knowledge; it brought me a modicum of peace. Then before I knew it, life delivered something new to focus on as my young nieces brought their beading projects to me to untangle, twist closed, or bend into shape. I adore them, they provide such delicious diversions. My mind cleared, all on it’s own, just as Syd Banks taught me during his talks about the 3 Principles that explain the human condition. I marveled at the natural way that happens. I could observe my own resiliency.
Through all the ups and downs of life, I now know that is the experience of consciousness bringing my thoughts to life. As conscious beings, everything we think in each and every moment appears just as real as real can be. As humans we get to experience an unlimited array of feelings and experiences. How fortunate we are to be alive and to embrace whatever life brings us.
I realize that the same conditions have been present in my life for eleven days; I’ve been without a home, because it was just too cold and dark to spend any time there. Yet the place that I always live is in my own mind. There were moments of glory when I thought about the adventure of it and there were moments of horror when I thought about what would greet me when I returned. The 3 Principles explain so eloquently how temporary our experiences are and that they come from within ourselves, not from external events and circumstances even though it appears that way.
Syd Banks would say; “life is like a contact sport, we’ll never get through it without our bumps and bruises, but we don’t have to hang ourselves in the process.”