I have a fair bit of PTSD around excessive wind and water. In all, over my 7 decades, I've been through 10 or 11 hurricanes. One or two early in my life in Houston, a couple in the Caribbean (sailing), and a bunch between Philly and Cape Cod. Then there was nearly getting killed trying to sail a small racing trimaran (3 hulls) alone to Bermuda.
Weather forecast lied then. 15 to 20 knots of wind turned into way way more. Strapped into the tiny bunk in the dark, tensing up in fear as each next stacked-up wave crashed sideways into the little boat--I was terrorized. Just praying frantically each time she would survive what were bashing, violent snap-rolls across endless oncoming crests.
Ultimately, the boat did fine. But I was seriously traumatized. I had to fly to Bermuda and help deliver a 40 ft. sloop back to the US, or I was afraid I would never go to sea again.
But I'm Also a Shaman
At the same time, I'm a shaman. My world view is animistic. In my everyday experience, planet Earth (Gaia) is a loving, nurturing consciousness. And if my longstanding passion for strong winds and the thrill of surfing big waves has also been significantly tempered by enduring the terror they can inspire--still, we humans are not listening. So Gaia has to shout and yell. We continue to doggedly destabilize what is possibly the most benevolent climate she has ever given us. She's trying wake us up before it's too late.
So I have a special relationship with big storms, and all forms of extreme weather. Big wind and wild water seem to have followed me wherever I've gone. I truly love their power and majesty. At the same time, I have experienced intimately the physical and psychological damage violent elements can do. So Gaia has talked to me, and given me the best way to wrap myself in a capsule of safety.
Staying Safe in a Major Hurricane--
How Does That Work?
"Superstorm Sandy" got very gentle around my house 12 hours before she calmed down even a couple miles away. This made the difference between trees down, basement flooded, driveway washed out--and next to no damage.
I've been told to share this method of creating safety with you here. Gaia wants you to know it. It has three steps. One is physical, one psychological, and the other is spiritual. Each one has its place. Each is important.
Step One--Plan and Take
Shamanism as I learned it from indigenous and mixed-blood teachers is rooted in a solid relationship to one's physical surroundings. An Apache scout may "get a psychic message" from an eagle circling so far away that it's barely a dot in his visual field. But that message emerges from longstanding intimacy with the habits and behavior of eagles.
So too this way to create maximal safety for you and your loved ones begins with what we might call "embodied due diligence." Pay some attention in advance to elemental threats you may face and take what steps you are able to ensure your resilience and safety. Get some level of emergency supplies, equipment, or preparations in place. Even if there are no means or little time and the steps are largely symbolic--take them. Gaia notices and needs human survivors who understand and respect her ways.
This step varies greatly depending on two things: (1) what kinds of extremes might come your way, and (2) what you are aware of and capable of doing. For some, risks are heat, drought, air quality, wildfires, and such. For others it's excesses of wind, rain, cold, snow, ice, and the like. For all of us these days, it's power and internet failures.
In any case, do at least some of what you have time, money, and knowledge enough to do. Again, even largely symbolic efforts count. Show some respect for your embodied self and the conscious elementals it so deeply depends on.
Step Two--Build Connection &
Block Fear with This Mantra
It's one Gaia has given me to use when I get PTSD attacks around increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather events. My log home in the woods is lovely and sacred, but very exposed to treefall and flashfloods. I breathe the lines below in and out as described in the blog "Power Up Your Affirmations with Breath."
Mother Earth loves me (on out-breath)
Her weather's my friend (on in-breath)
Wind and rain veer around me (on out-breath)
On through the storm's end (on in-breath)
If I lived in certain parts of the west, this might read:
Mother Earth loves me (on out-breath)
Her elements, they care (on in-breath)
Smoke and fire veer around me (on out-breath)
And answer my prayer (on in-breath)
Or some might put "heat and drought" into line three.
Affirm that you are Gaia's loving child and repeatedly embed the felt image of safety into your subconscious. Remember that part of climate change is that these extremes are more capricious and disorganized. One place gets a deluge that doesn't affect others 3 miles away. One house burns. The next door neighbor is untouched. See yourself in the extreme event's gaps.
Step Three--Open Your Heart
To Those Caught in Extremes
That Pass You By
The first and simplest way to do this is to pray for them. Maybe you would rather use here terms like "send energy to" or "hold an intention for," instead of "make prayers." Whatever works best. The point of this step is to open your heart to those who are enduring what you, by the grace of Gaia and your acceptance of her consciousness, are being spared.
Look, she needs people like you. The whole point of the Earth-changes is for more of us to start treating her like the living, aware life-form she is and we are part of. As a species, we are failing at that. So the karmic blowback is increasing.
In any case, send energy for the safety and well being of those caught in extremes you are spared. Pray that their losses and suffering serve their highest good, and most importantly that they serve to alter the course of the current human folly. That they serve to wake the mainstream up to our common heritage as humans and the incredible gift of this living biosphere. And yes, sometimes this step can extend to offering concrete material help as well--donations, or even pitching in if you are close or have skills.
This Method is a Gift
Channeled and True
I am assured that this will work for you if you "work it." You will find your encounters with climate and Earth changes easier, with less anguish, less loss--and ultimately more valuable learning and growth. These three steps are the fruit of 30 years of shamanic practice, and a deep, lifelong love affair with the play of earth, air, fire, and water.
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