Wake-Up Call

As we woke up early this morning to the smell of thick smoke from fires in the San Francisco Bay Area, we were reminded how fragile our existence is. A house is there one moment, and engulfed in flames the next. The assumptions we built our lives on change, without warning. Suddenly, we need to reorganize ourselves to meet challenges we hoped never to encounter.

It’s natural to mourn for what disappears, to be afraid that we might lose something ourselves, or to blame other people for a tragedy. It’s important not to stuff those feelings away, but to really feel them.

At the same time, it’s easy to go beyond healthy processing, and get lost in fear or anger or sadness when these moments overtake us, especially if we're witnessing someone else's tragedy.

Practicing meditation helps build your ability to cope in those moments. Each time you sit still and watch your thoughts, you not only experience a sense of calm in that moment, you also build up the areas of your brain that give you the ability to think clearly in the midst of crisis.

You plant the seeds of resilience, and water the saplings, for those moments in the future when you’ll need a tree to lean on or take shelter under. Practicing meditation becomes a gift you give yourself, and everyone you may be called on to help, as life unfolds around you.

The only thing we can count on is change. Sit with us this week, and prepare yourself to meet that challenge. We'll be right there with you.

Hannah Knapp