How to prepare for a personal tsunami

The thing about a Tsunami is if we are prepared then we have a chance of getting to safety and limiting the damage. It is when it comes out of the blue, we didn’t see it coming or we were side swiped, then it becomes difficult.

The poor people in Indonesia have just suffered a tech tonic shift creating an earthquake, tsunami and a volcanic eruption. For these people this disaster came out of nowhere unexpected. Horrendous phone footage showed helpless people attempting to get out of the way of the eighteen foot wave. As this disaster rolls on the death toll currently stands at 1305 and is rising. These people have nothing, have lost everything and unless we all help they will not survive. Time to dig into our pockets and give whatever we can.

If we all look after each other we will all be okay

I have had my own Tsunami’s to deal with as have many of the people that I have worked with. Your child dies, you find your partner in the arms of another, you think you have won the lotto but have lost the ticket, you are told that you are being made redundant, the lorry hits you from behind when you are stopped at the light, you discover you are ill, the most important person in your world dies.

Some people do sail through life free of Tsunamis while others seem to be given one every time they turn around. One of the things that we learn is that life is not fair and that God, should she or he exist, has a vey odd sense of humour.

The thing about the Indonesian crisis is that they did have early warning systems in place. However, they had fallen into disrepair and some had even been vandalised so no warning was given prior to the wave landing on shore.

When we look at our own Tsunamis, our own crises, it is those people who have their own early warning systems in place and working that survive the best. The most effective early warning system that we can have is to be aware and awake, alert yet relaxed, calm and yet attentive. It is when we slip into autopilot that we get side swiped without seeing it coming.

There is something about being aware before it hits that allows us to protect ourselves. As the say ‘forewarned is forearmed’. When we can see a disaster coming we start to process it so that by the time it hits us we are already in protective mode. This then leads to a more effective recovery mode with less shock and anxiety.

However, even the most aware person can be side swiped. Your house burns down your partner is killed in a road traffic accident, the stock market collapses and so on. If at this point we have a strong emotional core so that the greater resilience we have the quicker the recovery. A strong emotional core is built through the practice of mindfulness both sitting practice and living practice. To me being mindful in the moment not only means that you might have more chance to see the Tsunami before it hits but you will be able to recover quicker when it does.

I guess that now in Indonesia there will be those who are mindlessly destroyed by these events and there will those who will Mindfully survive and help and look after others. Recovery is often a long and painful journey.

Take care and build your core

Sean x