What You Need To Survive A Hurricane

 Last week my glorious city, with its resilient souls that call it home, was rocked to the core by a bitch of a storm named after a character from “Grease.”  This isn’t my first time at the hurricane rodeo. Last year, I hunkered down for a storm slumber party when Irene threatened to blow us away. That turned out to be more bark than bite. I ended up spending the weekend drinking vino and watching reruns (I know, survival is tough). This time we heeded warnings, crossed fingers and toes, but weren’t as lucky. At home, I was fortunate to find that the worst my neighborhood fared was just a couple of downed trees. My studio however, did not have power for an entire week, which meant no clients, no renters, no income.

I was one of the lucky ones. Areas of New Jersey, Staten Island, and the Rockaways were demolished. My studio was only out of commission for only 7 days. I know that if I had a business in one of those areas I would be suffering so much more. This left me thinking about how we cope. How to remain positive when a tempest punches you in the face, literally.  Here’s what I recommend:

Remember that recovery is a process. I am always telling my clients, “just relax, you will get there. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” In this case that couldn’t be more true. Rebuilding takes time. Time indicates patience. Patience, for most of us is a process within itself. Take it one day at a time, there’s no where to be but where you are right now.

Practice not abandoning yourself. What, you say, is the good of being where you are right now when right now SUCKS? Well, that’s the thing about the present. It’s all you have. Not the past. Not the future. Just. Right. Now. The now will fluctuate, that you can count on. Today might be a great place to be and then tomorrow, like in the case of Sandy, might be nasty and unpleasant. You cannot control how the wind blows but you can choose how you respond. I am a HUGE fan of Josh Pais’s “Committed Impulse” technique. He teaches you to stay with your feelings and how they manifest in your body, without labeling things good, bad, or ugly. This process makes you stronger since you can take control where you can, within you.

Get Creative. I find that the universe brings me just what I need exactly when I need it. I might be hoping for a UPS delivery from Barney’s and instead get a pile of shit on my doorstep- but it’s exactly what I needed. The freedom you have from your regular routine creates a space you can fill with the things you have had on your “to-do” list forever. Personally, I used the week I had off to plan my entire year and to begin to break down all the projects and what I need to accomplish to make that happen. Maybe you have been wanting to make changes to how you structure things in your business. Now you have the time. Whatever IT is, take this time to be productive, creative, and positive. Most importantly move forward.

Time will heal. I have been so encouraged by the community I live in. Neighbors helping neighbors, even if it’s just helping someone who has no power charge their iPhone. We are a hardy city and will bounce, or rather, “storm” our way back. That is what New Yorkers do.

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