an eye in the storm
Caring, Self-Care

Becoming the Eye of the Storm

Between the pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, political tension, and everyday stressors of our lives, it seems like we are in a chaotic whirlwind called 2020. These turbulent times can make us feel uncomfortable, uncertain, angry, fearful, disappointed, or any combination of the mentioned emotions along with a slew of others. That is external chaos and it’s is out of our control.  

We can only control ourselves and how we react and give meaning to the chaos. Let’s look at these times as a hurricane and, in the following paragraphs, gain a sense of how we can be the eye of the storm (a calming force) for ourselves and others until brighter days come.

Fighting Fire with Fire?

Our raw emotions can seem like a fire boiling our blood or drawing us to tears. Whatever our experience, our emotions are powerful. These emotions can make us feel like chaos not only exists outside of us but is one with our being. Imagine a time where a situation arose that was hectic or negative and our emotions thrust us into a frantic internal state. How did that impact the situation? Did it change the circumstances or make anything better?

We all instinctively know the answers to those questions. In turbulent times, fighting fire with fire doesn’t work – it just consumes us. Our emotions are meant to be felt and used a GPS. The problem comes when we start to give subjective meaning to emotions we experience, turning them into a feeling which changes our state or becomes the lens through which we see everything.

During these times, it’s important we find ways to feel deeply and release our emotions in constructive ways. We must catch ourselves as we give meaning to what our emotions signify. Why? Because that meaning we give them determines what feelings linger, it determines our state, and can alter our attitude.

Attitude is Key 

Attitude is defined as ”a feeling or opinion about something or someone, or a way of behaving that is caused by this.” Note that attitude can be a “feeling” which is our mental opinion or meaning we give an emotion that comes up. With that in mind, our attitudes have the power to shape how we perceive reality, how we see people, and even how we show up. To be the eye of the storm, it’s vital that we keep a positive mental attitude. According to Positive Psychology the characteristics of a positive mental attitude we must cultivate are:

  • Optimism: Being hopeful and confident about the future even when things seem bleak
  • Acceptance: acknowledging that things don’t always turn out how we want them to, but we can learn from everything.
  • Resilience: bouncing back from adversity, disappointment, and failure.
  • Gratitude: actively, continuously appreciating the good things in our lives
  • Consciousness/Mindfulness: dedicating the mind to conscious awareness and enhancing the ability to focus.
  • Integrity: the trait of being honorable, righteous, and straightforward, instead of deceitful and self-serving

Stay Grounded

The third and final element we get to master as we become a calming force in chaotic times is staying grounded. This simply means we find a way to free our mind of thoughts and be still. This can be done through mediation, visualization, and other breathing practices. There are a plethora of ways to do these practices and the key is finding a practice that fits us personally.

3 elements to becoming the eye of the storm

In a Nutshell

Turbulent times are bound to happen at some point in our lives. Right now, it seems as though the whole world is experiencing subtle and not-so-subtle chaos. In these times, the only thing we can control is ourselves. Becoming the eye of the storm helps us bring a peacefulness to our inner state and allows us to show up as a calming force for others. We become that force by remembering the following:

  1. Don’t fight fire with fire: We get to feel our emotions as they come up and remember the moment we give a mental meaning to them or lament over them, we feel it internally.
  2. Attitude is key: It’s important we cultivate and keep a positive mental attitude if we want to remain calm in turbulent times.
  3. Stay grounded: When we stay grounded through meditation, breathwork, or visualizations we keep a peaceful inner state.

By Mona Nyree Stephens, contributing author

We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others.  Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self.  Caring for others around us.  Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before.  So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.

UCA resources available to help include the Turbulent Times Resources Center,  radio show, publications and online store offering members huge discounts and always free shipping.

Feel Good News, Sharing Caring, Unified Caring Association

A Hero Spreads Holiday Caring to Fire Victims

 

The Camp Fire

When the news of the Camp Fire reached the Unified Caring Association (UCA) office our team was hopeful. We hoped that the fire would be quickly controlled. Our prayers went out to all humans and animals that they would escape the fires unharmed. And we sent our caring to fire victims. We were devastated to hear that the entire city of Paradise, California was incinerated. The news reported 18,793 structures were destroyed, and that the fire had spared nothing, leaving total devastation. Our hearts were broken, and we wondered how the survivors could go on. UCA reached out to various agencies in hope of finding a meaningful way to help. Understandably, emergency agencies were over-burdened with phone calls. Many lacked the manpower to handle the donations they were receiving. Luckily, our fearless team member Luna kept at it! She was determined to make sure that UCA extended our caring to fire victims. So, she kept making calls. Eventually, Luna made a connection with a wonderful woman named Nanette, and magic happened!

A Caring Hero

Nanette is a caring hero for many reasons. She runs a non-profit unrelated to the fire effort to begin with! Nanette had heard that her friend, a volunteer at her non-profit, had lost her home in the fire. Time went by and Nanette was unable to reach her. So, Nanette set out to find her friend. While searching for her friend, she saw first-hand the devastation of the Camp Fire. Luckily, her friend was located safely, and Nanette decided to create a caring event to help the fire victims. She set out to give those who had lost so much a caring holiday! Nanette researched the needs of the community and created a caring holiday event!

Some UCA Support

The UCA CARE team asked Nanette to share with us how she felt we could help the most. She explained that expectant mothers had lost everything in the fires – they had nothing for their newborns, no blankets, no clothes. We were told that the children had lost all of their toys and holiday cheer was in short supply. As a result, the UCA team of elves immediately swung into action! No baby item was left on the shelf! We bought baby sleepers, onesies, t-shirts, leggings, blankets, coats, socks, sweatpants, sweatshirts, pajamas and cozy clothes for toddlers. In addition, we also bought 80 gifts for children – backpacks, school supplies, plush animals so they would have something to hold, creative art kits and books.  Plus, we sent cheery Christmas decorations, notes of encouragement and … our hearts … we truly sent them our hearts.

A Caring Holiday Miracle

And so it was, on December 22 at the Eagle Lodge in Chico, California a holiday party was held. People who had lost everything came to celebrate the miracle of togetherness. Children sat on Santa’s lap and received their gifts. Families ate together and for a moment in time, caring filled a place in their hearts where fear and sadness had once taken hold.

Our hearts go out to all who suffered in the California fires this year. May they be cared for, supported and loved through the challenging days ahead as they rebuild their lives.  We are incredibly grateful to the firefighters and first responders that fearlessly serve and protect us all day after day. Our hearts are touched by all of the caring heroes in the world who miraculously appear when tragedy strikes. In tragedy, we are often reminded of the true value of caring. If there is caring in the world, we can never lose everything.

Caring Action, Children, Feel Good News, Unified Caring Association

UCA Steps Up for Students

Students

When Shasta County Office of Education (SCOE) made a plea for help on social media, Unified Caring Association (UCA) took notice.

Their students were in need of basic clothing items and shoes after the devastating Carr Fire. We knew we needed to help so the team at UCA kicked our caring into action! We immediately sent in a donation for $1000 to purchase shoes for students in need. SCOE administrators used our donation to purchase individual gift cards from local shoe retailers, Payless Shoes and Famous Footwear, and distributed them to the students. Thank you to Superintendent Flores for organizing this caring project!

The Carr Fire was a large wildfire that burned in Shasta and Trinity Counties in California. The fire burned 229,651 acres, before it was 100% contained on August 30 th . Fire destroyed at least 1,604 structures – at least 1,077 were homes.

October 15, 2018 Redding, California