LIFETOOLS

Find Your Zen in the Storm

Life is anything but neat and tidy. There’s always a storm brewing or happening. The longer you live the more often you’ll say (out loud), “Wow! Didn’t see that coming.” Or, “Never thought that’d happen to me.“

Life is as life is. We like to believe we have some control over it, but deep down you know it ain’t so. Shit happens… and that’s not a position of helplessness or powerlessness. Not at all.

The question isn’t “how can I control life to be more kind to me?,” but “how can I be more present, willing and at ease with what life offers?”

Yes, the first step to regaining any and all your power is to surrender to what “is” in the world around you. Do not look away in fear. Do not judge it as good or bad. It is what it is.

When we spend too much time and energy trying to manage (aka control) all the stuff, people and happenings in life it’s because we lack a safe, stable center within. And the more time and energy you burn trying to control the world outside — which never really works, right? — the more “off” your inner balance becomes. Eventually a single piece of lint on the carpet sets off a typhoon inside.

You true power, strength and resiliency comes from the inside. It’s being who you are with whatever life is dishing out. It’s peace in the eye of the storm. It doesn’t mean you have to like it all, but simply labeling it as “what is” can take away a lot of our natural desire to label things as “good” or “bad.”

I’m Not a Surfer

No, I don’t surf but damn, I think it’s cool. It just seems, from what I gather, about the most Zen-like thing you can do outside of just being Zen.

I think fear would make you a pretty bad surfer. And the same is true in life.

Surfing is such fertile ground for life metaphors. In this case, it couldn’t be more perfect to help us see what peace in the storm looks like. Take the surfer who is riding giants at the great Jaws surfing zone of Maui. The force, the power, the water… it’s truly an active storm all around. And here’s the surfer, in the zone, who must be able to access his inner zen… complete peace and focus from the inside out. He can’t convince himself that he’s going to tame or control these giant waves of water. He can’t even go there, so no energy is wasted in that useless battle. By surrendering to “what is,” he focuses solely on what he can do and how he is being.

The First Step

Yes, the first step to regaining any and all your power is to surrender to what “is” in the world around you. Do not look away in fear. Do not judge it as good or bad. It is what it is.

Do not justify or make excuses. Simply surrender to what is. For as counter-intuitive as this likely feels, surrender is the first step to a life at Full Strength!

Shawn Phillips is the author of the best-selling book Strength for Life and a renowned expert in the area of performance training and nutrition. He is currently forming the Coalition for Strength, a new non-profit organization dedicated to sharing and celebrating the benefits of living with strength to inspire people of all walks of life to build our collective strength by cultivating our individual strength. His website is mystrengthforlife.com.


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