"I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature." - Paulo Coelho

The past week, not surprisingly, had me thinking a lot about storms. Weather storms most certainly, but emotional "life storms" also. For example, do you ever notice that when you're really busy and overwhelmed it's like your body is jacked up on 50 cups of coffee and you just keep moving forward like some impervious tank? Then, once you have a moment to breathe (perhaps you have a day off or have gone away for the weekend), your body crumples up like a frail paper ball and you get sick as a dog?

(Insert nod here)

Yep, me too. I'm convinced that storms, both physical and emotional, pop up from time to time to get us to pay attention, to slow down, to listen. The overwhelmed body that gives you the flu instead of time to get more things off your to-do list is saying, "Hey! Hello! Remember me? I need some help here!" Perhaps even the winter storm that shows up on the day of the big meeting is also telling us something. Maybe it wants us to slow down, pay attention, take a moment to think about what's REALLY important.

For example, when a blizzard showed up in my city last week, instead of being frustrated that traffic was moving slow, I chose to be incredibly grateful that my son's school wasn't far, my fellow drivers were being considerate of one another and that I had a warm and safe home office to return to.

At the end of the day, the challenge is to start seeing these "setbacks" as moments to get quiet, to listen to life and hopefully get in touch with gratitude. In the blur of your busy life, your mix of conflicting emotions and priorities, what is life telling you? If you sit still for a moment, what do you hear? What can you be grateful for?

That's the big question, isn't it?

Wishing you a day filled with calm and purpose.

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