• Gabe Orlowitz

Handling The Storms Of Life

Why is it that we can't seem to go a full day without a storm making its way onto our path? Even when things are going perfectly, something inevitably happens - someone says the wrong thing, you get a mysterious pain in your leg, it starts raining - and it all goes south from there.


What if every storm had its purpose?


Storms are great change agents, if we view them as such. What if, instead of resisting the currents of change as turbulent winds knock us around, we embrace every storm as our teacher? What if we welcome it in, knowing that the very winds that temporarily cause us pain, are the winds that guide us to freedom?


Life can be downright scary. I don't need to tell you that. What we do when it gets scary is up to us. Do we fight the forces of life because we can't handle them? Or do we learn to handle them, so that we come out stronger on the other side?


This entire blog explores the inner dimension of stillness and equanimity - that which is not conditional to the outside storms. In each post, and each day I live, I continuously remind myself that it's not the outside world that's the problem, but rather my inner relationship to it.


A good metaphor I like to use is surfing.


Life is not very different than surfing, except unlike the sport, we can never get out of the water. The only question becomes, can we ride the waves, or not?

A big part of knowing how to surf the waves of life is to first understand that they're surf-able. Once you understand this, you can work with the storms of life, rather than resist them at every turn.


This can sound abstract and far out there, but it's actually very practical. The next time a storm blows in - tell yourself it's for the better. That's it.


The more you do this, eventually, you'll throw a party every time a storm blows in, because you know it's there to make you stronger.


In my case, it's not uncommon for me to experience an overwhelming sensation of panic when a storm blows in. Years ago, I would let this panic overcome me. Today, even though it might feel crippling, I try to work with the sensation as best I can, and deal with my inner state while simultaneously dealing with the outer situation.


I've come to learn that, unless I properly handle my relationship to the storm - also known as reality - I cannot appropriately deal with it.


To me, a life spent inquiring about these inner energies we all experience, and learning how to relate to them amidst a storm, is a life well spent.


!Live with substance!

Gabe Orlowitz

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2020 • Substance Over Style • gabe@substanceoverstyle.me