Eye of the Hurricane
Gail Pursell Elliott


"We must maintain great stillness of mind, even in the midst of our struggles. . . . A comparison with the sea may help us.  A tranquil sea allows the fisherman to gaze right to its depths.  No fish can hide there and escape his sight.  The stormy sea, however, becomes murky when it is agitated by the winds.  The very depths that it revealed in its placidness, the sea now hides.  The skills of the fisherman are useless."

St. Diadochus, "Treatise on Spiritual Perfection"

Hurricanes are awesome storms.  On a Doppler weather map you can see the swirling arms of wind and rain moving around the center.  If you have ever experienced a hurricane first-hand, you know of the ferocious beauty that can be so destructive.

Yet right at the center of this huge cyclone there is something that is referred to as the "eye."  In the eye of the hurricane the sun in shining, the winds are calm.  It is beautiful and still as the storm rages and circles around it.

Sometimes the events of our lives can feel as if we are caught in a hurricane.  Circumstances beyond our control, that may appear frightening or powerful, may obscure our perspective, damage what we have built, destroy our points of reference.

Yet within each of us there is a calm center that cannot be touched by anything that is around us.  It is interesting that this center calm portion of the great cyclone of a hurricane is called the "eye," for one of the qualities that staying in the eye allows is the ability to see clearly.

If we want to remain in the eye of a hurricane then we cannot stay in one place.  We have to keep moving along with the storm and allow it to rage around us until it spends itself.  We may have to move through debris, or abandon our external points of reference, leaving things that are familiar behind.

Staying in the eye does not mean that we ignore the route of the storm, but that we move along with it and choose our position.  Some of us choose to fight our way through the storm or dig in our heels and refuse to be moved, which allows the storm to overtake and hit us directly.  That is when we get caught up in the storm itself and our vision and perspective, regardless of experience or ability, may seem to fail us.

Maintaining stillness of mind in the midst of our struggles means that we remember who we truly are and do not define ourselves in terms of external circumstances.  It means making a conscious effort to not take things personally, which can cause us to attach our sense of self worth to the events of our lives.  It means keeping our inner power intact.

Most of the time we can no more control the situations that come into our lives than we can control a hurricane.  But we always can control our response, and choose our position.  We can either participate in or identify with the situation itself or maintain our stillness of mind.  We can get sucked into it, caught up, or remain true to ourselves.

This can seem a difficult task because many of us first react to the emotional content of what is happening.  Response requires thought to gain insight and the awareness to be able to reconnect with that calm center where vision is clear.

It is helpful to remember that no matter how fierce a storm can be or how much damage it leaves in its wake, it does eventually dissipate.  It is temporary.  After the storm has spun itself out, the area that was the eye remains.  What was peaceful, is still at peace.  What was still is maintained.  No matter how large or ferocious the storm, this point within is always present.  It can be the constant in our lives regardless of how outer circumstances may change.

Gail Pursell Elliott, "The Dignity and Respect Lady"; Innovations "Training With a Can-Do Attitude" PO Box 552, Roland, IA 50236  515-388-9600  www.innovations-training.com


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