Having a spiritual practice is not protection against having “bad things” happening in your life. Even deeply spiritual people experience difficult situations. Storms, floods, fire or a medical emergency can happen to anyone.
Having a strong spiritual practice gives you a powerful inner rudder. It supports you to go through all that Life provides with a deeper sense of peace and resilience than would be possible without it. I liken it to driving over a stretch of really bump road. Without a spiritual rudder, it is like driving over the rough road in an old off-road vehicle. The experience is extra jarring and painful. A spiritual practice supports you to move through the bumpy stretch like you were in a vehicle with luxury suspension. It still requires skill, patience and good decision-making, but it is a whole lot less miserable!
Since this year’s Winter season is expected to be more extreme, I thought it would be a good time to review how to remain resilient and be more prepared for life’s unexpected surprises!
The first thing is to learning how to get out of fear and back into gratitude—even in tough situations. Maintaining inner emotional balance is critical to thriving in all circumstances. Fear disrupts your ability to think clearly, to stay in balance and will cause you to become sick at times you most need to be strong and clear-headed.
Remember fear has many faces. It can present itself as anxiety, anger, jealousy, envy, doubt, judgment, blame, shame, depression/shutting down, bitterness, holding yourself back, resentment, feelings of being a “victim” or “inferior,” power abuse, impatience, emptiness, cowardice, suspicion, and . . . more fear. Learning to recognize fear’s many faces is vitally important as it helps you to understand how often you need to be transforming it.
Next strengthen you connections to your primary teacher, power animal angels or guides. You want the connection to be so strong that you can access their support when you are most stressed. Practice is really important to that kind of connection. If you are a shamanic practitioner, make sure to ask your teachers or power animal the best ways to do this so that you can really rely on the relationships when the going gets rough. Remember too, that these relationships are reciprocal! Ask how you can give back to them.
Prepare resources BEFORE you will need them. I think of these preparations like insurance policies. I don’t ever plan on using them, but have them in place “just in case.” Feeling prepared also frees me up to be able to assist others.
What follows is the Spirit Walker’s Guide to Spiritual Preparedness Checklist. If you start gathering what you need now, practicing gratitude and strengthening your connections to spirit, you’ll be ready when a storm hits!
1. Develop a gratitude list
2. Practice the “Relieving a DNA Cramp” exercise until it becomes second nature.
• Practice with our “Becoming the New Human” CD!
• This practice protects your immune system and helps you to think well in a difficult situation!
3. Develop a strong relationship with your helping spirits
• Make the bonds strong so that it is easier to connect when you are in a stressful situation
• A strong connection allows the helping spirits to have easier access to you for “early warnings”
• Spiritual connection provides solace and stress relief to make thinking easier during times of duress.
FOR THE CAR:
4. EVERY TIME you drive during cold weather and storms
• Blankets and sleeping bags
• Warm coat, hat, gloves, extra warm socks and boots
• A mylar survival blanket
• Your CHARGED cell phone
• A shovel
• A working flashlight
• Water in an unbreakable container, preferably stainless steel
• Emergency flares
• Bright cloth or reflector to attach to the vehicle if you become stranded
• Jumper cables
5. Develop a family house escape plan and agree on a meeting location.
• Practice this with your family—especially if you have small children
6. Learn how to access resources close to home.
• Learn about water sources, wild edibles and other useful resources that are close to your home.
7. Scan ALL of your vital documents onto a thumb drive (to reconstruct your life!)
• Insurances (life, home, car, medical)
• Car title
• Medical information including allergies for ALL family members
• Eyeglass/contact prescription
8. Create a preparedness kit in a backpack–ideally one for each family member
Refresh the perishable contents twice year
• Your thumb drive with scanned vital information AND hard copies in zipper bag!
• Water purification method (A microfilter water purifier and/or water purification tablets)
• Stainless steel water bottle
• Flashlight and three weeks of extra batteries
• Portable CRANK/solar radio with USB charging port for your cell phone
• First aid materials and guides for use (Ideally, take a course with the family!)
• A good pair of tweezers
• Prescription medication (At least a week’s worth in case supplies are disrupted)
• Space pair of eyeglasses or contacts
• Extra car keys & house keys
• Freeze-dried foods AND/OR nutrition bars (for 3 days for each family member)
• Special treats such as hard candies
• Extra (wool) socks and underwear (for 3 days for each family member)
• Sanitary supplies such as 2 rolls of toilet paper, baby diapers, sanitary napkins, etc.
• Waterproof matches, magnesium fire starter & safety candles
• Warm wool or fleece blankets AND a survival “space blanket”
(Choose the survival “space blanket” that has a colored side and a foil side with grommets on each corner.)
• Alternative cooking device (portable Vital Stove/Grill (www.vitalgrill.com)
• A large stainless steel mug & pot to boil water (If you have a family include a stainless steel cup for each member)
• A set of metal camping cutlery for each person
• Instant coffee, tea or hot cocoa & instant soup/bouillon
• A few cotton bandannas
• Four or five gallon zipper bags
• A good multi-tool with pliers, knife and saw
• A fixed blade knife
• Folding saw
• A camping ax
• A coil of parachute cord
• A sewing kit –with a extra large needle that will handle parachute cord inner core threads
• Warm jacket & folding rain poncho for each person
• Four large plastic trash bags
• A roll of duct tape
(Small camping-sized rolls are perfect. You can also make your own mini roll by carefully coiling tape around a tall prescription bottle. This way, you can place other supplies inside the bottle!)
• A good book you haven’t read, playing cards or a portable board game
• Plastic sheeting & staple gun for covering broken windows—or to create an emergency shelter
9. Stored next to the backpack
• Water (2 gallons a day for 3 days for each member of the family – refresh often)
• Folding water bags for use in the home during expected storms (These may be filled up in advance of a storm to supply drinking water if the power goes out.)
• A few crank-powered lanterns for safe illumination
10. Important extras
• An alternative SAFE source of heat for your home
• Extra, easily accessible wool or fleece blankets
• Kelly Kettle for boiling water & cooking (Kelly Kettle Base Camp Stainless Steel Kit)
© 2014 Evelyn C. Rysdyk
Nationally recognized shaman teacher/healer, speaker, and author of Spirit Walking a Course in Shamanic Power, Modern Shamanic Living: New Explorations of an Ancient Path, and contributor toSpirited Medicine: Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare; Evelyn C. Rysdyk delights in supporting people to remember their sacred place in All That Is. Whether through face-to-face contact with individual patients, workshop groups and conference participants, or through the printed word–Evelyn uses her loving humor and passion to open people’s hearts and inspire them to live more joyful, fulfilling and purposeful lives. Her web site is http://www.evelynrysdyk.com.