Everyday Alchemy: Discover the Extraordinary in Every Moment

Alchemy:(n.) The power or process of transforming something common into something extraordinary. Hi! I'm Sarah Robinson, Business Coach and Resident Alchemist. Welcome to my Blog. My mission is to bring the powerful magic of Everyday Alchemy into the daily lives of Life Adventurers everywhere (especially those with an entrepenurial bent!). Let me know how this resonates with you-I am fascinated! Email me: sarah@everydayalchemy.com. Visit my website at http://www.everydayalchemy.com/

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Friday, July 08, 2005

The Power of Alchemy in Life's Darkest Moments

I sit at my computer today riveted and torn between the news of Thursday's bombings in London and the impending arrival of Hurricane Dennis at my back door. One, a disaster of man's own making and the other a disaster designed by the forces of nature. We as human being had no chance to prevent the loss of life in London on Thursday. And, having lived through the destruction of Hurricane Ivan only 10 months ago, there is only so much we can do to prepare for the onslaught of wind, rain, flooding, loss of power, lack of water, etc. that inevitably come ashore with a Category 3+ Hurricane.

As a Life and business Coach, I have to ask myself how on earth coaching and Everyday Alchemy can have any bearing on disasters of such monumental proportions. Though it can be easy to throw up our hands in a surrender to powerlessness, I advocate another route. Find our place in the disasters of life. We are not always handed smooth waters for sailing and now is as good a time as any to figure out how we want to respond to life's storms. Using the Essential Elements of Everyday Alchemy as a structure, here is how I am keeping myself anchored:

1) Accept Responsibility, or Not. Here's what I am responsible for - praying for peace and the families of those injured or killed in Thursdays bombings. Taking whatever outward steps necessary to express my heartfelt concern for them - be it through phone calls, emails, or simply a prayerful conversation between me and the Power I Know Is Greater Than All of Us. I am also responsible for getting off my duff and preparing for Hurrican Dennis's arrival. There are windows to board up, horses to secure and evacuation routes to plan. I am NOT responsible for guessing the outcome of the storm or for finding someone to blame for Thursdays Violence.

2) Defining and Defending My Integrity. What kind of person do I want to be thruogh this storm? Someone who has prepared myself and my family well enough that I am available to help those who are not as fortunate as I am. I also don't want to be the kind of person whose heart does not ache for the citizens of London.

3) Check My Assumptions. Am I assuming my husband will handle certain aspects of our preparations without checking with him? Am I assuming my elderly neighbors have someone to help them get ready? Am I assuming that there is nothing I can do to help London, so I will do exactly that-nothing?

4)Consider My Choices. Am I choosing to be in a frantic, bad mood as I get ready for Dennis or can I choose to make it as pleasant an experience for all involved as I possibly can? Will I choose to over-react to the destruction that will probably come, or can I survey it while looking for solutions? How am I choosing to respond to my feelings about the bombs in London?

5)Pay Attention. It is easy to ignore the needs of my three-year old little boy while trying to make sure all bases are covered. Will stopping for a moment to read him a book really cost me so much? What can the images of London on the television teach me about myself?

6)Get Into Gratitude. Wow. This one could take all day. I'll make my Gratitude List tonight.

7) Secure My Spiritual Core. When disaster swirls around me, I find great comfort in my spirituality. Does it prevent disaster? No, but knowing that a Higher Power is lookng out for me sure makes me feel better. And, if something terrible happens, my spiritual core is what will get me through it.

8)Play To My Strengths. I don't cook well under pressure, so I bought lots of convenience food at the store today. I am really really good at compassion, so I can check on my friends in London and on my neighbors. I know about all kinds of resources both groups may need and I can get them connected.

9)Seek Wise Counsel. In this case CNN and the Weather Channel are the best Wise Counsel I can think of. Oh, and our local Emergency Management Office. I do not ignore wise council or argue with them in the face of impending natural disaster.

10)Protect My Priorities. My son is my #1 priority. He does not need to see bloody images on the television set-how frightening that would be. I will also protect him at all costs - including leaving behind my treasure horses if necessary to evacuate.

So,there you have it. Everyday Alchemy in the Face of Danger and Disaster. Hopefully, I've given you some ideas of how to use them when you face your own inevitable storms. As always, let me know if I can help you.

Find Something Extraordinary in Today (my son's fingers in my hair)!
Sarah