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Surviving the Storms of Life


I’ll be honest — living in the ‘sunshine paradise’ of South Florida has been a good deal more challenging lately than many of us ever expected.  I’ll spare you the details of the billions of dollars in damages, the lives lost, and the utter devastation in Central and Northern Florida and the Caribbean, where entire countries were decimated.  


As our fourth hurricane in six weeks came hurtling toward our homes and businesses, a Miami Herald headline summed it up well: “WE’VE HAD ENOUGH”!  This really sounds like life, doesn’t it?  There’s so much about our lives that seems out of our control.  It’s quite easy to see ourselves as victims, isn’t it? 


What can we learn from all of this, whether we are in Miami or Montana?  Let’s consider this from the point of view of living pro-actively rather re-actively, of being responsible rather than helpless or out of control.



Six Lessons from the Storms


1. Life is unpredictable.  No matter how exacting your radar or early your warning, Mother Nature, just like Life Itself, can take an unexpected turn and hurt you —  even wipe you out entirely.  On the other hand, a storm can also turn suddenly, slow down or miss you completely, as six hurricanes in a row did for much of South Florida.


We can fret about what’s going to happen to us, or our business, or, we can be diligent beforehand and have our materials and supplies on hand at the beginning of the season.  We can act early to be as protected as we reasonably can be and then relax into knowing we’ve done our best. 


It means we can take our energy back and put it to good use rather than wringing our hands uselessly.  If a storm or tornado does hit us, we pick up the pieces, do what’s needed and get moving forward again.  


2. Modern conveniences are not necessities!  Most of us take for granted being able to get a cold drink from the frig, contact our friends and family with the touch of a few buttons and take a hot shower or bath in a comfortably cool home.


When you have no electricity, even a warm cup of coffee or soup is a delicacy and batteries to read by, a luxury.  For much of the world these are neither conveniences nor necessities, but only a dream.  In everything, we can find something for which we can be thankful.


3. Give something back.  Consider others who may be worse off.  It’s natural to bemoan our losses and frustration at what may seems like an aberration.  After we dust ourselves off and take stock of our own lives and losses, its time to reach out.  It was truly heart-warming to see the caravans of police, contractors and all types of workers trucking supplies and aid to the devastated families and business throughout the Southeast.  Many gave generously of their time, money, clothes and household goods.  Many held the high watch with love and prayers.


 4. What is irreplaceable?  I had the chance to counsel dozens of families at a Red Cross Center after hurricane Andrew ripped a wide swath across South Florida 10 years ago.  Nearly all household goods and items can eventually be replaced, but to me, the most heart-breaking stories were from the people who had lost wedding albums, baby pictures and family heirlooms  No matter where you live, maybe its time to get at least some of those photos digitized and email them to friends and relatives in others states.


Think about refugees who must flea to another county .If you had to pack a small bag with your most precious possessions, what would be in it?  Consider everything you own and make a list so that you could collect and retrieve these items on a moments notice.  And then reflect on what this small bag says about you?


5. You will survive and rebuild.  It’s natural to feel depressed, overwhelmed or completely disheartened after any disaster.  The effects of traumatic stress can be far-reaching and insidiously subtle.  You may choose to seek counseling from a clergy member or therapist, or seek the advice of a coach or colleague.  Understanding this is the first step of a rebuilding that will take time and patience and determination.


6 Ask for support or assistance.  Don’t be afraid (or too proud or embarrassed!) to ask for assistance, or to offer it.  Expressing, participating and sharing anything of value also opens the door for you to receive.  Hoarding may stop the flow of good to you as well.  After a disaster of any kind, seek out others who are positive thinkers, others who are also rebuilding and spiritually positive in their beliefs. 




Good news – personal coaching has never been easierFor your convenience we can now accept credit card payments on the phone and soon our online shopping cart will be setup!


If you are considering a coaching partnership, think about this introduction — for a limited time only, I’m offering a complimentary (yes, free!) half-hour coaching consultation to new prospective clients so that they can evaluate the benefits of coaching for themselves.  CALL RIGHT NOW!   Follow this link for more information.


Please feel free to send me your comments or your thoughts and strategies for surviving life’s storms and I’ll include them in a future newsletter.


          Richest Blessings,
Dr. Donna




© 2004 Development Associates International.  


‘Dr. Donna’ Goldstein, Life and Career Success Coach

Development Associates International s 3389 Sheridan St #309 s Hollywood FL  33021

954-893-0123  s  Fax: 954-893-0170  s





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