Hurricane Sandy Over Cuba (

We’re getting ready for the approaching hurricane, Sandy.

In my informal poll of coworkers and friends, I found that many of us view storms as kind of thrilling.

Of course, if you’ve ever been caught in a hurricane or another dangerous natural event, you’d probably disagree vehemently with those who find approaching storms “exciting in a good way”—you’d say they are frightening and deadly and exciting in a bad way.

And I’d have to agree. The potential loss of life and property is not something that I can view as other than tragic.

However, the sheer power of a storm is, for me, a spiritual experience. It’s also, for me, a reminder that that we are not in control, the Creator is.

For reasons beyond our ken, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, blizzards and other extreme nature events occur, no matter whether we want them to or not. They remind us that sometimes we just have to accept what occurs in our lives.

Should we try to overcome negative events? Sure, when possible. But sometimes, and in some cases, when facing personal hurricanes, storms of grief, painful losses, emotional swings, and so on, we have to learn to prepare ourselves, batten down the hatches, and wait out the storm.

Here’s a list of “hurricane” preparations of the human kind:

1. Stock up your batteries and conserve energy.

You need physical and emotional energy to keep going. Energy generators which stock your “batteries” include extra sleep, comforting and healthy foods, cutting back, when possible, on too many unnecessary or stressful activities, and taking care of your mental health in the way that works for you.

2. You’ll to light the darkness. Have some extra flashlights and a lantern ready and stock up on candles and matches.

Light is a common metaphor for inspiration and insight. Keep reading inspiring books, blogs, articles. (Avoid stuff that is dark or draining). Listen to uplifting music. Try to befriend inspiring people or at least read their biographies. Prayer and meditation are great light-bringers.

3.  Stock up on bottled water.

In a natural crisis, water supplies can become tainted or can even be shut off. But, water is essential to life. Water purifies and hydrates, washes away the sticky stuff and deadly germs, it keeps us feeling fresh. There is more water on this planet than land. Water is the greater part of nature.

Immerse yourself in things that strengthen you, keep you feeling fresh. For me this includes walks in natural settings, running, and other outdoor activities. The great outdoors, or even a city park, heal the mind and soul.

4. Have some cash on hand.

You might need to fall back on some hard cash in emergencies. So be sure to have the currency you earned ready to use. Cash is a metaphor for healthy coping skills, behavioral skills, and all the interpersonal skills you’ve gained in therapy and in life. Spend them when you need them. Best of all, unlike money, the more you use your “mental” cash, the more it multiplies and the more you have!

5. Lock your doors.

Sometimes, you have to lock your doors. Lock in the good friends,  supportive and healthy relationships; but lock out the draining, negative ones.