I realize that not too long ago, I wrote about earthquakes. Prior to that, I referenced flooding in Texas. Please forgive me if yet again, I refer to the natural power of our Mother Earth in learning a lesson. Having said that … since natural disasters are everywhere and unavoidable, if you had to choose where to live, based solely on the ability to escape the catastrophes prone to that geographic region, where would you choose?
Hurricanes do a heck of a lot of damage on a very wide scale, but due to technology, they no longer “sneak” up on us. We know they’re coming and prepare. So, one might choose to live on the southern coast of the United States as the odds are pretty good that these monster storms can be avoided. Flooding and wildfires provide less advance notice yet they impact a smaller region, ergo the odds of being affected are lessened; maybe you therefore opt for the upper Midwest or Rockies.
What prompted this sullen query was a stand-up comic who concluded that residents of the Golden State take the prize for scariest place to live — based on the sheer unpredictability of earthquakes (and if one is keeping count; the number we have experienced lately on the North Coast of California). As he pointed out, as life-altering as a major nor’easter might be, it’s not like you’re walking down the street on a clear day and suddenly 15 feet of snow get dumped on your noggin. Earthquakes are stealthful, exploding without warning while inflicting the full power of Mother Nature in seconds.
As frightening as they are however, I would be terrified to live in “tornado alley,” as we have time and time again witnessed with horror as these large tornados ripped apart the center of country. To study and track these monster whirlwinds, we rely in part on the skills of “storm chasers,” (crazy? brave?) men and women who pursue twisters. Of course, with such a dangerous occupation, sometimes “stuff happens.” I recall a story of a few years back when a truck carrying one of these men was lifted by a cyclone and hurled several hundred feet. Amazingly, the driver survived intact.
A reporter interviewing this fortunate victim asked him what he was thinking as he was being tossed about like a leaf in a storm. Until that moment, the man was remarkably composed, relaxed, and speaking very matter-of-factly about the experience, relaying what happened.
In response to the reporter’s simple query, everything transformed. His expression, body language, and demeanor changed immediately. Dropping his gaze from the interviewer to the ground, his shoulders slumped, his breathing changed, he covered his eyes and he attempted to collect his thoughts. Upon regaining his composure, he chokingly replied, “My wife. I was thinking that I might never see her again.” And as the words came from his lips, water came from his eyes.
His wife was not on camera. As far as I know, she might not even have been in the same state. Yet, she was as near to him in that moment as these words are to you right now. By merely changing the image in his mind’s eye, he was instantly transported to a place far away, as actual to him as the chair on which he sat.
This genuine, intimate moment of the human condition was testament to the power of how what we picture shapes who we are.
Sure, we can discuss with logical precision until the cows come home our plans, ambitions, and aspirations. We can design spreadsheets and write lists of action items. Yet, too often we remain stagnant in the pursuit of our dreams because we do not “see” nor feel the results of our plans. Yet, one private intimate image elevated from sub consciousness to consciousness generates without delay a full-body, all-consuming reaction. We change.
There is no more influential reality than that which we visualize in our mind. It therefore becomes the most powerful trigger for change — or stagnation.
Imagine well … your life is what you see it to be.
Scott “Q” Marcus is the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com. He is available for coaching, speaking, and reminders of what really matters at 707-442-6243 or email@example.com. If you live in Humboldt County, come see him in the comedy, “Native Gardens,” at the Northcoast Repertory Theatre in Eureka through today.