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By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve
September 1,2012 (Boulevard)--Do you remember your last storm? Those who live in the mountains get to experience the power of nature up close, sometimes too close. As clouds build from the vast openness of the sky, turn ever darker, the lightening begins touching the earth randomly. Thunder pounds us with larger and deeper sounds than any other thing in nature. Clouds darken the sky as I await the storm. The smell of rain is in the air. Birds flap and flutter and prepare to run for cover. The dusty leaves of sage and Manzanita seem to open wider as if inviting a cool drink, sensing the coming rain.

Out of the nothingness comes the storm. Magnificent, frightening, wild and never controlled by us humans. I am filled with awe at their Creator. Results, as we know, from such storms can be a decimating wildfire or a blessed shower of rain on the drought-stricken land.
We observe a fine parallel into our lives – a storm. Events do happen, usually as a surprise: a job is lost, a friendship is betrayed, a child takes a pathway into trouble, a loved one dies. At times we can see the storm building like the clouds that appear, then become heavy and dark. Other times it is as if we have been sleeping then without warning a storm happens.
There are times when we are ready for the storm, other times when we are tossed about feeling helpless. There is, however, a way to experience the storm and be victorious afterword. The latest studies about life storms show a single quality is necessary to be able to successfully overcome storms in our lives. That quality is resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back.
For me resilience does not mean being able to predict every possible outcome and spending my life preparing for the worst. I think that resilience is a way of being that we claim for ourselves. We decide in advance, to cope and to learn from our storms.
Therefore,  conversation with self: “I will accept, adjust and thrive the storms in my life. If I am a person who honors God with my life, then:
•      I accept that I am not in control of storms, they are sometimes sent to me for reasons and in the due course of time, I will understand.
•      I adjust my plans and hopes to fit the new reality of my life, knowing that all will be well.
•      I choose to thrive to be happy every day, grateful for what I have”.
As the land heals and grows beautiful over time, so I heal from life's storms and continue to live and to grow.
Perhaps one day I will learn to relish my life storms just as I revel in the storms of nature. For now, it is enough to know that I am a resilient person and intend to savor all the ups and downs I encounter while experiencing the great mystery of life.
The Purple Mountain Sage welcomes questions from readers!  Write to us at: askthepurplemountainsage@gmail.com.  The Purple Mountain Sage is Sharon Courmousis, owner of Sacred Rocks Reserve and RV Park, a 163-acre wilderness preserve and campground in Boulevard, CA, which is also home to the Sacred Rocks Learning Center. Sharon can be reached by calling: 619-818-8575.  Visit the Sacred Rocks Reserve website at:  www.sacredrocksreserve.com.  Advice From the Purple Mountain Sage is an opinion column written for The East County Magazine.  Opinions stated within are those of the writer.

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