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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Turning Point

Crisis Management

I've finally figured out that not every crisis can be managed. As much as we want to keep ourselves safe, we can't protect ourselves from everything. If we want to embrace life, we also have to embrace chaos.”
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Breathing Room)

Crisis management. Entire training programs are devoted to it. Whole agencies specialize in it. All our First Responders are crisis managers. All our smoke jumpers and National Guardsmen, all our FEMA and Red Cross volunteers, our active military and ER staffers are trained to manage crises. And, most of the time, they do it exceptionally well.

We're taught that managing our personal crises is something everyone should do gracefully, but it just doesn't happen that way. Some of us fall apart in the face of a crisis. We simply go to ground and cease to function. Some of us are programmed to take charge; we tend to become all authoritarian and directive, often to our own detriment and that of others. Some of us step up and do what is necessary in the moment, and then fall apart afterward. Some of us have experienced all of the above, depending on the nature of the crisis, and who's involved.

But not all crises can be managed. Sometimes, we have to ride it out and see what happens. And, sometimes, we create catastrophes where they don't exist. Some of us see calamity in almost any kind of change; we respond as though something disastrous is about to happen. Our sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear, as we imagine all the possible implications and outcomes. We pump adrenaline and cortisol, exhaust ourselves with needless preparations, and with vigilance that verges on paranoia. When our very best response would be to keep a cool head, to watch and wait, we, instead, create chaos around us.

These are times for cool heads. Measured responses. Deep breaths, positive thoughts and actions, trust. Create a calm center within and around you in which crisis has no edge. Be a source of peace.

                                                             In the Spirit,

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