By Sunny Simon

It’s September. School is back in session. Here in the Coachella Valley residents happily look forward to a break in the weather that will soon signal one of the benefits of living here. Growing up in Michigan, September meant trips to the cider mills where we would feast on freshly made donuts washed down with hot apple cider. During my fourteen years in South Florida, September was not my favorite month. It was a time often marked with severe weather patterns, tropical depressions and dreaded hurricanes.

Just prior to being relocated to California I experienced the mighty Category 5 Hurricane Andrew which eventually made landfall approximately sixty miles south of our home in Boca Raton. Earlier that day after a trip to the corporate office where I worked to helped batten down the hatches, I returned home to find my husband storing the patio furniture and preparing the pool for the storm. The sun was shining brightly giving the false illusion that all was well. We knew differently and went about robotically taking as many precautions as we could to prepare for the unknown. Like many other transplanted south Florida residents, we had never experienced a hurricane.
That night evokes a vivid memory. I made dinner and we watched the weather progression on TV until we lost power. At that point, things became scary. We moved to the most protected room and lay down quietly listening to a transistor radio. Weather experts with calm voices talked the region through what to do in dire circumstances. Although our power was gone our phone trilled at 2:00 am, as our concerned family up north checked in on us. When morning finally broke, our area had been relatively spared. I prayed for those less fortunate.

Whether experiencing a curveball from a mean Mother Nature or an unexpected bad break in life, do your best to stay calm. During the hurricane, I memorized life in the eye of the storm. It felt calm and safe. When the high winds and pelting rains returned I forced myself to stay grounded and not panic. Losing control of my emotions would have served no purpose.

There are times in life when we must just wait out the dark hours knowing eventually the sun will shine. External circumstances may be out of control, but we possess powerful coping skills. As the Dalai Lama reminds us, “Calm minds bring inner strength.” Stay focused on those words and you can brave any storm.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at

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