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In watching all of the devastation left on the East Coast from Hurricane Sandy, I’ve tried to find the grace that it presents to us. For me, it’s being able to appreciate the simpler aspects of life.

Electricity. An intact roof and a dry, warm place to sleep. Hot water. Food in the refrigerator.

I find myself grateful to have all of these things when so many people in my city do not. I understand how lucky I am.

I’ve also found an appreciation for the small moments that exist when the chaos of everyday life is stripped down. If I was to find a grace in this storm, it would be time away from daily obligations. I couldn’t go grocery shopping; I couldn’t go to the cleaners; I couldn’t do any of the normal chores that clutter our hours.  Like snow days from my youth, the storm gifted me with two days to just be.

I know that makes some people stir crazy, but I found it heavenly.  And that is a blessing of grace.

Wishing merciful grace to everyone affected by the storm.  For ways to help, click here and visit the Red Cross website.

There’s only one thing to do when a hurricane hits and the rain is falling and the wind is thrashing large objects around on the street in front of your apartment.

Eat some comfort food.

Guacamole is perfect to eat your scared and scary feelings, especially when you’ve already got the ingredients in the refrigerator.

That’s an avocado.  It’s the star of the show.

You’ll want to take out the pit, scoop the flesh out and mash it up in a bowl.

Then add some lime juice. Now, because we were in the middle of a hurricane, all I had was a lemon. I improvised, and happily, I found I actually liked the brighter tang it gave the guacamole better than the lime. But shhhh, don’t tell. I don’t want to upset my lime friends.

Squeeze the lemon (or lime) on the avocado. Not only does it add some tang, it helps to keep the avocado from turning brown.

Next, add in some chopped onions and a pinch of salt.

 

Chop up a jalapeño pepper and add that in. If you like it spicy, leave the membrane and seeds in. If not, then remove them before adding.

See that green leafy stuff below?  That’s cilantro.  It’s one of the loves of my life.  I could take a shower with the leaves, then slather it on as perfume.  I love cilantro. (Of course some people don’t feel the same way.  If you are one of them, and please don’t tell me if you are, then you can just leave it out.)  Take a handful, chop it up and throw it in with the other ingredients.

Mix it all in.

Then eat.  Add chips or tortillas – or just a spoon – and enjoy.  Maybe with a cocktail.

Definitely with a cocktail.

We are constantly invited to be who we are.

–Henry David Thoreau

This week I was called out as not living authentically.  A simple question about room temperature led to an interesting exchange.

“I didn’t ask you if it was fine,” she said, “I asked if you it was too hot for you.”  She said I had a habit of saying everything was nice and fine (“What is it with you and that??”).  I just made due with whatever was happening and—here’s the kicker—I wasn’t being authentic in what I was saying.

Well.  While I did feel perfectly comfortable, she had a point.

This led me to think about how recently one of the managers of my new favorite restaurant (and one of the loveliest people I’ve met in a long time) mentioned that he saw I was now following them on Twitter, and he checked out this blog from the link that’s on my profile page.  My reaction was, surprisingly, thinly veiled mortification. Now, while I want people to read these posts and to share in the goodness of life, I’m always taken aback whenever someone says that they’ve read my words.  It feels like they’ve had a peek into my diary, or, worse, my head.  Perhaps that’s because this is where I try to be my authentic self.

All of this gave me pause and caused me to think about who I really want to show up as in the world.  Here’s what I discovered: the truth is sometimes we are so busy surviving life that we don’t remember to live it.  We go into hiding, all the while in plain sight.  Or at least I have.

If I’m going to live out loud, then I may as well be comfortable with it.  If I’m going to own my voice and stand in the power of who I am, then I need to live — and speak and BE — as authentically me.

So, I’m beginning by making room for myself in my own life.  Work, obligations and the noise of the outside world has taken over, leaving little room for me.  I’ve always been a seeker, and now I’m seeking for some space.  Space for me where honesty and grace and joy resides.

Joy is in the details, but it is also in the simplicity of life.  I’m looking to joyful moments as markers on my path to authentic goodness.

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