Overstating the obvious a bit here - things have been stressful lately. No one is immune to that stress. Some are just better at working with, and through, the stressful events that mark our day-to-day life in the time of COVID.
We’ve been receiving messages from around the world asking how we are doing in the Portland area? Thank you for your kind consideration. As I am sure you are now aware, things are otherworldly in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The wildfires are creating pure havoc. We, the HBI staff that live in the Portland-area, live in the downtown area of the city - so we are pretty safe. However, so many people in our area are suffering. The thick sepia-toned smoke that fills the sky frames an eerily end-of-times feeling.
It feels a bit overwhelming. The challenges just keep coming. It’s when things feel out of place and chaotic that I find it extremely important to find time to quiet myself, and recenter my focus.
I find that prayer and meditation help tremendously. Taking a few minutes to sit with my breath, center my thoughts, and refocus my energies provides me the opportunity to reset. Conscious breathing and prayerful centering gives me a little distance - emotional and mental space - and helps me to recalibrate. And, it is the recalibration that allows me to show up in times of struggle and strife.
If we have learned one thing from these past 7 months, showing up is the most important thing we can do. So, I am taking a deep breath, focusing my thoughts, centering my prayers - and remembering why our work is so important. There are too many people suffering through extraordinarily challenging circumstances for us not to stay committed.
Please keep the people of the Pacific Northwest in your thoughts and prayers.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.