—Photo by Clark Little
I realized today that it is exactly one week ago when we in Hawai'i received the false missile alert. "TAKE IMMEDIATE SHELTER," it said. "Do I have any friends with concrete houses?" I wondered. The answer was a quick "No". At some point in my thought process, which was more curious than afraid, I realized that my body was completely calm. There was not one change in temperature, heart rate, breathing or sensation.
The life in my body that is connected with all of life, was giving no indication of imminent threat. It was as if I couldn't get anxious if I tried. It would have been like trying to get hungry when I just wasn't. I decided that either I was ready to die, or nothing was truly happening. It was a wonderful feeling — to find myself in such a seemingly dangerous situation and be totally calm. It was a surprise to feel that Uncertainty, even with a capital 'U', did not have to include fear.
Bringing The Moment Closer To Us
Although I had other friends who seemed equally accepting of this moment, I attribute my response to the navigation my teacher, Kahu, imparted to me. His words, that have become a part of my subconscious were: "You have to be One with your experience. It's the only way you can win." In other words, the fastest and clearest way forward is to not only accept this moment, whatever it holds but allow it to be our ally, our friend, our family. We can't do that by running from it. We have to bring the very moment that has plunged us into fear, and bring it closer to us. We have to know whether we are meeting it with our mental programming, or with the part of us, that is in deep rhythmic connection with all being. Of course, there is sometimes the need for urgent action, but this connection will guide us inefficient clarity rather than panic.
I imagine that everyone who received the text had a different response. Although it was a regrettable error, according to authorities, it was a unique opportunity to see what arose. For some, it was the fear of death or panic around losing loved ones. Others ran to the airport trying to get out of the State. And others felt shaken into a realization of what was truly important in their lives. No response is 'wrong'. Noticing how we reacted can give us insight into who we are in a crisis. We can realize that everything we felt arose out of us, and not from an outside force. If we can welcome what arose in us as ours, this is a chance for these fears to be set free. Alternatively, we can continue to blame outside forces to be the cause of our discontent, and in so doing, never find peace.
Changing My Perception of Time
What I find remarkable today, is that my perception of time, this week, seems to have changed. Even after the discovery of being able to rest in that moment, I found it surprising when someone mentioned that it was only a week ago. It seems like weeks or even months ago. It feels like tons of time has passed, but it is only my perception that has changed. I feel like each moment has become more full, like I am somehow experiencing more of what is actually here. It has made me acutely aware of how much life I have lived in one week!
I'm not sure if this is a lasting phenomenon, or if some part of me was brought to attention — the kind of attention that can arise when we realize that these could be our last moments alive. The week seems full of people, events, activities, and emotions, all clearer, in brighter colors and with more vivid shapes. Has some deeper appreciation for life has been activated? I wonder if, on some unconscious level, I am giving and receiving more mana in all of my interactions? Is this a second chance?
To sense that more life has been lived than could really fit into the one week that has passed is a curious feeling. Even though the event came and went, that moment of sudden uncertainty has evidently rocked my world. It has opened me to more ... life, and to more gratitude for all of life.
Were you in Hawai’i when the missile alert was activated? Let us know in the comments below how it altered your life.