Weekly Reading Topic for February 22, 2020: Be Prepared
Well, good morning, love! I just opened a Reading for you, my newsletter subscribers and here’s what I heard in answer to the following:
What do my readers most need to hear this weekend? What is the most important message to send to my beloved readers?
The answer was: “Be Prepared.”
What follows is your weekly reading, dear one.
Weekly Reading │ Be Prepared
Q: What do we need to know about “Be Prepared?”
A: Sometimes life comes at you guns blazing. Everywhere you look, something or someone you love has gone down. You stand there in the storm of bullets and just pray that one isn’t meant for you personally, that you will survive.
These are the times that warriors prepare for. There is no time to think in battle. There is no time to shore up your skills or learn a new task. Whatever training you’ve had, whatever intellect you possess, and whatever strategy you came in with, that’s what you have. Reflexes are your most important asset, and muscle memory your most reliable safety net. That’s why soldiers go to boot camp: to force their bodies and minds and emotions to endure beyond what they thought possible.
This weekend I’m really seeing that there is a battle coming of some sort. Whether it’s in your personal or business life, you need to be ready to fight, and you won’t have time to prepare once it’s underway. You must know what your resources are, be able to use them, and have your own mission firmly in mind.
So, be prepared. It’s time to decide what’s important to you, what you will stand for in battle. What does your banner say? It’s also time to pad your nest egg, work extra hard for that income, have someone check your furnace to make sure it’s in good condition, go to the doctor and get a physical. Shore yourself up, shore up your home. Shore up your life. It’s time to prepare for the future.
I know some of this stuff has been coming up lately, but this is the most urgent expression of the message I’ve gotten in about a year. Be prepared in every way you can, because something is going to hit each and every one of us.
It used to be that preparing for the next season was a necessity for every human. Back when snow kept people in their cabins for months at a time, the extra venison in the smokehouse and barrel of flour in the pantry could mean the difference between starvation and survival. We had a rhythm to our lives, and in each season we knew to prepare for the next one.
Today, we’ve lost that edge and that rhythm. We think that the doctor will always have an appointment, the store will always have food on its shelves, and our cars will always have gas. The endless scrolling on our smartphone screens tricks us into thinking that life itself will always roll on, too.
Not true. We are all still living on that thin line between starvation and survival — we just have more of a safety net under us now. But that safety net is not guaranteed to stick around.
The time to prepare for our next season is now. Take a moment and jot down anything you know is on the horizon for you personally. A job, a move, a new baby, a retirement, a relationship ending or beginning, travel plans. Be prepared for these. Make lists, get organized, check off tasks. Pretend that you are a settler in a new country, and you don’t know what the winter is like yet. Just how much snow IS there? How cold WILL it be? How helpful ARE your neighbors?
Be prepared with plenty of food in your home, in case the snowfall locks you in. Take the time to split that extra kindling, so you feel confident you can keep a fire going. And bring your neighbors something delicious, flowers, a smile, and kind words. You will be grateful for their goodwill.
The time to prepare for the next season is now. Take a moment and jot down the worst-case scenarios you can think of. What if someone gets sick? What if YOU get sick? What if you lose your income, or the power goes out, or there is a pandemic? Be prepared. Make lists, get organized, check off tasks. Don’t buy a new television, buy a generator. Stock up on water and medications and anything else you might need. Again, see the doctor for a physical.
Want Your Weekly Reading Delivered to Your Inbox Every Saturday Morning?
They are being very clear: the stronger, and safer, you feel in the coming months and year, the stronger and safer you will be. So practice in every way. Walk, more than you are now. Do some weight-bearing physical fitness, even just at home. Practice deep breathing, and meditate. And please, please, do NOT sweat the small stuff. It’s the most draining thing we do: worrying about things that we have no control over.
Repeat the Serenity Prayer every day.
Read or say St. Francis’s Prayer every day. (This is one of the most grounding and centering set of words ever strung together.)
Find a mantra or a meditation or a prayer that you can repeat. One that makes you feel good. It can be anything: a line of poetry, a prayer, something your grandma said, a limerick that lightens your mood.
And again, they are saying, laugh twenty minutes a day! Because warriors do that. They know that taking the first opportunity to lighten up and release tension is not just healthy, but a duty. You must be able to relax, almost reflexively, when you have a moment. Physicians pulling 36-hour hospital shifts can fall asleep within seconds: they have to snatch rest when they can.
We all need to laugh now. And all of us have twenty minutes scattered throughout the day.
A friend of mine who served several tours in the Army once said, “Fuck your trauma.”
Shocking, right? He didn’t mean forget it, or forgive it, or pretend it didn’t happen. He meant to tell it to go to hell, because sometimes you just have to be a human, wild and free and high on life and happy as hell, even though the war is not over, and another battle is coming in the wee hours. He learned that in the war: be prepared for everything, including deep-throated hilarity, even when you are injured or think you might die from your trauma.
There is a fierce joy in this time that we can all catch. Being prepared doesn’t mean being scared (although we will be at times). It means being thorough, and disciplined, and it means, above all, knowing what to worry about and what to let go.
What to worry about. And what to let go.
There is no time to waste on petty grievances or complaints.
If you have something to complain about, that complaint will show you a weakness that you should shore up. Be prepared: shore it up.
If you have a grievance, it shows you the places you are giving your energy. Assess: is it really necessary to spend your hard-won energy like that?? Wouldn’t your energy be better spent correcting the problem, or if that can’t be done, laughing with your loved ones?
If you have something to worry about, that worry will show you what you fear, so you can prepare for it. Do what you can, and feel the worry turn back into that adrenaline-tinged readiness.
Those of you who perform in any way know that you’re not really going to do your best if you don’t feel a little bouncy energy, something that can be interpreted as fear or anxiety.
Add deep breaths to that feeling, and you’ve got enthusiasm; just like that.
So … be prepared. Breathe deeply, and say your mantra and make sure you loosen up and laugh out the stress hormones. Move and eat well and hydrate, for heaven’s sakes. Prioritize sleep above all else. Live as our great-great-grandparents did in terms of food, sleep, and leisure time and family connections.
And also, make your lists, take your inventory.
Even if you get hit by a battle you didn’t specifically prepare for, feeling prepared in other areas will help you to deal with the psychic and emotional challenges.
You’ve got this, because honestly, well … you just DO.
You are a warrior, or you wouldn’t be reading this. And warriors don’t fight for their own sakes. They fight for principles they believe in. So be prepared, and Remember Who You Are, and you will rise to whatever challenge is coming your way.
“I am not afraid … I was born to do this.” -Joan of Arc
I am always here to serve in any way I can.
Much Love to You!
Want Your Weekly Reading Delivered to Your Inbox Every Saturday Morning?
Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.