Riding Emotional Hurricanes: Finding Calm Through Breath and Self-Reflection

Nora Sophia
4 min readAug 6, 2023
Photo by Shashank Sahay on Unsplash

Hurricane season, typically occurring in August each year in the US, serves as a metaphor for the emotional storms that can brew within us. In my own life, it felt as if hurricane season persisted daily for fifty years. I lacked the ability to decipher the impending tempest, the atmospheric conditions that fueled it, yet I was acutely aware of my reactions to its fury. Inner turmoil, a maelstrom of negative emotions, and an unsettling inability to escape this emotional whirlwind were constant companions. The lyrics of Matchbox 20’s “Long Day” succinctly encapsulated much of what I underwent:

“I’m sorry about the attitude

I need to give when I’m with you

But no one else’ll take this shit from me

And I’m so terrified of no one else but me

I’m here all the time

I won’t go away”

Indeed, the days were long and suffocating, fostering a toxic environment. Regrettably, I couldn’t lose myself, yet I forfeited nearly everything else in my life due to this emotional turmoil. Eventually, I discovered how to transform the suffering of the storm into nourishment for the beautiful garden I aspired to cultivate within.

While the journey has been far from easy, it necessitates practice — akin to training both our minds and bodies. With diligence, we condition ourselves to develop a natural awareness, just like reading the swirling clouds, as emotions approach. An emotion parallels a hurricane; its forewarnings become discernible, the winds within us shift, and instead of remaining at rest, we tense up. The calm countenance we initially brought to a situation morphs, becoming poised for perceived offense or potential rejection. However, by acknowledging the strength of the emotion, we can prepare ourselves to endure and ultimately transcend it. When sensed, simply pause and embrace the moment. Sit or recline, focusing on your breath.

Inhale deeply, allowing your abdomen to rise. Exhale, feeling it contract and draw inward. Place your hand on your stomach to perceive the rhythm of rise and fall. This practice shifts your focus away from your thinking brain, guiding your awareness to your heart and belly

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Nora Sophia

Evocative. Unapologetic. Wisdom. Get your copy of my latest book, "Tapestry: Weaving the life you were meant to live" here: https://amzn.to/42TyjxZ