How to Handle Your Feelings About Hurricane Sandy

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Last Thursday was my thirty-third birthday. I spent the day navigating the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, feeling extremely overwhelmed, sad and frightened for our future. I was concerned for our climate, our people and our capacity to traverse the energy of these stormy times.

Rather than let the negativity take over, I chose to surrender my discomfort to spirit. I said a prayer: Spirit, thank you for guiding me through this discomfort. Then I sat down to meditate. In my meditation I heard the voice of spirit speak through me. I heard the call from the Kundalini Master, Yogi Bhajan. His message was clear: “It’s time to get to work in a whole new way. You must deepen your spiritual connection so you can navigate the energy of these times.”


I heard Yogi Bhajan reinforce his Five Sutras for the Aquarian Age

1. Recognize that the other person is you
To me this means that we must find oneness in all. At this time there’s no room for separation. We are all in it together.

2. There is a way through every block
I believe that a miracle mindset is required now. We must commit to our faith in love in order to find a way through every block.

3. When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off
This is not a time for playing small. My experience has been that when I say yes to my inner calling all anxiety melts away. We must get in the habit of saying yes.

4. Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times

Everyone is experiencing discomfort in some way or another. Through compassion we can experience more oneness and accept that we all suffer. Having compassion for others offers compassion back to us.

5. Vibrate the Cosmos. The Cosmos shall clear the path

I believe this Sutra reinforces the importance of a daily Sadhana (spiritual practice). Through meditation, yoga and prayer we can access the deepest part of our truth. That truth will be our greatest guide.

I came out of my meditation prepared to use the Five Sutras as my roadmap. Heightening my spiritual practice was my birthday gift to myself: rather than practice these principles when they felt convenient or top-of-mind, I made the commitment to practice all the time.

Later that day I received more guidance through a “happy birthday” email from my mentor, Marianne Williamson. She asked how I was doing with the storm. I responded that I felt very overwhelmed. She replied, “My advice to you would be to get your hands dirty.” I heard her loud and clear. Marianne was right: the best way to work through my discomfort was to be of service to those in need. I got to work.

I merged my spiritual practice with hands-on service and began to feel much better.

If you feel overwhelmed by the energy of this disaster, take these tools into your own life:

Pray for guidance and pay attention to the messages you receive. Make a daily commitment to practice the 5 Sutras by choosing to see oneness in all, let all blocks be cleared, get to work, be compassionate and deepen your meditation practice. Then get your hands dirty.

Practice these principles and you’ll intuitively know how to handle the discomfort of tragedy. The way you handle it might be different from the way I have. Perhaps you’ve been seriously affected by the storm; perhaps you’re miles away, but keep thinking about it. It doesn’t matter: These steps are necessary for finding our power in powerless situations. Our inner power is essential at this time.

Read or leave comments


  1. Gabby, I just took your October class and was one of the online people during the hurricane. After the hurricane, I felt unsettled, and meditated. My ‘ing told me to volunteer so I did this today. The original plan didn’t turn out as it veered unexpectedly. I felt it was Spirit leading me to show me the places really in need such as the Rockaways, and spots in Coney Island. I was saddened by this, as there were so many displaced, lost people. It was like a warzone in the Rockaway. Luckily I was with a volunteer that day that kept me laughing, but I can’t help but feel jaded by the experience. So many people donated and it is so beautiful, but seeing firsthand what people needed like water, immediate non perishable food, a warm blanket. I was disheartened and felt a bit insulted for the people when I saw that people donated neckties and bikini tops, or a bag of quinoa when they have no water. While thinking about this, I just read your blog. Spirit must have brought me to this and I hope this feeling will go away. For now… thank you.

    1. Minna: How brave of you to follow your internal guidance and open yourself up directly to the pain and devastation that people are experiencing. As a healthcare worker I can relate to the saddness and the jaded feeling that weighs on your heart, finding my way to love has served me well in lifting these feelings. You have been gifted with two key insights from my view in reading your comments – one is the depth of disconnection that exists in that people feel inspired to donate but have no understanding of what is needed and secondly God sent your laughter among the pain, a sparkle of joy, an example of how to be of service and still be in joy. Some of the best nurses I work with bring laughter to the workplace and the lives of the babies and families they care for – it lightens the journey. God bless you.

  2. I love “get your hands dirty”…its so true:) When you do something……anything …..for the disaster… feel much better:)
    the divine is in all of us and it feels so good to “get our hands dirty!”

  3. Infinite and Eternal Divine Blessings to you Gabby and ALL.
    Sending Ever-Increasing Divinely Blessed Healing, Wellness, Gratitude, Appreciation, Joy, Love, Peace, Light, Success, Abundance, Ascension, Hope, Oneness to you and ALL, always.

  4. “Om Ara Patsana Dhi”
    Pronounced: Om nah mah pa chi na dashi
    Manjushri Mantra
    Purpose: To develop Deep Wisdom

    G, this is a powerful mantra that has helped me get through many troubling times. Your blog was so helpful. Love you forever

  5. Thanks Gabby,
    This one really hit home. I will use the 5 sutras in my daily practice.
    I am forever thankful for all of your teachings 🙂

  6. Thank you for this remarkable, inspiring message. I am in the ‘disaster zone’ and while hubby and I made out just fine, my parent’s house and the community is decimated. You make some excellent points and I agree, this is not a time for playing small. I really needed this bit of brilliance this week, this is the third time I have read it- total geek! Your explanation on how to ‘handle the discomfort of the tragedy’ is dead on. I have been carrying a post-it in my pocket every single day of cleanup/ rebuild “In my defenselessness, my safety lies”. I relistened to your podcast “Finding Power in Powerless Situations” the night of the storm. You are such a bright light and I look forward to meeting you soon! Boo for the cancellation of Ignite! But Props to you for all that you do and all that you are. And happy birthday, by the way! Much love, gratitude and respect!

  7. Happy belated birthday! Thank you for sharing that beautiful gift with us! As a “First Responder”, I have had little time to settle and go within and somehow feel like I’m not giving enough. I will put these sutras to use! Love and Light!

  8. Thank you for your honesty Gabby…and for the guidance you’ve shared from your spiritual toolbox. It’s time to dig in and get moving, making miracles happen! Sending Love…from the Jersey Shore!!!

  9. Sat Nam Gabby,
    thank you for sharing the Sutras wisdom. They have been a guiding light for me for many years now. When the hurricane hit, there was a young man who was working on the job with my husband who’s home was hit very hard by the water coming in. He had a young wife and newborn at home. I offered a Yoga class on site where we were and created a fund raiser for this man and his family. It was wonderful and everyone contributed so generously, we were able to create a beautiful presence for this family of love, support and healing. It is absolutely imperartive that we keep up together as the Sutras so clearly indicate. Thank you again. Sending you Love from my heart to yours. Melanie

  10. A friend referred me a person who was absolutely devastated by the loss of her families home via Sandy. I helped her dig deep and find over 150 blessings to losing the home and what inspiring opportunities it evoked for her and her family. Tragedy and terrific all rolled into one.

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