Nurses, here’s ONE thing to remember when you’re forced to deal with circumstances beyond your control.

I recently experienced a power outage in Montreal, Canada. It was so bad that the mayor had to cancel Halloween. 

The winds were wild, the storms were unforgiving and the power outage kept me apart from my much beloved cuppa coffee. I couldn’t cook, I was struggling to stay in touch with my team and I was salvaging every last drop of battery power on my phone to try and finish up some of my work on an expensive Canadian data plan. Not to mention, I was in the middle of packing to move back to the USA. I had a flight to catch, errands to run, and tearful goodbyes to make with my loved ones. 

The power outage could not have chosen a more inconvenient time to come. The darkness truly put me to the test and invoked a range of emotions that simply overwhelmed my senses. Thankfully, with the comforting words of a friend who was kind enough to drive me around in the darkness, we started to ponder the power of power outages and we came to realize that sometimes the most illuminating lighting of all comes from a power failure. 

We go about our day to day life, managing our work and family life, drinking hot drinks, taking hot showers, seeking comfort from music and movies. We hardly take the time to notice the magical forces that run our lives and we don’t even realize just how emotionally dependent we are on electricity…until a blackout happens.

You look out the window, into the eerie and silent darkness and anxiety takes over. You’re hungry but a candlelit dinner of cold cuts doesn’t seem very appealing and an intense craving for a hot drink somehow always coincides with a blackout. 

The silence makes us uncomfortable and we really don’t know what to do with all that extra time on our phone-less hands.

A power outage has the power to leave you feeling abandoned and lonely. Depending on your circumstances, it can bring you to a state of deep despair. It might scare you or make you feel angry and upset. You attempt to exercise power or control over someone else or something else. You try to call your electric company, you fiddle with your breaker box, you might even do a little dance and try to harness the power of the sun, anything to get the wifi back on, but still there is no light. 

Nothing works. You recognize, to your dismay that you are at the mercy of forces beyond your control and with the state of your emotions, this outside force now has power and control over you. You feel electrically defeated and spiritually powerless.

The search for the light:

Even if it makes me blind, I just want to see the light.

An electrical power outage is much akin to a spiritual one. 

In both cases we search for the light and it evades us and challenges us. It shows us our vulnerabilities, our dependencies and our weaknesses.

 If we can’t find the light, we experience a whirlwind of emotions – stress, anxiety, pain and suffering. The electric company isn’t answering your questions and the universe isn’t shedding any light. 

In my time of darkness and despair, I remembered that at the core of my yoganurse teachings, there is the sacred remedy, so I practiced what I teach and I took a sacred breathe. Accepting. Allowing. Being present. I felt my emotions shift as I continued to breathe. It was time to just be. To surrender. 

I recognized the little things that we take for granted and how a cup of coffee tasted so much better with a dash of gratitude. The power outage set me free from my regular distractions and gave me the chance to disconnect from work and focus on the loved ones surrounding me. I had a deep and emotional conversation with my dear friend who helped me see my own inner power. 

The power outage gave me just the right amount of despair to help me slow down and take notice of my emotional state and my innermost needs. 

As I reached this new awareness, I found myself realigning with my highest purpose and biggest dream: to expand consciousness in healthcare. To connect organically to all the nurses and people who truly believe in the yoganurse mission and vision and to spread joy, health, peace and wisdom through our work.

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” – Alan Watts

Finding the light within
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Three simple yoga poses to lighten your heart and mind this Thanksgiving.

These poses invoke a feeling of gratitude and acceptance of yourself, BEING in the present moment, connected to all that is, exactly as it is. 

Child’s Pose:

Fold into the earth and feel grounded, alive, humble and grateful. (You can never get enough of child’s pose, it’s one of the greats.) 

Mountain Pose: 

This powerful stance opens your heart and helps you be more receptive. It might not turn the lights on but it will help you accept the situation and feel gratitude. 

Corpse Pose:

Definitely most fitting with power outages. Lie down and surrender. Be still and calm. Inhale and Exhale slowly and feel gratitude for the light within. 

The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga – Yogi Bhajan

As I end this, I am sitting here using my wifi connection in my well lit home, with my laptop, back in North Carolina. I’ve got a lovely hot drink on my desk and I’m feeling a deep sense of gratitude that all of this allows me to connect with you. 

YOU  give me purpose, joy and motivation to keep my dream alive. I am grateful for your presence and for your support.

I hope that you’re surrounded with the love of your dear ones on this festive season. I wish you a very happy, blessed and blissed Thanksgiving.

One final tip: if the power really goes out while you’re stuffing the turkey, or tofurky,  take a deep breathe, don’t panic, fire up the barbecue and enjoy having your feet on the ground and your loved ones around.

Gratitude, Love & Light forever and a day, 

Annette and our YogaNurse team

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