As I heard the howling wind wrestling with the Magnolia trees that frame my garden, I reminisced of when my life dismantled, courtesy of Mother Nature, on August 29, 2005. Although the catastrophic Category 4 hurricane Laura intensified in the Gulf of Mexico, I remained eerily calm before the storm in the hours before her landfall.
When I look back on Hurricane Katrina, I embodied abundance/creation consciousness during the rebuilding. Specifically, I expressed my inherent power to (re)create my life as I untied my emotions and released what “once was.” Hence, a new energy of creation flowed freely through me and assisted me with all of the newness. To learn more about being a creator, read: https://tracinicolesmith.com/are-you-a-creator-or-a-victim/
While harnessing my energy, my new life filled with my desires unfolded. With the courage from Katrina, I left my city for three years. As I embarked on this new adventure, I built a great life in a new city, even if only for a little while. Although I didn’t love all aspects of my new city, I established a career, many friends, and a routine. To understand more about how to manifest in your life, read: https://beingeckharttolle.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/understanding-the-unmanifested/
Indeed, life is a co-creation of our desires and our destiny. Part of (re)building is understanding your role in creating through manifesting. We have the power to create the life we desire if we understand that our intentional thoughts form and build the life we experience. Even when there is a large weather system threatening disruption, you can remain calm before the storm if you understand your power of manifestation.
However, when looking back upon the gusts and gushes that ravished my previous life, the immediate aftermath appeared to be insurmountable. And for a time, it was. Despite the difficulty, I stayed calm before the storm and after it hit. Yet, being uprooted presented challenges of beginning again and allowing life to unfold over time.
The Week Leading Up To The Big Bang
On August 20, 2005, we convened at my friend Tom’s house for an unconventional baby shower. My regular Saints football-watching crew converged upon his Mid-City second-story home to watch the preseason Bills versus Packers game. As we ogled over little blue gifts, the sounds of blue-corn chips doused in spicy salsa crunched and accompanied the referee whistles and fan cheers. At the time, we were completely “in the moment” enjoying friendship, family, and football.
Coincidentally, my sister’s baby shower occurred a week later on August 27. For the first time in a long while, my extended family planned short sojourns in the “Big Easy.” Of course, what lied ahead proved to be otherwise (anything but easy).
On the evening before the shower, our extended family dined at a favorite Vietnamese restaurant located next to the Mississippi bridge that connects my tiny municipality with New Orleans. Engrossed in cuisine and catching up, no one noticed the monitors mounted in the corners of the room displaying a kaleidoscope of turbulent weather of a massive storm system brewing in the waters. On that night, the calm before the storm materialized in humidity and still winds that accentuated our unknowing.
The Faster Baby Shower on Record
The next day, while decorating the house with blue streamers and balloons, phone calls flooded our phones. At the same time, people rushed in early to drop gifts off as they hurried back to their cars. When people asked us where we were evacuating, confusion burst our bubble. Thus, the joy of the present popped.
Turning on the tv to the local news, we discovered a large, multicolored swirl covering the entire Gulf Coast region on the weather radar. Furthermore, a powerful hurricane had invaded our waters. With an uncompromising promise of delivering forceful winds and downpours of heavy rain to our region, we marveled in disbelief. In less than one hour, we opened gifts, ate cake, and cleaned up while frantically discussing next steps.
Years prior to that storm, a hurricane threat signaled to New Orleanians that a party was in order. Days with canceled work and school followed. The commencement for a 72-hour grand event of debauchery ensued. To prepare for the fun, our grocery baskets overflowed with bottles of booze and party snacks to ensure we were well-stocked for marathon length partying. With community in mind, everyone convened with friends and celebrated into the night and next day. Not a care in the world existed for anyone. And, no one believed a hurricane would actually hit one day.
Ironically, we planned this party not for a hurricane. Nevertheless, one encroached. Moreover, fear and stress drained the revelry with the news of “the big one is coming.” My family was anything but calm before the storm in the wake of what lied ahead. Honestly, everyone was frantic. Yet, I shifted into “observing” and “doing” mode without overthinking or anxiousness. Despite the large pockets of despair that surrounded me, I felt peace. This state of mind evolved from years of purging layers of worry that previously encapsulated my being. But, for everyone else, fear enveloped them in its paralyzing clutches of impending devastation and destruction.
The Hit that Hurt
Within an hour, everyone in our family split up going in different directions. Luckily, my cousins from Austin boarded the very last flight out of the New Orleans airport as dark clouds of tornado-force winds chased after them. Thus, I packed my car within a few hours and headed west to meet them at their house. Tranquility flowed through my body despite not knowing what would happen.
All the while, my sister went home, threw some baby things in the car, and rushed out of town with her 9t- month baby bump in tow. She headed to Charlotte, NC to give birth. (Accordingly, Timmy arrived September 21.)
By the time the storm crashed our city, many people evacuated to another city. However, thousands were also left behind and endured massive suffering in the days after the weather cleared up. Hence, a mass failure of our levee systems that protected our under-sea-level city caused 80% of the city to flood over the next few days. New Orleans drowned in levee breaches that carried death and damage with it. Life as we knew it forever changed. Learn more about the costliest hurricane in U.S. history: https://www.britannica.com/event/Hurricane-Katrina
Over the course of the next several years, slowly but surely, the vast brown hues that accentuated our mourning city grounds killing everything in sight began to turn green again with the renewal of life. Houses, businesses, historical buildings, schools, churches, and other establishments integral to a city’s prosperity returned. Some of them were stronger than ever.
Despite emotional and psychological pain, over time, the will to survive, overcome, and thrive again overshadowed the hopelessness and helplessness that ensued in the days, months, and year right after Katrina. People sat in their power of creation and manifestation. Accordingly, everyone experienced a rebirth in their lives.
The New Became Normal
Even though the renaissance of New Orleans eventually filled the air with a feeling of “back to normal,” not everything returned. Our football friends from Green Bay left with the masses and never returned to the city. The Green Bay game baby shower was the last time I ever saw them. Additionally, some iconic restaurants I frequented decided not to reopen. And, our school system was gutted “to the studs” and replaced by a myriad of charters.
However, here it is, 15 years later. And, I faced another rainbow-colored swirl looming in the gulf. Once again, I was calm before the storm. After having your life and your city’s infrastructure completely transformed, a knowing fills your being.
Although a rustling of the trees sent whooshing sounds of uncertainty through my windows, tranquilness consumed me. Instead of worry and fear dominating my feelings, a quiet confidence took over. After starting over when I had no time prepare for a life-changing event the first time, I experienced the ability to create with relatively nothing but my immense power.
Yet, initially, it may not feel comfortable while you rebuild. Just because you are calm, doesn’t mean you won’t feel massive discomfort. While you may have the ability to create, you also have to endure the pain associated with destruction. That is not enjoyable at all. And, it wasn’t for me.
As I drifted to sleep on the eve of Laura’s arrival, these words flowed through my soul:
You are resilient. You can rebuild. You can create the life you want.
And so can you when you embrace the power of creation.