I have been undergoing deep lessons in finding freedom and resilience by opening up to and embracing what arises, no matter how tragically difficult it may be. I have found that when I retract in the face of the events of life, the tendrils of fear grow deep inside, making their later removal much more difficult. Instead of retracting, I have been practicing opening up completely, feeling the weight of the emotions fully, letting the fear completely wash over me. I have found that if you mindfully allow the whirlwind of feelings and thoughts about any given situation to fully be itself within your awareness ; and if you let the disturbing emotions bubble up and over; the intensity of this hurricane eventually loses strength. If you fully open your heart and mind to the fear, it eventually subsides and loses its grip. My daily practice has been, instead of resisting what arises, allowing it. That way, nothing has much of an opportunity to take hold. Like a reed blowing in the wind, I have found great resilience that way. When the storm comes, I bend with it. It is difficult and the sounds at the eye of the storm are terrifying; but if I remain in the center, it will pass. Everything does pass, for in this universe of few guarantees, impermanence is one of the only promises. What remains is fully appreciating the fullness of each moment; loving deeply and professing our love; enjoying the wind that caresses our faces. What’s left to do is to cultivate joy, because this is it—this is really it. There is no other moment to be happy, to be loving, to dream, to be free. That moment is here, and I receive it with wide-open arms.