Last October 2018, I flew through hurricane Callum en route to Bristol. When the plane left Dublin I had no idea there was a storm, let alone a hurricane, raging over England, specifically over Bristol. I have no idea why my flight took off. As we approached Bristol the plane flew directly into the hurricane and was battered by violent winds causing it to lurch hideously off balance again and again and again. Wild winds howled and screamed outside the plane, and inside everyone became deathly silent.
I was certain the plane would crash and I would die. I clutched the armrests and sat rigid with terror. After a couple of minutes of pure fear I realised that given there was nothing I could do to change the situation, I ought to accept it and face it. So, I accepted that I was about to die. I truly accepted it, I did not fight it. I stopped my inner panic and in an effort to comfort myself, I said in my mind, ‘It won’t last too long, then it will be over, and I will be with God.’ And knowing, as I do, that to be home to God is the greatest imaginable joy, I lost my fear, and then I began to breathe properly. I loosened my grip on the armrest and prepared to meditate.
Years of meditation and practicing Inner Peace allowed me quickly to enter my meditative state of mind. I began to breathe calmly; I repeated my mantras such as ‘I am in peace; I am in Love; All is well….’. I was present to the fact that this seemed to be the end for me. I visualised the Light of Love waiting for me and focused my attention on the good that was waiting to open to me. I became still.
I reflected on how good it was to know that I am at peace with everyone in my life. I thought of how much I love all those close to me and how grateful I am for their love. I was grateful to know that I had come to place of peace about my own failings and also with those who triggered me. I realised that if I died, as I expected to do in the next few minutes, that I was ready to go and meet the glorious Light of God without reservation. Within a few short minutes, I had talked myself down from the highest imaginable level of anxiety to calm acceptance of how things were.
Several long minutes later, the plane escaped the violent clutches of the hurricane, the sickening rocking of the plane subsided, the noise of the storm reduced, the plane straightened, and the pilot landed us safely on the ground. Instantly everyone cheered, clapping madly, smiling, turning to those beside us and sharing deep smiles and expressions of relief and joy that we had survived. We were jubilant.
I immediately thought of the pilot and felt a sense of awe at the nerves of absolute steel he must have had to fly that plane to safety. I said a private prayer of gratitude to him. I prayed deep prayers of relief and gratitude that it had not been the end for us.
There is an eye of calm at the centre of every storm. This is the place to seek out when we face the challenges of life – the inner place of peace and stillness.