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We have all heard the adage – “it was the quiet before the storm”. In our case, it had already been raining for three straight days before the super-storm called Sandy actually hit. Fortunately, we were merely on the outermost edge of the hurricane which battered the East Coast of the USA. But we were part of a few townships in the local area which had a lot of power outages due to uprooted trees falling on power lines.

They say that adversity brings out the worst or the best in human beings. As we focus on our own selves and follow our natural instinct for self-preservation, we can get disconnected from the plight of those in our community. Once we determine that we (and our families) are going to be safe, our attention may shift to how our neighbors may be faring. Of course, there are the few who first respond to the needs of those around them and then focus on their own welfare – they are indeed community heroes.

This is perhaps where the renewal that comes from connection with a community – physical or virtual – comes into play. As we connect and engage with those who are trying to recover, our empathy, our sympathy, our words of caring and our small acts of kindness can go a long way to assist in the renewal. Before we renew others, we do have to make sure that we are strong within, before we can be effective in helping to renew others. That is perhaps why regular personal renewal on physical, emotional and spiritual levels is important.

The metaphor of this particular storm may not be important to you. You may not have been personally affected by this storm. But do know that there is someone in your neighborhood, your community who is trying to weather some kind of storm. And you have an opportunity to help them with their process of renewal, and give them that little bit of strength that they may need to stay standing.

As large parts of the Eastern states in the USA recover from the physical effects of the storm (as of this writing, four days later, a lot of families are still without power), the emotional effects are perhaps more widespread because friends and family of those on the East coast are spread all over the country, if not worldwide. So, how do we best recover from these effects? How do we prepare for future storms? How do we help those affected by the storms – physically, emotionally and maybe even spiritually?

The themes in #SpiritChat for the month of November were designated to be gratitude and healing. I invite you to join the #SpiritChat community on Sunday November 4th at 9am ET / 2pm UK / 7:30pm India – your strength can help the community with the process of renewal.

Be well. I hope that mother nature is kind to you.

P.S. If in the USA, please don’t forget to turn back the clocks for that extra hour of sleep 🙂

Update: Here is the pdf version of the chat transcript for download. Also see the questions asked during the live chat on our topic of Renewal. Enjoy!

Q1. What do the words "renewal" and "community" mean to you in your current life context? #SpiritChat 

Q2. What are some signs that it is time for you to pause and renew? #SpiritChat 

Q3. What are your favorite ways to renew your body and mind? #SpiritChat 

Q4. How do the communities you engage with impact your process of renewal? #SpiritChat 

Q5. Spiritual renewal is mostly personal. Community is secondary. Agree or disagree? Why? #SpiritChat 

Q6. How do we strengthen our communities to support renewal for others? #SpiritChat 

Q7. Do you have a personal mantra, prayer or technique(s) for renewal? Do share. #SpiritChat 

Q8. How do we identify communities that are struggling at this hour? And help them renew... #SpiritChat