Into the Storm

photo by peridotmaize on

photo by peridotmaize on

What happens when you vow to live awake and alive?

What happens when you open yourself to the stir of Spirit symphony?

What happens when you become an active participant in your own destiny?

What happens?



A massive upheaval.

In a word: Storm.

I was going to keep a secret about this. My word for the year is STORM. I was going to hold it close to my heart the whole year, and let you all in on it after the fact. It’s easier that way, to see if things work out before I tell you about them. It’s easier to talk about a storm when I’m on the other side of it. It’s easier to look out the window at a gorgeous sunny day and declare that life was hard, but everything is okay now.

Last year was stormy enough, I could have chosen the word to represent all that I went through and moved past. I could hold it up as a trophy of my resilience and strong spirit. Believe me, I love it when I look so good! But, is it the whole truth? Is it the end of the story? It would have been nice to think so.

Instead, the word began to follow me. It would jump out at me from everywhere. I didn’t really want a storm, though. I wanted a port in the storm; a refuge from the strong winds blowing my way. I wanted all the troubles to dissipate. I wanted­ okay, I’ll be honest: I still want­ for my life to be easy, or at least easier. That goal has a moving target, though, come to think of it.

Finally, I turned around and faced the word head­ on. I looked my life in the eye and declared it would not keep me down. From circumstances, to faith, to interactions, I wanted to be done with hiding. I got my fight on and challenged the storm.

I chose the word for a two­fold purpose:

As a noun, it refers to the turbulence that comes from moving toward my best self­ my calling. Who in life does not experience resistance when going out for a dream? There is both failure and reward wrapped up in every risk, and working toward a dream is as risky as it gets. Failures can pelt like hailstones and leave scars. Nobody asks for the scars; but all too often they come with the journey. In everything I do, I want to grow my awareness of this.

As a verb, it refers to my desire to take this life by storm. All the fears? Look them in the face. All the challenges? Run out to meet them. All the questions? Throw the door wide open. I would rather charge barefoot up the hill to face my giants (or dragons,) than prepare indefinitely by the campfire, cowering in suspense. At some point, I have to drop the self­-protection and start taking up my space in deed as well as word.

Why? I’m tired of hiding. I’ve gotten very skilled at hiding from myself. Call it survival instinct gone extreme. I’m learning to open up. To share. To be authentic about my process and my path of growth. And this year, my path looks like entering the storm in the same way Jacob entered a wrestling match with the angel: I will not let go without a blessing.

I’ve leaked my word for the year already. It was not a secret to be contained. I might as well come out with it. If I am to live in a way that is authentic and in a way that welcomes others to do the same, then it no longer makes sense to me to keep it a secret. Not only is it time to live awake and alive; it is time to live out loud!

Let my voice thunder freedom.

Let my heart generate a current of compassion.

Let my anger uproot the injustice still secreted away in my own worldview.

Let my words fall like a healing rain, to quench thirst and feed momentum into the river of Spirit symphony­ a river of unsung beauty, unseen truth, and untold treasure unfolding in my destiny.

A storm is a catalyst for change, from the inside out. This year, I’m putting my brave on and I’m running out to meet it.

Jamie Wright Bagley
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