Joy Rigberg, MEd, MA, CC
Recovery & Life Coach
Certified B.E.S.T. Practitioner

The Gift of Presence

The East Coast just survived, ‘Superstorm Sandy,’ the biggest storm since the early 1800’s. 

To read this post on my Blog, click Here.

There will be billions of dollars of damage to repair in states like New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, Washington D.C., Rhode Island and several others, including many deaths, millions of people without heat and electricity possibly for days, halted transportation and so much more. The damages truly are inconceivable.

Yet, in my little world all is well and I feel so blessed and grateful!

I’m with my 94 and 90 year old grandparents in their home in Philadelphia. We weathered out the storm yesterday by listening to classical music, reading the newspapers, watching You Tube videos and Skyping with family in Israel. By 10pm it seemed as if our house and electricity would be spared, until we weren’t and our lights went out.

My biggest concern about the electricity going out wasn’t the phones or television not working or the food spoiling, it was the cold.  My grandparents live in a large, old house that isn’t heated much to begin with, due to my mom mom’s internal temperature which is always hot, my poor pop pop walks around the house with a wool turtleneck and thick sweater on every day, even in the summer. 🙂 

Now, my pop pop, Sam, is the most positive person that I know. He kept saying things like, oh we’re going to be just fine, the storm’s going to change course, it’s not going to hit us, don’t worry, all is well, keep the faith. His calm and jovial demeanor and way of being helped keep me grounded, and sane.

So when the electricity went out around 11pm last night, my sanity and calm quickly flew out the window and my mind went into fix it and planning mode. So much so that my sleep was off and I awoke feeling tired and anxious.

My pop awoke, however, as positive and well rested as always. He pulled out the small wall light that he bought at Bed Bath and Beyond, brought it downstairs, stuck it to the wall, checked the driveway for the newspaper and sat down to eat his breakfast cereal and fruit.

Meanwhile, I’m cautiously and quickly calling and texting all of our relatives and planning where we will sleep that night. I was worried the entire morning that my cell phone would run out of batteries and that we would all freeze to death in this house. My fear was elevated and my anxiety heightened by predictions that the electricity could be out for days.

Then, while sitting in the dark at the kitchen table, all plans prepared for our evening sleepover at my cousin’s house, the lights came back on!   All that worrying for naught!

The above is the back story to the real message which is this: The present moment is all that there ever is

Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.”

I think I’m finally beginning to get it! I am always safe in the NOW, and it was only my mind and fearful thoughts that brought on my dis-ease and dis-comfort. The other beautiful part is this, I always have a choice to be present in love or fearfully caught in the past or future.

So I do have some power after all! 😉

My pop, who always lives in the moment, is the most easy going, happy and peaceful man that I know. His trust and faith never wavers. He never worries about the future or frets about the past. His presence is, in my experience and opinion, the secret to a long, healthy and happy life!

I realize,again, that the message I’m meant to receive from this experience is that being present is truly a gift! A gift for my body, my mind and my spirit.  Accepting all events as they are, remembering that I have zero control over circumstances, only over how I respond, and when I respond from a place of presence I am always making the most unconditionally loving choice for myself and for all those around me.

I choose to practice BEING PRESENT today! And when I find myself entertaining, believing or attaching to a fearful thought, I intend to take a deep conscious breath and bring myself back to the present moment.

I’m sending prayers, blessings and healing energy out to all of those who were and are being impacted by Super Storm Sandy!

Please feel free to comment below this post or contact me and let me know how I can best support you!

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why we call it the present.” – Joan Rivers

With love,


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