Life After the Storm

Valeri Bocage
CEO Powerful Women International Connections

We have all witnessed the fury of Hurricane Harvey this week. Some, have witnessed it firsthand and are now in crisis mode. They are having natural reaction to a traumatic event. Fear and anxiety surround those affected, but remember you have survived! Yes, it will take time to heal from the initial shock and losses encountered. These feelings will diminish and even though it will take time and you may need help, you will recover and rise above your circumstances.

We pray for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Each of us has gone through some kind of storm in our lives. The storm can be personal, professional or a natural disaster. Most times we don’t see it coming. I know that feeling first hand. I lost everything in Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005. All I had left were two pair of jeans, my pajamas and a tooth brush. My entire world was flung upside down. My family and friends were scattered all over the United States. The city I grew up in, New Orleans was now underwater.

What to Do After the Storm

1. Acknowledge the Shock

We all deal with shock in different ways. Losing everything I had, definitely put me into shock. I watched the television with friends as my city went underwater. I froze, with the reality of knowing I had nothing left and no place to go.

2. Assess the Situation

Ask yourself what things you still have. I thought, “What could I do with two pair of jeans and a toothbrush?” I had clothes to put on the next day. I had my health.

3. Be Thankful

At times like this, we seem to focus on the problem. In my case, it was losing everything and not knowing where to go. However, I stopped and thought of all the things I had to be thankful for. I started with the simple things. I thanked God I had another pair of jeans to put on the next day. I was thankful I was alive. By setting my heart on thankfulness, it then birthed into a positive mindset. This gave me the ability to think clearly, as to what steps to take next.

4. Take Action

Disasters can cause emotional and physical reactions. So, it’s important to take good care of yourself. Make a list of what you need to do. Utilize coping skills that you have used during other challenging times.

5. Remain Positive

Do everything you can to remain positive. Try to stay in a normal routine. It may not be easy, but things will fall into place faster when do.

6. Continue Looking Forward

Recognize when you suffer a loss, you may grieve. You may feel angry. No matter what, keep looking ahead. We cannot get back what was lost. We can only remember the good memories held within them.

7. Make Your Own Story

I was in a program with Landmark Education called the Wisdom Course. One of the things the course taught was when things go wrong, create a positive story around it. I thought about Hurricane Katrina and that I had nothing left in my life. I started to think of what kind of story could I create to stay positive. I moved to San Francisco after the storm. I had never been to San Francisco before. I watched movies of San Francisco and never thought I would be living there. The story I created was a Wizard of Oz theme. I said, “Hurricane Katrina threw me to San Francisco like in the Wizard of Oz. I am in the land of Oz where ANYTHING is POSSIBLE.”

8. Create a New Vision

I looked to see what I could do with the rest of my life. I had a clean, open slate to create something new. I asked myself what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to make the world better. I wanted our children to be safe and capable of reaching their dreams. I wanted underprivileged communities to thrive.

I prayed and received great inspiration. I believed if I could connect with compassionate women, together we could change the world. When others asked what I needed, I said I wanted to connect with women leaders they knew. I was not worried about myself, as I knew I had a bigger vision. As I gave of myself, helping others, the blessings started flowing my way and all my needs were met.

I, then, created Powerful Women International Connections. I knew I wanted to create a company that’s primary focus was helping compassionate women leaders become whole. I wanted the key foundation to be one of support, encouragement, and counsel for each other. So many times in business we do not have the support system in place to encourage us through challenges. I wanted to make that support system our foundation. In doing so, the organization is blossoming! We have attracted and empowered many, many women across the globe, so they can move forward with their specific humanitarian projects working to change communities worldwide.

“If you need help, help someone else and watch the blessings flow towards you.”
~ Valeri Bocage

Join PWIC in our efforts to make the world better.  Lead and be a champion! The added benefit is to build a highly admired personal and company brand.

Some of our Humanitarian Member Projects include (but are not limited to):

  • Assisting Burn Survivors
  • Stopping Human Trafficking
  • Reducing Recidivism
  • Aiding Children at Risk
  • Empowering Developing Countries
  • Working with the Homeless

With your help, we can expand our projects, uniting more women humanitarian leaders, helping them make a bigger impact in the world. We would love to hear about your vision and how its implementation is changing peoples’ lives.

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