Meditating Helped Me Survive a White Out Blizzard

by Shelley Armstrong

Editor's Note: We live in a hectic world where stress can build to a major health crisis. Well, in addition to our EarthRain Meditations newsletter that Shelley's writes about below, our popular EarthRain CD will help you relax down to levels you never imagined. Now, here's Shelley with her fascinating story:

I am not sure how to begin so I will just begin.....

This year I discovered the EarthRain Meditations newsletter. I have been practicing the meditations for about four weeks, and I have discovered with each and every week a lesson that has taught me something that has allowed me to grow spiritually, feel stronger, more calm and much more aware of the choices I make in my life on a daily basis.

I live in the uppermost part of rural North Dakota and Spring is the most dangerous and unpredictable season we have. We don't know sometimes from one hour to the next if the weather will bring us rain, sunshine or a blizzard.

My story is about a day that brought us all three.

I have spent most of my driving life on these roads and my dad taught me how to be prepared for all kinds of weather conditions, especially being warned of being caught in “white out” blizzards, which come up suddenly and are very dangerous. I always carry my survival kit, use the odometer as a measure of distance, (when "white out" conditions occur if you set your odometer to zero at any/or every landmark, you can judge distance by the mileage driven, because you lose your sense of direction and time in white out conditions as you travel 10 to 15 mph compared to 65 and you can't see any mile markers or other landmarks;this situation generally is what causes people to panic).

When I left from work in the afternoon on this particular Thursday, the sun was shining and the temperature was a warm 26 degrees. I live 37 miles from work and my plans for the evening were to baby-sit with my two favorite little friends, Sabrina and Wyatt, while their parents and grandparents, who were visiting, were going out for the evening.

Towards the later evening the clouds started to roll in and it began to rain, just a soft drizzle really.

When I left their home at 11 pm, the weather had turned from rain to freezing slush/snow, and the wind had picked up to 45 mph. The roads were iced over under the falling snow. I made a small correction as I turned around a sharp curve and the wind pushed me across the lane. I begin to slow down, feeling my Jeep move with every touch of the wheel.

The blizzard conditions traveling south wasn't anything out of the normal, and I used the skills my dad had taught me and watched the road carefully. The visibility wasn't good but you could see about 50 feet in front of the car. I drove to town and headed east down the highway to my home another 18 miles away.

I realized that the storm was much worse heading in this direction, and as I was slowly moving down the highway I begin to feel the stress building up inside of me. It was at this point that I remembered my meditation for the week from EarthRain Meditations, “to keep it simple” and to focus on the smallest of every action…

In the darkness of the night, with the sound of the sleet hitting my Jeep and the waves of the blizzard swirling around me, I begin to think about every action I took.

I realized that I was in control of the vehicle, so I begin to slow down, very slowly, feeling the grip I had on the steering wheel, sensing the movement of the machine as we drove through the night, the visibility getting closer to the front of the car.

I watched every part of the road as I adjusted my headlights from dim to bright and back again to let my eyes stay focused on seeing whatever little part of the road could be seen.

I begin to calm, I repeated over and over to “keep it simple,” to concentrate on my movements; very, very slowly I crept along, watching the odometer, finally seeing that I was at my turn off, in the pitch black darkness with only the snow/sleet reflecting off my lights and I almost missed the corner.

I felt good that I now only had six more miles to travel.

When I made the turn, what had been bad driving became worse! The road going north put me directly in the face of the strong wind and now the snow/sleet was falling and compacting on the icy roads. I now had snow banks to travel through.

I knew I couldn’t stop my Jeep and I couldn’t see any farther than the front of my vehicle.

I was now in a complete “white out” and the road was totally invisible to me because the fallen snow covered both the road and the ditch. My fear of the moment shot back in an instant, and then I remembered what I was learning.

My focus returned to my hands driving the vehicle, focusing on every single movement that I made.

Traveling alone in the darkness I begin to focus on my blessings, being grateful that I had a full tank of gas, grateful that the temperature was high enough that I didn’t have to worry about freezing, very grateful for the lessons my Dad had taught me, and most importantly that I was alone and no one else was in jeopardy.

I begin to realize with ever click of the odometer, that I was losing the battle with the snow-covered road.

Many times, I almost hit a rural post office box as I was on the wrong side of the road. Plowing through the snow drifts I would be pulled across the road. The blindness of the night brought me down to moving between 5 to 10 mph, and then I felt the wind really kick up.

I moved across the road and ran into the ditch, wheels down.

I sat still for a minute, thanking God for letting me be safe and not overturned or stuck across the road, endangering others.

I got out the vehicle to see where I was, the wind was so strong I could barely open the door. The sleet/snow pounded against me as I checked my Jeep to see if there was any damage or any snow compacted at my exhaust pipe. Everything as far as I could see was okay.

I got back in and shut off my lights. The darkness was incredible. I couldn’t see the storm anymore in the darkness, but I could hear it, the wind was howling.

I put on my flashers, for fear someone trying to use my tire tracks to navigate the road would drive right into me. I tried my cell phone but the “no service” message came on. I had no idea until then that I had been on the road for over an hour and a half.

I sat still and focused on my meditation, continuing to send thanks to God that I was okay and I would be okay, everything was all right. I decided when I looked at the odometer that I was only 2 and 1/2 miles from home, another blessing to be thankful for!

Then I made the very,very stupid decision at this point to try and walk home. I am proof that that should never be considered, I walked for about 3/4 mile, having to turn around about every 15 steps and do my meditation to stay focused on every step I was trying to take on the journey home, now trying to walk on the frozen slippery highway with the sleet/snow pounding against me.

Every time that I turned around to breathe, I would remember to stay focused, to stay strong, to stay calm.

Finally, I knew I couldn’t make it -- the wind and the freezing snow/sleet was too hard to go against -- so I begin the walk back to my vehicle. Traveling with the wind and the snow/sleet at my back, I knew I was making the right choice.

Before too long, I was safely back in my Jeep, reminding myself how lucky I was that I hadn’t been hurt, fallen down and broken a bone or been injured.

I tried my cell phone to call my brother and it worked! Another miracle! I told my brother that I was fine, that he should not put himself in danger to come and get me, that I had my survival kit, that I had food and a soft drink, and that I would be okay until morning. So, please DO NOT attempt to come for me.

After talking to my brother, I went out again to check my exhaust pipe to make sure it was clear, and then I settled into my Jeep. I was soaking wet at this point from the sleet/snow on my jeans, so I wrapped the blanket around my legs and settled in, practicing all of my meditations, being grateful, allowing myself to stay calm, knowing I was very fortunate and that I would truly be all right, to be grateful that I was okay and that the people who loved me knew I was okay.

I begin to breathe deeply, laying my head back on the seat, closing my eyes and letting myself listen to the sounds of the storm, the wind howling the sleet/snow hitting against the vehicle, my thoughts working to let me almost “enjoy” the experience, counting my blessings, knowing the treasures I have in friends and family, my sense of calmness in place, letting my thoughts focus on listening to the sounds of the storm...

I am not sure how long it was before I heard a vehicle next to me.

Luckily, one of my neighbors had seen my flashers and she and her husband had waited out the worst part of the storm in a nearby town, and although for some travelers it was still too bad to be out on the highway, this couple was determined to come and get me and bring me home.

They insisted that their bigger pickup allowed them to see further down the highway where the road lay under the snow.

I jumped in with them and they brought me home.

I made them promise to call me as soon as they got safely home as they had to return down the same snow covered road beyond my Jeep in the ditch to get back to their house.

I called my brother, who said he and his friends were waiting out the storm to come and get me!

My neighbors returned home safely, and I settled into the comfort of my own warm bed.

I knew that on this dark, snowy/sleet filled night, many miracles came to me as I used my lessons from EarthRain Meditations to stay strong and stay calm and keep focused on the blessings I had.

Although I still may not have realized ALL the miracles that happened that night, I know I realized more than I would have a month or so ago, and I know that not one moment of fear lasted longer than the realization that I had the lessons given to me, to turn it around and be grateful and thankful for the way the night was going.

Instead of panic I found calmness and awareness and presence in every minute that moved through the night.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Editor's Note: In addition to our meditation newsletter, our EarthRain CD will help you relax down to levels you never imagined. EarthRain features a soothing piano composition, nature sounds, and the second generation tools of our groundbreaking NeuroImagery™ audio technology. Check out our EarthRain CD for steller meditation today.

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