Be kind to yourself, Be integral in your actions and take 10 steps forward

(Shock and Awe: Forster – mid north coast November 2019)

As we kick off 2020 in such challenging times, it’s hard to imagine the anticipation and fresh plans we made for the new year.  It’s easy to get waylaid and let malaise find its way into your heart and mind in times like this.

But “Never forget who you are”.  Australians continue to outshine and outdo ourselves in times of desperation.  Any weather event or disaster, we can be seen to be pulling together to support those afflicted.  The news, individuals, families, small business, listed companies, the stories on social media – the evidence is there of what we are capable of in times of distress.  The vote is in for RSP – beyond our tough Aussie exterior, we’re a mob of compassionate, generous and “go above and beyond” types.

Numerous reports from the Riverina district have said that already the RFS is inundated with supplies and donations need to be redirected to smaller communities.  I imagine this is the case across the country.

Take some comfort that we have each other’s back.  After all this red-hot fire has gone, that’s when we’ll really need each other, and those characteristics will really come to the forefront in the rebuilding of our communities.

So, what can we do as an individual and a group?  It’s the small, daily things that wash off onto people and you can have a hand in creating a calm, safe environment or mood.

As an individual, it’s paramount to take care of yourself so you can be useful and helpful to your family and others who need you.  That may be as simple as giving yourself 10 minutes of peace on waking.  Staying centred and calm during the storm for others is powerful beyond words.  10 minutes of deep breathing, gentle stretching, kind thoughts to yourself can make a huge difference to how your day rolls and, in turn, those of others.

What are you good at? How do you like to show others you care? How can you participate in charity and community to help alleviate suffering? Everyone has something special – no matter how irrelevant you may think it is. It could be just what is needed.  Are you on school holidays and want to help out? Maybe there’s parents who need a break at an evacuation centre and could do with some kind babysitting skills for a few hours.  What about going to play board games or cards with people displaced in temporary accommodation? Have you got a bag of old clothes? Maybe a family had no time to pack and would love a fresh set.

It is moments and events like this that highlight how beautiful life is….when it could all be taken so easily from us.

We will have rain eventually.  This time shall pass. If we can keep our intentions focussed on helping each other as collective, we can do anything.  We’re alright us Aussies when we need help.  Never forget that.

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