I wonder how many of you are feeling as I am, jaded from the constant reminders about the impact of COVID-19 on individual lives, economies and populations across the world. I’m sure I’m not alone in my irritability at the sound of the news, with its endless stream of pandemic fall-outs and daily doses of economic doom and gloom. I wonder what the news consisted of before the outbreak. It’s so bloody hard to switch off from it, yet it is of the utmost importance that we do.
Let’s live now
I’m not proposing that we hide away and live in denial. But I am suggesting that enough is enough and it’s time to rise above the negativity so that we can enjoy the here and the now while we still can. I realise that this is easier said than done, especially for people who have lost loved ones to the virus or come upon hard times because of lockdowns, but it really is a matter of finding that silver lining while the cloud is still overhead. Who knows, it might not move away any time soon. What then? Are we meant to wade through the swamp, getting deeper into the quagmire, and miss out on the enjoyment that can be had if we just settle where we are for a while, and turn to each other for support?
The brighter future
We can’t get to the future without taking the steps needed in the now. So, we might as well make each step count, no matter how difficult it might be. What if someone could predict the future and told us that this, the present, is as good as it’s going to get? How would that change our perspective? It might sound like a recipe for depression but is it though? We still have the choice, ultimately, of how we choose to perceive our situation. As long as we have breath in our lungs, blood running through our veins and the power of the mind, we are in a position to make choices about our present that will determine what happens next. Our future is only as bright as we believe it to be and the effort that we are willing to put in to make it so. As long as we are listening to our heart, and being true to our values, we can find fulfillment in the now that will make the future more fruitful. How we interact with those around us has a key part to play here. For isn’t it true that without relationships, we are lost souls? And isn’t it also true that all we ever really want is to love one another, to be cherished and to be adored by those that mean a great deal to us? It doesn’t matter whether it’s the love for/of a parent, a child, a partner or a friend… what’s important is that the love is felt and expressed and hopefully, reciprocated. But even if it’s not, in giving love we receive huge benefits anyway.
Time to refocus
Even though we might feel helpless in the shadow of the monstrous pandemic, there are things we can do right now to alleviate this feeling of helplessness. It starts with you. You have many wonderful qualities that you may have forgotten about. It’s time to bring them to the fore. During the past six months, there have been numerous examples of amazing goodwill in communities around the world with people engaging in random and organised acts of kindness. Have you helped someone recently? Has someone helped you? If so, how did you thank them? Let’s not forget the benefits of doing good for others and showing gratitude. Both these things can improve our well-being and remind us of what’s important. During this time, have you reflected on what’s important to you? Are there people in your life that you have forgiven for some wrongdoing? I know that I have found a great sense of liberation after finding it in my heart to let go of resentment and to forgive others for letting me down. There is much strength to be gained from self-reflection as it allows us to better control what steps we take next.
One of the things that I’m reviewing during these challenging times is where I buy my produce from. It’s not hard to see that it’s the big corporations such as Amazon that seem to be making all the money, while small local businesses are folding left, right and centre. If we continue to support those huge companies, we are bound to suffer consequences in the long run. One of these consequences is my biggest gripe – that a small number of people control the largest portion of the world’s wealth. It’s time to think local, and support people whose livelihoods are on the line. As an aside, by supporting our local bakers, greengrocers etc we can be more selective about how much plastic packaging is brought into our homes. The lack of care being shown towards our environment by the big supermarkets has reached outrageous levels. I was gobsmacked when my daughter recently bought two small pastries at one of our biggest supermarket chains here in Australia, that came in large, rigid plastic packaging. This totally unnecessary presentation of baked goods would not happen in a local bakery. We, the consumers, need to think twice about supporting this type of negligence. Surely it is better to pay a little bit more and have a cleaner environment and a healthier conscience?
Vote for justice
The next time an election comes your way, think about the injustices in the world and how we are all impacted by them, whether it is obvious to us or not. The world needs more compassionate leaders like New Zealand’s PM, Jacinda Ardern. If you’re in America right now and reading this, think about replacing the big buffoon with someone who is emotionally intelligent, in touch with reality and is cognisant of the inter-connectedness of humanity. We will never thrive as a human race as long as there are constant threats of war. People will continue to die of starvation and disease as a long as we keep spending billions on military capability. Where is the logic in spending the same amount of money that could alleviate the suffering of millions of people on a nuclear weapon that, if it were to be used, would wipe us all out? Seriously, it is time to bring this world together as one before it is too late. We should not underestimate the power we each have in a polling card. Each vote matters. And even if there is a risk that voting can be tampered with, we must believe that there is strength in numbers, and together we can make a difference.
Back to basics
For now, we each have a responsibility to help stop the spread of diseases by practicing good hygiene and allowing enough distance from each other to reduce risk. We can still use gestures and words to express our love and support for each other and check in regularly to ensure people are OK. Eventually, we will see this pandemic through to the other side, and recovery can take place. In the meantime, let’s focus on the good in our lives and feel gratitude in our hearts for the simple pleasures of being with our loved ones and savoring the healing presence of all that nature has to offer us. I’m really excited to be welcoming my favourite season of Spring back to the southern hemisphere in a week from now. The wildflowers that come with it always fill me with awe. It’s amazing to think that even though the soils here are the most barren in the world, we have at least 12,000 plant species with some of the most spectacular flowers I have ever seen anywhere. Make sure you get out into nature as often as you can, it helps to keep us all sane. And finally, may I remind you about the key message from last week’s blog – before you go to sleep tonight, set your intention and feel in your heart that everything is OK and it will be. The power of your imagination and your ability to believe are your tools, make sure you use them to your benefit.
Thanks for reading my thoughts today.