Surprising benefits of quitting alcohol for one month

I love wine. These days I don’t often drink too much in one go. It’s usually one glass in the evening, or occasionally I’ll have a second glass if I’m really letting my hair down! But even with such a moderate intake, I feel like it sometimes builds up in my system and I find myself feeling dragged down and tired in the mornings. It also becomes a real habit for me; even though it’s only one glass, I’m having it nearly every day and often without even really thinking about it. I just get home, pour a glass, and get on with my evening routine.

I didn’t like how this habit was becoming so strong, so I decided to have a month without alcohol, just to give my body a break from it and see if I could break the habit. When I’ve done this before I’ve always felt heaps healthier and more energetic. I made it one of my #20for2020 goals so that I wouldn’t change my mind, and decided to do it in February so I could get it over and done with. Also, let’s be honest, February is a shorter month so that might have had some influence in my decision too.

I expected some health benefits, but was surprised to discover a few other things as well.

Breaking the habit

The first thing I noticed was just how ingrained this habit had become. Even though I mentally prepared myself for over a month before locking the cellar door, I still came home and went straight to the wine glasses before remembering that I wasn’t drinking. After a few days of this, the pull to the wine glasses was not as strong, and I found myself reaching for a cold glass of water instead.

Breaking that automatic pattern of behaviour was empowering. I do not like to be controlled by anyone else. Having habits that feel beyond our control is like having a little manipulative and controlling person inside you. My unconscious booze-hag was gaining a bit too much control of my evening behaviour, so it was time to reign her in.

Learning to sit with my feelings

Our unhelpful habits (eg. drinking, eating, Facebooking, bingeing on Netflix, gambling, etc) are like padding. We wear this padding so we don’t have to feel too much… or to do anything about our feelings. But when you drop those habits for a while, you find that the feelings aren’t actually that scary. Sure, at first they are. If you come home in a bad mood and can’t have your wine to ‘fix’ it, you’ll find yourself spinning a bit and wondering how on earth you will deal with this. But a bad mood is not going to kill you.

Without the wine, I found myself better able to think about why I was feeling certain things. Whether I was feeling sad, irritated, totally pissed off, or even joyful, it was helpful to think about what thoughts had led to that feeling. In some cases it meant I could do things differently from that point forward, rather than just having a cycle of negative feelings. But in other cases it was actually just helpful to realise that feeling bad was okay sometimes.

Having more confidence in myself

There were so many points in my non-drinking month where I thought about having ‘just one….’. Some of my triggers included: Going to a party where I didn’t know anyone, being invited to happy hour at my parents’ place, going out for a lovely meal with friends, and staying in a hotel by myself for a whole weekend. All of these occasions were incredibly tempting, but I resisted each time. And each time I resisted, I realised I have a pretty strong will.

By the end of the month, I felt confident. Confident in myself, and in my goals and my ability to achieve whatever I want. Resisting a habit can be the perfect stepping stone to achieving greatness. Every single time you succeed at something, you build confidence. So every time you resist a temptation, you feel more confident in your ability to do it again. And after a while, that confidence can transfer to other things. Sure, I can resist drinking for a whole month, so I can probably also commit to a new habit like getting up early to build my business. When you believe that you can commit to something, you’re more likely to do it.

Increasing my productivity

That glass of wine at the end of the day is like a signal in my brain that it’s time to wind down. By the time I get through the glass, dinner is done and the kid has (hopefully) gone to bed. Next it’s time for my cup of tea and I curl up on the couch to watch my latest Netflix addiction. But when I wasn’t having that glass, I found myself still thinking and pottering around getting stuff done. I had more energy and focus, and it was easier to keep going at the end of the day.

What now?

Look I’m going to be honest with you – I was glad to see the end of February! Even with all these positive outcomes, I wasn’t quite ready to give up alcohol completely.

But I’m now more comfortable with enjoying a glass on weekends, and having several booze-free days for the rest of the week. There are nights when I’ve put the toddler to bed and realised I ‘forgot’ to have that glass of wine I’d been looking forward to earlier in the day. When I have negative feelings, I’m better able to stop and think about that before reaching for the ‘padding’ that will help to soften the feelings. And when I doubt my ability to achieve something, I remember that I am the one in control of my behaviour and if I want to achieve it I bloody will.

How about you?

Do you have unhelpful or unproductive habits? Think about setting a short period of time where you will resist the habit and see what happens. See if you get that spark of self-confidence. You never know – it could be the first stepping stone to astounding success. Or it might just be proof that you have the power to control your own behaviour.

If you’re having trouble with some of your habits and want some coaching, get in touch. During this weird time of COVID-19 isolation, think about how you want to come out the other side of it. It’s easy to indulge in our bad habits even more than normal while things are so hard. But it’s also a great opportunity to start building your success story.

Talk soon!

8 ways to cope with COVID-19 isolation

It’s taken me a few weeks to process my thoughts on the crazy state of the world. Who would have thought that in our lifetime we would live through a pandemic that would restrict us to our homes, threaten our livelihoods, and take away our vulnerable loved ones? It’s like something from a sci-fi movie. A bad one!

Like many, I’ve felt really up and down about things.

Being able to work from home every day: WOO!!!

Fear of losing my job: WAAH!!

Not having to go to that boring party: WOO!!!

Having to cancel my Fiji holiday: WAAH!!

Look, to be honest, I’m still processing my thoughts on this every day. Aren’t we all? But mostly I’ve arrived at a good place for now. I had one really bad day where I let the anxiety and stress take hold, and I’ve gotta tell ya… it sucked. I felt physically ill, I was an emotional wreck, I couldn’t focus on anything productive, and everything felt doomed. But I pulled myself out of it. Because I remembered that I have the power to do that. And so do you.

I want to share my thoughts and my processes with you, but I’ve been really conscious of the fact that everyone is going to experience this differently. Some will lose jobs, others will lose parents, and some will just completely lose their minds from having their kids at home all the time.

I don’t want to be that person who tells you to “look on the bright side – you have plenty of time to exercise now!” when you may have lost a beloved grandparent or parent to this vicious virus. I think it’s so important to try and find some blessings in every single day, but it’s equally important to acknowledge that for some people, this is not just about being locked away at home for several months. It’s about fear and loss and unimaginable grief.

So here are 8 ways I am coping with COVID-19 isolation, and if you can take something from this, please do.

8 ways I am coping with hard times

Picturing my future self

When we come out the other side of all this, I want to look at myself and see a strong, resilient, resourceful, and happy woman. I don’t want to be broken, depressed, or trapped in a heap of bad habits. So when things are feeling hard and I’m tempted to curl up on the couch and scroll through Facebook, I think about which future self that is more likely to lead me to. And in most cases, that’s enough to get me off for a walk, or into the kitchen to prepare a meal for my family.

Practicing mindfulness

I have been doing a short meditation using Headspace every day. It only takes around 5 minutes or so, but the techniques I have learned from that pop up throughout the rest of my day. When I start feeling stressed I can take a moment to focus on my breath and feel the weight of my body sinking into the chair beneath me. I listen to the noises around me and notice the feeling of the air on my skin or the smells around me. It’s an instant relaxation technique and it brings me back to the present moment where I can then take control of my thoughts.

Controlling my thoughts

Reminding myself every day that the only thing I can control is my thoughts. And it’s my thoughts that will create my feelings which will lead to my actions and results. When I start to feel anxious or upset, I force myself to slow down and analyse what thoughts are making me feel that way.

Acknowledging my fears

When I feel afraid or anxious I don’t try to make it go away. But I do try to think about the fear and how rational it is. One useful question when analysing your fears is, “so what?” As in, “so what if that happened? What would you do then?” Quite often this leads me to realise that while it might be bad, it won’t be the end of the world. In some cases it might even present an opportunity.

Moving my body

Especially when working from home, it’s so easy to sit at my desk all day and not move. Getting up and moving every day helps to keep me active, pain-free, and most importantly, in a good mental state. Just going for a quick walk to get some fresh air and get the blood pumping through my body has been enough to completely change my mindset. I was in huge pain with my back one day and wondered what would happen now that I can’t go to my chiropractor. I did a yoga session from YouTube and voila – my back was better!

Being grateful

We hear about gratitude all the time and how much difference it can make. But I’m always blown away by how much difference it makes! And now more than ever I am finding so much to be grateful for. Thinking about things you’re grateful for can lift your mood, but writing them down or talking about them with someone else really amplifies the feeling.

Staying connected

Look, to be honest with you, I actually don’t mind a little bit of social isolation. My introverted self was secretly dancing like Elaine from Seinfeld when we were first told to isolate.


The hardest thing for me though, is being “cut off” from family. But when I feel sad about that, I remind myself that we are not “cut off” at all. We are keeping them safe, and in the meantime we have so many options for staying connected. Messages, phone calls, video calls, sending letters etc… it just takes a conscious effort to pick up the phone and stay in touch.

Not allowing boredom

Many years ago I heard the phrase “only boring people get bored”. And since then, I have not allowed boredom to ever be a part of my life. In fact, I can’t even imagine being bored! On the rare occasion that I find myself at a loose end, I ask whether there is actually nothing to do (ha, as if!) or if it’s just that I don’t feel like doing anything. If I don’t feel like doing anything, it’s probably because I feel like having a rest. And that leads me to intentionally having a rest, or finding something that I do feel like doing (or needs to be done). 

Please reach out

If you are struggling with isolation, fear, grief, or boredom, please feel free to get in touch. If you just need someone to chat with, I am here. I am also offering free coaching* sessions with no strings attached. Why would I do this? Because it’s one tiny way that I can contribute to the world at this mad time. I want to help you get control of your thoughts and set a clear path forward.

If you’re interested in this, contact me and state in your message “I want free coaching!” Tell me a bit about what you’re looking for support with, and I’ll be in touch to book you in.

*Two sessions per person, subject to available appointment times, ends 30 June 2020.

You will get through this

For some people, especially those who have lost an income or a loved one, this could be the toughest time they endure in their lifetime. Others will only have to endure isolation and changes to their lifestyle for a while. Especially if you fit into the latter category, it’s important to be grateful and be kind. We will get through this, and the world may look different on the other side, but that may not be such a bad thing.

Stay safe, stay well, and stay home.

Talk soon,

The joy of hotels and the task that awaits me

I frikken LOVE staying in hotels. I don’t know what it is, but the excitement I feel when I’m heading to a hotel is ridiculous. I would gladly go on a holiday and not leave the hotel room. Well, except to let them refresh all the little bits and pieces and make my bed all nice and crisp again. (I even often make the bed before I leave but I still like that they come and do it properly and fix my sloppy attempt).

I’m staying in a hotel while writing this post. I have a conference to attend so the next two days are going to be big. Full of people and learning and networking (argh!). I’m feeling totally unprepared for the conference because all I’ve been able to think about was the hotel room.

A bed all to myself, no toddler waking me during the night, no chores to do, no clutter.

A bed I didn’t have to make myself!

That’s it. That’s what gets me all zazzed about hotel rooms! The clear, quiet space and the freedom to relax without guilt.

Which got me thinking… why can’t I create a space like this in my own home?

One of my #20for20 goals was to declutter my house. Every time I look at that goal on my list I feel overwhelmed. For someone who abandoned most of her possessions six and a half years ago, I sure have accumulated a lot of clutter.

But it doesn’t always feel like clutter. Pieces of this “clutter” feel like memories, or tokens of love, or safety nets. Some of it is worth money but I haven’t had the time or energy to sell it. Some things are simply big and bulky and I don’t know what to do with them. So I try to ignore it all and tell myself it’s all “necessary” clutter.  

But then I so desperately look forward to a weekend away in a hotel where I don’t have to see any of it, and that brings me to my senses.

So when I go home, I’m going to make a note next to that goal on my list. Rather than decluttering my whole house, I will focus on my bedroom. And when that overwhelms me, I will break the bedroom down into the wardrobe, the bedside tables, the drawers, etc. Once the room is decluttered, I will buy some nice pillows and dressings for the bed. I will create my own little hotel room where I can escape from the world and totally relax. I’ll probably have to share the bed with my husband and be woken by the toddler every night, but you know I do really miss them in this quiet hotel room, so that’ll probably be okay.

Do you have a space that feels totally relaxing? Do you love hotels or hate them? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Write every day to free your mind

For the last couple of years I’ve been setting myself a goal to write every day. All my life I’ve dreamed of being a writer, and one thing I know about a lot of professional writers is that they write every single day. They don’t just sit around and  wait for inspiration to strike. They pick up their pen, or sit at their keyboard, and write billions of words of utter rubbish. And somewhere among all the rubbish, they come up with beautiful gems.

Each time I set this goal to “write every day”, I reason with myself that it only has to be a small chunk of writing. It’s not like I have to write an essay or a novel every day. It can just be a brain dump of all the cray-cray stuff that whirls around my head day in and day out.

For example: “I wonder if my pepper feels smug that it gets used more than the salt. Or does it feel overworked and resent the salt? Does the salt feel unloved? Maybe I’ll put some salt on my veggies tonight.”

But despite the very low bar I’ve been setting for my daily writing, I found that I just wasn’t doing it. Until a few weeks ago when one morning I decided to just write. I had nothing interesting to write about, so I decided to go with a stream of consciousness style. This is the type of embarrassing drivel that you hope no one ever comes across in your notebook. It’s completely uncensored, often nonsensical, and entirely boring to go back and read through.

In the process of this first day of my “every day” writing, I was crapping on about how I just haven’t been able to achieve this goal in the past and I didn’t know why. And then I asked myself, “what if you did know why… what would the answer be?” And I came up with a gem.

The gem wasn’t in the beauty of what I had written, but the process of writing it. I was able to dig up the answer to my problem. The reason I haven’t been successful in this goal is because I didn’t feel like it was a valuable use of my time if I wasn’t writing something that could be published. It felt self-indulgent and pointless to just be writing a mundane journal entry. I didn’t see the value in just writing for the sake of writing if I didn’t have something specific and interesting to say.

But in that very entry I had proven to myself that there could be value in just writing for the sake of writing! I had answered a problem that I’ve had for years.

Image by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay

Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way recommends writing “morning pages”. Morning pages are just three pages of hand-written stream-of-consciousness (AKA drivel) every single morning. It clears all the rubbish out of your head and makes way for creative and clear thinking. Cameron explains that morning pages help us get “to the other side of our fear, of our negativity, of our moods.”

So for the past few weeks I’ve been writing morning pages every day and I think I’m now on track with achieving this goal from my 20for2020 list. I allow a bit of extra time in the mornings so that I can write these pages in my car before I head into work. I’m sure I look like a total creep sitting in my car in the dark underground car park with my notebook, but hey, it works for me!

Most days the three pages are utter crap and I would be mortified if anyone ever read them. But there have been a few entries already that have produced gems – solutions to problems, brilliant ideas, and seeds of thought that may grow into something amazing in the future.

Whether writing is your jam or not, I encourage you to give this a go – even if it’s just for one week. See what kind of magic comes out of your mind when you give it access to ink and paper. Maybe you’ll solve some problems that have been bothering you, or maybe you’ll set free an amazing idea that has been brewing in your unconscious mind. If nothing else, you might just unload some of the rubbish that’s been rattling around in there so that you can think more clearly. It gets easier (and kind of addictive) once it becomes part of your daily routine.

Let me know if you try this and if you uncover any gems.

My 2020 Theme Word: Responsibility

“You have to start taking responsibility,” my exasperated dad would cry to us kids when we were younger. We would roll our eyes and mutter “whatever” as we tried to skulk away from his complaints. Whether it was leaving our stuff lying around, avoiding our chores, or being general shit heads, “taking responsibility” seemed to be what we were lacking.

Taking responsibility has been a recurring theme in things I’ve been listening to (Brooke Castillo, The Life Coach School) and reading (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson).

But it’s not just about picking your stuff up and doing your chores. It’s about knowing that you are responsible for how you think, feel and act. Sure, things happen in life that are way beyond our control, but what we CAN control is how we think about those things and respond to them.

It was taking me a while to get my head around this concept. When someone suffers any kind of abuse it’s important for them to understand that it’s not their fault. And now we’re going around saying they have to take responsibility?! Mark Manson has explained this so clearly: Fault and responsibility are two different things.

Someone else may be at fault for something they have done to you, but it is your responsibility to respond appropriately to that action and move forward. Some will remain traumatised and take on the identity of a victim. Taking responsibility means accepting that even though you didn’t ask for this event to happen, it did happen, and now it’s up to you to get through it.

My theme word for the year

My personal theme for the year 2020 is “Responsibility”. I’m working on taking more responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions.

No more blaming other people for how I feel. Every time I catch myself resenting someone or feeling as though they have caused me hurt or inconvenience, I remind myself to take responsibility. It doesn’t matter what they have said to me – I’m the one who has taken that on and made it mean something hurtful. I’m the one who can either let it drag me down or let it go and continue living my good life. I’m the one who needs to take responsibility for my feelings.

In The Courage to be Happy by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi, they say we need to stop talking about “that bad person” or “poor me”, and instead talk about “what should I do from now on”. I love that! It’s so much more hopeful and uplifting than rehashing the crappy stuff.

Taking responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions, is actually super empowering. It helps me feel more in control of my life and less like a victim. But it takes work! It’s like constantly having my dad in my ear: “You have to start taking responsibility!”

A late addition to this post:

As I was finalising the draft of this post, my dog heard a noise outside our house and barked as he leapt across my lap. It scared the bejeezus out of me and I half-dropped my laptop, pressing a number of random keys as I tried to grab it. So while I’ve just told you how I’m going to stop blaming others and start taking responsibility, I do blame my dog for any random typos in this post.

My 20for2020 goals

The moment you’ve all been waiting for (haha)… I’m finally publishing my #20for2020 goals. In 2019 I tried Gretchen Rubin’s idea of setting small(ish) goals for the year rather than a couple of big resolutions. I didn’t tick everything off my list, but I did alright. The key was tracking my progress. Once I stopped tracking, I started forgetting about all the things I was working towards.

So this year, I’m setting 20 goals. Some relate to health and wellbeing, some relate to my physical environment, others relate to career goals, relationships, and community. We’re a month into the year and I’ve been working on some of these already.

Here’s my list of #20for2020:

  1. Run 5km
  2. Donate blood
  3. Read 28 books
  4. Introduce at least one new Rotarian
  5. Run my first Fly Life workshop
  6. Landscape backyard
  7. Have a weekend away for writing
  8. Declutter my house
  9. Have a skin check
  10. Physical activity every day
  11. Weekly gratitude practice
  12. Write every day
  13. Improve my greetings (show warmth and be less awkward)
  14. FebFast – no alcohol for the month of February
  15. Catch up with friends once a month
  16. Date night once a month
  17. Blog at least 24 posts
  18. Make an extra $1000.00
  19. Reduce waste
  20. Complete 3x 30-day meditation streaks

I’m planning to blog about some of these goals in future weeks, so if there are any you are particularly curious about, let me know in the comments! I’ll be explaining why the goal is important to me, how I’m working toward it, and how I’m succeeding or struggling with it.

I’m super excited about my goals. Although 2020 has started off pretty rough, knowing that I’m already making progress toward these things is a bit of a boost.

Have you set any goals or resolutions for the year? I’d love to hear about them!

Good things are happening too

The last month has been challenging for so many people, to say the least. In Canberra where I live, we’ve been surrounded by devastating bushfires for the last couple months, we’ve had heavy smoke haze trapping everyone indoors for weeks at a time due to the hazardous air quality, then we had a storm that produced giant hail stones bigger than golf balls, followed by dust storms. Mother Nature is seriously pissed off about something!

In my personal life things have also been rough – I lost my darling Grandad who I adored, and at the same time my toddler had a bad ear infection that made him a bit annoying and very sleepless… which meant I was also a bit annoying and very sleepless. 

A combination of crazy weather, grief, and fatigue had lead me to feel lower than low. But I wasn’t the only one. People all around me have been commenting on how terrible 2020 is so far. The mood everywhere is dark and depressed. Most people in my city have been badly impacted by the weather somehow, either by losing their properties down the coast, being cut off from their families, or having their car and/or house destroyed by the hail storm. 

So recently when my husband and I were having a conversation about how incredibly shit things were going so far this year, I had to put a stop to it. I was feeling such a sense of doom and despair, and by continuing to list all the bad things, I was only emphasising the negatives. So I suggested we try listing all the GOOD things, and it really did help to turn the mood around.

We started by looking for the blessings amidst the terrible events:

  • we weren’t directly impacted by the bushfires;
  • our little guy coped super well with being trapped inside because of the smoke;
  • the hailstorm that damaged thousands of cars and property missed our suburb;
  • my Grandad’s death was fast enough that he didn’t suffer, and slow enough for us to gather and say goodbye;
  • and our kid is pretty amazing even when he is in pain and overtired.

We then moved further out from the shitty events and looked at other things that had been happening in our lives:

  • My husband gained a new client;
  • my work was going well and offering me great support and flexibility;
  • our little one is making incredible progress with his development and is (usually) so well behaved and funny; etc.

We finished the conversation feeling much lighter, happier, and more grateful. The conversation led on to discuss these great things in more detail so that we no longer realised we were making a list of good things – we were just talking about something that made us happy.

It’s such a weird time in Australia with all these natural disasters and bizarre weather events. Everyone is unsettled and disturbed by it. It’s serious stuff, and the impact on people is undoubtedly huge. But we need to remember that good stuff is happening too. That’s not at all to say we should dismiss people’s feelings or their need to talk about their struggles. But we need to help each other stay afloat and not be dragged too far under by the sadness and fear.

Stop saying “I don’t know”

How often do you respond to questions with “I don’t know”? For me, it’s a lot. “I don’t know” what I want for dinner. “I don’t know” what I should do about my career dreams. Or “I don’t know” what to do about some difficult relationships.

Maybe you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Or you don’t know how to leave that shit head boyfriend who makes you feel bad all the time. Maybe you don’t know why you can’t lose weight or can’t get the job you want.

I challenge you to pretend you do know. Then what would the answer be?

Maybe “I don’t know” is just the lazy answer. If you really had to come up with an answer to your problem, what would it be? Throw some ideas out there and see if any of them grab you.

I think sometimes we pretend we don’t know as protection. We don’t want to admit what we really do know, because then we might have to commit to something. Or we might fail somehow. But staying stuck in the “I don’t know” is its own kind of commitment. You’re committing to staying stuck, dissatisfied, and powerless.

So next time you catch yourself saying “I don’t know”, stop and think about what the answer would be if you did know.

If you want to talk through some of your “I don’t knows” with me, get in touch for a free initial coaching session. There is absolutely no obligation to continue with any paid coaching.

People will try to bring you down

So you’ve developed an interest in self-improvement. You’re committed to developing your skills, your emotional intelligence, and achieving your goals. GOOD FOR YOU. 

But before you go too far, can I give you a tip? 

The first thing you need to develop is a thick skin and some resilience. 

Because as positive as your personal development is, people will try to bring you down. You will be accused of being up yourself, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, and having a “superior attitude”. 

People are often threatened when they see people they know and love changing. Maybe they feel judged, or just annoyed that things are different. Maybe you don’t like to do the things you used to do with that person anymore. Or they just can’t relate to you anymore. Whatever it is, even when you don’t intend to treat people differently, they can sense that things are different and that’s uncomfortable for them. 

That doesn’t meant that what you are doing is wrong. It doesn’t mean you have to go back to that train wreck of a person you used to be – even if that was the person they liked better. It might just mean that you need to find new people who do like who you have become. 

I can tell you that this will also be an uncomfortable change for you. It will hurt so badly to hear these things from people you were previously close with. Try to remember that they aren’t necessarily trying to hurt you. They just don’t understand you anymore. 

You can either try to help them understand where you’re coming from, or you can move on. I like to give people a chance to understand, but if they continue to insult me or bring me down, I know that it’s sadly time to move on. Because self-improvement isn’t about changing other people. It’s not your job to make them understand, or to change how they think. It’s your job to keep trying to be a better person than you were yesterday. Send them some love and keep living your life your way. 

**Please make sure you are not in fact being a jerk to people. 

Kindness in the midst of disaster

If there’s one thing you can be sure of during any crisis in Australia, it’s the amazing display of human kindness that comes out.

Right now, we are experiencing bushfires like nothing that’s ever been seen before. The fires are wiping out massive areas of land, property, animals, and human life. People are losing everything they’ve worked for and everything they’ve known. Areas that aren’t currently directly impacted by fire are instead impacted by heavy smoke, road closures, and the constant threat that fires could start nearby at any moment. Anyone with TV or internet is exposed to 24 hour coverage of devastating images and stories from the fire grounds.

I have shed many tears over the past days as I empathise with those who have suffered this trauma. But you know what really gets the ugly sobs going for me? It’s the incredible compassion and kindness that is being shown all over the country.

People are opening their homes and businesses to those who have been evacuated. Donations of money and goods have been overwhelming. Individuals and organisations are doing what they can to ease the suffering of the animals that have been affected. Truckies are travelling long distances to deliver donated hay bales to affected farmers. Journalists are offering comfort and compassion during emotional interviews.

The outpouring of compassion is beautiful and touching. But it’s not endless. For in a few weeks when (hopefully) this disaster will have settled down, people will get back to their own lives while others are left to rebuild what is left of theirs. The images and stories will decrease over time and we will begin to forget the high emotions we all felt in the early days of January 2020. We’ll go back to road raging each other and complaining about mundane things.

Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

But wouldn’t it be nice if we could all continue to share some of this kindness and compassion throughout the year. We have seen that we all have the capacity for extending our love and generosity beyond our own families. Perhaps now is the time to think about what goodness you can contribute to the community as the year goes on. Join a community group like Rotary? Regular donations to charity? Volunteering? Maybe you just want to put a reminder on your calendar each month to check in with a lonely neighbour and take them a meal. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, but lets take this feeling of goodwill and carry it on beyond the current disaster. People who have been directly affected by the fires are going to need support for much longer than the news cameras are on them.

There are big changes that are needed at the Government level in terms of climate change. But instead of only focusing on that, I hope we can all focus on what we can do as individuals to bring more kindness into a world that is suffering. What are you achieving by spewing blame and hate about one Prime Minister from behind your keyboard? Try spreading something positive instead. Do some good in the world, and commit to carrying that beyond this moment of crisis.