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Aussie Bushfires: Why the Little Things Matter

January 16, 2020

Helpless anger

If you are upset about the Australian fires and climate change and, well, everything that’s wrong in the world – it’s time to remember how much you matter.

We feel helpless. Frustrated. Angry. Rightfully angry. There’s a latent rage rippling under all that’s happening because we sense that things are incredibly out of balance. Even if we’re not conscious of it – the disconnection between humans and the planet makes us feel a deep uncertainty. It’s like a shadow, a murkiness that always seems to be hanging there. It makes us fear. And sadly, fear is the fertile breeding ground for even more disconnection.

Amidst this deeper discomfort and the very real and present upset we are feeling in the flesh, we often want to turn away. I am often afraid to feel the deep sadness of what’s happening in the world. I’m afraid I’ll burst, and there will be nothing left of me. I’m afraid my heart won’t take it. But it’s at these times when we have to lean in even more – when it’s exactly the opposite of what we want to do!

So, allow your anger and sadness. Create space for it. Write about it, talk to your friends about it. Acknowledge what you’re feeling.

And then, slowly, find your way back to love. Because love is the opposite of fear.

Love is the fertile breeding ground of everything we need to do to create a new future.

 

It’s all important

The beautiful writer Charles Eisenstein talks about the importance of ALL the wonderful things that are being done to help ourselves, people and the planet. Often (I’ve totally done this myself) it feels as if the work needed to address climate change is so urgent that we need to immediately stop everything else and dedicate every minute of the day to it. Just let go of anything that’s not related to saving the planet – it’s all a waste of time if there’s nowhere to live, right? 

But as Eisenstein asks – what’s the point of saving the planet if we have no humanity left?

Creating a new beautiful future requires us to save each other too. That we protect and nourish our primal notions of community, of connection and happiness. That we build healthy relationships, that we reconnect with neighbourhoods, and we remember how to support each other. This means the work you’re doing to support children living with disabilities, or continuing with the local arts group you lead or attend, or growing your own vegetables, taking care of your elderly parents, the handcrafted gifts you make … it matters.

It all matters.

 

Making a difference: the simple things

Everything is connected. As individuals we are deeply linked to each other, and as humans we are deeply linked with the Earth. If we do think of our lives, the planet as a living breathing whole – we can more easily remember that nothing is separate. 

Yes there are people and animals in parts of Australia right now who are in a desperate state, experiencing trauma and heartbreak.

But how about the people you pass on your commute to work? Are there people right here who are feeling disconnected, isolated or sad right now?

Are there birds affected by plastic waste at the beach or river down the road from you?

This is all to say that little positive acts are so important in the big scheme of things. If we are all connected (and we believe deeply that we are) then it makes a difference to do something good for the planet and our future as humans right where you are.

Here are a few things you could do to make a positive difference while our country is in turmoil:

+ Say hello to your neighbours when you pass them in the front garden

+ Ride your bike instead of driving your car

+ Call your friend, ask them how they are, and listen

+ Let that lady on the table next to you know how awesome her earrings are

+ Buy your veggies from a local store instead of Woollies

+ Say no thank you instead of walking directly past the man handing out DiDi flyers

+ Take care of yourself

I want to pay a bit of special attention to this last one because while it seems like the opposite thing to do when so many people need help, there’s no more important time than right now to take care of your inner world. 

To show kindness, to give, we draw from a wellspring inside of us. It’s where love lives. It’s where the thing that makes us all connected lives. But nourishing this wellspring – so that it doesn’t run dry – requires some attention and intention.

I believe that when we sit quietly and connect with our deeper inner self– we’re connecting with the collective consciousness. We’re all on the journey together, and our experience is everyone’s experience. In the quiet moments with ourselves, we have a chance to remember our connection to one another, our connection to the planet.

We remember that we’re part of the whole.

This makes us even more motivated to be part of healing and changing for a better future. 

So, what can you do to take care of yourself amidst difficulty in the world right now? 

Maybe it’s 10 minutes of solitude, sitting in the park on your way home or taking a long bath listening to Norah Jones. Maybe it’s asking for help. Maybe it’s having real chats with your girlfriends over a wine. Maybe, it’s doing a little something that makes you feel happy. 

You don’t have to do it all – and it doesn’t have to be radical. Choose one thing, and let it be your gift to yourself, and our collective future. 

It’s kind of a crazy win-win.

 

Making a difference: the bigger things

If you’re like us – you’re passionate about helping everyone and changing everything. On any given day you want to throw in the towel on your current gig and put all your energy into supporting refugees, or women escaping DV, conserving wildlife, changing the economy or ending fast fashion. 

Gah!! 

When you have time and the desire to sit deeply with your life, you can contemplate where you might BEST make a contribution. Look at the world and ask yourself: Where is help required? What lights me up? What allows me to be in my Zone of Genius?* 

But there are two big truths to remember here:

1) you don’t have to do it all, because you’re not on your own, and

2) everything you do has an impact.

 

Whether or not your occupation is a place you are working on a better future, what you do matters. You can dedicate your efforts to whatever is in front of you and do your best to live with an open heart and conscious mind. It’s enough. It’s more than enough, and it’s exactly what the world needs! For each of us to live from a place of love.

So, get involved with the bushfire relief efforts and do something radical if the time is right for you – but don’t forget the power you have in all the small moments of your life.

Spread kindness. Offer small comforts. Take care of yourself. Love hard. It’s just as important.

 

So much love to you it hurts a little bit,

Nikkola & the Conscious Living Project girls xxx

 

*The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks – a must read for recognising core limiting beliefs, identifying self-sabotage while it’s happening and ‘zoning in’ on your zone of genius.