A mes­sage from Deb­bie

Be grate­ful for all the things that we usu­ally take for granted

Central and North Burnett Times - - MIND - WITH Rowena Hardy Rowena Hardy is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned: mind­saligned.com.au

MY AR­TI­CLE a cou­ple of weeks ago was all about un­cer­tainty and the fol­low­ing week pro­vided a lot of that as Cy­clone Deb­bie made her presence known and un­leashed her for­mi­da­ble power.

How did you cope? I hope that you, your fam­ily and friends got through safely and are find­ing the sup­port you need to re­build and gather strength to move ahead.

With Nick in Perth, I was home alone and for­tu­nately we had been pretty thor­ough in our prepa­ra­tions. And then, like ev­ery­one else, I just had to sit and wait – and she made us wait.

It seemed painfully slow to un­fold and I could feel the com­mu­nity anx­i­ety build­ing as we reg­u­larly checked where the eye might cross the coast, when and with what in­ten­sity as she edged her way to­wards us. As all of this was hap­pen­ing, I was ob­serv­ing my­self and my own re­sponse.

Al­though I felt mostly calm, I also recog­nised that I was some­what edgy, on high alert and couldn’t re­ally fo­cus on any­thing for long. Like many, I guess, I just wanted it to get a move on and then move off, a lit­tle im­pa­tient per­haps.

Over­all though I was re­minded that, where weather is con­cerned and cy­clones in par­tic­u­lar, we have ab­so­lutely no con­trol. We just have to do our best to plan ahead and then deal with what­ever un­folds, not know­ing the out­come in ad­vance. But that’s true of most things in life isn’t it? Con­sider for a mo­ment, what do we ac­tu­ally have con­trol over?

In re­al­ity, the only thing we have con­trol over is our selves; our own be­havioural re­sponse or re­ac­tion, our thoughts, ac­tions, words. Cer­tainly we do not have any con­trol over other peo­ple or their be­hav­iour, and in Deb­bie’s af­ter­math it has been in­ter­est­ing to watch that un­fold too.

Ma­jor events can bring out the best and the worst be­hav­iour in peo­ple, of­ten driven by ris­ing emo­tional load, of­ten fear. So there were re­ports of ve­hi­cles, bar­be­cues and gen­er­a­tors be­ing stolen be­fore the cy­clone and some shops looted dur­ing it. There were also com­plaints of how long it was tak­ing to get ser­vices, par­tic­u­larly elec­tric­ity, re­stored to “nor­mal”.

Then there were also re­ports of peo­ple go­ing above and be­yond to help oth­ers in what­ever way they could – clear­ing de­bris, cook­ing, check­ing on neigh­bours, of­fer­ing shel­ter, do­nat­ing their time and-or emer­gency goods to var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions and col­lec­tion points.

So, while it is easy to fall into judg­ment of oth­ers at times like this and look on from our unique per­spec­tive and ex­pe­ri­ence, I also feel it’s im­por­tant to recog­nise our own re­sponse and re­ac­tion to what’s go­ing and let go of our need to con­trol any­thing ex­ter­nal to us, be­cause we can’t.

Over­all the mes­sage for me was to be grate­ful for ev­ery­thing, large or small, that we gen­er­ally take for granted when all is go­ing well. What was your mes­sage from Deb­bie?

We just have to do our best to plan ahead and then deal with what­ever un­folds, not know­ing the out­come in ad­vance.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

◗ We can plan for events but the only thing we have con­trol over is our­selves.

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