Perfectionism is an Agonising Myth With Inferiority

When does our self-confidence start to become debilitated in life and we begin to doubt ourselves?  What makes us question ourselves and start to feel insignificant in other peoples eyes?  It is all a perception… yet so difficult for us all to see.

When we are little girls… we are full of confidence… nothing can phase us.  We are full of life, energetic and our strength is abundant in play.  At some point, at this very young age… we fall into a tangled web, as our peers’ question our relevance and we start to doubt our significance.  Differences are pointed out loudly and doubt sets in, upon our somewhat immature minds.

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This negatively conceived concept of perfection develops and sadly becomes the ideal for young girls to strive for… to fit in with a childhood society as a pecking order develops.  The unfortunate part is that it can take many years for these pre-conceived notions to be challenged and overcome.

As young girls develop through their teenage years and grow into young women, these perceptions are carried into adulthood and can burden our personal relationships.  Inferiority complexes have become the norm and media continues to depict the symbol of perfectionism as beauty without flaws.  Visual attractiveness becomes the image for one to endeavor to assume.  What are we teaching our young women and our young men of today?

As women are exploited on television and in magazines, our society is sending this message that perfection with our looks is the ideal.  We place unnecessary pressure on these young developing minds, that our appearance is more significant than personality, behaviour and attitude.  Those less fortunate in the beauty department are left feeling inadequate and unworthy.  Self-confidence has been lost and takes years for one to resurrect.

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Women can spend a great part of their lives, feeling inadequate and defective in some way.  They then feel accustomed with these faulty impressions and perceive that their partners will see the vulnerability beneath.  Men become confused as to what role women play in our society… beauty or brains… one to look at and one to hold.  They may fail to realise that women are far more complex than either.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… and this rings true.  But beauty is far more than being skin deep.  Beauty is a package of love, emotions, attitude, behaviour and values.  Attraction is complicated and not something to be evaluated.

Beauty is not in our appearance… real beauty is in our overall take on life and our confidence to be who we are.  It is our passion, our natural ability, our differences… those special little quirks that make you distinct and stand out in this world.  Everybody has something that makes them special, allowing them to shine with their true beauty when it is discovered.

We are who we are and why would you want to be anybody else.  Be true to yourself and own who you are.  Show the world what makes you tick… show the world that perfection is a myth and you are worthy just the way you are.

Kindness, compassion and an understanding for others are the real qualities that make us beautiful.  There is no need to strive for perfection.  Our flaws are what make us unique.  If you always look for perfection, you will never be content.  Have faith that you are perfect just the way you are.

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We can always strive for personal growth to benefit ourselves in our health, our mind and our wellbeing… but not competition or comparison.  Love the person you are.  Flabby arms, speech impairments, baldness, lack of coordination, shyness, wobbly tummy, big nose, cross-eyes or a physical limp… does not define who you are.  They are just imperfections that should be accepted and thought about no more.

Our flaws and imperfections are the beautiful attributes that make us unique.  There is an untold story beneath each and every attribute.  Claim those stories… claim your individuality.  Our behaviour is not perfect either, we are all human.  Our mistakes are our lessons in life.  Learn the lesson and move on.

Too much of our life is wasted upon how we think we should hide, disguise or shield those unimportant visual discrepancies and our misaligned conduct.  We are what we are and we must feel comfortable in our own skin.  We need to boost each other up and encourage everyone to reveal the real beauty within, rather than battle a comparison war and feelings of inadequacy.

Love yourself first and foremost… then you will attract others into your life naturally and not by any false means of advertising.  You will be happier and more content if you allow yourself to be confident and believe in yourself.  Those little things that make up who you are… is what really makes you beautiful.  Believe you are beautiful and the world will see that you truly are.

Take care, Karen

“The biggest challenge of life is to be yourself

in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.”

~ Author Unknown

 

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Rural Reflections #16

Not all stress is bad for us…but an ability to understand our stress triggers, allows us to feel more capable of better managing the stressful situations within our lives.  Time out is my answer to tackling the build-up of the everyday stress overload.

This month is National Stress Awareness Month which is when the health industry professionals aim to increase public awareness about the causes and solutions for our modern stress epidemic.

Usually stress motivates me… to get the job done and then I feel grateful to have achieved another task.  Some stress is necessary to inspire us to make appropriate choices and give us control of our life.  This positive amount of stress, is what propels us to adopt the right attitude in our responses to difficult situations.

But at some point, the burden does become a little heavy and the need to breathe becomes muffled.  The key is to know your triggers and understand your limits.  Being aware of our stress levels enables us to better manage our lives.

We need to understand where these stress triggers are embedded.  Is it work, family, personal relationships or physical health issues?  Identify and evaluate your own stress levels and make the appropriate changes to improve your own wellbeing.

Writing it down is my way… to successfully remove the clutter from my mind and restore order.  If something is worrying you or you have a need to find the positivity in life again… write it down.  It magically gives your mind permission to embrace the restoration process.  It allows you to really breathe deeper and rejuvenate yourself from the inside.

My Journal” is a diary that I have created for this process… to allow you all to find that mental space to inspire your own inner strength.  I have included my personal self-motivating quotes within My Journal to encourage you on this journey.  I provide you with a personal space for your own inner thoughts and to share happiness.

De-stressing tools gives us back control within our lives and an understanding of empowering your own wellbeing.  Everybody is different, so it is important to understand our stress triggers and manage them effectively.

It doesn’t matter what you do to relieve the excess stress and tension… but just do something.  Whether it be writing down your thoughts to relieve your mind from the hardships, taking a walk to appreciate life, exercise activity, deep breathing or meditation, listening to music, or spending time out with loved ones.  Anything to restore your stress management devices.

Today I am sharing this photo with you, from my holiday to Tasmania back in October 2014.  A holiday that my husband and I enjoyed immensely, as we appreciated the rural beauty of our most southern state.  I had taken this photo at Woolmers Estate, where colonial life had been preserved in the buildings and the rural atmosphere maintained.

Rural Reflection #16…

16 Preservation of History at Woolmers Tasmania

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I love this photo as it reflects a quiet peaceful surrounding… under the beautiful trees upon a lush green surface.  I remember feeling at ease, calmness and adoration for the beauty encompassing me.  My Tasmanian holiday was almost 5 years ago… a time that I felt relaxed, stress-free and passionate about the local farming products of Tasmania.

As I reflect upon this truly beautiful place… I look forward to that feeling again one day.  That tranquil feeling as we enjoyed some time out, learned of the Tasmanian history and appreciated a beautiful area within our own nation.

In the meantime, I shall be aware of my stress levels, give myself permission for a little time out and write my thoughts, worries and aspirations in My Journal.

Enjoy some time out today… you deserve it!

Take care, Karen.

“It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos.”

~ Donna Karan

How to Reclaim Your Power and Proudly Own Your Individuality?

How many of us get lost in this big wide world trying to fit in with family, our workplace or our environment?  Who has tried to be the person that they think they should be, but in the process the real YOU becomes hidden?  We all have… at some point in our lives… at all ages… felt the uneasy feeling of fitting in and conforming to pressures in society.

The power is in finding yourself again, accepting your unique qualities and allowing yourself to own who you are.  From our childhood years, teenage pressures and growing into the adult for all to see… our individuality is somewhat contained until we place value on our own attributes in life.

It is my niece’s birthday today, she is 15.  These teenage years place so much pressure on our young ones.  I am so proud that she is the mirrored example of accepting her differences and allows her true beauty to shine.  I wish we could all have that strength and capability at such a young age… to proudly be the person we truly are.

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The pressure of fitting in as a teenager… to be cool, popular and socially acceptable.  The pressure that these young people place upon themselves, is disheartening as a parent or caring adult.  For teenagers to overcome that pressure and allow their unique or even peculiar personalities to be released… that is where the real strength lies.

My beautiful niece amazes me with her diverse interests in life and her mature attitude towards relationships and interaction.  She has a passion for animals, a caring heart, a love for horses and showing cattle.  Yet she also likes organisation within her life and she has a gift for cooking.  Her attitude to give it a go and commit to doing her best… I find exemplary.

The maturity beyond her years is also inspiring and I hope that the warped sexual maturity of teenagers today is not a negative influence.  Our teenagers are forced to grow up too quickly and the mental capacity to embrace this advancement puts far too much pressure on our young ones today.  I just hope she can keep true to that individuality in years to come and inspire others to be true to themselves as well.

Children and adults alike, we all sometimes tend to re-shape our personality to assimilate the norm and be accepted in a judgemental world.  Strangely enough, with being divergent… we don’t really need to conform to societal pressures, as our unique qualities are what makes us all special and adds value to the people around us.

Sadly, it can take years or decades for us all to realise our real potential, value and purpose in this world.  We need to teach our children and grand-children early, to accept their differences and realise their own significance which allows their passion in life to develop naturally.

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Never sacrifice who you truly are… because somebody else may have a problem with it.  Be true to yourself… and be comfortable in your own skin and in your own mind.  Understand who you are and accept those beautiful unique attributes that you bring to life.  Authenticity inspires respect… so be courageous and own who you really are.

We are all a work in progress, regardless of our age.  As each year passes, our passion or interests may vary, our purpose may alter… but be true to the person you are and shine light on our world.  By being yourself and sharing love, kindness and compassion… you reclaim your power to make a positive difference in your life and the life of those around you.  Be PROUD of who you are!

Take care, Karen.

“Your self-worth is determined by you.

You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”

~ Beyonce’

Euphoria Restores My Heart & Mind

Do you need to relax and unwind from the daily stresses in life?  Of course, you do.  Today was the day… for me… to relax and be pampered with pure indulgence.  I had forgotten how nice it was to feel pure relaxation and calmly rejuvenated.  Euphoria Hair Beauty Spa in Tamworth was the answer to my much-needed time out and pure serenity has remained.

My dear mother gave me a beauty voucher for Christmas several months ago… The Gift That Keeps On Giving.  The voucher contained 4 beauty treatments with upgrade options and is used over 4 separate visits.  The pampering package included beauty treatments such as massage, facial and manicure/pedicure.

Today I opted for the full body exfoliation, body wrap and massage.  OMG… I feel like a queen… treated like royalty by the lovely beauty technicians at Euphoria Hair Beauty Spa.  I was a little nervous about being somewhat exposed and I am naturally self-conscious.  But Amanda, with her friendly and calming disposition, was discreet as she used the highest quality products to buff my skin and rejuvenate my weary body.

In fact, my modesty was preserved by all means and I felt very relaxed beneath the warm towels in the dim lighting.  Each area was discreetly exposed, scrubbed and revitalised with moisture.  A warm shower to generously cleanse my body and a soft-velvety gown with slippers to wear… an experience that was fit for a queen.  Then a deep and relaxing hot stone massage to calm the body to unwind and release those toxins from life.

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Euphoria is experiencing a state of intense happiness and self-confidence.  A feeling of extreme elation or wellbeing.  The feeling of being on “cloud 9”.  That is exactly what journey Euphoria Hair Beauty Spa provided to me today.

A little tired yet refreshed and rejuvenated… ready for life again.  My skin feels luxuriously silky smooth and beautifully moisturised.  Thank you to my mother for this kind and thoughtful gift voucher… a gift that truly did keep on giving.

Thank you to the management and staff at Euphoria Hair Beauty Spa for their friendly natures and professional beauty expertise.  Special thanks to Amanda for ensuring my comfortability and relaxation element was met.  You are an angel… bringing life back into my weary body and energy back into my mind.  This experience has completely revitalised me and I can proudly recommend your services to the good people of the Tamworth region.

Book in some time to pamper yourself… you deserve it.

Take care, Karen.

“We have to REJUVENATE ourselves taking a break from day to day activity

which is like REBOOTING a computer for an outstanding PERFORMANCE.”

~ Kumar Aakash

Rural Reflections #15

Reminiscing about what precipitation will do to our farmland and our mental health.  A beautiful drop of rain bringing us into the weekend was graciously received.  The best rain we have had for over 2 years… and what joy this precious moisture has stowed upon us.

From about midnight Friday, a few light sprinkles briefly intrigued us.  But at 3am… the clouds opened above us and lightened our heavy hearts and cleansed our minds.  In the early daylight hours, we lay in bed listening to the beautiful sound of rain on a tin roof and watched the rain through our bedroom window.  The sheer delight as time rolled on by and the workload waited.

Drought feeding cattle could not start in the rain, so we rested our weary bodies and calmed our minds.  After a busy and tiring week, a lazy morning was perfectly timed.  By 9am Saturday morning, excitement overcame us… as 72mm of rain was tipped from the gauge.  72mm of pure gold to the parched farmland surrounding us.

Dams that had been empty for over 2 years, finally had water in them.  Some dams were even full.  This was the most rain we had received in 2 long years.  The heavens had finally delivered the relief we greatly needed.  The hard cracking ground soaked up the moisture quickly.

The drought may not be over, but the hope is alive and well again.  With follow-up rain, we may just get a chance to round that corner and get back on track.  It seems almost magical… that rainfall can simply change your thinking and lighten the load mentally.

This weekend following the rainfall, I blissfully enjoyed listening and watching the altered demeanor of my husband and youngest son in discussions.  The stress had subsided somewhat, the fun had returned, smiles became more apparent and conversations were more relaxed.  That rainfall really did cleanse our souls and prepared us for life once again.

Today I want to share with you, an image of what this hope truly gives us.  It reminds us of normal seasons on the farm and more effective farm production.  This photo was taken in July 2017 on our property, in the middle of Winter in north-west NSW, Australia.

Rural Reflection #15…

15 A Stormy Grey Sky Brews in the North

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I love this photo for the simplicity and colour contrast.  A few young Hereford heifers quietly watch in awe.  The stormy grey clouds are brewing in the north yet the sun is still shining upon us here.  The tender lush grasses provide the nutrients for the livestock and is usually the norm.  The white box tree depicts the natural environment around us.

This recent rain is hope for a fresh start, to put the horrid drought behind us and allow our pastures to sprout again.  It will take time, but the aspiration has returned to us and we await the desired prospects.  This rainfall has lifted our spirits immensely and given us the much-needed inner strength in our lives.

Always find that little flame inside you and remember your passion and what is important in your life.  There is always hope for better times.  That is the thing about life… we have to go through the tough times to really appreciate the good times.

Take care, Karen.

“I don’t think of all the misery

but of the beauty that still remains.”

~ Anne Frank

How Ironclad Organisations Empower You With a Sense of Pride?

What a jam-packed but empowering week!  From business meetings and training forums, personal growth events and social outings, I am feeling mentally exhausted yet strong and uplifted.  Involvement with renowned voluntary organisations and business training has released empowerment upon my own life and allowed my authenticity to flow.

MONDAY:

Excitement with prize-winners at Wanthella Group CWA Cookery and Handicraft Day at Kootingal.  An interesting day where the elite cooking skills are tested in competition by entering delicious baking at Group level, as per the state cooking schedule of the Country Women’s Association of NSW.

Our CWA branch, Tamworth Evening branch, had 22 cooking entries with 14 place-getters on the day and 5 winning entries to go to CWA State Conference in May.  I received a First Prize for my Chocolate Sponge.  Our branch also took home several trophies.

The Handicraft Competition displayed intricate work handmade by some very clever ladies.  My friend entered her gorgeous crotchet dragonfly baby blanket and a 3-piece crochet baby set.  I admire the handicraft skills of these women.

Whilst judging occurred, CWA members had the opportunity to listen to a talk about bees and honey production.  The bee-keeping industry was fascinating, very informative and an interesting discussion was presented.  Honey is the primary product studied by CWA this year.

My involvement with CWA makes me feel enthusiastic and passionate, as their aims resonate with me personally.  I am proud to be part of a well-renowned organisation that makes a difference by improving the lives of women and their families.  Personally, I also like the friendships I have developed, the knowledge I have gained and the forum provided giving women a voice to make positive changes.

Later that night, I attended a Toastmasters meeting, another renowned organisation aimed at developing confidence, leadership and public speaking skills.  I delivered my second heartfelt speech reflecting upon my personal experience with this heartbreaking drought, the emotional challenges and the community support.  I was awarded the “Best Speaker” award on the night, so after sharing my heart-wrenching thoughts, I felt pride that my audience was able to resonate with my words.

After I shared my personal experience, many people thanked me for allowing my vulnerability to show in an effort to connect with people.  What I found… was that there are so many kind people in this world, compassionate and understanding people.  Tamworth Toastmasters is a wonderful club, with a group of individuals that encourage personal development with public speaking skills, in a very supportive environment.

TUESDAY:

My husband and I attended a Southern Beef Technology Services (SBTS) Breedplan Regional Forum in Armidale NSW.  Breedplan is a cattle industry based genetic evaluation of stud stock.  As a seedstock producer, producing Hereford stud bulls, this day was very informative and provided an update and useful information for Breedplan Fundamentals.  Sometimes a reminder on why we measure the traits on our cattle and how it all comes together is very intriguing.  I believe we are never to old to learn and we have the ability to continue learning throughout our entire lives.

On the way back home, later that night, we attended a NSW Farmers’ Association meeting at Tamworth.  An ironclad organisation that brings farmers and agricultural enthusiasts together to discuss the challenges faced and identify issues within the agricultural industry.  I am proud to be a supporter of this renowned organisation making a difference in securing the future of our primary industries in Australia.

At the AGM, I ended up taking on the role of Treasurer, for an organisation I believe whole-heartedly in.  In a voluntary capacity, individuals accept executive roles within prominent organisations, as a sense of pride empowers the connection to their distinguished aims and objectives.

WEDNESDAY:

Back to Armidale for Day 2 of Breedplan Fundamentals, to learn more about the role of genomics and DNA of our stud stock.  Producing bulls is no longer just a business, it is a scientific progression of producing better livestock through DNA advancements.  Over the last few years, I have found breeding cattle very interesting, as we have accepted the new technological opportunities presented to us and put it into action.

Our business is Swanvale Herefords and we focus on breeding cattle with a quiet temperament, good weight for age, carcase and maternal traits.  Our fundamental aim is to produce soft easy-doing cattle with structural soundness and long deep-bodied cattle with plenty of thickness that perform well on grass.  With the adoption of DNA and genomics, we have a greater opportunity to meet the needs of our clients in the livestock industry.

THURSDAY:

Drought feeding livestock eventuated at a more reasonable hour today… in the daylight hours and not quite as rushed.  But then followed by personal dentist appointments and health appointment, necessary to retain our personal health and well-being.

Later that night, I enjoyed a Flavourista social event, hosted by a new friend with deliciously cooked dishes by Sarah.  An organisation that blends flavours and cultures… with tantalising spices, balsamic vinegars, unique oils, flavoursome syrups and dessert sauces.  I already have a few favourites and am enjoying cooking new dishes with the ease of these new items in my pantry.

Friendships and connecting with other women is empowering in itself.  But sharing stories and conversation over the dinner table, brings a powerful element to enjoying the fresh food that our agricultural industry provides us every day.

FRIDAY:

A few hours in the office whilst hubby feeds the hungry livestock, before heading to Willow Tree for a Practical Systems information field day.  An organisation that provides computer programs for livestock manageability, farm mapping and financial management of our businesses.  The objective for the day was utilising Stockbook functionality, a herd recording software program, that can collect data, analyse reports and improve herd productivity.

With a presentation and information provided by Practical Systems, we were able to discuss issues that we would like added to the program and were able to see the program being used at the stockyards with Live Data Entry.  I was able to see the opportunity we could have by making a few changes to better utilise this program at the stockyards when scanning, weighing, drafting and preg-testing livestock.  The possibilities enlightened me and I look forward to better time-management with this incredible technology on the farm.

I am a satisfied user of Practical Systems software for many years and am grateful that technology has provided our business with the programs to better manage our business over the years.  Stockbook is a database of all livestock that we own and have owned, that has all historical records available at the touch of a button.  I use Cashbook for the financial management of our business, budgeting and accountant-based livestock trading accounts.  We also use FarmMap for property mapping, paddock management, crop allocation and proposed on-farm planning.  Technological advancement has provided the agricultural industry with the software to better manage our farming enterprises.

SATURDAY:

After an exhausting and mentally advanced week, I lay in bed this morning listening to the much-needed rain that finally opened upon us in the early hours this morning.  The best rain we have seen on our farm for over 2 years… uplifted our spirits… giving us hope again.

The organisations in our lives that provide us with connection, training, knowledge, friendships or personal development… all have a place in our hearts and minds.  These organisations do give us a sense of belonging and empowerment in many aspects of our lives.

We all need to find those organisations and businesses that meet our aspirations and grant us opportunities to improve our lives and our well-being.

Take care, Karen.

“We cannot do great things on this earth – only small things with great love.”

~ Mother Teresa

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Rural Reflections #14

It may have only been 10mm of rain, but an overall feeling of contentedness… as the rainwater temporarily heals our minds and replenishes our soul.  What is it with that unique fresh smell after rainfall that makes our hearts lighter?  That noise as each drop falls, cleansing our thoughts and easing our worries.  We see an image of freshness and passionately see a vision of hope.  The smell with a crispness in the clean air as the dust is washed away from our hearts.

Diverse landscapes are a common feature across the New England and North West region of NSW in Australia.  This region is located in the north of the state and west of the Great Dividing Range.  This region covers a total area of about 99,145 square kilometres or 12.4% of NSW and is home to 186,200 people.

Agricultural land in the New England and North West region occupies 79,364 square kilometres or 80% of the region.  The agricultural sector in the region includes important commodities, based on the gross value of agricultural production, were cattle ($687 million), cotton ($650 million) and wheat ($482 million).   These commodities contributed to 60% of the total value of agricultural production in the region.

Rocky ridges are very common in this region along with rich basalt soils.  Our property alone has quite a diverse array of landscapes, vegetation and farmland.  From red and chocolate basalt soils, river loams, to a few granite outcrops and steeper vegetated valleys.  The Australian agricultural regions can be very divergent.

Today I share with you a photo taken last week following 10mm of rain.  The only rain we had seen for almost 2 months.  This is a part of my view from the kitchen window every day.  I like this photo as it fills me with a sense of hope that the rain in the eastern hills may come again.  This is a rocky ridge near the boundary of our property.  The large rocks in this bull paddock show how disparate our terrain can be.

Rural Reflection #14…

17 March 2019

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There are 2 Hereford bulls grazing after the light shower of rain that settled the dust.  This photo also overlooks a part of the neighbouring property and shows horses in a distant paddock in the background.  We did not receive any more rain this week, but the feeling and smell of rain were temporarily relished.

This morning I have spent my time baking cakes and a slice for a CWA function.  I do always enjoy my view from the kitchen window even when it is dry.  I always find the beauty within an image and appreciate the smaller things in life.

I imagine myself sitting upon that large rock protruding from the earth… relaxing and appreciating the beautiful views around us.  One day… the drought will break and nutritious green pastures will surround us again.

Until then, I will still focus on the beauty that remains within my life.  I still have a wonderful family to love, a passion for writing to share, a motivation for personal growth and a vision to inspire others every day in their lives.

Take care, Karen.

“Rain has healing powers.

It can wash away your worries

and cleanse your soul.”

~ Author Unknown.

 

Rural Reflections #13

Rain seems to be a figment of our imagination lately.  2018 was a very tough year with only 369mm of rain, whilst our annual average rainfall is 673mm.  Despite receiving only 55% of our usual rainfall, we have managed to keep our remaining core breeders in relatively good condition, by implementing a full drought feeding program.

After receiving 37mm of rain in December 2018, we hoped for a turnaround… but no, just a temporary break to catch our breath.  With no rain at all in February, the grass failed to grow and we started full feeding the livestock once again.

As farmers and primary producers we do focus so intently upon the weather and weather forecast, as a means of farm business management, livestock feeding, land management and cropping.  It is sad but true.  Drought feeding takes its toll on us all physically, mentally and financially.  At what point do we say enough is enough?  I wish I knew the answer.

From a national economic stance, it is important that not all farmers sell all of their livestock, as the end result will be far too detrimental to our agricultural industry.  Livestock that are sold during this drought, will not be sold for breeding purposes.  Livestock numbers across our nation will be drastically reduced, thus affecting the future production of our red meat industry.  We need to have breeding stock still alive when this drought breaks and producers will need to re-stock over time, which will take several years.

Drought feeding is very costly, yet a necessity for remaining core breeders on farming properties.  Most primary producers are borrowing funds to feed their livestock with no idea when this will end.  But tough decisions are made, right or wrong, for each individual farming business and the future of our livestock industry and red meat production.

I have been avoiding the drought feeding routine on our farm lately and feeling a little guilty… leaving it all in the hands of my husband.  But today I did go with him and I took the camera.  We were checking the cows out the back in the pine country.  I was surprised that we have managed to keep up their condition score quite well.  These Hereford cows are pregnant, producing a calf to be born in only a few months.  Since cattle only produce one calf per year, we felt it was important to ensure their condition was maintained as to produce their progeny without fail.

So today I share with you, a photo taken this morning.  The photo depicts a green Kurrajong Tree amongst the pine trees with a small mob of Hereford cattle resting in the shade.  There is no grass for feeding livestock, so they rely on us to provide their feed rations and nutritional requirements.  But as you can see, the cattle are in good condition to ensure their farm productivity.

Rural Reflection #13…

13 Kurrajong in the Pine Country

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I like this photo because the cattle calmly watch us encircle them with satisfaction upon their faces.  The green Kurrajong Tree is prominent and a saviour when drought feeding.  I felt content to finally see something green today… the colour alone lifted my spirits.

The branches of Kurrajong Trees can be lopped for livestock to feed on, in times of drought.  The green foliage can be a real saviour to drought-stricken cattle.  Then during the better seasons, they are great shade trees and are quite attractive in appearance.  Farmers value the importance of Kurrajong Trees on their farms.

So today I am reminded that we need to look beyond the image of drought and find beauty in our breeding animals and our environment.  It is this that will keep us focused and capable of battling each new day.  Look for beauty in your life today!

Take care, Karen.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down,

it’s the way you carry it.

~ Lena Horne

 

 

 

The Heart of CWA in the High Country

After enjoying a High Tea at Guyra yesterday, catching up with some former CWA friends, celebrating with new friends and listening to the powerful inspirational stories of the guest speakers… my soul has been enriched.  The dynamic force that CWA brings to our rural and regional communities is so very compelling.

The largest women’s organisation of Australia, the Country Women’s Association (or CWA for short), never ceases to amaze me through their support network and advocating to improve the lives of women and their families.  The newly formed CWA Guyra Evening Branch has proved to be a friendly, inspirational, youthful-toned and welcoming bunch of ladies.  My good friend and I travelled to Guyra to celebrate NSW Women’s Week in the high country on the Northern Tablelands with these mighty women.

A beautiful old-fashioned High Tea table layout with modern touches, made for a visually appealing morning tea with good friends.  Ceramic teaware just delivers that special something with each tasteful sip and delicious morning tea was in abundance before us.

Laughter, support and fond memories were on the menu at each table.  CWA members from many branches were in attendance from the Northern Tablelands Group and we were welcomed in from outside the zone, representing Tamworth Evening branch, Wanthella Group, along with new friends that were tantalised with what CWA membership can offer them.

We also listened to 2 inspirational guest speakers that delivered life enriching words.  These 2 wonderful women are members of CWA Guyra Evening Branch, and truly are very empowering and uplifting to all of us fortunate listeners.

Firstly, Marni Hietbrink a psychologist from Peak Psychology in Guyra, spoke about mental health in rural areas, healthy emotional wellbeing, happiness and the challenges that stress brings to our lives.  I really liked her analogy about how stress works, as each stressful event forms layers upon us, one on top of another… and how that stress needs to be relieved by doing something essentially in the form of self-care and something that is a passion.  She explained if we don’t look after ourselves that those layers of stress will get to a ‘breaking point’ and tip us over the edge… a place we all need to avoid.

She also explained how, as women, we try to be the best possible person we can in all facets of our lives.  But by trying to be the best at everything, which is really an impossible and unrealistic task… these thoughts and actions cause us to feel an unecessary failure in many aspects of our lives.

Her friendly, bubbly personality… made for an informative and understandable speech that all women could relate to.  Thank you Marni Hietbrink for your knowledge, compassion and meaningful words.  CWA Guyra Evening branch and the Guyra community are very lucky to have such a strong, capable and caring person like you, with such knowledge in the industry.

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The second guest speaker was Kylie Woods, a down-to-earth mother that shared her personal emotional story with us about the trauma with her young son and his eventual diagnosis of ‘Type 1 Diabetes’.  Her comprehensive knowledge of ‘Type 1 Diabetes’, the indiscriminate kind, opened my eyes to an enormous challenge exposed to children and their parents alike.  Her story was emotionally heartfelt which engaged us all with overwhelming compassion for her, her family and all those families that suffer these incredible health and financial challenges for the ongoing management of Type 1 Diabetes.

I really enjoyed her honest open story as she allowed us into her world for these brief moments.  I can already see the need for a CWA Motion being formed for State Conference next year, to support the many people in need with the financial challenges faced every day to manage this incurable disease.

I spoke with Kylie Woods afterwards, a shy, but incredibly strong woman.  I do not think she even realised the extent of the powerful effect her emotionally-charged personal story, had upon the listeners.  She also shared in conversation with me, her 2 business ventures, Glenella White Suffolks (sheep) and Ram’s Head Bats (cricket bats).  She is an avid supporter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Breast Cancer Research.

A truly remarkable woman, a great asset to the CWA Guyra Evening branch and a passion for significant causes worth noting.  Thank you Kylie Woods for sharing your heartfelt family story with us all and giving us a means of understanding Type 1 Diabetes.  Also thank you to your daughter for her assistance with the slideshow.

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My good friend and I really enjoyed our day out at Guyra, the friendly conversation, the delicious morning tea and the inspirational guest speakers.  Personally, my spirits needed a lift, so this day out was perfect as I was surrounded by friendships and optimism.  My soul has been refreshed and I have been reminded of the real value of friendship and support.  Thank you CWA for being the true essence of harmony, delight and support.

Take care, Karen.

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“The best and most beautiful things in the world

cannot be seen or even touched ~

they must be felt with the heart.”

~ Helen Keller

My Ideal World With Genuine Kindness and Heartfelt Compassion

Empathy, kindness and compassion do exist in our world if we look beyond the hustle and bustle in life.  Heartfelt feelings and actions are truly what unites and forms connections within our communities.  I want to create a world where… old-fashioned morals, honesty and genuine understanding for others, will re-connect us all on a broader level.

With more positive connections in our lives, this will lead to a much-desired inner strength and the ability to believe in yourself.  Young people today are filled with self-doubt, confusion and they lack the compassion that is needed to protect their self-confidence and true spirit within.

In my ideal world, imperfection is a charm, making each of us unique, yet perfectly moulded.  Acceptance of self and acceptance of others needs to be prioritised.  Learning to love the person you are and aspire to be… allows the real person within to shine.  Don’t you just wish you could tell your younger self the wisdom that has taken decades for us to learn?

Morals and values are things that cannot be bought, but can be passed on to our future generations.  As parents and mentors in life, we have a wonderful opportunity to teach good manners, respect, honesty, trust and responsibility.  We are not only raising children… we are raising future mothers, fathers, teachers, builders or farmers for our world.  We need to look at the big picture and shape these young people to become future leaders in our communities with a strong sense of self.

Consideration and respect for other peoples differences, opinions and actions… is simply human politeness.  With so many strong opinions beating down the opinions of others in an effort to persuade, is sadly accepted in our society.  But what if we just accepted that we all have our own personal opinions and are all authentic to only ourself.  This would make for a better world, a more peaceful world and contentment would remain.

Empathy is the capacity to understand the feelings of another and the ability to mentally place yourself in their shoes.  This ability allows for a real connection but needs an open mind and an open heart.  The empathy shown towards others, may just be the one thing that helps another person make it through the darkness.

Kindness, caring for others and a willingness to help somebody else is what we call compassion.  Sometimes life just gets so busy or we get so distracted, that we do lose touch and our compassion is pushed aside.  Being thoughtful is a decent human attribute and one that should be seen every single day.

Just a little consideration for another, can make the world of difference for that one person.  Kindness is contagious and we all see this around us.  Like a domino effect, that person can then go about their own day and positively affect another person.  It is all about sharing this kindness and understanding throughout our family, our friends, our workplace, our communities and then hope to reach the wider world.

Showing a sincere concern for another person’s well-being is very highly regarded.  Strangely enough, your own soul will be enriched and you will feel enormously content that your actions have touched the soul of another.  You can create calmness in your own mind, by cultivating kindness and compassion in your life.

In a world when we cannot see the compassion and kindness around us… be that person that the world truly needs.  Be the person who makes everybody feel like they are somebody.  Use your voice to express that kindness and use your ears for compassion and use your heart always.  It is with genuine compassion, that we can start to bring peace into all of our lives and into our world.

Take care, Karen.

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“It is in your hands

to create a better world

for all who live in it.”

~ Nelson Mandela

#march_create #greatblogchallenge