Rural Reflections #21

Tired, exhausted and distracted with life… that I have neglected to write for you and for me.  That underlying passion that sparks my soul when I use my thoughts and words to connect with my life… it has been simmering beneath the breeze.

But I am back, still tired, still distracted, but ready to reflect once again.  I have been busy with farming, business life, new business ventures, voluntary activities and now my health has taken priority.  Why is it so hard for women to put themselves first and value their own health status?  Usually, it is when our health fails us, that we decide to make it more of a priority.

Another sinus surgery to follow-up from last year, has left me feeling tired, as my office work started to pile up.  Starting to get back on top of it, yet distracted by means of too many roles to participate in.  I have been reflecting on the important things in life.  My health, my family and my passion.

I look back over the years… proud of success, learning from failures and connecting with many people, making a difference in this world.  Success comes in so many forms.  But so many people focus on success being an overall goal.  This is so untrue and can leave people feeling unnecessary disappointment.

Success is all the little things that you do throughout every day of your life.  Success is teaching your child good manners.  Success is ensuring your partner feels loved.  Success is bringing happiness into someone else’s life.  The small things that good people just do without a conscious thought… that is real success.

So rather than focusing on the happy marriage, the new car, the dream home or the ideal job that you will get one day… focus on those little successful events throughout your day.  And remember that disappointment or failure is just a lesson to teach us there is another way or something better around the corner.

So today I share with you a photo taken in 2010 from another farming property of mine.  A farm that holds many memories of my sons teenage years.  A farm called “Kokoda” between Inverell and Glen Innes NSW.

A farm that brings me joy when I reflect… but also sadness for a time when my husband had broken a vertebrae in his back as a result of a Quadbike farm injury, only 4 years ago.  A serious injury that my dear husband has now thankfully overcome.

Life happens, injuries happen… but it is how we get through it and how we move forward that is important.  It is during this very stressful time that I realised how lucky I really was.  Lucky to have a loving husband and lucky to have 2 sons to support us through this tough time.

Life will always have ups and downs… for each and every one of us.  This photo that I share is a reflection upon times gone by and a reminder to just appreciate the beauty and tranquil surrounds.

Rural Reflection #21…

21 Times Gone By at Kokoda

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I love this photo for the good memories it arouses in me.  The beautiful natural green pastures with a sprinkling of white clover.  The memories of our Hereford cattle beneath those trees chewing their cuds.  Memories of family mustering and enjoying each others company.  Good memories stay with us, wherever we are.

So as life moves on, our memories are retained within, and we pursue new chapters within our lives.  When you reflect on your life… you really can see how successful you are every single day.  Cherish those experiences and enjoy what life brings your way.  You never know what is around the corner.

Take care,

Karen.

“Success is not in what you have,

but who you are”.

~Bo Bennett, Author

 

How To Be Successful In Your Life?

Society tells us that we go through childhood, get an education, follow a career, add a family and life is successful… in that order.  NO… this is certainly not true, as life does not fit inside that small perfectly-shaped box.

Everybody is different and has the ability to pave their own path and make their own successful journey.  Tackling life in the correct order… making the correct choices… as to how we live our lives.

“Correct” in who’s eyes?

Sometimes we need to approach life with a different perspective… do things out of the ordinary… as a means of living up to our own standards and not those of everybody else.  Be unique and follow your own purpose in life.

In our early years of childhood, we were unique individuals and free to explore the world around us… without inhibitions or feelings of inferiority.

Then FEAR sets in… with the pressure of our peers and our need to fit in.  We question ourselves and the barriers are formed.  These limiting beliefs are then carried with us into adulthood.

The toughest walls are those we put in front of ourselves.  When we realise this, life can change dramatically.

Rather than stepping outside of your comfort zone… look at expanding your comfort zone.  This thought seems to give me a feeling of not being exposed and being in control of my own choices.  I can take baby steps or a great leap… but I control how far I am willing to expand my comfort zone.

It is never too late… to try something new… and give it go.  Many people are discovering their talents, later in life and that is OK.  We pave our own path and are capable of making our own choices.

I admit… my aspirations at 18, was to get married and have 2 kids… as family was more important to me, than a career.  This did not fit in well with my Careers Advisor at high school.  But I did work in the banking industry, got married at 19, first baby at 20, then another 18 months later.

I did what I wanted to do.  I raised 2 great sons now living independently in their early 20’s.  I have been married for 25 years this year and I wouldn’t change a thing.

My point is that each of us follow our own path and believe in what we do… living with purpose.  But it must be our own purpose.

Now as an empty-nester, I concentrate on the next phase of my life.  I just started a new business, separate from the farming industry.  I offer freelance writing & administration services.  And I also have this blog for conveying my inspirational messages in writing.

I didn’t achieve success in the correct order according to many people… but it was correct for me.  We just have to believe in the choices we make, take the responsibility when things don’t quite work out and then move on.

Inspiration surrounds us every day bringing us great opportunities.  We hear about famous people bringing inspiration into the lives of many.  But you don’t have to be famous, we are just everyday people making a difference in this world.

Look around you… there are people in your circle… family, friends or colleagues… that will inspire you.  Be that person that inspires others… by being true to yourself and showing kindness and compassion to others.

We all bring something special to the table, possibly without even realising it.  We are not famous, just everyday people, inspiring others in an extraordinary way.

We never stop learning and our personalities will evolve through time as we continue to be the better person.  Strive for personal growth and you will see the success reign upon you in many aspects of your lives.

Work hard for what you want, for what makes you happy and what makes you feel whole.  Being true to yourself is where the success starts.  So hold your head up high and walk proud.

Take care, Karen.

“Success is the result of perfection,

hard work, learning from failure,

loyalty, and persistence.”

~ Colin Powell

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Own Who You Are, With Audacity

Every single one of us is so unique and perfectly created to be somebody or do something important in life.  Why do we cringe and sway away from the real person we truly are?  Just to fit in within our lives… our work, our family, our social circle… and be the “picture” of the person we think we should be and for others to see.

Sometimes it takes us years to figure it out… to realise that this is crazy.  We deserve to be true to ourselves.  We deserve happiness…. the happiness that lies within us… when we allow the real person within us to be revealed.  And when we discover that person, own it and be bold and fearless in your purpose.

Today I would like to give recognition to three other bloggers, that inspire me… with their wisdom, their compassion towards others and the respect for themselves.  Three strangers whom I have never met… yet I feel like I do know them somewhat, through their personal stories and the way they express themselves in words.

RAMBLINGS OF A WALLFLOWER with Dewni, sharing her thoughts and looking for her place in the world.  It was her blog Embrace Your Magic… that initially inspired me today.  Dewni’s advice is simply stated and is perfectionism in itself “Listen to the depths of your heart and embrace your true self”.

We are told throughout our lives, directly and indirectly, until we tell ourselves subconsciously… we need to fit in and be more like everyone else.  That is an unnecessary and enormous burden for us to carry.  But when we realise that we can let go of that false notion of perfectionism within society… and be less like everyone else… life magically changes when we take that step to just be ourself.

On a personal level, I have married a farmer, an honest man that just thrives in the outdoors and has a love for animals and a passion for breeding livestock.  My love for him in supporting his dreams and being a mother to our children has motivated me for 25 years.  But sadly I try to “fit in” within the farming industry, and part of it fits but many parts do not.  I do have a strong belief in the future and importance of the agricultural industry, but I do not have a love for the hands-on farm work.  So in the process of owning who I am… I now know that I can be an advocate for the rural industry and enjoy my country lifestyle and surroundings.  But I know that I do not need to pretend that I am something that I am not.  We all need to work out exactly who we are, enjoy the process and embrace what we find.

Secondly, BITTERSWEET TURNS with Priya, using tales and fantasy in this medium to depict deep emotions and feelings.  I was captivated by this young women’s blog today Will Power and how she describes that “will power is driven by the WHY of your life”.  I think she is spot on with her analogy, as everything we do has a connection to the WHY.  As she says “the key is to find the why” and we need to be very honest with ourselves to do this.

For me personally… “WHY do you want to farm livestock in a drought-ridden environment?”.  Well, I love my husband and I support him entirely with our farming business.  I love administration and the business models that I am able to utilise to sustain our business.  The drought is somewhat a temporary setback, one that in Australia will be present at times and the weather will turn and be on our side again.  I also believe whole-heartedly that the future of the Australian agricultural industry is important to sustain, so we can feed and clothe our nation and export to other countries for the benefit of our economy.  It is this passion that motivates me to continue in the farming industry.

On another level… “WHY do you want to write a blog?”.  Well, it really started as a way to release my own emotions while suffering from depression and anxiety during this current drought on the farm and coping with changes in my life.  I felt compelled to not hide behind the medication, but to voice my experiences with the world, in a hope to help somebody else going through a tough time.  I wanted to reach out… so others knew they were not alone.

I then was able to be myself… and developed a real passion to motivate others to believe in themselves and accept themselves for who they are.  As I touch others lives and have the ability to support someone else, to encourage someone else… my compassion is able to be shared through these means.  I have raised my 2 sons to adulthood and completed the mothering role for years, now I want to share my warm-hearted and loving nature with others.  I may not be able to put it into words verbally and can be a bit of an introvert, so my blog allows me to reach into the depth of my subconscious and share my empathy and inspiration in a unique way.  This is now my gift and my purpose in life… and I love that I can be who I really am.  I am a writer and I have something to say.

My third and final inspiration for today is from Forty Something Life As We Know It where a fellow blogger shares her journey in life and in her words “searching for wisdom”.  I think she under-estimates the wisdom she actually shares with readers.  I really enjoy her regular blog and inspiring messages. Two simple messages that she shared today, really touched me and is relevant to the content that I write of today.

Her blog How it is supposed to be… has this simple message and is so true… “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be”.  I think we all have this false perception and are sometimes provoked to be something else.  It is our impression that this image is what we strive for.  We need to take a step back, re-evaluate our passion and our interests… and then just be ourselves and daringly move forward.  Life as we know it, may just change for the better, as we discover the “real” person within and contentment follows.

Another message on her blog It just blooms… “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms”.  I find this to be an impressive analogy to our friends and associates in our lives.  There is no need to compete with each other, to outdo one another or to be better than another.  If we just be ourselves… we will magically blossom and shine.

Sadly it sometimes takes many years for us to find out who we really are… as we grow and mature over the years.  But it is never too late… to really delve into your own personality, embrace it and courageously reveal the “real” you.  It really is worth it, to accept who you are, imperfections and all… I assure you that you are “imperfectly perfect” and wonderfully unique.  It is with audacity… that you can then OWN WHO YOU ARE and success can reign on you.

Take care, Karen.

better

“Be who you are

not who the world wants you to be”

~ Author Unknown

 

 

It’s Not Worth The Anger or the Heartache

The year is nearly over and we are starting to think about New Year resolutions.  2019 can be the year for us to learn how to LET GO.  Let go of all the “crap”… the negative feelings… the anger building up… or the headache of our life spiraling out of control.

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How many of us get worked up over things we cannot change?  Most of us, I think.  We worry about everything… our children, our relationships, our friendships, our finances, our health.  The worry exists daily and is normal to a point, but we can control the extent to which we worry excessively.

Some form of worry is essential so we are aware of danger, giving us an understanding of others, allowing us to care, or building strategies for prevention.  It is the excess worry that I think we can shake.  If we come up with a plan by playing out any “what  if” scenario’s, the worry is challenged and can be somewhat relieved.  Challenge your own thinking and decide if the worry is affecting your health.  If it is, decide to be pro-active and let it go.

Anxiety is real and sometimes over-powering.  Sometimes we are able to manage our thoughts and feelings by shifting our mindset and focus differently.  Sometimes we need to ask our GP for help.  Take that step if it is needed.

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ANGER!  Has something happened in your life that has made you so angry that it continues to build up for many years?  Were there any incidents over Christmas with family members or friends that really annoyed you and now you feel angry?  It is not worth the anger at all.  Regardless of what has happened to you, or what someone said to you… it is not worth holding a grudge, battling feelings of contempt or a will to seek revenge.

It is just ridiculous, that we all allow differing opinions, perceptions and arguments to scar relationships.  It is only stubbornness, selfishness and a lack of empathy that causes the anger to fester within.  The anger may have started because of one single incident but as time passes and you play it over in your mind, the anger builds up for a variety of reasons that you create within your own mind.  We just need to LET IT GO.  Holding on to anger, serves no purpose whatsoever.

In fact, anger becomes debilitating over time.  It just eats away inside of you and makes you bitter.  Anger also affects your health long-term.  A build up of anger will affect your brain, your immune system and your stress hormones.  It will cause increased anxiety,  high blood pressure and headaches.  Anger has the most damaging effect on your cardiac health and it will increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.  Holding on to anger is not only needless… but necessary to let go of, for your health’s sake.

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Relationships are breaking every single day… loving relationships are ending, family break-ups and friendships destroyed.  Heartache is the end result.  We mask our heartache by staying angry… determined never to forgive.  This is so sad.  The anger serves no purpose and is harmful to your health.  When we allow ourself to forgive… a simple action within ourselves to stop feeling angry or resentful… we do feel hurt but relief.  Hurt can be dealt with, allowing closure or acceptance over time.  The constant heartache will subside when the anger is removed.

We get so worked up over little things… things we cannot change.  There are just some things we cannot control or change in our lives.   We must accept that.  People cannot be changed either.  We must learn to manage our own actions and our own reactions in our relationships and in our life in general.  This is what we do have control over.

Stop being angry with the world and holding on to the anger.  Whatever happened… just happened.  Let it go.  Apologise if you should… if you said or did something that you shouldn’t have.  Show forgiveness to others… to release yourself from the anger and resentment.  Control yourself and what you have control over.

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If you have a fractured relationship with a family member.  Repair the relationship if possible, as family is the most important part of our lives.  You can control your side of the relationship only… be nice… be respectful and be prepared to accept that you cannot control the other persons thoughts, feelings or actions.  And do not try to persuade or invite others to join you in the rampage of hateful anger against a family member… as this only reinforces anger to stay in your life.  Let go of the anger and resentment allowing relationships to be healed or accept the irrepairable outcome without contempt.

If you have friends that don’t seem to want to be friends with you.  So what!  You can control how you treat them… be nice… be respectful… but be prepared to let go and walk away if these friendships become toxic to your own health.  We all deserve real friendships yet some of these friends are not for life.  Some friends serve a purpose in our life and both parties need something from the friendship.  But sometimes things just change, we grow apart, our differences may become more prominent or we just don’t see “eye to eye” anymore.  It doesn’t matter.  Learn to accept that things do change.  Let go!

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Life just gets so busy… that sometimes we feel like we have been thrown under the bus.  Feeling restrained and not seeing a means of escape?  We are always busy, balancing work, children, routines, schedules, relationships, sport, health, voluntary activities, friendships, recreation and sleep.  Many of you will relate to this at some point in your lives, if not right now.

I used to feel like… and visualise myself being dragged by a rope called “life”… tied around my ankles, pulling me in and out of all my responsibilities in life.  It is exhausting and tiresome.  Recreation and “me” time became non-existent.  I am learning to treat myself as I would treat a friend or a loved one.  I am starting to get back that control in my life.  Now “I am pulling” that rope in my life… and I may have a few bumps here and there, but I choose how I manage the hurdles or challenges in my path.  I guarantee it is worth getting that control back.  It is worth kicking anger to the kerb and the heartaches will resolve.silhouette-3333895__340.png

Make a promise to yourself heading into the New Year.  “I deserve to be happy and feel whole.  I will live with purpose and let go of anger and heartaches.  I deserve to feel healthy without the stress of life getting in my way.  I control my life… my thoughts, my actions and my feelings.  I will love and cherish those important to me and treat everyone with respect.  I will accept others wanting to be a part of my life and I will accept those that choose to walk away, without resentment.  I will control only what I can and I will LET GO of everything else.  I deserve real happiness, health and contentment.”  2019 here we come!

Take care, Karen.

“Forgive others,

not because they deserve forgiveness,

but because you deserve peace.”

~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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15 Ways to Become a Better Version of Yourself

Everybody wants to be a better person, to be more successful, to make our loved ones happy, to be able to motivate ourselves to do a better job, the list is endless.  We need to take our past experiences in life and learn the lesson to be able to move forward.

We are all human… we have weaknesses and we make mistakes.  The trick is learning from this to find the better version of yourself within.

Life is the journey and becoming better every day is the goal.

  • Be Yourself – It is important that we don’t lose touch with our values, morals and beliefs.  Own your identity and feel comfortable within your own skin.  Focus on your direction and purpose in life.
  • Appreciate the Present – Learn from the past and let it go.  Appreciate and live in the present because the future is not here yet.  The present moment IS life and it is NOT an obstacle in our path.
  • Communicate – A wise person is full of questions and a dull person thinks they know all the answers.  Also be a good listener to connect with others.  Everyone needs to have a voice and it is second nature to want to be understood.
  • Be Polite – Use “please” and “thank you” it takes no extra effort.  An act of kindness can make someone else’s day.  Other people’s behaviour does not have to determine yours.
  • Smile – It is contagious and can lift not only your own spirits but will be passed on to the next person, and so on.  Smiling will improve our mood, give us health benefits and make us feel good.
  • Compliment Yourself – Every day give yourself a compliment which will give you an emotional boost and make you feel happy.  Compliment yourself about your hair, about a task that you just completed, about a new skill that you tried, anything at all.
  • Let Go of Anger – Anger is a normal emotion but don’t let it build up and effect your health.  We can learn how to manage anger through our own thoughts, a journal or relaxation.  Anger will make us make bad decisions.
  • Show Forgiveness – Not only to yourself but to others.  Let go of resentment, it serves no purpose in life.  The act of forgiving others is not to “let them off the hook”, it is to give release yourself, let it go and not control you anymore.
  • Stop Making Excuses – Don’t blame others or make excuses if you do not feel happy within.  We own up and learn from our mistakes to move forward.
  • Be Honest – Speak honestly and in an open manner to secure trust.  Honesty secures the haven for trust.
  • Have a Go – It is better to create something that someone criticises, than to create nothing at all and criticise others.
  • Be Helpful – This is one of the easiest ways to effectively be a better person.  Help our partner, help a stranger, assist a charity.  It is a win-win situation and everyone feels better.
  • Be Flexible – Be open to change, try new activities, step outside our comfort zone and challenge our self-confidence.  We must be able to change our mind if the information presented contradicts our beliefs.  Don’t be stubborn.
  • Be Optimistic – Think positive thoughts and approach life with the “glass half-full” attitude.  To shift our perspective… will allow better experiences and better outcomes in our lives.
  • Find Inner Peace – The moment we stop allowing others to control our emotions, will be the moment we find inner peace.  To create peace in the world, we must first create peace within ourselves.

We all have the capacity to be a better person and make a difference in our own life, our families experiences and the wider community.  And the only person that you want to try to be better than… is the person you were yesterday.

Take care, Karen.

“What we think, we become.”

~ Buddha

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Make a Difference Today

Have you ever wondered why do certain people come into our lives?  I believe everything happens for a reason and we are meant to meet some people to make a difference not only in our world but the bigger community as well.  One person can lift your spirits and give you hope and bring a smile.

Some people have the ability to boost a person up so effortlessly, their confidence and hope of things to come.  I love people like this in my life and I also get self-satisfaction from being able to make someone else feel good momentarily.  Our words and actions may not make a big difference in this world, but it can mean the world to just that one person.  It can lift the spirits of that person, encourage them to take that step, give them confidence to have a go and feel proud of their efforts.

With the stress of farming at the moment, the extra workload of feeding stock and the financial pressure, the need to lift spirits is more prominent.  The support of the Australian people and through the charities, we have all witnessed the uplifting this generosity has endowed.  Thank you does not reflect the overall feeling and the intensity that this kindness bears upon farmers.  As a farmer had been donated 10 bales of hay or a load of tank water or a bag of groceries …the emotions within are erupting.  It may be considered a band-aid solution and it will not pay that farmers bills or feed their stock for long.  But more importantly, it shows that others do care about farmers, care about their wellbeing and care about the future of Australian produce.

It doesn’t matter what line of work we are in or what walk of life we are from, everyone needs a helping hand at some point in their life.  It might only be a smile we give a stranger at the grocery store or an acknowledgement of their existence… it can make a big difference.  Everyone is going through something… life is not perfect.  We just need to boost each other up, instead of tearing each other down.  It is a win/win situation for all.

If we can all just help one person feel a sense of satisfaction or wellbeing, it will not only improve their life but also have a domino effect.  Be the reason that someone smiles today.  Make a difference!

Take care, Karen

“Hope gives us courage to do those things that we don’t believe we are capable of”

~ Noelle Pikus-Pace

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