Gratitude: A Somewhat Silent Expression

How much gratitude have you seen during the current devastating drought, the raging bushfires and the severity of floods in our very diverse nation called Australia?  How does one return from the mortifying emotional, physical and financial loss in our agricultural industry?  Despite the disastrous effects surrounding our every being, you can see the gratitude everywhere.  But you must look past the obvious and observe the more delicate ways that gratitude is expressed.

How can our one single country be experiencing these extreme gut-wrenching weather events?  From flooding in Northern Queensland, to bushfires in northern NSW and Tasmania… and drought almost everywhere we see.  The horrid effects that weather is casting upon our hardworking farmers in crisis, is none other than mass devastation and loss.

But beneath all the heartache, there is a flicker of hope.  A hope that is yearned for, day after day.  With one foot in front of the other, farmers are finding the strength to face the struggles and battle to sustain the future of agriculture in Australia.  Gratitude is expressed in two very different ways and is an absolute reflection on either side from city to country.

We see everyday Australians of all ages, adults and children alike… dig into their piggy banks and savings to throw our farmers a lifeline.  We see donations of canned food, toiletries, water, anything at all… just to show appreciation in a gratifying way.  Many charities step up to take on the challenge of distributing these donated funds and grocery supplies, as the liaison to unite the efforts of the Australian people.

To see the gratitude within the community and the heartfelt actions of lifting the spirits of our farmers, is genuinely profound.  To understand that communities care about farmers, the food they produce, the fibres they yield… and feeding and clothing our beautiful nation, suddenly became of utmost importance and the compassion is sincere.  These actions alone proved that the mental state and future of our farmer’s wellbeing, was accepted with gratitude by a compassionate nation and then a sense of obligation was accepted warmly.

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On the flip side… the farmer’s hearts are breaking, surrounded with the burden of loss and devastation… yet they are overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation to the community and charities holding them afloat and trying to power their natural farming spirit again.  The silence in this case, can be as quiet and non-existent unless you look beneath the emotional surface.  As a farmer presented with a natural disaster accepts some form of assistance… the guilt in their own mind can be over-powering, they can feel unaccomplished or unsuccessful in their usual farming operations and ashamed to have accepted the help.  However, beneath that tough exterior, it is visible but camouflaged in disguise… the gratitude is rampant.

Gratitude is expressed silently in that sad and solemn expression… an expression that is only seen by very few.  Gratitude is depicted as the farmer’s head falls into his callous hands or as he wipes those tears of relief from his cheeks.  Gratitude falls into his burden of work as he feeds his hungry stock and is somewhat overlooked until the day he manages to comprehend the specific degree of gratitude, as he digs himself from that hole consuming his life.  It is then that we see that honest, hearty grace that he feels indebted to.

The thankfulness exists within each and every farmer, but expression is limited, through farming workload and the disastrous burden that has impacted their lives and the welfare of their family.  The warmth and cordial emotions surrounding farmers at the moment is overflowing with acknowledgment and recognition of an industry they are so passionate about.

The Australian community is empathetic, compassionate and resilient… and the division diminishes as disastrous events unite our nation.  With heartfelt thoughts and actions, it allows the gratfulness to emerge.  I am proud to be part of the Australian community and I am proud to be a farmer supporting our agricultural industry.  Gratitude is what makes our nation unique and it is the kindness in ordinary people that make us extraordinary.

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Thank you to the farmers that work to feed and clothe our nation.  And thank you to all those beautiful people, businesses and charities that support farmers and rural industries.  If you eat food and wear clothes, you are supporting the agricultural industry.  So thank you!

Take care, Karen.

“Gratitude drives happiness.

Happiness boosts productivity.

Productivity reveals mastery.

And mastery inspires the world.”

~ Robin S. SharmaCanadian Writer

on leadership, personal growth and life management.

#feb_gratitude  

#greatblogchallenge

@writally

This Is Why Farmers Thanks For Drought Donations Are Concealed

Farmers are truly thankful to you all, for the drought assistance being provided by donations from members in the community, in city and country.  It has been brought to my attention, that some people have not noticed farmers acknowledgement of thanks upon receiving financial assistance and care packages during this drought.  This really saddened me, as this has not been my experience at all.  So I thought I should state a couple of facts and share some understanding.

Through the generous donations of individuals and businesses, charities have been able to distribute financial assistance in the current drought.  Farmers are receiving hay donations, bags of dog food for farm working dogs, financial assistance for household bills, care packs, bags of grocery items and mental health support.  The drought assistance is still available to those farmers in need.

The process starts with a person in the city or country donating a little cash or some grocery items.  The charities are then responsible for distributing the donations through financial assistance, bales of hay, grocery packs, fuel vouchers or food vouchers.  Each charity differs on how and what assistance is provided to primary producers.  The farmer is in direct contact with the charity of their choice.

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Some producers are too proud to even ask for assistance so will battle on independently.  The farmers that do anxiously ask for support are usually so embarrassed or feel immeasurable shame.  They don’t have money to feed their stock or even their families.  They are ashamed that they cannot feed their working dog any longer.  Some farmers are feeling a sense of failure in their industry, despite weather being out of their control.

They are mortified to even be in this position to accept help.  Charities, volunteers and mental health professionals are left with the task to convince farmers of their worth and change their mindset.  It is not a failure to accept help when needed.

Thank you letters and personal thankfulness is shown every single day to the charities distributing the donations.  The charities then through newspapers, television and social media share some stories and the gratefulness that is received.  But due to privacy, they are unable to be too specific.

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You may not see the thanks in public very often, but the person distributing the assistance generally gets a front row seat to see the farmer in tears and receives the thanks personally.  This cannot be shared with the community.  But rest assured, farmers have been ever so grateful for this support from the community.

With charities being so busy, maybe there has not been enough of the gratitude shared.  Maybe when things get back on track for everyone, time will be available for reflecting on this.  In the meantime, believe me, farmers are thankful and are showing their sincere appreciation.  Some producers have sent letters to the Editor of many newspapers, thanking the community members and charities for their support.

I am a farmer and have received drought support.  Like all farmers in my position affected by drought, I don’t like to tell everyone.  I do feel embarrassed.  But I have written a letter of thanks to the charity, to show my gratefulness and appreciation of the support I received, also noting the meaningful donations from community members.  My letter has been used in their social media and on their webpage, after asking me would I allow it.  My name was not included and I was happy for my personal story to assist them in return.

I would like to provide some links below to show that farmers are appreciative of the help they receive in the current drought.  It is with the support of community, that farmers continue to do what needs to be done… to feed and clothe our nation.

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Thankfully farmers have that support, financially but more importantly mentally.  Do not under-estimate the real value of your support.  To know that people care about the agricultural industry and to secure the future… is the biggest support we need.

I do not specifically endorse any single charity, but fully support all drought assistance and their intentions.  I have provided the links below for real Testimonials of thanks and more drought assistance information:

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Each and every one of these above charities have received many letters of thanks from farmers.  Some may have published them, some may have not, due to privacy implications.  Volunteers have experienced personal emotional connections of gratitude from farmers and stories have been shared with a sense of appreciation and understanding.

Although it may not be seen in the public eye, farmers are very thankful for the financial and emotional support being provided during this difficult time coping with drought.  It is truly Australian “to have each other’s back” and unite city and country at this time.  So thank you Australia.

Take care, Karen.

“A small group of determined and like-minded people

can change the course of history”

~ Gandhi

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A Broken Exhausted Life Exposed by Farmer in Drought

I am feeling tired, exhausted beyond the every day responsibilities in life.  Like you, at certain points in life, it just becomes far too exhausting.  Farm life, our responsibilities, household chores, financial stress, feeding stock and coping with the current drought… it is breaking me.  When do you say enough is enough?  How do you make that decision that it has been too tough for too long?  When life feels broken all around you, where do you turn?

When farm life is all that you have lived and a passion you have enjoyed, why would you want to say “it is time to get out”.  On one hand you know, financially time is up and borrowed funds have been exhausted to keep your livestock in production and to pay the bills.  Yet on the other hand, farmers are fighters.  We have been here before, managing drought, we believe we will get through it.  How does one admit that the fight may be over?

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The compassion may be all around us, people caring and helping in our community where they can.  The support for the agricultural industry has been so greatly received.  But the charities are unable to really help to solve a bigger problem than one could imagine… as 10 bales of hay donated, “will only feed our stock for 2 or 3 days”.  Then the farmer is on their own once again.  With no income and the need to borrow more money to pay the never-ending bills.

But the truth is… there are only 2 things that will get us through this drought.  Consistent rain allowing time for growth… and money.  Money to feed the remaining stock, money to spray the weeds that are emerging, money to pay for farm vehicle maintenance, money to pay the household bills, money to pay interest on an over-enlarged loan.  Nobody can help farmers at this level… we can only help ourselves.

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How much more debt does a farmer get into before drawing the line?  If only someone could tell you.  The decision comes back to the farmer… a decision so very difficult to make.  Farming is a gamble… and so is the decision to stick with it or get out.   As a farmer, how do they make that decision and feel confident that the decision was the right one?

Making the decision is the hardest.. and controlling the feelings of inadequacy despite being out of one’s control.  There is no failure or shame… the drought has placed this heavy burden on the farmers shoulders.  There are other chapters in life… just turn the page.

My blog has become my voice to express the importance of our industry and to share the pain of our farmers.  I wish all the pain and worry, experienced by our Australian farmers, to just disappear.  Their work is of so much value and is significant for the future food security of our nation.  But mental health is more important at this time.  Please show a little kindness and understanding to the person hiding behind the farmer persona.  Life is really tough on the land… much more than is ever revealed.

Take care, Karen.

“Decisions are the hardest thing to make,

especially when it is a choice between

where you should be and where you want to be.”

~ Author Unknown

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Genuine Community Spirit Survives the Drought Crisis

By now, everyone should be aware of the heartbreaking drought that has been devastating our Australian farmers and crippling the industry.  The worst drought in 100 years is upon us.  Sadly the tough times for farmers also have a domino effect on businesses in the community.

The daily struggles of such strong farmers are very real.  How does one motivate and stay focused when their livelihood for now and future years, has become non-existent?

We see photos of hungry stock, parched farmland and stressed farmers around us in newspapers, magazines, television and social media. The farmer lives it every day, but still puts on a brave face.  Courageously, they have been here before.  They have a Drought Management Plan that they have implemented… but for how long will it last.  Farming is a gamble that unfortunately relies heavily on the weather, markets and politics.

Wrongfully, droughts are not seen as a natural disaster any more, yet the effect is the same upon the farmer, as like any other disaster.  The recovery from drought takes several years and sadly due to large farm debt, some farmers will not recover.

Thankfully we also see the many drought appeals bring assistance and help to farmers.  The drought support from the community is what is really getting the farmers through it all.  The compassion and thoughtfulness displayed, is a reminder to the farmer, that their every day job is important to the wider community.

Financial stress is on overload and the future is uncertain.  Mental health is becoming a large battle.  But the support is all around us.  It is knowing that someone else cares.  The entire community is adapting to the changes that drought brings.

Community spirit and generosity that’s typically Australian has emerged during this prolonged drought crisis.  Many community groups, businesses and individuals have  rallied behind our farmers in this time of need. To see school children collecting donated groceries and sending heartfelt messages, even the tough farmer will shed a tear.

We are a wonderful nation and every community member should be congratulated for the support they are providing.  When farmers win… everybody will win.

Take care, Karen.

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit,

wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

~ Miles Kington

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Wanted: My Inner Mojo

Lost my mojo many years back.  After a soul-wrenching search, I have found it, hiding within.  Our life journey amongst the changes, work, partners, children… sometimes we just lose it for a while.  We just need to believe we can resurrect it and the happiness within is life transforming.

I have dedicated this year to get my health back on track.  I took control of my journey with the guidance of a few health professionals.  Dealing with a sleep disorder, a prolonged operation, chronic pain, the stress of farming during drought times and the related complications of it all… no wonder I ended up with depression and anxiety.  But through careful treatment and my inner pledge to myself, life is getting back on track.  More so, my ability to deal with life’s bumpy journey has been restored.

Inspired and optimistic today in my follow-up with the Mindset Strategist.  In just 2 appointments, her practice has helped transform my life completely.  Amazed by the results of her techniques and how quick it worked.  I recommend Katie Godden with her enthusiasm, positivity and guidance.   This modern intuitive technique of aligning our sub-conscious thoughts with real life, letting go of our emotional baggage and giving us the confidence to move forward… is so unbelievably powerful and enriching.

Like many women, I struggled with confidence and low self-esteem over the years.  My thoughts have now shifted, and I have found my inner mojo again.  That influence and personal charisma that we all have inside of us and the confidence to let it shine.  Quietly but proudly, I like the “new” ME that I have found and so excited to take on life by the horns.

Remember, believe in yourself because that’s where the magic begins.

You are worth it!

Take care, Karen.

P.S. Please watch this video, it is just beautiful and sums up all our lives.

Video Credit: CIMORELLI ~ YouTube

Found My Smile Again

I found it, the real smile that was misplaced for a while.  Thank you Katie for shifting my mindset to a better place today.  A place where contentment and inner peace reside.  With all of our emotional baggage, the stress of daily life and the burden of holding it all together, just somehow we do get overwhelmed.

To rewind…I for one, never like to ask for help or admit that just maybe my inner strength is not enough to handle it all.  After reaching out, I have finally realised… it is NOT a sign of weakness to need help with your mental health.  Depression and anxiety had crept up on me, not because I was weak, but because I tried to be too strong for too long.  Our personal perception is distorted and it just needs tweaking a little.

In hindsight I can now say that it was the best thing I have ever done.  I am feeling like I am at the top of my game.  I have accepted the help and got back on track.  If any of you are feeling like life is pulling you along and your passion has been muzzled, please take my advice and talk to your GP for options.

As my physical and mental health are both on the mend, I am passionate more than ever to discover my true potential.  Personal growth is what fascinates me, so today I took a big step.

A somewhat skeptical visit to a local Mindset Strategist to learn some mindset techniques and personal growth, proved to be a major epiphany.  The most positive experience of my entire life.  Today was the day… the day I take back control of my life and my emotions.  While working with Katie, I have felt the load lighten and feel free again.  Her ability to guide me to let go of those negative feelings from the past, learn the lesson and build strength to go forward, has completely amazed me.  Her techniques were non-invasive to my privacy yet powerful in the result… in only 2 hours.  I look forward to the follow-up next week.

I love this feeling of being on the road to recovery and I love the person within that I have found.

Take care, Karen

“A SMILE IS HAPPINESS YOU’LL FIND RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE”

~ Tom Wilson

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