Wow, what an interesting year 2020 has been!

As a business we began the year with courses booked until August as well as an international industry tour to Milan’s famous Eurocucina in April. Things were looking very positive indeed. 😊

Then in March the Coronavirus, COVID-19, reached Australian shores. Suddenly Australian life as we knew it, both in business and personally, changed in what seemed like a heartbeat. The country went into lockdown, businesses closed, state borders closed, and families became disconnected due to geography.

Like every other Aussie, our world turned upside down. Welcome to the new “COVID Normal” – whatever that is! As a country we are still finding the answers to that question!

Our business was put on hold, workshops cancelled or postponed indefinitely and international travel off the agenda till who knows when. News reports showed toilet paper wars at the supermarkets, people pushing each other out of the way to grab the last roll of paper towel, pasta rice etc.

What had happened to the Aussie spirit of “helping a mate in need” as we had seen on the news only a few months before during the terrible bushfire season? Fear, anxiety, worry about our financial future, frustration and anger came knocking at my door. Luckily, I am usually a positive person and see “the glass half full perspective” however, my resolve was strongly tested at times.

Fortunately, I have a group of colleagues who get together regularly to support each other with forums to share our truth and offer uplifting resources to keep us all on track in this ever-changing world. As soon as the lockdown was announced, two colleagues organised a Zoom call where we could gather, share our concerns and offer our intentions for the world and our fellow citizens as we navigated the global pandemic.

One concern I shared was, having seen on the news and witnessed in person at the shops, people’s panic and fear was creating a “fight of the fittest” mentality replace the kindness and “lending a helping hand” nature for which Aussies are well-known. Also, the state border closures seemed to be creating an “us or them” situation. We had forgotten that we are all Australians who live in different states.

My wish and intention for all of us was to remember kindness, compassion and understanding for ourselves and each other – the qualities we have demonstrated so well through many other challenging times in our country’s history. Thankfully, for the most part, I have seen those qualities/behaviours return.

This, then, became my mission/quest for the year. I knew that if I wanted to receive/witness kindness, compassion and understanding from others, I needed to demonstrate and embrace those qualities in myself.

It became even more important for me to practice my emotional self-regulating techniques. Fortunately, I also remembered the teachings from a famous Cherokee Indian legend. “We all have choices – we can feed fear or courage. Remember Courage means taking action despite Fear!”

So, I put on my “big girl pants” and chose Courage. How could I turn all this lockdown time to an advantage? What changes could I make personally and in the business that would be beneficial and supportive in the “new normal”?

I participated in online courses for personal and business development that I had been “too busy” to undertake before. And I started looking at ways we could take some of our business online.
When intrastate travel restrictions changed, Ron and I visited parts of NSW that were on our Bucket List, visiting local communities that were very grateful for our tourist dollars. We took the opportunity to hitch up our caravan and travel to Far North Queensland when the border situation relaxed, once again ticking off places on our Bucket List, visiting family and friends as well as business clients along the way.

Personally, I am grateful I used the time to expand into more of my true nature and to better live my truth. As a business I am grateful we took the opportunities as they were presented. Already 2021 is looking brighter with exciting projects on offer.

So as the year draws to a close and I reflect on all the “happenings” I want to take all the things I learnt or remembered into 2021 and beyond.

To you and your families have a happy, safe, healthy, loving Christmas.

My wish and intention that 2021 and beyond brings you more kindness, compassion, understanding for yourself and each other and the courage to turn challenges into opportunities. Seek support when needed and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Debra 😊