As I sit comfortably with a roof over my head and a full stomach, sipping soothing green tea, I am reflecting on the period over the last several years that has held both unique and familiar, now historical, events. These times have included challenges, trauma, and unfathomable happenings, not only in the US, but worldwide. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen violent, political unrest, publicly displayed social injustices, devastating natural disasters and the horrors of war, the most prominent currently being Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While there has been a long running competition between the two countries, Russian President, Vladimir Putin’s decision to physically advance, was still startling, even with his known beliefs of Russian superiority and Ukrainian prejudice.
We all go through times of discomfort, disturbance, stress and trauma. When we see the big picture of our planet, it can help put things into perspective. Those in Ukraine, humans, and wild and domesticated animals, are experiencing the terror of nearby active gunfire, explosions, loss of loved ones and a focus of meeting the bare minimum of their survival needs while avoiding injury and death. People having to unexpectedly flee their homes and country in search of safety. With some choosing to stay in Ukraine with loved ones, animals, or for some other personal reason.
It can make our bodies sad, afraid, and angry to think about what is being done and what is going on in Ukraine. There are many individuals and organizations working to bring food, water, and other aid, as well as help bring Ukrainian residents to safety. Unfortunately, there are also those that take advantage of situations like this, and prey on kind-hearted, compassionate people that want to help their fellow humans and the world’s animals.
In case you are not aware, there are websites that publicize lists of legitimate non-profit organizations based on their thorough investigations and specifically met criteria, such as what percentage of received donations goes towards helping a cause. I like CharityWatch.org, but there are others. I find Charity Watch easy to navigate and I like seeing an actual person that is representing the organization. You will see what I mean when you watch their videos! However, I highly recommend taking a little time to do your own research and ensure that you are comfortable with your donation decisions.
While the war is physically happening further away than most of us will be able to travel, is there anything we can do from here? Yes! In addition to giving financially, as you are able, to legitimate aid organizations, help by being mindful of your thoughts. Physicists have proven that everything is energy, including the air you breathe, your body’s emotions and thoughts. If you are thinking fear, you are giving fear. If you are thinking peace, you are sending peace. If you are thinking love, you are giving the gift of love. You may also find practicing grounding and meditation helpful. To not only to help calm your body, but also to gain more clarity and control of your thoughts. Grounding is the foundation of my meditations. It is also a technique that you can use to release energy. You can let go of stress and any energy that you no longer want, including overwhelming emotions, and disturbing thoughts. This clearing makes more room for energy and thoughts that you do want and that are more beneficial.
The war in Ukraine has led to destruction, terror and devastation. The fact that the war is affecting all of us in some way demonstrates how we are all connected. Not only is it evoking fear and other emotional responses, but the effects are also manifesting physically with increased prices and food shortages. This is just the beginning. Give thoughts of love, peace, and compassion to those in Ukraine, to yourself and to all life. Give this energy, these thoughts of love, peace, and compassion to the earth, our planet.
We are all connected. Even if you do not agree, it certainly can’t hurt to change your thoughts from fear and anxiety to love and compassion. If nothing else, it will help your own body to feel better.
If you know of legitimate organizations helping in Ukraine, please let me know. Thank you! Feel free to reach out if you want to talk about this, or any other topic. Love to you and your animal friends. firstname.lastname@example.org
* I have included links to the Pixabay.com pages of the talented photographers that freely provided the photos in this blog post. You can buy them “coffee” on their pages. Perhaps this is another way to help Ukraine. Donating directly to its generous artists.