As I am writing this month's message, the television is on in the background. All stations are reporting on the more than 700 homes that have been consumed by the wildfires and interviewing some of the 300,000 residents who have been evacuated. These are the worst fires in California's history, and some counties have been declared in a state of emergency.
Living on the other side of the country in New Hampshire, I could not be farther from this experience, yet my heart goes out to the people of California.
James Ray, an inspirational speaker/coach, recently wrote: "If you dissect the word response-ability, you find it really means the ability to respond." How we choose our responses is what we'll continue to attract, create, and become. To think that our life will be challenge-free is illusion. Challenges are the way we test how much we have or have not developed our ability to respond."
Whether you are in the middle of the high temperatures, Santa Ana winds, or a safe distance away, it may be a good time to take stock. As a great coaching friend often reminds me, with every situation, it is important to take time to ask yourself, "What does this teach me about me?"
Answers will vary. These fires may cause you to inventory what is truly important in your life. Maybe you want to reconnect with your family or friends. Schedule a quiet time together, go out to dinner, cook at home, share a movie, or spend some time together. Alternatively, this situation may cause you to wave to a neighbor, allow someone who is doggin' you on the highway to pass, or help out at an upcoming community or school function. If you choose to do more, visit the San Diego Red Cross Web site to learn how you can help those affected by the wildfires.
Challenges in life are guaranteed. How you allow those situations to affect you is the difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough.
All the best to my friends,
Kristine A. Hodsdon, RDH, BS
Director, RDH eVillage