I don't know enough to really understand why this is all happening.
I feel like my ignorance has been unflinchingly exposed as the chilling news of Putin's invasion of Ukraine unfolds in real time.
As I lay in bed last night, my children safely tucked up, I felt deep pangs of a mixture of guilt, sadness and fear.
As if the world hasn't been rocked enough in the last two years. Here we are with a situation that has eery echoes of another time and another bully.
Perhaps you feel the same way?
Maybe you feel unsure of how to respond or what this will mean. Or maybe you're closing your eyes and putting your fingers in your ears to close it all out and protect yourself.
Let me help you.
What we can ACTUALLY do
I would love to pretend to know the right things to say and do.
But I don't.
Maybe you feel similar to me - that my anger and outrage are impotent and unlikely to achieve very much.
Luckily, my good friend Sara Price of Actually Changing the World is a powerful activist and change maker who is leading the way with how us "ordinary" folk can do something meaningful.
5 Things you CAN do
I'm sharing below the 5 actions that Sara has proposed so perhaps you too can feel empowered to take a small step:
1. Get Informed
The first step to making a difference is to get informed. I know how tempting it is to turn away. To think ‘Oh it’s all too depressing, I’ll rewatch Bridgerton instead.’ The trick is balance. Balance out the news with happier and more uplifting activities but don’t use the fact that it is stressful and depressing as an excuse to remain in the dark. The people of Ukraine do not have the luxury of turning off their television sets and staying ignorant of the realities of war. Stay up to date with what is happening. 2. Share Information Share information but make sure it’s correct. Russian misinformation is a central plank of Putin’s approach in ALL things! So only share information from reliable sources that has been fact checked. Now is not the time for the ravings of your conspiracy theorist’s Uncle’s best mate’s dog. 3. Join Protests Ukrainian people around the world are starting protests outside Russian Embassies in solidarity with the protesters in Moscow and in support of their people. Join them. Not sure if there’s a protest happening? Google ‘protests in the UK against Russian invasion of Ukraine’. 4. Contact your MP / elected representative Governments across Europe are holding back from the toughest economic sanctions because of their concern that after 2 years of pandemic, our economies are struggling. I get it. But is it a surprise that Putin chose this moment to make his move? No. He anticipated precisely this concern and therefore expects to get away with it because we won’t take a sufficiently hard line, like banning Russia from SWIFT (the international system that banks use to make rapid and secure cross-border payments).. We need to make it clear that we support tougher sanctions - even if that means some further hardship here - to prevent the slaughter in Ukraine and to stand up to a maniacal bully with his finger on the red button. I think we can all agree that some short term hardship is better than WW3, right? 5. Donate to Ukraine / Causes supporting Ukrainian refugees
There are a range of organisations supporting the frontline efforts against Russian invasion. Many people will have reservations about donating to groups that might use that money to buy ammunition, but Ukraine has invited the international community to donate to groups that support its military. The following organisations do so: Come back alive Army SOS Phoenix Wings Women Veteran Movement Alternatively, if you feel more comfortable donating to international relief organisations etc, here are some of those: UNICEF Red Cross Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal - set up earlier this month by Ukrainians in the UK We all know what happened the last time an emboldened bully thought nobody would stop him from invading his neighbours. We all know that all that is required for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing. And we all know, deep in our hearts, that it is up to us. We may not like the outcome of individual elections or, dare I say it, referendums but we are fortunate to live in a democracy. And that is not a right that we can simply take for granted. It is a privilege. And it comes with responsibilities. We face one of those responsibilities right now. Do not give in to helplessness. " You can join Sara's facebook community here if you'd like to connect with her and find out more.
Let's come together
Now I know that "thoughts and prayers" don't always feel like very much. But I believe that we can only truly support and take action when we connect to our own unshakable inner peace. Let's come together and find that place together. No matter what, there is peace and even love that we can send outwards to all who are in need but only if we give ourselves the time and space to go inwards first. Join me on Insight Timer for a live meditation on Tuesday 1 March at 8pm: You can click here to find the live event and register to attend.
Sending you love
Wherever you are and however this message finds you, I'm sending you love and support.
Laura @ Be. x