Top tips to make a tangible and positive difference in the world at this time

Sara Vaughan is an innovator, creator of global brands with purpose, positive change-maker and global chief purpose and sustainability advisor to Marie Claire.

Sara Vaughan

When Bex and Charlotte reached out to me a couple of weeks ago they asked me if I could write something about my career, how I got to where I am today and to share any advice I could give to you, the amazing next generation of women. 

Then as you know, the world changed. Pretty much overnight. And to be honest with you, nothing in my career to date has prepared me for what we are facing right now. These are truly unprecedented times.

But my spiritual life and practice has.

And that’s the place I’m going to share from today. You may or may not agree with what I suggest. In part or in full. And, either way that’s fine. But it is my sincere hope that you will find something of help and inspiration in here.

Here are the five things…

I’m going to be doing on top of my daily at-home yoga and fitness workouts, to not only weather this but to actively make a tangible and positive difference in the world at this time. And I would love for you to join me in doing them. To give them a go. And to share your experiences about how you are getting on.

Global apocalypse or global opportunity? Our beliefs are very powerful. We experience what we believe. So I’m going to choose mine wisely. Personally, I am seeing this as an opportunity moment when everyone is going to slow down and get a chance to contemplate their impact (positive & negative) on each other and on the planet. To truly see how interconnected we all are. And that when we emerge from our cocoons, there will be a positive movement for change the like of which will never have been seen before. 

Being grateful. I’m going to be appreciating my loved ones, my meals, plants (I’ve started growing vegetables on my window sill), animals, insects, running water, trees, clean air. The sound of birdsong. The things I have taken for granted. For in this time, we are stopping climate change and saving humanity. Collectively. And that’s incredible.

Exercising kindness and compassion. Even for those that just don’t seem to get it. As said, these are unprecedented times. Parents, bosses, teachers and even our leaders have never experienced anything like this before. Most are in shock and most are frightened. We all know what suffering, sadness, loneliness and despair feel like don’t we? So let’s be kind to ourselves and to those around us especially when we are not able to get out of our homes as we would like to. Which will be frustrating for all of us at times. And that’s normal and ok to feel like that. For as Lynn Ungar says in her amazing poem, “Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch.”

Helping others. Do it and not only will we have a healthier world, we will also have a happier one. For in doing so, you and I will find more energy, more excitement and more joy than anything else in life. As a suggestion, join or set-up a community effort to deliver supplies to those in need such as the elderly. I’ve put up notices in my block saying I’m happy to run essential errands for anyone who is unsure or unable to. Call a friend who you know is struggling with having to stay home. Decide what you want to do. And do it!

Remembering that whilst I can’t control what is happening, I can challenge myself to control how I react to it. For that’s where our power is. For as author Harry Palmer says, “Impossible is not a word I believe in. I can’t direct the wind but I can adjust the sails.”

And as an extra bonus point (I know I originally said five things!) I’m going to have fun and socialise. By having lunch with my friends, doing baking sessions and dance-offs, singing in a choir, visiting NASA and learning more about cheetahs. All online. 

We’re all in this together. However lonely it may feel at times, no one is alone. Stay connected. Laugh a lot. And please, if you want to share your experiences or are finding life tough and need an ear, you are super welcome (with parental consent if you are under 18)  to email me at svaughan@gmc.tm.fr

With much love and virtual hugs to you all.

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