“Every human being on this planet has their pain and their heartache, and it’s up to all of us to find our way back to light” – Diana Nyad

“If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Right now in the San Francisco Bay Area we are breathing the devastation, terror, and loss from the huge fire in Northern California. The town of Paradise is basically gone. It is still unclear how many lives have been lost – human and animal and tree. As I see and smell the smoke, I think of the horror so many have experienced – and maybe lived through, maybe not.

The fire started on November 8 – a little over a week ago. It moved shockingly quickly. Right now, there are over 70 people dead, and over 1100 missing!!! For whatever reason, I have been feeling this fire deeply. Feeling the grief, the terror and pain, the loss. And, I have been sending healing and donations. I have been tracking it on Facebook and the news. I have read amazingly beautiful stories of people helping each other – many of them! I have shed good tears and sad tears.

Sometimes my way of dealing with a disaster is to immerse myself in it – feel it all, grieve, do what I can to help, and then gradually move on. I have found that during times like these I need to take care of myself, partly so that I have the energy to support others. I often remind my clients and students what we hear when flying: “If the oxygen masks drop, and you are traveling with a child or someone who needs help, PUT YOUR MASK ON FIRST, then assist others.”

So, how can we help? Remember, as we give, we receive. As we help others, we help ourselves.

Ho’oponopono: This is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It means “to make right.” I use it as a simple mantra:
Breathing in: “I love you. I’m sorry.”
Breathing out: “Please forgive me. Thank you.”
I am saying this to those who are suffering, to the fire victims, to the earth…

Tapping: You can combine Ho’oponopono with tapping (EFT). There are eight tapping points, and you can tap on each point and say one of the four Ho’oponopono statements.

You can send healing: Imagine you are putting the area of the fires (or whatever disaster) between your hands and ask to send healing and love. Don’t give away your own energy. Call in all the guides and angels and healers and helpers to help. Visualize those who are suffering in the arms of the divine, send peace and love.

And, of course, you can help by donating. Here is a wonderful organization that was recommended by a friend. We wanted the money to go directly to those in need, and are super impressed with what they are doing.

North Valley Community Foundation
Here’s what they are saying about their Camp Fire Relief Fund:
“Our hearts are with the entire community of Paradise and surrounding areas affected by the Camp Fire. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Camp Fire Relief Fund to assist the many community organizations serving evacuees and first responders.”

This is the time to give thanks for all we have, and to share when we can. It’s a time for gratitude and generosity, and taking care of ourselves first so we can help others!

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh