Lately my professional and blogging interests have expanded to include health, nutrition, psychology, relationships, minimalism, and many other topics. As all these different ideas bounced around in my mind, I initially thought I was getting off track and losing interest in sustainability.
But it’s not so black and white.
All of these topics seamlessly fit together—being green, being healthy, being happy, being simple-minded, being kind, being honest. When combined they create a holistically sustainable person—from the inside out.
I guess what I’m trying to say is sustainable living is more than just making green choices. It is a healthy, happy, simple, kind, honest mindset and essence of life. It is putting an end to the vicious cycle of greed, anger, resentment and negativity—both through actions and thoughts.
Here are some key lessons I have learned through my journey to true simple, sustainable living, but this time, from the inside—in my mind and heart—perhaps the most important part.
I’ve seen plenty of angry bloggers out there, attempting to guilt and scare people into changing. A while ago I was having a rough time and someone told me, “Just stay sweet.” Stay sweet. Find the good in people. If you don’t like a situation, help to make it right or deal with it delicately. Don’t let this world jade you. A negative person will have a much harder time helping than a positive one.
Keep looking forward.
Okay, so you messed up today. Maybe you’ve slipped into a pattern of being super lazy or doing things that are harmful to the earth or other people. You are alive now. You can change it now. Don’t lose hope. Today’s the day to turn it around.
Be eager to learn.
Harry Truman once said “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” The real learning begins once you’re convinced you’ve learned all there is to know. Keep your mind open to lessons you may not be expecting from the least expectant of folks.
Find joy in the simplest things. This goes for everything: food, daily routine, possessions, etc. Keep your mind on your mission: to be kind to the earth and others. Less is more.
Be okay with getting dirty.
You’re going to have some experiences that many view as uncomfortable, like finding maggots in your compost, sweating on a bike ride in the middle of summer, freezing on the bus or subway in the middle of winter, or wearing the same pair of pants every week. You can look at it as gross, annoying or inconvenient, or you can look at the maggots as your special team turning leftover mush into rich, organic fertilizer to help veggies sprout next year. You can remember sweating on a bike is keeping your heart healthy. You can be thankful to have money for a bus ticket in the cold months. And you can be happy about all the money and resources you save by washing and wearing the same old pants again. See what I mean?
..But have fun with it.
Laugh! Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun with your life. Enjoy the life you’ve created for yourself. Humor will keep you sane.
Have faith in yourself.
Maybe you feel like you aren’t ‘qualified’ to share your opinion. That’s the devil talkin’. Have faith and confidence in yourself, your experiences and your knowledge. You don’t need a piece of paper for permission to share your thoughts. Don’t be afraid to speak up when there is a better, less harmful way to do something at work or home. Share your passion with others!
I could go on, but these are the key lessons I have learned so far in my journey. I truly enjoy hearing about your experiences and life. Please feel free to share any of the lessons you have learned, as well!