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Sustainability is deeeeep and wiiiiiide. It covers every thing, place, space and idea, which can make it overwhelming and hard to handle.
I struggled for years learning how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, read more about that here.
Finally I sat down with pen and paper and mind mapped it out.
The definition of sustainability was founded in the Brundtland Commission’s report, “Our Common Future”, back in 1987, which states:
“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
While this definition is a fantastic new paradigm to outline our future, it didn’t help me as an individual with any real direction on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
I got to thinking about John Elkington’s coined term, People, Planet, Profit, which was another way of explaining the sustainability paradigm, and it led me to create an action map for my life. I call it:
Being aware of ourselves in this world and how we act and react to each moment in life.
There is a massive uprising in the world, where people are craving more meaning and connection with something bigger than themselves. There needs to be a point to life and the work we do. And for the first time in history this belief that there IS something bigger than ourselves is not based on any one religion or God.
People are waking up and becoming more conscious.
Yet sometimes it can be very confusing about where to start, to find clarity about who you are, and what you should be doing in the world, nevermind how to navigate your heart/brain connection on a daily basis.
After many years of exploration, I have found it is helpful to understand two things:
1) how my mind works, and
2) skills to support my best self and my sustainable happiness.
From the time we are born till approximately 14 years of age, we are not only growing our body, but we’re also growing our brains. There are different levels of growth and associated with each level, there are different brainwave frequencies. For example, the Delta brain wave is the state we are in when we are born and the state we go into every night when we are asleep. This explains why babies sleep so much, because they don’t have the brain capacity for much else.
With each brainwave state that develops in the first 14 years of our lives, each one is imprinted with information from our environment. Roughly 95% of our brain states (Delta, Theta, Alpha) are in the subconscious. This means that many of our reactions to life occur automatically from the programming of our subconscious.
If we grew up hearing that it’s really hard to get money, and you have to work overtime just to get by, then we will likely have the same subconscious beliefs about money as an adult. We will think we have to work hard and sacrifice a lot to make money, or that we’re not good enough to ask for more.
With each new thing we learn, a new neural pathway is created in the mind. This pathway connects action to reaction, experience to information, information to belief, and belief to values.
The good news is, we can reprogram our subconscious brain and create new neural pathways, to support the sustainable life we want to live and the activities we want to spend time doing. We can reprogram our brains to feel worthy, good enough, and empowered to take on challenges that come our way.
PSST, this is so important because in life we inevitably face challenging times and we need to be resilient to thrive in the face of adversity.
Tools & Skills
There are many tools and skills I teach to live more consciously and maintain a level of sustainable happiness. However, meditation is a regular practice I use and recommend to everyone wanting to feel better and maintain clarity. Other methods I use to live a more conscious life include: reprogramming techniques in meditation, journaling, self reflection moments, and forest bathing. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) founded by Gary Craig in the 90’s is a great method for acute situations of stress, anxiety, or depression that anyone can learn and use at any time. Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) founded by Marissa Peer is also an incredible tool for permanently rewiring your brain, replacing weak negative beliefs about self, with strong and empowering ones.
One other tool we always explore and learn, is listening to your intuition. It sounds simple, but many of us ignore the subtle or sometimes aggressive voices inside, guiding us through life. We rationalize and use our mind to try and think ourselves in and out of situations, when more often than not, we can simply ask our intuition for the perfect answer. Strengthening your intuition is an exercise we work through together.
Strengthening our bonds to self, nature, and all beings on the planet.
As well as being conscious, feeling connected to life energy, other people and nature that surrounds us, makes life a whole and complete package.
Focussing your mind on anything but the present moment will cause anxiety, fear, sadness and depression. Relief comes from staying present in the moment, because most often there is some form of beauty, peace, clarity, or joy that we can focus on. We cannot change the past and we don’t know about the future, so our power lies in the present moment.
We need to understand that our mind is a powerful tool that we use for certain things, but ultimately its’ job is to think, all the time. And it has evolved from a place of surviving, while society has evolved to a place of thriving. We no longer need to be on constant high alert to survive. We have the luxury of ignoring the thoughts coming from our mind and instead tapping into our inner voice for guidance and deep wisdom.
To retrieve information from our intuition, it’s as simple as asking. In everyone there is a sometimes quiet and sometimes very loud internal knowing of things. For example: let’s say you’re going to dinner at a friends house for the first time and you get lost. You turned right when you were thinking of turning left. Later you find out that indeed you should have turned left, and you say, “I KNEW I should have gone that way.” That is the voice of your intuition. If you practice regularly, getting quiet, asking questions and listening for the answers, you will see that all you need to make decisions correctly for you, is found by listening to your intuition. This method can help for big life decisions as well, like deciding to have a baby in the face of climate change. Your inner voice will advise the correct answer for you every time.
Understanding this helps to learn who we are and thus connect more deeply with our truth. We’re more compassionate to ourselves and others, building deeper connections. Finding our tribe, the people who support and lift us up, is that much easier when we feel free to be our authentic selves.
Finally, being more conscious and getting connected enhances our time in nature. This is every humans healing place, even if unfamiliar and not normally experienced. The clarity or deep healing that can come with time spent outdoors is undeniably the cheapest therapy you will ever have. Everything outside is alive, strengthening our connection to life and great wisdom.
Getting connected and living consciously, automatically brings mindfulness to our consumption style and habits.
When we practice living consciously and start having a deeper connection to life, we gain a feeling of fulfillment from within that no longer needs to be filled with stuff from the outside (including food). It doesn’t mean we no longer want new things, it just means that we don’t have an obsessive unconscious quality to our wanting.
As well, we tend to care more deeply about the impacts our choices make on life around us. We simply can’t avoid the fact that what we do matters. This is a good thing! It means we can have great positive impact with how we spend our money, what companies, policies and systems we support.
It has been studied and confirmed within the 2018 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report, the single biggest impact individuals can make to cut their carbon emissions by 45% is to become vegan. This is an amazing opportunity I was never empowered with in all my years of striving for a sustainable lifestyle.
Regardless if you continue with a traditional diet, there are so many opportunities to transform your consumption habits to support a sustainable lifestyle, leaving your legacy for future generations to thank you and honour your wisdom and efforts.
As a woman, who likes to be stylish, I find it easiest to be fashionable and in style when I decide on what MY style is, instead of letting trends dictate what I should be wearing. This also empowers me to buy pieces that will last many years and stand the test of time.
In the 1920’s a woman would buy an average of two new pieces of clothing a year and they would last her 20 years. Today, the average woman buys 65 pieces of clothing a year and they last an average of five months. The question to ask, are today’s woman happier or better off than 1920’s women due to their increased clothing options?
All this is to say, there are many opportunities to have an impact on the planet and purchase less and better.
Buy less, choose well, make it last.
We’ll review your current lifestyle and emotional health, to connect and integrate your unique gifts, qualities and strengths with mindset and actions to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
SUSTAINABILITY STARTER KIT
Two 1hr sessions.
Explore your current tactics to understand where your efforts are best spent to live a sustainable lifestyle that works for you. We’ll incorporate two of your biggest passions for the planet to align with your life.
1hr sessions weekly x 4 consecutive weeks.
Understand your baseline and who you are without societies expectations or programming from your youth, to know where you can make the biggest impact in the world without burning out. Strategically align your unique qualities with daily actions and activism that lights you up.