Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Personal + Global Sustainability

Most of us realize that our lifestyle has to change. Be it too hectic or chaotic, too rushed and auto-piloted, many of us need to upgrade to a streamlined, more conscious lifestyle.

Along with that, we ALL need to immediately and continuously work on becoming truly light on the earth. We have to recognize that change won't and shouldn't have to come from the government first- we have to initiate and work through a peaceful revolution at the grassroots level.

We have to MAKE the time to stop, and truly notice every action we perform, from purchases to daily chores to what we choose to include in our lives, and how we do it all. Can we just use a little less of everything? Can we all eat more home cooked meals and home-packed lunches, and less take out? Can we shut off the TV and rediscover the joy of winding down with a book before bed, or reading and family cuddling?

It isn't just environmental sustainability we are talking about. The same changes required to eliminate the 80% of our carbon footprint by 2020 are the same kinds of changes that bring us back to a more deliberate and savored pace of life. Moving towards sustainability isn't about deprivation, even though using less of more things is a universal and crucial step. It enriches our lives because it is a process of looking at what we truly need to be healthy and happy. Slowly we come to see that the basic neccessities of food, water, air, clothing and shelter are followed closely by time with friends and loved ones. We can live without many things, and live a higher quality of life without them at that- cigarettes, alcohol, TV and fast food are some examples. But the unconditional love that we give and receive, we soon find, sustains us in a way that is somehow completely neccessary too.

Bringing your life home to its center, living in the light of the meaning of life in your eyes, creates a deeper peace that is less shaken by material circumstances. The zen of daily chores done joyfully can manifest a natural ring of unhurried strength throughout the day. Living connected to the present moment is an important skill used to develop personal quality of life and balance it with environmental stewardship. With this dual integrity to our actions, we find greater peace, solidity and freedom- we are free from guilt or regret.

"In our every deliberation, we should take into account the effects of our actions on the next seven generations." -from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

It is a process that begins small and day by day, and drop by drop it gathers momentum and becomes a peaceful, personal revolution. We cannot force it so quickly that we are miserable, but we need to get started immediately and try to stretch our comfort zone just a touch everyday.

May your mindfulness grow fast and may you find incredible satisfaction on your path to true sustainability!

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