Live Sustainably? Start Within

Sustainable living begins with a resilient self.

Do you cringe when you hear of a “new way to improve your life”?  If so, you’re not the only one. But isn’t it our nature to long for more, or better? for growth? to stand out amidst the surrounding chaos?

Our world, flooded with info bytes and personal brand competition, feels like a raging river leaping its banks, with us in the rapids, dodging obstacles. (And that was before the election year.) Consumerism is the loudest anthem. But “more” and “better” inevitably lose their charm; when they do, I long for just staying upright, keeping my balance. You?

In this psychologically and physiologically toxic environment, how can we remain standing, let alone thrive? 

There’s a real respite at hand- and closer than you may think. Your inner reserves and spiritual connection create a deep well from which we can draw any time, anywhere. A well-chosen “reserve” in our proverbial “well” helps us maintain equilibrium and balance, stay upright. And this is the very essence of sustainability.

Sus·tain·a·ble: adj.  Able to be upheld or defended; maintained at a certain level

“Resilience” enhances our balance, making us pliable and tough enough to bounce back into shape from adversity. For humans, personal sustainability would be an impossible prospect if we relied on the ever-changing world around us, starving us at times, and overwhelming us at others. We need both resilience and sustainability. A resilient, sustainable space within creates a power shield of protection.

Re·sil·ient: adj.  Ability to recover quickly from stress or adversity; elasticity

But how does this work? Our ability to withstand outer conflict, chaos, uncertainty and hardship depends in great part on our first response generated from mind, spirit and body. How’s that going for you right now? The good news: we have the ability to cultivate more resilience so we bounce back readily into our unique and healthy form. How? By starting at Step 1: Know yourself.

What’s in your “well” of inner reserves and spiritual connection? We need to know what’s “in there” if we’re going to draw from them in the moment of need. And while your relationships are part of your “spiritual connection”, relying solely on other people’s “well” to steady us will drain both us and them. Your inner reserves and spiritual connection must be uniquely and decidedly your own. Once you’ve ensured that your personal sustainability is in check, you’ll have a compass to guide how you live more sustainably in the world around you- with balance, and for the long haul.

Here are some questions & thoughts to get you started:

  1. What is your spiritual anchor, your one unchanging and unshakeable foundation?
  2. Name three qualities of your inner reserves. (integrity, faith, love, gratitude & grit are a few)
  3. Is it time to cultivate or prune something unhealthy from your “inner reserves”?
  4. What does your spiritual connection to God and to others look like today?

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