This article first appeared in mindbodygreen.com and is written by Christina Stevens
Fifteen years into the 21st Century and we are about to be seven billion people surviving on a planet whose resources may only sustain five million at best. If life on earth is to continue, we can no longer live in the manner to which we have become accustomed.
Will population explosion take away luxuries you had once counted on? Does climate change mean you have to give up long held dreams about your future? Could economic inequality diminish your abundance?
Yes, you will have to say no to paper receipts, styrofoam containers and plastic straws — but who will miss them, anyway? In their place are e-receipts, biodegradable plastics and the ever-versatile bamboo.
Let’s step back a moment, because if we are truly to transform a world of greed, planned obsolescence and waste, into a community of sharing and trust, then we need a revolution — one that begins inside each and every one of us.
Here are six ancient ideas about sustainability that will lead us all to a happier, healthier future — without sacrificing a thing.
1. Emotional Balance
Yes, even love needs to be sustainable. Stop wasting valuable energy. Know your priorities and draw your boundaries. Give your love only to those who are willing to accept and return it. Don’t cast pearls before swine. When your heart is hurt and you feel your emotions tipping, bring them back to center.
Do Yoga. Meditate. Or just get silent and be still. Let go of expectation and judgment. Realize you are writing your own life’s script. Let your thoughts and feelings go back to loving and kindness.
2. Physical Shaping
Empower yourself. We all know the more you exercise, the greater your capacity is for well-being and happiness. Keep your routine fresh and interesting. Shake it up. Try a new regimen.
Then STOP! Just as you make time to workout, make time to work in. Sit. Relax. In quiet. Speak to your body. Then feel it speak to you. Trust what you hear and see. Honor your body’s intelligence and it will take care of you — healthier than any doctor could prescribe —fitter than any coach you could ever hire.
3. Healthy Financial Vision
Just working for the money, won’t cut it any more honey. Money is simply a tool. When you’re building wealth, use the tool but focus on your creation. Only when you can see and feel and touch your dream, can you bring it into reality.
Visualize from your heart and do what benefits many, not just you. Love what you do and the momentum of your passion will pulse through your DNA — intensifying and multiplying. Share the wealth and your cup will indeed, runneth over.
4. Intellectual Hunger
Think less. Say yes. Be more open minded. Expand your perspective. Be flexible and eager to learn. Embrace diversity. Learn the world.
Stay open to changing your mind and you will find yourself in awe of what new adventures will fly your way. Feed your intellect. Read. Google. Seek answers to questions. Question the answers. Ask new questions.
Live in the flow of now. Don’t live in your past, or worry about your future. Change your thoughts and you change your feelings. Change your feelings and you change your life.
5. Social Momentum
The technology we suspected would isolate us has actually grown our vast, disconnected world into a tiny interdependent community. Gandhi was ahead of his time when he said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” What occurs on one side of the world immediately impacts the other. Economically and environmentally, we see clearly now the power of one.
Share your feelings. Transform a conflict with love and understanding. Open your heart and listen — really listen. Make a friend of a stranger. When you interact with a new friend, something magical occurs in the discovery. Why else have we all been put on this earth, if it’s not to nurture, develop and grow — together.
6. Spiritual Expansion
The truth is, you were born sustainable. You are a spiritual being experiencing a physical journey. Every new adventure you take in this physical labyrinth feeds your soul, and vice versa.
Create a path to your unconscious and get on intimate terms with your spirit. Jot down your dreams and you will dream more. Tune into your intuition and it will become inextricably valuable to your activities.
Spend time with nature. Nature is a great communicator. Be present in your spirit and you will be gifted with presents galore. Hear your soul speak and you will have a new best friend, right there inside of you.
These six sustainable practices are all about loving yourself, advancing unity consciousness and becoming a global citizen. Take care of you, and you will find yourself aligned with the planetary shift we are all experiencing. You will at last understand what “a world without end” actually means.
Christina Stevens is an award-winning filmmaker, public speaker, global environmental activist and author of Love: The Saint and the Seeker.