If you think the concept of sustainability is incredible but you can not have a sustainable attitude in your day-to-day life, do not worry. This is totally normal. We were raised in an environment that, for a long time considered our resources endless. We didn’t create a perception and awareness about nature and resources. Quite the opposite. We are being increasingly driven to disconnect from nature. And because of this disconnect, you still find yourself thinking that only you having a sustainable attitude will not help at all or that until you die we will have enough resources. And life goes by. And so, although the term sustainability is very trendy, there is this gap between the concept of sustainable living and the sustainable attitude of people in everyday life.
The way to develop a sustainable attitude
Although man likes to separate things, to make them more practical, we are one and each area of our life is correlated to another. Therefore, to develop a sustainable attitude it is necessary to work expanding our consciousness.
As you work to expand your consciousness, you start awakening for things that were dormant. Things that were previously irrelevant become important. And one of them is the relationship and respect we have with our planet.
1. Raising Awareness
There are several ways of moving towards the expansion of consciousness. Yôga, was for me the great path allied to meditation and some important experiences like having lived aboard a sailboat. When we work holistically, we end up having results in all areas and sustainability is one of them. But if you still do not have your path well defined, I suggest you start here:
- Daily, set aside for 5 to 15 minutes: Close your eyes if you can go somewhere quiet, outdoors and meditate by observing a plant, nature or listening to the birds singing.
- Realize that everything that comes to you came from nature in some way: Yes, it seems basic but somehow we forget it. Be grateful for nature, for all elements, for the true miracle that every plant and resource available on earth is.
- Remake the path of the food or material that is in your house to its extraction in nature: For example, a sheet of paper, although it is only a one page, it was once a tree. Someone planted it, watered it, fertilized, and cut it. This tree was taken to a factory, being transported for thousands of kilometers, where several men worked to transform it into paper. The productive process is exhausting until it reaches you. Try to do this meditation daily with different items of your day to day. Start here with a tour at Faber Castell and how it is the productive process of a “simple” pencil.
- Observe nature: contemplate during your meditation how wonderful nature is and realize that the more you connect to it the more retribution in the form of lucidity and awareness it gives you.
- Feel more connected: By connecting more to nature, it is only natural that you become more concerned with it, too. We are part of her, the world. We do not have a Life, we are life. And gradually you feel that you are part of the whole and then start to take care of the whole.
2. Get started in an organic way
Much better than just creating a list of things you want to do in a sustainable way and trying to follow it exhaustively and with many failures that surpasses your evolution, the work fundamentally in the expansion of your consciousness will bring things to last.
You will see that starting to expand your consciousness, your will to act sustainable will come in an organic and natural way. And usually the changes that take place are positive, sustainable and lasting.
Awakenings start small and gradually take on unimaginable proportions. Each sustainable attitude will give you pleasure, a sense of belonging and caring. Your level of gratitude for each resource changes completely and your life begins to be filled with small achievements and accomplishments.
3. Plan, shape and cultivate the habit of sustainable attitude
Now one thing is fact, even with the expansion of consciousness, to have a sustainable attitude requires a minimum of planning, cultivation and habit. Otherwise you will always fall into the trap of “today it didn’t work out”. Why not? Because you did not plan and you were not prepared. You have not gotten the habit yet.
But what do I mean by planning, cultivating, and acquiring the habit? Each sustainable attitude usually requires initial preparation and they vary depending on each thing. Take the example of not using plastic bags from the grocery stores. You can be working your meditation daily, be super conscious but if you do not stop to think, “today I’ll go to the market”, get your returnable bags, you will reach the Groceries without the bags and end up succumbing to the plastic ones.
So, with each new inner will that comes to you to be more sustainable, stop, plan and cultivate to create the habit of that action. Look for the first 30 days to do it with full attention and great care, creating a pleasant habit of accomplishment and not letting the frustration take over.
4. Face the challenges and do not give up
Many people who begin with some sustainable attitudes at some point suffer from the desire to give up and become frustrated. This may be because it has been a decision without fertile ground to sustain the actions or even when you are already prepared.
You will notice that there are several elements that will “hamper” your action. The pressure of society and the rush of the day will often put you on autopilot. So in a hurry you will forget the bag, the water bottle and so on.
But do not give up. Did you forget the returnable bag today? Use this frustration as fuel to not forget tomorrow. Or even better, when you get home, immediately take some bags and leave them into the car.
5. Move towards an integrated and sustainable life
At the end of the day we are not talking about perfection but consistency. You will find that you will feel happier and more serene as you begin to do your part and take care within your limit of the awareness. This limit is also increasing as you cultivate and integrate with nature. When you notice, you will be living sustainably already.
How are your sustainable attitudes today?