Sustainability Begets Sustainability: How I realised that the only way to live the sustainable, ethical life I wanted was to live a personally sustainable life.

busy life cult of busy sustainability sustainable living

So, this thinking all came about because I was thinking what to post on Instagram today. Basically I like to be honest with you all in my social media use because I believe it is essential in life to be honest, to reveal your true self, that is the only path to self-acceptance and appreciation; but at the same time there are other people in my life who don't wish to be fully revealed, so sometimes it's hard to balance the two.

But today I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and down on life... So, I decided to share an image of beautiful tea we stock and some ceramic cups to allow me to share that I have not been great at self-care lately, or life in general lately, and I wanted to open up conversation about taking some time out each day to sustain oneself.

The world sustain really stuck out to me because I realised that I have also been letting myself down in living sustainably, and that my ability to live sustainably was completely aligned with my ability to sustain myself.

I realised that in order to live sustainably as described on Wikipedia:

Sustainable living describes a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources, and one's personal resources. Its practitioners often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering their methods of transportation, energy consumption, and/or diet.

was completely defined by my ability to sustain myself and my life first. 

I'll try and be more clear. I read a terrifying piece that rang SO very true for me from the Australian Newspaper that someone posted on social media about the reality of life for Working Mums. I then read a bit more about the Cult of Busy concept that has been part of the zeitgeist for a few years, and the many ways this busyness is affecting our health and relationships. And the truth in these was searing. 

What happens to me is, as I get busier and busier in my life my ability to live a sustainable life which means to live my values is greatly affected. When I am not sustaining myself I don't consume as ethically (buying pre-packaged food and processed foods), I am less than occasional with my composting, I start throwing plastic in the regular bin instead of returning it to Redcycle, I buy fast food, I throw out leftovers and generally I stop making an effort for the planet. I don't have time to meditate, I don't get to yoga, I get antsy, irritated, I lose empathy - I am too overwhelmed I cannot sustain myself, therefore I cannot live sustainably. 

But living a sustainable life, but in my internal life, and my external life, this is a core value for my life and for my business. So, what to do...

And this is when it hit me: sustainability begets sustainability, in order to live a sustainable life I need to be a sustained person. 

Now, this is not easy when you are overwhelmed, not at all. But I think that's where my Instagram photo comes in, what I realised I need to do today is find 10 minutes to sit, drink some good tea in a beautiful handmade cup, stir it with a handmade spoon think about the makers who created each piece, savour that connection, remember that 'we are all in this together' - find a moment to sustain myself so I can live more sustainably. 

I think the key is therefore for me to become clear on my values, organised about how I live them, and to value myself everyday, so I can sustain others and live a life that is sustainable. 

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  • Cat Carew on

    This rings true to my life too. It is a constant balance and more challenging as my kids get older and their ‘wants’ are so heavily marketed to consume what I value as poor quality food and clothing. One cup of tea at a time.

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