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In the spirit of optimism, a Golden Bay writer is relaunching her good news website with a new group of Kiwi writers, saying the daily media site will lead to positive change for the planet.
Happyzine.co.nz founder Charlotte Squire …

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365 Days of Fun and Chillaxation – Blog#96 – Personal Sustainability – Why It’s Right Up There With the Environmental Kind

Submitted by on July 21, 2010 – 3:00 pm 5 Comments

So today, I hit the pillow.  Yes, that’s right, I took to my bed, pulled the bed-covers over my head and rested.  I slumbered.  I let go of everything – handed it over to everyone else – and snoozed.

I was under strict instructions to rest, to remain there and not do any work.  I was told I had to switch off the phone too.  Ok, I didn’t switch off the phone, but it rang once and guess what … I didn’t answer it.  Thats huge for a phone-a-holic … Ok, and than it rang again and I did answer it, but it was a nice phone call.

Why did I hide away beneath the duvet? Because I’ve been working hard lately, too hard, and my body had begun to let me know it was time to slow down.  I felt tired.  Very tired.  the only place I wanted to be was bed – yes, my bed called to me in a sweet and highly inviting tone.  When I sat on it, I was consumed with the need to remain there.  Yes, regardless of my urges to keep working, it was time for a rest!   It was time to walk my talk around the term ‘personal sustainability’.

So David Laing has just defined sustainability.  He’s done a great job of it.  I’ve tried, years ago, and I gave up when I saw how many different definitions people were giving to that simple word.  It’s certainly a well worn word (but, I must add, it’s not as well used as the term ‘green’ in the google search engine).  David wasn’t put off by all the fuss about the term though, he waded in there, had a good dig around and came through with some interesting insight, that actually made sense.

Anyway, getting back to me.  Let’s talk about the term: personal sustainability.  Basically, people who lead personally sustainable lives are healthy. People who listen to themselves, to what their bodies are telling them and act on those messages, maintain their well-being. People who ignore those subtle or not so subtle messages, eventually find their bodies have had enough with playing nice, and send them louder and louder messages until people find themselves literally forced to slow down or to perhaps even stop.

Now, it’s easy to write this, and it makes perfect sense to me, but many people were raised to ignore their core needs.  For those of you who would like some advice about how to become more personally sustainable, here’s mine: try sitting still occasionally and asking yourself what you need.  Oh so simple!  Go on, try it.  What ever comes to mind, and I’m talking the first thing that flashes into your consciousness, may contain some kernels of truth.  If you’re more visually driven, try sitting down with a pen and paper and ‘brain-storming’ ten things that you personally need to boost your health, naturally.  Do it with an open mind, and trust what ever comes out of that pen.  You can draw things, and write key words, it’s just a matter of getting that information out of your mind and onto the paper so that you can make sense of it.  Don’t worry about what anybody else says, just let the information emerge.  It’s like you’re becoming your own life coach.  This is your wisdom.  We all contain it – wisdom. Yes, I know that word’s an old fashioned term that people only use in fairy tales and in old books, but perhaps we need to revisit it.  I’m talking about the wisdom, the innate ability each of us contain to keep ourselves well.  Some of us have been told we simple can’t keep ourselves in good health, not without sound advice from a health professional.  But these well-meaning people have generally yet to figure out their own sense of personal sustainability.

The flow on affect of a personally sustainable existence, one where we’re sensitive to our unique needs and feelings (each of us are different) is that we give other people, and our environment, the same level of respect and sensitivity.  Now I know that in this world it can be a little challenging to be sensitive at times, but believe me, having the guts to remain in touch with our feelings is like the best health insurance ever!  Your doctors bills will dive down to virtually nothing at all.  I don’t have a doctor.  My son officially does, but he’s always healthy so he’s never been there.

So what was the outcome of my day in bed?  I woke up at around 3.30 pm to hear our DreamtoReality winner – Emily Harris – on the National Programme talking about her Roof Top gardens dream that we’re supporting her to achieve!  ‘Ha!’  I thought ‘Relax and great things continue to happen’.  That radio show will have been listened to by thousands of people.  Not bad for a day in bed.

365 Days of Fun and Chillaxation (as I raise my gorgeous son and grow my good news website to a subscription base of 100,000 people).  The Low Down on this Blog.

Check out yesterday’s blog.

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5 Comments »

  • davidlaing says:

    Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated. Your exercise is very cool too. Next step for you is …. life coach.

    Carry on the good work.

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  • Nick says:

    Lovely post Charlotte! I often feel that personal sustainability (or “renewability” as I now prefer to call it) is at the heart of social/environmental renewability. We only experience our environment through our own direct embodied experiences… so if we’re not looking after our self I can’t see how we’re really looking after the environment that we are part of. Keep enjoying the chillaxation amidst all your hard work!

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  • Katya says:

    Well Done Charlotte for taking time out to nurture your good self!

    I had to do that last week as my body was giving me signs that I had overdone it and I had a whole 4 day weekend of early nights, self nurture and gentleness.

    I am good at listening to my body’s messages now but it took me years to tune in properly and it was only because my body was delivering harsher and louder warning signs until I had to sit up and listen that I eventually did. I would recommend that people dont wait till then to get the message though.

    I have had several years now of living with “Chronic Fatigue” and it has been at many times a daily struggle to get out of bed as my body was just so painful and exhausted. This could have been avoided I am sure if I had listened to myself with more loving attention during the years leading up to my body’s cry out for help.

    So my sustainable approach now entails, not spending all of my energy reserves in one go and always banking some of it whilst I still feel good, that way I don’t crash as hard as I used to. I have come to realise that by the time I feel exhausted, it is already too late and it will take me far longer to get back to normal energy levels. It also includes nourishing myself with a diet of healthy and organic foods, getting enough sleep, expressing my emotions in a healthy way and trying to incorporate a good balance of play, work, exercise, creativity and spirituality.

    Please note habitual stress, be it emotional, mental or physical (all 3 if you really want to do it), playing and working hard, suppression of emotions and having a bad diet is a sure way that your body will respond negatively, personally, I wouldn’t recommend it;-)

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  • Charlotte says:

    Thanks for your comments David, Nick and Katya :-) Lovely to receive some feedback on that blog because I felt that I was slightly ‘going out on a limb’ in saying it. Why? Because so many differ in opinion to mine when it comes to my beliefs about our innate ability to tune in and maintain or create good health. And yes, though I wish I could say other wise, I do feel rather sensitive to offending people with my sometimes ‘edgy’ opinions. It felt good to write it though, in fact that blog sort of exploded out of me. Probably because I was reminding myself!
    Ha ha ha!
    I’m still having to take it little easy right now, sort of like the tide pulling in before the next round of waves (is it true? Do they really come in sets of seven?). I’ve got my first ever round of positive writing courses coming up, and David and I have this very exciting sustainable energy design comp approaching, plus there’s the day to day running of Happyzine. It’s all very exciting and requiring some organizing!

    Long may the greenies chillax!

    love,
    Charlotte
    xxxx

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  • Ants says:

    Thanks Katya for your wise words, I totally agree…
    :)
    Ants

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