Looking forward to 2019
As 2019 begins to evolve and unfold, I’ve been reflecting daily on the themes I would like to light up my days, weeks and months this year. I took some time to sit and write these down during my holidays in the first week of January, and this is what flowed from my pen.
1. Nurturing myself and my family
4. Seeking transformational spaces
1. Nurturing myself and my family
Self-care and nurturing my family’s health and wellbeing have been important values for me as long as I can remember. However, in our modern, busy world, they are constantly under threat. I believe it’s important to keep these at the top of my list to ensure they receive the attention and commitment that they deserve. In particular, focussing on
getting adequate sleep,
enjoying a healthy, balanced, whole food diet,
drinking plenty of water,
moving often, and
cherishing my relationships with family, friends and my community.
I’ve been following “The Minimalists” for a few years now and have enjoyed putting their minimalism strategies into practice. Then, just prior to the end of 2018, I noticed a new online magazine “Simplify” pop up on my Facebook feed. I checked out the associated website and decided to purchase a lifetime subscription as a source of inspiration throughout 2019.
I’ve read the first issue, themed “Happiness”, and thoroughly enjoyed the wisdom shared by the authors of each article. I’m now on to the second issue, which focuses on health and wellness. It turns out that my suspicion that clutter is not good for your health has been confirmed by the science! So during my week of holidays in January, I systematically decluttered one room in our house per day for seven days, and I can tell you, if felt liberating! With two young daughters and a husband, I’m under no illusion that it is going to stay decluttered from day-to-day, but I am committing to a daily ritual of tidying away any clutter and a weekly (maybe fortnightly) routine of checking each room to ensure it’s not collecting too much excess stuff. I’m very happy to be held accountable to this, too, so feel free to check in with me throughout the year to see how I am going!
Reducing waste and the negative impact that my lifestyle has on the environment is another value I have been focussing on for some time now. This year I plan to make a concerted daily effort to live sustainably and add to the efforts of others, both individuals and organisations, committed to nurturing our planet. In particular, I am supporting the work of Doctors for the Environment by becoming a financial member and promoting their campaigns, such as No Time for Games.
Inspired by Craig Reucassel’s “War on Waste”and shocked by the amount of plastic that ends up in our rubbish bin each week, I’m working really hard to reduce my plastic consumption this year. So far, I’ve purchased silicone Stasher bags and Zero-Waste reusable food and container lids in an attempt to cut out our use of plastic snap lock bags and cling wrap.
I’ve also purchased glass storage jars, which we use for our nuts and seeds. We buy these in bulk for our local supplier, South West Provisions and they deliver to our door! I was inspired to do this by a beautiful friend of mine, Sam Priestly, who has started a small business The Green Heart Grocer dedicated to sustainable living and supporting her local community to work together to achieve this.
The next step for me is to reduce the amount of food that we purchase from the supermarket that comes in plastic packaging – bread, crackers, popcorn, dairy, etc. Ideally, I’d love to make my own, but time is such a precious commodity too, so trying to fit in home-cooking EVERYTHING is proving to be a challenge. Anyone with any ideas on how to make this easier to achieve, please share your tips on my Facebook page.
Other activities I’ll continue with include composting food scraps and recycling as much as possible. In keeping with the simplicity theme, I’m also actively trying to consume less and pass on un-used goods to those in need.
4. Seeking Transformational Spaces
One of my favourite social entrepreneurs, Marc Winn recently got me thinking about the concept of transformational spaces, which he wrote about in his blog. Essentially, Marc explains that many of the issues that we face in our local communities are also issues for other communities. Rather than reinventing the wheel and coming up solutions de novo, Marc suggests that we should look around at what other communities have created to overcome their challenges and borrow their strategies. By sharing in this way, we save time and effort and build on the successes of others. It’s a win-win situation.
In my local community, I have been involved with two inspiring groups, the Holistic Health Practitioner Network and Radiance Support Network, who are raising awareness about mental and emotional health and empowering members of our community to support each other to create good mental health. It can seem like an overwhelming task, however there are stories of hope that we are committed to sharing through movie screenings such as “Suicide: The Ripple Effect”. We have also organised community festivals, including the South West Wellness Festival and the Act Belong Commit Radiance Festival, bringing people together to connect, learn, support and play with one another. This year, we will continue with these projects and welcome other community members to join us on our quest to transform the way we approach emotional wellbeing in our community.
After writing all that, I’m feeling pretty excited! I really encourage you to sit down, put pen to paper and see what flows as you contemplate how you would like 2019 to unfold for you.
Here’s to a healthy, simple, sustainable and transformative year ahead!