A Moment of Sustainable Zen

There are many forms of sustainable living; from apartments in the urban setting to full on, off the grid homesteading. No matter what level and form of sustainability you practice there is work involved. The benefits of that work well outweigh any negative aspects. Some important things to keep in mind when moving toward a sustainable life are; you can only do so much in one day, sustainable living is a journey not a destination, and a sustainable life is a balanced life.

You can only do so much in one day. It is tempting to work as hard and as fast as you can while working toward a sustainable living situation. Many of us make greener choices initially to improve our health and then promptly forget to engage in an activity that is crucial to your health, rest. It is best to set some boundaries for your work day. We wrap up our outside chores before the sun starts to set and we lessen the workload on Sunday’s. The labor intensive work of farming and gardening can and will, break your body down over time if you do not plan ahead. Pace your work day with breaks and implement proper tools to lighten the load of manual labor. If it is going to hurt you to lift something, don’t lift it. While farm work can get you in really good shape it can also send you to the chiropractor. It took such a trip for me to come to an epiphany. A hearty amount of common sense is necessary when you are leading an independent lifestyle.

A sustainable lifestyle is more about the journey than the destination. We were more than a year into building our farm when we finally realized that we will never get everything done. As soon as we understood the unfinished nature of a sustainable life we began to appreciate each day’s tasks for their independent value. This mindset has transferred to other areas of lives. The ability to enjoy each task and each moment of the day without the anxiety of gain has opened a much wider doorway to our ability to be truly happy. There will always be things to do, more to improve, new skills to learn; and there is an enduring beauty in that way of thinking.

While hard work is crucial to the success of your sustainable ventures; the necessity of balancing it out with fun will keep you invested in your bigger goals. Being creative in a way that is enjoyable to you is a wonderful way to break up the monotony of farm labor and it is good for your state of mind.

Sometimes I just walk the farm and enjoy watching the animals. Each of our animals has as diverse of a personality as the people on our farm and they are all very entertaining.  Fun time is especially important if you are teaching your children how to be sustainable. A sure way to make your children not want to live sustainably is all work and no play. Your chores can be fun; but, sometimes you just need to have fun for fun’s sake.  

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