Let's find ways to Flourish!
Sustainable Wellbeing may not be a term that you have heard before, but it sure sounds great doesn’t it? "Sustainable" – can be sustained, unlike this pace at work that doesn't feel at all sustainable. And "Wellbeing", “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy”(1). Now, what if we expand that definition of Sustainability to also include the meaning that relates to Environmental Sustainability. Where we mean that human actions cause little to no damage to the environment (2) or may even be restorative to environmental systems?
Now the idea becomes pretty mind-blowing.
Can we actually find personal wellness, looking after our mental and physical health AND at the same time, do what is right for the planet?
This is the concept of Sustainable Wellbeing. It is living at the intersection of environmental sustainability and personal wellness. It is seeking balance for ourselves, while working towards solutions that build resilience in human and...
“Right now you have everything you need to be in bliss.” – Anthony de Mello
At one point or another, we have all experienced a feeling of contentment and gratitude for the small comforts in our lives. This warm and fuzzy feeling can be described by the Danish word “Hygge.”
After much publicity around the word, hygge has been recently adopted into the English language. It is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Although there is no direct English translation, the concept and feeling of hygge is a useful lesson that we can learn to foster.
Being able to assign a word to this feeling can help us appreciate, take notice of, and make an effort to incorporate more hygge into our lives!
The word hygge has been a part of Danish culture since the 19th century when it first appeared in writing. Hygge can be used as an adjective, a noun, and a...
I see a lot of people - especially professional women, mid-career with plenty to manage at home and at work, just really struggling. And I have been there too - heck, every other week! When I was wrestling with the stress of life back at work after my second go with cancer my counselor asked me if I meditated. I said, "No, I have tried, but I either hyperventilate or can't really clear my mind."
She suggested I try one of the Apps for meditation and I did. I use Headspace every day now, and it has fundamentally changed my life. No, it is not all better all at once, it is not a panacea, but I am more at ease - more content. And what could be better than that? Like Dan Harris' book about his journey to meditation, I am definitely "10% Happier".
Incorporating practices into your life that encourage the development of your mind-body connection can result in significant mental and physical health benefits.
Tuning into your body and emotions can be achieved through practices such as...
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” - Henri Nouwen
The practice of gratitude has proven to have a substantial impact on the wellbeing and happiness of individuals who consistently express thankfulness for the things and people in their lives, no matter how big or small.
It is important to keep in mind that nobody’s life is perfect. We all experience negative emotions and difficult circumstances but being able to acknowledge the things you are grateful for is an important part in helping you overcome your struggles and feel content with your life.
In fact, one of the best ways to identify your gratitude is by visualizing your life without the positive events that you have experienced. By imagining the absence of these events, you will be able to develop an even stronger appreciation that they did in fact occur and are present in your life.
How you can express gratitude
In expressing gratitude, you will be able...
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the body and soul.” – John Muir
Humans have been connected to nature since the dawn of time, but as our lifestyles continue to change and evolve, people are spending less time outdoors.
This means a feeling of a lost or broken connection between us and the natural world. We sometimes think of nature as being quite separate from us, and just - out there - in the woods or what we see while on vacation. but the reality is that nature is all around us all the time, and we interact directly with it, we are just not aware of these interactions.
Really, do you think about the sun's energy in that spaghetti sauce? Or did you consider the role of the bees in pollinating your apple? Probably not.
The same thing is often true of our time spent outdoors. We are often more aware of the need for sunscreen or insect repellent than we are of the intricate web of...
Sometimes it seems like western culture is obsessed with happiness. Perhaps you know people who are almost like adrenaline junkies chasing their happiness. But I think a big part of the problem here is that we have a poor understanding of what happiness is and that leads us to pursue what is inherently fleeting.
So, if you really want those good feelings on a long-term basis, regardless of what life brings us, that is possible, but we need to revise the way that we define happiness.
It can be hard to know where to begin when we try to define happiness. With so many different definitions out there, and the highly personal aspects of the concept of being happy, defining the word happiness presents a unique challenge.
It is also important to understand the meaning of a few other terms within the context of happiness and greater overall wellness to better understand what we mean when we say we are happy, and what we are really seeking in our quest for overall wellbeing.
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey
Wisdom and cultural heritage are inherited and passed down from generation to generation. The knowledge and cultural heritage that is passed down creates a sense of belonging and strengthens cultural ties between generations.
Oral traditions, skills, belongings, languages, social practices, and natural environments are all part of cultural heritage and wisdom. They are often learned from previous generations and are considered an integral part of our identity.
The elements that are shared between generations represent the memories and knowledge of the past, as well as their importance in the present moment and in the future. Much of our knowledge of how to live sustainably originates in the principles and wisdom passed down from our ancestors.
Traditions and nuggets of wisdom are passed down not by accident, but because they are deemed...
Like so many people, I do love a fresh start, feeling that I can and will do better, and evolve who I am, becoming the best version of myself. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, I see that way too many of these resolutions revolve around losing weight or eating right, but what I see as truly transformative is living in alignment with our values.
That means living better for the planet - and for our own bodies, in fact, those two acts generally overlap. So, if this sounds like the year that you want to have, where your actions every day are working towards to future that you want, one that is sustainable for the planet AND for yourself, here are my tips on how to get there.
Guess what? It is actually pretty simple.
Yeah, so that sounds great, right? But how exactly do I live that out daily? Have you ever seen ads that talked about this concept...without trying to sell you something? Well, the reality, of course, is that we all consume material goods, food, and resources. But can we do...
Do you remember your time as a student where affordable housing meant multiple roommates, and sketchy landlords? Do you perhaps also know a senior who has extra space but lacks good social connections and may be isolated?
An unlikely match: seniors and students
Although these two demographic groups might seem like polar opposites, they actually have housing needs which are quite complimentary.
Let’s look at students first. Students require affordable housing, as they are at a point in their lives where they are trying to finance their education while balancing schoolwork, part-time jobs, and other expenses that occur at this age.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage of affordable housing in many cities around the world. More specifically, affordable housing located on or near university campuses can be quite hard to come by. First of all, a large number of students attending a single university may cause a significant increase in demand for nearby student housing. This...
Have you ever heard of a makerspace? You might be able to guess what a makerspace is based on its name…essentially, it’s a space where people can create and make things! More specifically, a makerspace is a collaborative space where people can gather to get creative with DIY or tech projects, and share ideas, tools and resources.
If you are someone who enjoys working with your hands and collaborating with others, a makerspace might just be what you are looking for! Makerspaces are quite unique, meaning that the projects and tools found within them can differ from space to space in order to meet the needs of the community. For example, some makerspaces include activities such as coding or robot building, while others focus on woodworking, inventing, and crafting.
Makerspaces can occur in a variety of places. For example, you might be able to find one at your local library, community centre, in elementary schools, or even within your own home!
How did makerspaces come to...