Let's find ways to Flourish!
We live in a fast paced, often tumultuous society in which we are confronted with new problems and stressors on a near daily basis. Whether it be challenges we face at work, conflicts with family or friends, or much larger scale issues like the climate crisis, it is easy to become overwhelmed and feel helpless.
It can be difficult to comprehend the effects these challenges have on us and our feelings. They can cause us to feel stressed, anxious and unfulfilled in our relationships with ourselves, our loved ones and our surroundings. It is understandable that we are often left thinking “What I am missing? There must be something more.”
The wellbeing model integrates multiple aspects of our lives, promoting a more holistic approach to leading a fulfilling life. As opposed to being a state of mind or a response to stimuli, wellbeing is a much broader concept of what it means to flourish, and what is necessary to allow us to do so.
Wellbeing has value in itself...
“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...
Don't get me wrong, I love well-integrated initiatives that create lasting change, but what I see ALL THE TIME are people struggling with knowing what action to take - and that leads to inaction, or too many projects started and nothing finished. Without finishing and realizing the end goal, we deprive ourselves and the world of the benefits of these initiatives.
A time and a place
So, there is a time and a place for well-defined, small concise projects that realize their modest little goals - and get the win! These small wins are actually vital in realizing larger goals. They provide us with momentum, and a sense of accomplishment, individually and collectively. And they can be really useful as demonstration projects that set us up for success when it comes to larger projects.
I like to think of these small wins as being the base of the Action Pyramid. They are at the bottom because there are lots of them, they are easy to achieve, accessible, and they save money and even time and...
Sustainable wellbeing is the intersection of personal wellbeing with social and environmental sustainability. By pursuing sustainable wellbeing, we can feel good about ourselves while taking care of the planet and community we live in!
While finding sustainable wellbeing is our goal, it might seem easier said than done. You might find yourself wondering “what exactly does sustainable wellbeing look like?” or “what concrete steps can I take to achieve sustainable wellbeing?”
Well, there isn’t one path towards sustainable wellbeing. The truth is that sustainable wellbeing looks different for everyone. The steps you take to improve your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing are likely to be determined by your own lifestyle, values, personality and more.
That being said, it certainly can be difficult to forge your own path at times. If you struggle with thinking of ways to achieve sustainable wellbeing, you’re not alone! Staying inspired...
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.
Deep ecology is an environmental philosophy introduced by Arne Naess in 1984 which recognizes the inherent value of all living beings and promotes the idea that they have moral and legal rights to live and flourish as humans do.
This philosophy looks deeper into our relationship with the natural world for a more holistic approach to environmentalism. Instead of promoting the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity for human purposes such as resource extraction, deep ecology recognizes the intrinsic value these systems hold, regardless of utility to humans.
The deep ecology framework is not anthropocentric, meaning that all living beings are viewed as our equals and that we are part of a whole.
As a whole, we cannot all thrive to our full potential until all parts of the whole are free to do so. Deep ecology encourages the shift from egocentric living to ecocentric living.
Fundamental principles of Deep Ecology
"Yoga makes you harmonious with nature and teaches you to be joyfully curious about your inner world." - Debasish Mridha
Yoga is a mind-body practice that has been around for thousands of years and continues to be a popular method of exercise and wellness today.
And good news, it is not just for the fit and flexible. There is a yoga practice for every body type and ability.
Some physical benefits of practicing yoga include increased flexibility, increased muscle tone and strength, lowered blood pressure, better posture, and improved balance.
These physical benefits are accompanied by many mental benefits as well. Yoga practices often incorporate meditation and breathing exercises in order to reduce stress, increase awareness of your body and movements, aid in sleep, and increase mental clarity.
But even beyond the physical and mental benefits, when we connect deeply with our bodies, we begin to find a new relationship to ourselves and the natural world. Our bodies are made of the...
In honour of the 100th edition of the Flourishing Fridays newsletter, I thought it would be great to profile some of the amazing work that folks in this community are doing. Sharing some inspiration and celebrating our wins, big and small. Together we are learning about how to live more sustainably, how to spread the ideas of green living and to enjoy life more!
What an amazing and inspiring list!
Aditya is helping to educate others about the importance of protecting wilderness.
AJ fixes appliances, builds with reclaimed lumber, raises bees and enjoys time in nature.
AK – promotes thrifted fashion for badass Millennials on her social media accounts.
Angelika got small recycling bins for her condo complex and avoids wasting food.
Anuradha – runs sustainable clothing companies using all traditional textiles and zero waste production that also provides employment for women in India.
Amanda is eating more local food and loves to support local businesses.
Anders helps kids in...
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...