In such rapidly changing and challenging times, what we often yearn for most is personal and planetary peace. There is an antidote to the stress of modern life – to learn to live with simplicity, in harmony with our personal needs, those of the wider community and of this planet that sustains us.
How can you live more simply, more sustainably, with less stress?
On a personal level, sustainability is about living within our individual means, physically, emotionally and spiritually. On a more practical level, sustainable living is about valuing our health and wellbeing, our relationships and community and our personal and spiritual growth above the need to consume and exploit.
In a broader sense, living sustainably simply means living in a way that minimises our negative impact on ourselves, others and the planet in the first instance and moves ultimately to living harmoniously on all levels. Whilst there are many examples of how to do this in a practical way, behind the scenes there is much inner work for us to do in order to engage with the behavioural changes necessary to truly live in alignment with our purpose in being here as human beings. I call this ‘inner reskilling’.
Inner reskilling leads us to greater self-empowerment, inner courage and peace. It enables us to draw on our insight and inner wisdom so that we make everyday, and major, life decisions that are truly the best for us.
How can we work more simply, more sustainably, with less stress?
A sustainable livelihood is one that serves the three P’s – People, Planet and Profit. It’s a way of serving the world and fulfilling our need to contribute and to support ourselves. So, it’s not purely money- focussed. Whether you’re an employee, or run your own business, any simple, sustainable and low-strss organisation that you work for would be aiming to meet the needs of the community in which it operates and which it serves without compromising the needs of the planet. You can read more about sustainable small business here.
Because we live in a society that is driven by consumerism, those who aspire to live and work sustainably often feel as though they are swimming against the tide. This is when it can be especially helpful to have some practical and emotional support and inspiration from someone who is outside of your life and can help you view the situation objectively and positively. Whether you’re employed by someone else or running your own small business, having experienced 10 years of the former and over 20 years of the latter, I’m in a position to partner you on your path.
Do I have to downshift to live a less stressful life?
Any kind of shift, upwards, downwards or sideways, to a more sustainable and meaningful future often begins when we decide that the demands of our modern working life do not justify the rewards. We might reach a point where we yearn for more time to enjoy our families, our relationships, and to participate in our communities. Then there’s a transformative process that happens once we consciously intend to change our lifestyle to meet those needs. This might well be a ‘downshift’ if the starting point is from a position of high income. However, for you it might simply involve a sideways shift – a move to something different. For some, it’s actually more of an upshift, and this might be the case for you if you prefer to grow your life and livelihood by creating or upgrading an ethical or sustainable business, for example. Of those who do downshift, some do that voluntarily, some are what I call “forcibly downshifted”, for example through stress-induced ill health, redundancy, relationship breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances. A new kind of upshift then follows as a more meaningful and fulfilling path starts to become apparent.
Coaching for a simpler life.
If you can visualise an alternative to a materialistic, status driven lifestyle and way of working and just need a bit of extra support and encouragement in getting there, then I can help you. Whatever your situation, my aim in coaching is to partner you on your journey to a more happy and peaceful existence through rediscovering and working with your inner strengths, passions and authenticity.