” When the basis for your actions is inner alignment with the present moment, your actions become empowered by the intelligence of LIFE itself.” – Eckhart Tolle
It starts with the little things… a cliche phrase used to express appreciation of life, “it’s the little things”, but it’s true in many aspects that these little things cascade to create a life much bigger than all the little things combined. Your everyday actions and mindset has a ripple effect on the people in your community and across the globe, along with the planet.
I believe my journey started as a little girl with a deep love for animals; I loved dogs and horses and big cats! I would have been happy to give up my normal human life to go live in the wild alongside such beautiful creatures. I believe most kids have an innate understanding to care for the planet and it’s creatures, but we get detached from nature as we grow older and are taught to prioritize other things. That doesn’t mean the connection is lost forever.
Now we are young adults, parents, brothers, sisters, community leaders and we have the ability to build the life we want through small actions and mindset shifts that are crucial for this journey.
“But, Lizzie I don’t know where to start!?”
I would say it’s different for everyone, based on where you are at on your journey and how passionate you are towards creating your best life. But I can give some suggestions based on my experience.
Start with these:
- Commit to using a Reusable Water Bottle
- Put more plants than animal products on your plate #MeatlessMonday
- Care for a few potted plants (basil, rosemary, mint are easy) this is truly a mindfulness practice
- Read one of these books
- Eat a meal outside without technology
If you feel called to explore deeper, play with these:
- Build a compost, use it for a garden or potted plants
- Eat one plant-based meal a day
- Incorporate mindfulness into daily life: remain in the present moment while cooking, cleaning, eating or showering
- Find movement that you love: weights, yoga, kickboxing, dance, surfing etc.
As you start to care for your health, your body and mind will crave more of the stuff that nourishes you. When you think about what you’re consuming (food & media) you are being mindful and this awareness allows you to have greater control over your life. You choose what you consume, how empowering is that!!
I am a huge proponent of connecting the mind, body, & spirit because when they are aligned with what you love you become unshakeable, even amongst the chaos and grief that life brings, you understand that it is just part of life.
Some final thoughts on where to start:
- Invest in Yourself: whether that’s committing to a 6 month coaching program to help yourself or your business grow, buying only organic produce, planning a healing vacation, signing up for a retreat, etc.
- Join a like-minded Community whether it be virtual or in person or both, community is an essential part of the human experience
- Dedicate 5-15 minutes a day to just Breathe with yourself, feel all the feelings and allow any emotions to arise
- Take a Leap of Faith: quit your job, move to another state, tell that someone I Love You, you’ll know best what your leap is
- Share your journey on social media, your voice is so powerful, inspire others by tagging @unlitter #unlitteryour___
These are all ideas, take them as you will to create your own amazing fulfilling life! They may be biased by my own experiences, yet I believe everyone can take away something. Whether you take the message, “daily actions culminate into more than just your life story but affect the people and planet you interact with”, or you decide to try out an action I described above like composting!
I want to tell you that it doesn’t matter where you are starting from or how much time you decide to dedicate, it only matters that You Believe In Yourself Enough To START!
What inspires you?
What do you love doing?
How can you care for yourself?
Sharing your commitment is a way to keep yourself accountable (don’t we all need that haha) so tell a friend, journal about it, make a social media post, do whatever you feel will push you and support you on this journey. Starting MBSR this week at the Treehouse to deepen my mindfulness practice and continue the journey! May we meet along the way……
Follow my blog “Consciously Connecting” for travel stories, lessons from nature’s wisdom, and plant-based recipes.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Shutt is a student at the University of Florida. She is passionate about all things green and currently participates in many forms of environmental advocacy, including the #Unlitter movement. When she isn’t hitting the books, she enjoys cooking plant-based cuisine, composting, and surfing