Change our ways

It takes time for change to happen.

The way we live our lives.

We might not be so willing to let go of convenience and comfort.

It’s convenient to go to the local supermarket that has everything that we need (plus the unnecessary extras) to survive, even though it means that we will have to put a blind eye to the many layers of plastic that surrounds and “protects” the food. It means that we will have to buy a garlic bulb from Mexico when there is beautiful garlic growing in our neighbour’s backyard. It means that we will have to painfully watch the supermarket staff pack your five items into hundreds of plastic bags. It means that you will have to walk through the maze of isles in order to find the few “one ingredient items” that you are looking for, items that are usually stored somewhere on a bottom shelf, pushed into a corner by a sea of processed food.

I find it disturbing (because I am aware of the consequences) to see vegetables at the supermarket wrapped up in plastic and then to be put in plastic bags – bags that (perhaps) are to be thrown away as soon as we get back home, only to end up as landfill the next day.

Yes, it takes time and effort to shop mindfully and to seek out sustainable ways of buying and storing our groceries and to seek out ways to reduce our consumption of plastics. But in the end, the earth will thank you.

Awareness is key and is the first step that one has to take in order for change to happen. Once awareness hits you, then there are a couple of options to choose from: to put a blindfold on or to put your glasses on; the green pill or the red pill; Jedi or drone; to stay in your comfort zone or to step out of it; watch the news or create the news.

 

Lead by example and practice what you preach.

I’m not perfect, but I’ve started to make conscious changes in my own life in order to make the world a better place in every little way that I can.

 

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The precious present

It’s constantly changing.

I’m not talking about the weather.

No.

Although, the weather is included.

I’m talking about life.

One day you are on top of it all and it feelslike there is nothing in this world that can stop you from achieving your dreams and goals and life plans.

But when you are at the top of the mountain looking out, please, be aware of the clouds in the distant. They will come, but they will pass.

Nothing is constant.

One day you are at the bottom of the darkest pit you can ever imagine, perhaps you are there because of an unexpected event, a tragedy, health issues, relationship problems, conflicts at work or in your family, or simply because you are feeling low for some unknown reason. Whatever you may feel and experience, whatever you may go through, please know that it will pass. Like clouds.

Life is a complex maze that one has to go through.

There are many ups and downs, highs and lows.

Be aware of them.

When you are feeling happy, know that it will pass.

When you are feeling low, know that it will pass.

Be content.

Aim for the top of the mountain, experience the high and enjoy the view.

The mountains are there for a reason. They are there for you to experience the beauty in life, the feeling of ecstasy when you reach the top, but also to experience hardship and struggle in order to get there.

Don’t forget to capture the moments of struggle and hardship on your way up. It is never about the endpoints, it is always about the journey. What is life about if not the journey.

Who would be able to experience the highs in life if there were no valleys in between the mountains?

Gratitude is important.

Don’t take things for granted.

Don’t take people for granted.

Enjoy the moment.

The precious present.

 

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Garage sale – and the end of the 30-day challenge!

Having a garage sale is a great thing.

A garage sale brings people together: friends, family, neighbours and the wider community.

You get rid of things that you no longer need or want, things that no longer add value to your life.

A garage sale gives other people the opportunity to enjoy those things instead.

It gives you the chance to earn a little money on the side, although the purpose of a garage sale is not to make loads of money, but to make room for other things that add value to your life.

A garage sale is an opportunity recycle, to be environmentally aware by selling or giving things away rather than mindlessly throwing things away like garbage. Your garbage is another person’s asset. It’s your choice to let your old desk end up as landfill or as a useful working desk in someone else’s home.

A garage sale gives you the perfect opportunity to end you 30-day challenge. It gives you a chance to celebrate with a glass of champagne in your hand because you DID IT. You managed to minimize and to let go of a whole lot of things, which is not that easy, especially if you are used to being a hoarder.

That garage sale is worth celebrating. Give yourself a pat on the back because you have done something great. You have dedicated your valuable time to create space for people to meet, mingle and socialize outside the world of so called social media. You have put a smile on someone’s face just by providing that space. You have put a smile on your own face every time someone came to say hi and to look at your things. You have helped the environment by recycling the things that you don’t need in your life anymore. Celebrate the fact that life is constantly changing and with that realization you create space for what is more important than material things, which is love and community.

Sometimes it is useful to ask yourself the question: If your house burned down and you had just enough time to rescue ONE thing from the house, what would that be?

When I ask myself that question I remind myself what actually matters in life.

 

Between day 23 and 24

So far I have got rid of 276 things in this house. I’ve got 7 more days to go until I finish my 30-day challenge. Sometimes it’s good to stop and look back to see what you have achieved before moving on. I have realised that I don’t actually own many things, I’m already living quite a minimalistic lifestyle. Yes, I probably have a few more items of clothes that I could get rid of and I probably have a few more books I could throw away but in terms of furniture, kitchen utilities, ornaments, cars and technical devices, I actually don’t own much. In this world today, assets in terms of properties, cars and the luxurious extras are signs of financial success and security. If I would start comparing myself with people who value material possessions the most, and with those who own two properties, two cars and the latest gadgets, I would feel very unsuccessful compared to those people. However, when I look at my life, which is a life rich in adventures and experiences and when I realise that the things I value in life has nothing to do with material possessions, then I would consider myself as very rich and successful.

Between my partner and I we share one car. We don’t own any properties. We have one outdoor table and one indoor table and between those two tables we share four chairs (we never got around buying another set of chairs for the kitchen table, then we realised that we don’t actually need another set of chairs). The living room has a couch, a rug, a living room table, a bookshelf full of books and a TV. The only room in this house which is cluttered and needs a clean up is the office, which is my partner’s territory…thank God there is a plant in that office that keeps bringing some good energy into that room!

So, what’s next? I’m still waiting for day 24 to come, the day when I will enter that cluttered territory and start clearing some space.

Day 23 – Bits and pieces

I wish I had all my other stuff back in Sweden right here right now so that I had more stuff to choose from in next last seven days of my 30-day challenge…I should have made it a 20-day challenge. This is getting really difficult…

So difficult that I’ve even started clearing up my partner’s office..and wow – that is a challenge of its own!

I’ve put together a pile of stuff (mainly folders and old documents) on the floor so that he can tell me if I’m allowed to throw it all away…I think he got too much stuff and that he needs a bit of help cleaning up! However, I’m also doing it for my own mental wellbeing – it’s painful walking into that office and to see all the mess..it makes me want to run out again and close the door behind me so that I don’t accidentally turn my gaze towards the mess. There is some serious blockages of “QI” in there…

If I had free reign in that room I would do a sweeping movement with my arm on the desk and then use a massive broom to swipe it all out of the house!

The picture below displays a few different odd things that I’ve managed to put together into a new pile. The question is, how many “odd” things do I have left in the house that I can get rid of???

 

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Day 22 – “Should you bamboo?”

I found an interesting video about the story of microfibres. It’s about the dark side of synthetic fabrics (and plastic). It made me wonder what the majority of my clothes consist of? Probably cotton..and polyester – or in other words: synthetics.

This made me wonder what other types of clothing material can we use that is more environmentally friendly?

I heard that bamboo textiles are supposed to be environmentally friendly and biodegradable. After doing a little bit of research myself and after watching this youtube clip about the positives and negatives of bamboo, I think I must agree that clothes made from bamboo (the natural fibre) is one of the more sustainable textiles out there.

Some of the positive traits of bamboo fibre include:

  • positive impact on greenhouse gases
  • sustainable harvesting methods
  • low water consumption
  • naturally pest resistant
  • does not require chemicals for growth
  • biodegradable

Also, from own experience of bamboo: It’s really comfortable to wear!

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Day 21 – only 9 days and 204 things left to go…

My 30-day challenge is almost over, in less then 10 days. However, whilst I’ m getting closer to the end, the number of things that I have to get rid of is increasing, which makes each day more difficult. Although, so far I have somehow managed to put together a new pile of stuff every day, always adding one more thing. Only nine days to go…but in these nine days I need to find another 204 things to get rid of…

In the pile that I have put together today there is a pillow, a couple of towels, several documents and an ALDI-bag. This bag is supposed to represent a bunch of other shopping bags (12 in total) that I’ve recently packed away. I forgot to take a photograph of them all, but they still count!

Don’t worry, I’m not going back to plastic bags, I still have a bunch of other bags that I can use of when I go shopping. Why keep so many when I only use a few???

 

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