Sustainability not only asks me to be observant about our world (good and bad), it asks me to listen to its needs. In listening I am expected to hear ways in which I can better connect and act in healhful ways with the Earth.

It is not about berating or judging anyone, including myself. It asks me to forgive instead and focus on forward movement; letting go of what has been done “wrong” and seeking to implement new ideas.

In listening to my quiet inner-self, I can hear inspiration and ideas for how to live healthily, in a respectful relationship with the Earth (as well as with fellow humans – especially those annoying ones 😉 ).

Whenever I have a problem or concern, I sit in quiet contemplation, asking what needs to be seen, changed, and/or healed. Maybe my perspective needs to shift, or I need more information, or there could be a direct action step for me to take.

For a couple of years I went through a study of various diets. They were all great but in contradiction with one another. How could I choose which way was best for me to eat when each one was convincing in its case?

I developed my own idea along the way about what as best for me, yet it was proving to be a challenge that my family was not willing to meet. I will give them credit however for allowing me to try.

When I let go of my idea and searched for my quiet voice, I was guided in an unexpected direction – to raise my own meat. Well, this was odd to me because I thought I was meant to be a vegan! Yet what my question and concern for sustainability showed me was that in raising my own meat I was directly influencing my impact on the environment. I didn’t need to give up meat to reduce negative impacts of the industrial meat system. I could simply shift my relationship with meat and the way that I intereacted with it.

Since raising meat will start out slow and eventually grow and build on itself, I am still eating meat from the grocery store. Ideally I would be eating meat from local farmers. But here is where I forgive myself, knowing that I am making a change, one deep enough to directly influence the lives of my children and how they interact with the Earth.

In seeking to eat in a way that had a positive impact on the environment I was inspired to begin raising rabbits. Everything I needed for it came to me synchronistically, further affirming I had made a decision moving me in the direction of my deeper values.

Had I not been open to listening or observing the signs and gifts around me, I may still be trying to force my husband and children to eat beans and tempeh.

Sustainability asks me to listen, to forgive, and to take action in new directions that meet my needs, and in ways that are in a recipricol relationship with the Earth.

Soon, I will not only be trying rabbit meat, but I will be fertilizing my garden with rabbit manuer. Growing produce and flowers will feed the bees who in turn feed the world through pollination.

Everything is connected and I only hope to be useful rather than harmful.

Asking, listening, forgiving, and enacting all keeep me feeling connected to the Earth in a meaningful and sustainable way.