Ever look at your garbage bins and wonder if you could make less? How about that look you give yourself in the mirror wondering how you can help your body become healthier? Then there’s that empty wallet that you wished would fill its self.
Mark and I have wondered these questions and more. From everyday stress to the everyday impact on the environment. We didn’t know it then, but this was only the beginning of our mindful journey. Those thoughts turned into conversations, then into actions.
Our journey began years ago before we even knew what we were doing. We traded in the plastic disposable water bottles in for a reusable one. For us, it was a way to save money. That choice was more than a money saving choice. It was less plastic water bottles being made and disposed of. Another money saver was us using a reusable tea/coffee cup that had the same effect. Mark and I had no idea what was going to happen in the future as these choices began to snowball.
The decision to become debt-free made us think more about what we used, how we used things, and what we could reuse. Last year Mark and I lived in different towns. I lived on Vancouver Island and he lived across the ocean on the Sunshine Coast. We lived like this for a year while he tested out his job, and then last spring I moved to him on the Sunshine Coast. With the move came a new job. It cost us a lot of money in travelling between the island and mainland. So, I bit the bullet and made the move. We wanted to cut expenses where ever we could.
When I lived on the island I worked with individual families as a nanny. At my clients home, I found this amazing book for preschool to grade two children called MindUp Curriculum. (They have three books that span all the way up to grade 8.) I read once and loved it. I told my new boss about the book. She loved the idea of it and put it in her next Amazon order. I didn’t want to start the Curriculum until September, but the children had questions about the brain. With their interest peeked I snuck in the first lesson of MindUp, which teaches children about their brain and what it means to be mindful and unmindful. This is when I realized what Mark and I had started doing without noticing it.
Mindful- conscious or aware of something.
We discussed better options when it came to our money.
Unmindful- not conscious or aware of something.
We had no idea that we were creating less garbage, being healthy to our bodies, and affecting the world around us. Even if it was in a positive way.
I brought this up to him in a conversation as we sat outside one summer night. “Did you know that we’re doing this?” Mark then began to state, that we’re finally getting a handle on our finances. And, saving the planet. We both had huge grins on our face. We love the beauty our world has to offer. That’s why we live in a place surrounded by trees, lakes, and ocean. We wouldn’t, couldn’t, have it any other way.
A few weeks later I finally got time to go to the library here in town. I was blown away by how stunning it was inside. It was freshly built and still has that slight smell of fresh paint…and coffee! They had put in a cafe in! It’s a non-profit organization that gives the proceeds back to the town. I ended up talking with the barista about how Mark and I wanted to limit our impact on the planet as best we could. That we wanted to live a mindful life. We were already using reusable cups, eating at home whenever we could, but we still created too much garbage. In Victoria, there was a compost program that picked up table scraps at our door. The woman then told me that there’s a program here in town. I was thrilled.
(I will do another post about our mindful garbage goal.)
Mark and I had another discussion like we do every night. We’ve adopted the compost program into our home.
I will be writing a Mindful Life series about the changes that Mark and I have been doing to become healthier human beings. Healthier to ourselves and the environment that we love.