the TAO of CHANGE

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Posts Tagged ‘NIM’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

No Impact Man often brings up a good question on his blog – what have you permanently and irrevocably changed in your life that is more sustainable, how have you come to this place and why does it feel important? More specifically, he wants to know, where is your “line in the sand”?

For NIM, it’s bottled water and a/c in his home – none ever. For me, it’s plastic or paper bags, napkins, cups, plates or utensils. I will not use them, period. I’ve disciplined myself to the point where I always, but always have a reusable version of each available and if I don’t, well, I make do some other way. And now, as all good disciplines, it takes little effort. There is a rare occasion when I will take a paper bag out of a recycling bin at a store, and even have taken a used paper cup out of a trash can at a coffee shop to give my dog a drink of water, but otherwise, I have drawn the line – my line.

And, I think that’s what makes it feel both important and purposeful. It’s something that I learned about and decided that I would commit to. Although I value all the other changes I’ve made, in many cases, I still allow myself space when it comes to “never” or “always” (as in, I use a/c when it’s really, really hot or, I take the car when it’s raining). So, they also feel good, but not in quite the same way.

There’s a freedom to the discipline that  we reach deeply for inside ourselves. There’s a lot to gain from moving past our human nature’s pursuit of convenience and comfort. It stops being about denial or righteousness and simply becomes part of the meaning we are searching for – though we may not know it.

The bottom line goes beyond even that. NIM and many other people who are downsizing their lives says it’s all about being more happy, whole and healthy.

The wife of No Impact Man (Colin Beavan), Michelle, adds her honest thoughts and experience on the site today.

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