Is Your Mind the Key to a Sustainable Future?

Think about your what your thoughts are in a normal day for a moment.  Can you recall what they might be, or have they completely disappeared from your memory like an ice cube sitting outside on a hot summer day?  I can tell you only very few things, if any, about where my mind has travelled within the past hour, let alone an entire day.  Is it even possible to be more aware of your thoughts, though?  With the practice of mindfulness, it is very possible!

Now, before a more thorough explanation of what mindfulness is, I always believed it was simply sitting still and thinking happy thoughts.  You would never think about the negative areas in your life because mindfulness is all about becoming a happier person with a better life…right?  Wrong.  I quickly found out through reading the article about mindfulness and sustainability that I am not alone in this thought process.  I look at mindfulness so differently now that I practice being aware of all types of thoughts and sorting through them.  After experiencing it for a moment in class, I immediately decided that mindfulness should and will be a part of my daily routine.  Not just as another box to check in my to-do list, but it is rather a time that I look forward to each day to grow closer to myself and my thoughts.

The mind is so much more powerful than we can possibly realize, yet through mindfulness we can help it reach even closer to its full potential.  If one mind is powerful on its own, how powerful can 10 billion minds working together be?  In his TED Talk, Marc Cohen described how this number of minds is enough to create a “global consciousness.”  This power just might be enough to really make a change in our environment and push sustainability efforts into overdrive.  If we all choose to focus on pronoia about our world instead of paranoia, we can turn these positive thoughts into reality.  Mindfulness is the only tool needed for this earth-shattering transformation, and it costs us nothing!  We can only gain wellness from it, and…I don’t know about you, but I would definitely like to have true wellness in my life!

If we are completely content and well in our life simply from the use of mindfulness, we can begin to tackle the wicked problems we face in sustainability.  For example, the wicked problem of gentrification is one that has a significantly negative human impact and environmental impact.  Through mindfulness over this problem, I realized it hits closer to home than I would have originally believed.  I’ve seen some friends be removed by cities’ “urban beautification efforts” because of struggling to keep up with the explosively rising expenses for that area.  Gentrification happens more locations than I originally thought as well.

Eventually, I would love if the world did come together in the effort of mindfulness to make our communities across the globe much more sustainable.  The two together are an unstoppable force, and all it takes to get started is a moment of silence and focus. Now that you have the key, the only question left is….Are you going to use it?

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