I have spent a significant amount of 2019 journaling. For the past eight months, almost every morning, I have sat down with my morning pages journal and brain-dumped three pages worth of nonsense. It turns out I had a lot to work through and, as with most things, the benefits of the practice only came to fruition after significant amounts of effort and dedication. At the beginning of the year, I felt confused about who I was and at a loss regarding what I wanted. After two years of (basically) full-time travel, I knew that the law of diminishing returns had fully come into effect. I was no longer fulfilled in a way that I had once been (for more on that, read On Changing The Way I Travel). But, I also didn’t really know what a different way of living would look like or how to go about making it happen – what else could I possibly need?
Shocker, it was a lot of the basics (and not just white t-shirts and denim jeans although I am infinitely grateful that I have got over my weird fear and have bought some comfortable, practical pieces of clothing). Mainly, I wanted to regain some of my time to focus on and develop other areas of my life. Let’s think of the ingredients for a full life being laid out on a kitchen countertop. In my case, the travel/experiences jar was filled with so much produce that it was overflowing with such force that none of the other vessels had a chance of standing. Never mind being in a position to be filled themselves. Now, I am no cook. But even I can see that attempting to whip up something remotely edible with far too much of one ingredient and nothing else is a recipe for disaster. Now, I have more of an idea about what other ingredients I need to thrive and have spent considerable time and effort sourcing them and carefully replenishing the receptacles.
Deciding to become sober at the end of last year set off a chain of realizations that have developed into a penchant for clean living. And, I love this planet, which makes sustainability a primary focus of my lifestyle. This is all to say that my interests and passions have been somewhat refined over this year and my lifestyle a lot different from that of Jenny circa this time last year.
I tell you this because I want us to be on the same page moving forward. When you read my words or watch my videos (as I hope you will continue to do!), I want you to know where I am coming from and the purpose behind my content – to help you lead a happier, fuller, more passionate life. This is just the beginning of a long journey (yay life!) for us, but I want to be clear about the direction in which we are heading and the types of topics you can expect to see here moving forward. So, here is what “pursuing a full, clean, sustainable life” means to me at this very moment.
A Full Life
When I think about the life I want to create for myself, the word “full” is the only one that seems to encapsulate the vision. You know, a balanced existence filled with variety, satisfaction, and joy. It also means being a well-rounded individual through mental, cultural, and physical development. And, we can’t forget the importance of connection – with other people, places, and ideas.
For me, a “full life” involves:
- Meaningful relationships
- A fulfilling career & a healthy relationship with money
- Frequent adventures (with purpose)
- Continuous learning & creation
- Holistic wellbeing – mind, body, spirit
- Pushing myself out of my comfort zone
- Being present, grateful, kind, and positive
A Clean Life
Like (presumably) most people, I want to live a long, healthy life and the best chance I have for making that happen is by focusing on clean living. At its core, “clean living” focuses on leading a healthy and natural life. It also means being mindful – mindful of what you’re putting into your body, mindful of your environment, and mindful of cultivating habits that positively affect you in the long-term. Some of the well-known health benefits of clean living include increased immunity and energy levels, improved cholesterol, balanced blood sugar, better sleep, and overall mood. In other words, an increased feeling of overall wellbeing. It is choosing a lifestyle that helps you to be the happiest, healthiest, most vibrant you possible. While it may seem like an overwhelming feat, in reality, it is all about going back to the basics.
For me, a “clean life” involves:
- Eating a diet of whole, organic & unprocessed foods (hello lots of plants!) and minimal processed foods
- Drinking plenty of water
- Daily meditation, journaling & movement
- Using natural, cruelty-free beauty & home products and removing toxins from my daily life
- Prioritizing sleep
- Focusing on self-care
A Sustainable Life
There is a good chance that you have heard a lot about “sustainable living” recently. The term is being used left, right, and center and for (mostly) good reason. Officially it is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” which translates into creating a lifestyle that seeks to decrease an individual’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and to reduce their carbon footprint by changing methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet.
For me, a “sustainable life” involves:
- Slow travel
- Reducing my meat & dairy intake and embracing a “flexitarian diet” (eat mostly vegan — but occasionally consume meat, dairy, and seafood)
- Saying “bye-bye” to fast fashion and “hello” to slow fashion. Only shopping thrift/vintage & sustainable brands while prioritizing wearing what I already own. Being a “conscious shopper” and considering the processes & resources required to make clothing.
- Eliminating single-use products and moving towards zero-waste
- Conserving water & electricity
- Embracing minimalism – reduce, reuse, recycle
- Appreciating nature
- Staying informed & getting involved with organizations that are focused on sustainability
What kind of life do you want to lead? What is most important to you?
Let me know in the comments below!