When I think of sustainability I think of  LEED certified buildings, CFLs,  composting, cloth diapers, rain barrels etc… That is – until this weekend.  Friday night I was enlighted to an entirely new way of looking at sustainability.  I had the pleasure of attending Gimme Shelter, a 3 day symposium on shelter and sustainability.  The Keynote speaker was Sarah Susanka, world renowned architect and author of The Not So Big series of books.

As I sat in the audience, prepared to hear about architecture and home design, my jaw hit the floor when Sarah began speaking about inner peace, living your truth and the power of the universe!  What?!  What does this have to do with solar voltaic panels and rain gardens???

The simple and profound message of Sarah’s lecture was that sustainability comes when we live our truth. As we live our  heart’s calling we are doing our part to bring the world to balance.  We are part of the universe, the universal, the divine.  As we succeed at inner peace the world succeeds.

The universe is billions of years old.  The evolution of the universe, much like that of the human race,  is based on what will keep it alive.   We are here to keep the universe alive.  Much like a tree holds and supports it’s own ecosystem (with bugs, fungus, birds etc) humans are a vital part to the universe’s ecosystem.  As we grow and thrive – not in size, but in purpose – so does the universe.

This concept is very easy for me to accept since I practice yoga.  I imagine if you’re reading this, it may be easy for you to understand as well.  Yoga is unity, divine connection to all that is and isn’t.  When we live from a center of inner peace, peace will enter our words, actions and thus, our environment. Inner peace=outer peace. We begin living within our means and recognizing that our choices effect much more than just our immediate surroundings.

As I wander down my yoga path I never stopped to recognize that through my personal growth and transformation I may be helping the world to sustain itself.   Sure I’ve seen major changes in my relationships, in my perceptions, in my attitude, but could these changes really be helping the world to thrive?? When we pause to consider that we are the world and the world is us then personal sustainability, Sarah’s message, becomes a major A-Ha moment.

May you see the world within yourself today.  Love it, nurture it and watch it grow.

PS – Sarah will be at Kripalu this summer and again in December sharing her sustainability message.  If you are able to attend it will be for your benefit and the world’s 🙂


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