This post was created in partnership with prAna, however the views expressed here are my own.
Sure, they’re buzz words, but if you dig a little deeper there is actually real value in the meaning behind these words and they can be applied across the board when it comes to the way we live our lives.
In an age when extremes are celebrated and pushing the limits is expected, it is often rare to encounter the idea of pulling-back, making space and creating margin. Living a mindful and sustainable life is something each of us can benefit from pursuing.
When we are mindful, there is intention behind our actions and decisions: a deliberate questioning of our motives and desires:
Is it really best for my family if I pursue X?
If I say “yes” to this opportunity will it benefit me and my family or stress us out?
If we sign our kids up for X will we still be able to eat dinner as a family every night?
If I take on this 30-day challenge, will it help me or lead me down a disordered path?
It is an awareness that every success comes at a cost, that every pursuit requires sacrifice. Being mindful of your own pursuits and those of your family is a way to minimize stress, create margin and ultimately live a sustainable life. Here are a few areas where sustainability and mindfulness are important:
When we think of sustainability with food we often think of farming practices that are organic and sustainable in terms of the environment. Those are important, but in my mind sustainable nutrition is a way of eating that isn’t rigid or restrictive, that ebbs and flows with life and allows for pleasure and indulgence. Eating should be fun-yes, it is fuel-but if you don’t enjoy it and if it becomes monotonous then it’s time to take a look at the rules you’ve constructed around food.
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Mindful running is knowing when to push your body to it’s limits and when to pull back. The only way we’ll see adaptation is if we stress the body, but too much stress and the body stops adapting and starts breaking down. Lately I’ve been really mindful of the amount of sleep I get and taking rest when my sleep is less than optimal, even if my body feels “up for a run” I know that lack of sleep prevents recovery and can create long-term problems.
Creating space in your life for quiet and rest seems to be a increasingly important and something that often gets neglected by today’s families. I once heard a saying, that “life happens in the margins” in the open space that we create when we’re not rushing from one activity to the next. One of our priorities as a family is unstructured time together. It is also creating margin for yourself, quiet space where you aren’t taxing your body or your mind. Which means the quiet beyond that of your daily runs. Taking a moment to pause and breathe deeply is a practice that has helped me not only be more mindful, but also manage stress and anxiety.
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And in all of these daily practices I choose to wear clothing that helps me engage with the world around me. There was a time when I tried so hard to fit into certain clothing items simply because of the number on the tag. Now I don’t want to be distracted by ill-fitting clothing, I want pieces that make me feel confident and comfortable, not like I need to change myself to fit into some ideal shape. In prAna, I’ve found pants that are cut in a way that make me feel confident. Stretch fabrics and higher cut waistlines and beautifully draped tops make me feel good. Choosing to spend a little more on things that are made sustainably and make me feel this way means I have a closet with only a few items, but ones that I’m happy to wear every day of the week. Lately, I’ve been loving the Pillar Legging and the Constellation T-Shirt.
Shop prAna’s Spring Collection at 15% off with code MPSCS18 at checkout. Code is good until 3/10/18.
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In what areas of your life do you try to create mindfulness and sustainability?
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Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com
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