Sincerely, Nia: I’m just going to say it: GOing green can be tough. To suddenly shift everything in one’s life to a kinder, more gentle way of living, can seem daunting and even impossible even though we know it’s absolutely necessary if we’re going to allow this planet to sustain itself for more than the next 100 years.
Let’s face it, I grew up in the era of Hamburger Helper and Clorox, when faster was better and chemical meant cleaner. There is a bit of a program running here. So I say, lets be kinder and more gentle on ourselves so we can actually see this through; change it, and keep it that way.
That’s why my friend Jen is here, to help guide us down that path gently. I’ve been watching her over the last few years, slowly and solidly integrate these new ways of thinking and living into her life. Now I look up and suddenly she has an organic garden and no toxic chemicals in her house…okay maybe not so suddenly, but permanently. I say, Lets not GO green. Let’s GROW green… and keep it growing and growing and growing… introducing my GROWING GREEN expert in my inner circle: Jennifer Hunter.
“You have to be selfish to take care of yourself.”
I heard this statement while scanning the radio on a recent road trip. I’m not completely sure the context it was used in, but the statement stuck in my head and got me thinking. First, exactly what is selfishness and second, is it justified when it comes to taking care of yourself? The dictionary defines selfishness as placing one’s own needs or desires above the needs or desires of others.
Anyone that knows me or reads my blog knows that is my passion – the topic that brings me alive – is taking care of myself. On occasion, people have perceived my path as being “selfish” and thought that I “placed my needs above the needs of others”. But, I believe if you can’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of others.
In trying to take care of yourself, it’s so easy to go with the flow, follow the trends and become influenced by all the hype and marketing our everyday world bombards us with. The easier unhealthy choices can range from what we eat, to what products we use in our homes, to how we care for our yards, how we choose our vehicle, etc. It takes effort and a real commitment to yourself, your health, the health of your family and the world to fight the temptation to take the easy route.
For instance, at family mealtimes, it’s much easier to stop on the way home and buy a value meal for the family than to make sure you have the groceries and the time and energy to prepare a healthier home-cooked meal. I’ve been there and admit that even now there are times it’s still tempting. It’s also much easier to spray quick-clean products all over your house rather than use more natural eco-friendly options that may require a bit of elbowgrease to achieve the same results.
It can be overwhelming in our busy lives to decide to make a change, so, start with a small change and you will notice thatsomething happens. There is a natural evolution that occurs in us when we begin to choose to take care of ourselves. You will be proud of yourself and find the motivation to make additional changes. For me, because I felt good about making these healthier choices, I felt better inside and out. Becoming an eco-friendly vegan became part of my identity, and I moved beyond caring what others thought of me or my choices.
The confidence I began to feel in myself also actually lessened the naysayers around me. I noticed that more and more people were interested in what I’d discovered and tried. My passion for making the right choices became a part of my spiritual path and there was no going back. I don’t try to “sell” people on how I’m trying to live my life or persuade them to make the same choices, but I’m more than happy to share with them what I’ve learned.
I’ve found so many others willing to do the same, and I’m learning from them all the time. Now, this passion has become like an addiction, I want more. More information on similar options out there, more tips on things to try, more for me, more for my family, more, more, more….
I guess I have become selfish. So, if this is what is meant by “you have to be selfish to take care of yourself”, well, I feel like I agree and I understand. I suppose taking responsibility for what goes on around you and what goes in you is placing your own needs or desires above the needs or desires of others. Therefore, I say, make this effort for yourself and if this is selfish, then let’s all be selfish together. Let’s all go out there, find our passion, feel better and yes, be selfish about it. Written by: Jennifer Hunter
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