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10 Things You Can Do in the Next 10 Days to Foster Sustainability

By Kimberley Jace

How much are you doing to make this planet a better place? Are you actively working toward improving the Earth, or just hoping it will last long enough for you to live to a ripe old age? If you don’t know how to save the world, here’s an idea: maybe when we all hold the right belief, we can manifest a way out of this mess.

Read one item from this list each day and work on incorporating it into your life. As you add new skills, don’t forget to keep up the lessons from the earlier days. These are subtle but important changes in perspective and behavior that will help you create the planetary changes that save the day.

1. Stop negative talk. Decide that today, and from here on, that you will stop thinking of the world as a lost cause. Never again say, “It’s just a matter of time until we crash into the sun” or “Global warming is going to kill us all.” Earth deserves your high expectations and positive thoughts, so stop sending energy to those negative concepts.

2. Visualize. Take some time to form a mental picture of the world as unspoiled and full of abundance. What kind of plants and animals thrive? What is the quality of the air and water? What kind of people take care of her? Develop the most complete picture you can of the world in a perfect condition, and return to that image often throughout the day.

3. Affirm. It’s not enough to just stop saying we’re all doomed; you must say that we have solved our problems and are thriving. No matter what condition the world is in at this moment, you have the power to claim a better condition. When you wake up in the morning, say aloud, “The world is getting cleaner every day.” As you drive, repeat, “I see balance in nature and in myself.” Before you retire at night, say aloud, “I can sleep knowing I’ve done everything I can to help my planet, and I no longer worry.” Draw energy to that perfect vision of the world by describing your vision in words – out loud – and often.

4. Pray. If you’re not a religious type, or not sure you believe in God, just remember: someone made the world, and it wasn’t you. Try to reach whoever started this whole project and ask for help in three parts: a request, an affirmation and a thank-you. “Creator of the universe, please help me know what I can do to save the planet. I now am actively doing the things I know will give the world another chance. Thank you, Creator, for giving me this insight and courage.”

5. Write a goal. Begin with that perfect picture of the world from Day #2, but expand it now. See how people will respond to a better world, and what happens next. Write those things down. “The sun and air nourish the planet. The water cleanses itself. The cycle of nature reclaims the original virtues of the world.”

6. Write a plan. To get the world from where it is now to where you want it to be will require action. Figure out some of the steps on that path. Do you need to commit to recycling? Educate yourself about the environment? Choose more “green” energy sources and practices? Choose one action plan and write down the first step. If you decide to learn more about the environment, the first step might be finding the books and the groups who are dedicated to this cause.

7. Feel grateful. It might sound counter-intuitive to be “thankful” for the world’s health when you’ve just learned that global warming or nuclear proliferation are tipping the balance toward world destruction. But that attitude of gratitude can turn destruction around. Thank the world’s creator, or life itself, that we have a bountiful, healthy world right now. Imagine how grateful you will feel if the world is still in good shape for your children and grandchildren., and hold that feeling in your heart.

8. Forgive. This is a difficult step for many people, but it’s vital. Imagine: Every person is equally responsible for the world’s well-being. If you’ve been hating the capitalists, the polluters, the people who drive big SUVs – find a way to believe that they were doing the best they could do at the time, and that they will learn better ways. If you’ve been irresponsible about caring for the planet, forgive yourself, too. You did what you knew how to do then, and now you’re learning a better way.

9. Release the past. Tied to forgiving is the idea of letting go of what was. The world doesn’t have to be the way it has been. If you used to refer to the planet as hopelessly polluted, you’ve stopped that negative talk already. You’re already taking steps to reverse the damage. Be willing to let go of the things that hold the world back, whether it’s intolerance of human differences or indifference toward the health of the land itself. Break the pattern and let go of the way things were before. The world will be born anew.

10. Let joy in. Sometimes we become so accustomed to worrying about what will happen, we forget to notice that we live on a vital, alive planet. The sun and moon continue to appear. On a bright, cloudless day, we wonder if the thin ozone layer means we’re developing skin cancer. But to have joy in your life, you’re going to have to let yourself trust in the strength of the world to regenerate itself, and believe we deserve another chance, and celebrate the blessings we still have. The world was here before us, and will be here long after mankind has gone. You’re lucky enough to be here now. Let yourself enjoy that.

You have now spent 10 days unlearning bad habits, learning good ones, and adding activities to your day that will help save the world. See if you can keep them up for another 10 days, and then perfect them in the 10 days after that. Pray, visualize and affirm every day. Watch what you say and think, and keep yourself positive. Forgive those who have screwed up the world and feel grateful for the things that go right. Keep writing down your goals and action plans, and put those plans into action! When you catch yourself clinging to old ways, let them go. And let yourself feel good about it!

One month from today, you’ll be headed in a whole new direction – and so will the world.

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