The Sunstainable Soul: Stress and the Empyting Process

During a conversation over lunch with a friend named Ian a few weeks ago, the focus shifted from global events and world problems to possible solutions and individual responsibility. Ian made the comment that the American way seems to fill every personal void with material possessions. The end result is quite unsustainable. I added that indeed, that the spiritual path cannot be measured in material possessions ,but lord knows we certainly try! Having just finished teaching a stress management workshop in San Diego, the topic of unhealthy behaviors came up again among the workshop participants time and time again. It has become clear to a great many people that the personal habits of consumer materialism is not a sustainable path to take. Despite the fact that we know this, why is it that we keep doing it? One could argue that the perpetual act of gathering material possessions is an uncontrolled ego (times 7 billion people is REALLY unsustainable). Ageless wisdom reminds us that taking time to empty and cleanse is paramount to one’s spiritual health. Sages and mystics remind us that one must make a regular habit of “fasting the heart” to cleanse the soul. Only when we engage in a sense of personal balance will we walk the path of personal sustainability.

Stress Tip for the Day:

Consider the act of fasting for the next several weeks; not with food, but with the purchase of material possessions, including clothes, entertainment, as well as large and small ticket items. Try to get by with what you have already. This sustainably! Be thankful for what you do have rather than longing for what you don’t. Learn to domesticate the ego in its unsustainable habits of consumerism. Become more conscious of what you actually need versus merely want or desire.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

As we approach Earth Day, it seems fitting to take a closer look about how we can live more sustainably on mother earth. Here is a link with some ideas to bring our lives back into balance:

Quote for the Day:

“It’s not how much you need to get by, but rather how little you need to get by to enjoy life.” —Robin Lee Graham, author of the book, The Dove.

Photo for the Day:

It is said that the best things in life are free. This photo depicts the joy of enjoying these moments that are merely carried in one’s heart, in this case, a beautiful sunset from the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. Enjoy!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website:

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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