How can we reclaim our authenticity and thrive in a post industrial society whilst also honouring our place in nature and in peaceful community with others?

Sally Lever Coach Writer Educator
I recently came across this fantastic article by Sally Lever who seeks to explore downshifting to a more sustainable lifestyle and working whilst considering the planet and ourselves as individuals and humanity as a whole. I thought I might add my own experiences and thoughts about the matter within the post so as you read along you will see a few things that I had to say. Maybe you have had experience of downshifting in one way or another so it would be really interesting to read your comments below.


What is downshifting?

Downshifting is what happens when people decide that the demands of their modern working life do not justify the rewards. They want time to enjoy their families, their relationships, and participate in their communities. The process of downshifting is how people change their lifestyle to meet those needs. Some people downshift voluntarily, some are what I call “forcibly downshifted”, for example through stress-induced ill health, redundancy, relationship breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances.


My Response

I have had personal experience, as I am sure many of you have too, of living a life of stress working long hours and neglecting myself and family by failing to enjoy some of the simpler pleasures that life has to offer. I had no option but to downshift at one point in my life and this was a drastic step that was forced upon me at the time to get rid of debt and to get free from the shackles that were holding me down. I don’t recommend that anyone waits until downshifting is forced upon you. Far better to plan it out and create your own path to simple living. The rewards are immense I can truly vouch for that!


What is sustainable living?

Living sustainably simply means living in a way that minimises our negative impact on the planet in the first instance and ultimately to live in harmony with it. So, on a day to day level, it’s about reducing our consumption of the world’s resources, re-using items rather than throwing them away and recycling our waste among a host of other things. On a more personal level, sustainable living is about valuing our health and well-being, our relationships and community above the need to consume and exploit.


My Response

As time goes by living within your means and regularly reusing and cherishing your possessions becomes so easy and totally enlightening. It really does pain me to think about things I had thrown away in the past and I can honestly say it was without little thought about how the planet was supposed to deal with this. I guess you could say it was all done from a highly uneducated perspective and that nowadays is unforgivable with more and more talk about the issues of pollution and exploitation, and how we are killing animals, polluting the land and our drinking water. Sadly not everyone pays heed, hard to believe that so many humans are so selfish isn’t it?


What is a sustainable business?

A sustainable business is one that works to the “Triple Bottom Line” of People, Planet and Profit. So, it’s a business that is not purely profit focused, but that also aims to meet the needs of the community in which it operates and which it serves and the planet. You can read more about Sustainable Small Business here.

Well, its sounds simple, doesn’t it?

In practice, because we live in a society that is driven by consumerism, those who aspire to live and work sustainably often feel as though they are swimming against the tide. This is when it can be especially helpful to have some practical and emotional support and inspiration from someone who is outside of your life and can help you view the situation objectively and positively.


My response

That is why my business Pledging for Change is a not for profit business and as with so many other social enterprises is driven by the desire to help others, planet, people and animals. I don’t see why all businesses cannot become in one way or another a means to an end for helping others like this. It’s what makes the world go round after all and we certainly cannot continue to live our lives and run our businesses as if we are the only thing that matters.



Sally specialises in coaching those who can visualise an alternative to a materialistic, status driven lifestyle and way of working and just need a bit of extra support and encouragement in getting there!.Whatever your situation, my aim in coaching is to partner you on your journey to a more happy and peaceful existence through rediscovering and working with your inner strengths, passions and authenticity.

Find out more about Sally and Read More on her Website about Simple Living

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