Living a Natural Lifestyle


Why Live a Natural Lifestyle? 

As I learned more about the harmful chemicals in virtually every product I consumed, I became more attracted to natural products. I started looking at the back of bottles and boxes that I had been using my entire life. What did I see?  Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Nitrite, Parabens, Phthalates, high-fructose corn syrup,  artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, and the list goes onnnnnn! From hair products to basic food items, there was a whole lot of junk that I didn't want in or on my body. Everything is so artificial I don't really feel like it should be classified as food. Just because it can be eaten does not mean it should be. 

Thus began my journey to eat healthier and purchase natural health and beauty products. I decided to start by buying organic foods (though I didn't know what organic meant, it just sounded like a good first step). But boy does that come with a hefty price tag. Walmart was always my go to for getting grub. I had never been in a Whole Foods before. Just the first look at a box of cereal told me I was way in over my head (well, wallet). I felt defeated and frustrated because it would cost me half a paycheck just to get 3 bags of groceries. Not cool. What to do? 

What Is A Good Resource for Natural Living Ideas? 

Enter Pinterest. Pinterest has literally been an amazing help at finding ways to live a natural lifestyle on a budget. Even if I can't do everything right away, I love being able to "pin it" for a later occasion. There is such a wealth of information available on a wide range of topics. While I haven't fully achieved my ideal natural lifestyle, I thank the creators of Pinterest for such an innovative platform to share ideas. It is always nice to see others who are making the same effort and those who have been successful at doing such. It makes goals seem achievable and within your reach. If you are interested in a natural lifestyle, but you've never visited Pinterest, check out my pinterest here. Trust me, I've already done a lot of the work for ya! 

Okay, Pinterest rant over. Seriously though, living a natural lifestyle in this society requires planning, effort, determination, and drive. I was good at the planning part, put forth some effort, thought I was determined, but didn't have the drive to keep truckin' through the long haul. I would follow a regimen for a couple of days, just to end up falling back into old habits after a while. I kept wondering, how can I sustain this new natural lifestyle that I'm striving for? Today, I'll share a couple ways that helped me to finally see changes and results. 

Mindset Is Everything

Our mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy. Our environment and experiences shape the way that we view the world and more importantly how we view ourselves. Many times we view success as relative to something or someone else. For example, people would say someone with a college education who makes a lot of money is a successful person. Others might say a person who works multiple jobs, scrapes money to make ends meet, but is able to provide for their kids is a successful person. Bottom line is, one's definition of success different depending on who you are and how you've been raised. 

Many times we view success as the finish line. This view causes success to feel distant and far off. It makes it feel harder to achieve and therefore people give up or say, "Why bother?". This is where our mind can really help us or hurt us. We could choose to compare our "progress" to others and feel like we aren't doing as much as we should or could. We could reason that we weren't dealt the right hand, therefore we can't make progress. In reality, just like success, progress is something that we tend to regard as relative. However, progress is not linear. You may have ups and downs, but even a relapse does not mean you're a complete failure. And if you don't know what results to look for, then you likely won't recognize any differences. 

So then, what's a better approach? We can start by taking things one at time. By creating easily attainable short term goals, we now have a basis upon which to measure our progress. I learned this from personal experience. At the outset of this post I mentioned that I wanted to live a natural lifestyle. I tried to go about it in a cold-turkey, mass-overhaul-of-my-old-lifestyle kind of way. I learned early on that wasn't a sustainable method and it made me feel defeated pretty early on. So I switched it up a little bit. I set a few goals for myself to try to stick to for one month. Some of the goals I ended up achieving naturally. Other goals I wasn't able to stick to like I had hoped. In the end, I could've been sulking about the 4 goals I didn't meet, or be proud of the 2 or 3 that I did meet. Our minds have the tendency to think negatively. We have to take control and turn that mental frown upside down. Once I realized that I was actually meeting some of my goals, I was so happy. I officially had incorporated a few elements required to begin my natural lifestyle journey and I couldn't be more thrilled!

 

Caption: (These are one of my first attempts at making herbal tinctures. I made Elderberry & Echnicea, Lavender, Lemon Balm, and Peppermint Tinctures. These turned out amazing and served as natural medicine for me during cold & flu season.)

In conclusion, we may see a lot of people on Pinterest or Instagram who appear to have everything figured out. But all we see on social media is the end result. We see their version of success. We don't see all the effort, determination, and drive that it took to get them there. We don't know the full story about how hard it was to accomplish or how much money it took. I used to look at social media and became a little jealous that I wasn't on their level. Instead, I now use what I see as inspiration to create my own unique version of success for myself. It has truly helped me to have a better outlook on my own accomplishments and I hope it can do the same for my readers. 

JK Essentials Pinterest Link: https://www.pinterest.com/jessicaysimms/

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