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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Reveling in the Possibilities & Envisioning The Future


Reveling In The Possibilities

Katecontinued used this phrase yesterday when describing things that feed her soul. This is the idea that you let yourself have the time to think, imagine, research, talk about, and consider something from all sides. It is a lovely thing. We all need to make time and give ourselves space to revel in possibilities, I think. Don’t you?

I’m hoping to begin consulting on sustainable and green business models, and creating positive change through green and sustainable economics. A wonderful new friend has brought several of us together to begin reveling in the possibilities. What does it mean? We’re brainstorming, thinking about what new things we can do, what the world could look like, what we might be able to accomplish if we all put our minds and bodies into it wholeheartedly. It’s a wonderful and very empowering feeling.

Wow! We can do that?! We can! Or at the very least, we can give it our best shot and get whole lot closer than we are now!

Envisioning The Future

As part of my research, I read an article the other day which told how a Silicon Valley venture capital firm mapped out a vision of what they wanted the world to look like, in terms of sustainability, decreased carbon emissions, alternative fuels, social change – a big map! And then, over the next several years, they put their money to programs that work toward that map. They have literally been filling in the spaces on the map, bit by bit, over the years. They’re filling in that map. How cool is that? They are working toward a solid vision, which they developed by reveling in the possibilities.

We can do this in our own lives. For instance, we can do this with our family budgets. Julie and Rhonda Jean both wrote the other day about the envelope system. The idea is that you map out your budget in detail – what debts would you like to pay off by when? What charities would you like to contribute to? How much would you like to save? Ok, so what will it take to get there in 10 years?

Once you envision your map, you work toward that vision. You make a budget. Using the envelope system, you allocate only x amount of money for extra spending each month, and put it in an envelope. When that money is gone from the envelope, you are done with extra spending. This is one way to fill in the spaces on your map.

There are many ways to fill in the spaces on your map, pick which one works for you and your family, and stick to it. Revel in the possibility of paying off your debts and having substantial savings. Then map it out, research, and work toward it. You can do it.

Revel in the possibility of a truly local economy that works for you as you work for and within it. Local businesses thrive, libraries are strong, used bookstores and clothing stores thrive, and local restaurants fix seasonal food from local farms. Apartment and condominium owners build with sustainable building materials. Money stays within your local system, rather than immediately moving from big box stores straight to corporate pockets. Your local infrastructure is able to adapt to changing weather patterns, the availability of cheap fuel, a volatile global economy, a threat to the national food supply, and more.

It seems big, but just revel in it for now. Picture it. Contemplate it. And then do some research, talk to your neighbors, go to some local meetings. Now you are powerful, because you have a vision. You have a goal to work toward. You can see it, and you know where you need to go. Now work toward it.

Revel in the possibility of living sustainably. Picture yourself enjoying the taste of fresh, seasonal, locally produced food. Feel your health increasing, your longevity thriving, your contribution to the local economy growing. Envision your electricity bills going down, your savings going up, your contribution to the world around you growing stronger as you feel better.

How will you do that? For each person, each family, it is unique. Revel in the possibilities together. Think about how your lives might look when you live sustainably. And then… work toward it. One step at a time. Inch by inch or mile by mile, whatever you have time and space for, but work toward it. Steadily.

I am risking sappiness and going over the top here, so forgive me if I’ve gone there for some of you. But please think about this. Allow yourself the time and space to revel, to imagine, to envision. Reveling in the possibilities does feed the soul. Enormously.

And remember this: if you can’t do it alone, if you can’t realize your vision alone, REACH OUT TO OTHERS. We’re all in this world together, and there are a lot of good people with similar visions. We are stronger together.

Kate, thank you. And thank you everyone for feeding my soul with your words here. Please continue to add your comments and insights, as they are so very informative for all of us!

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2 comments to Reveling in the Possibilities & Envisioning The Future

  • What a surprise and how very warm your words are. Melinda, these maps sound wonderful. I can’t help but compare with the Transition Towns’ – ‘backcasting’. To envision the end point and work backwards. It is part of my Daydreaming 101 methodology (if I were to write a syllabus).

    “Humans are capable of a unique trick, creating realities by first imagining them, by experiencing them in their minds. …As soon as we sense the possibility of a more desirable world, we begin behaving differently, as though that world is starting to come into existence, as though, in our mind’s eye, we are already there. The dream becomes an invisible force which pulls us forward. By this process it begins to come true. The act of imagining somehow makes it real… And what is possible in art becomes thinkable in life”.

    I have used the above Brian Eno quote in posts and a newsletter recently. He says it so beautifully. (Besides I am a big fan of Eno’s music.)

  • “Reach out to each other” is the best advice I can think of right now. These are trying times and we may be headed for more. The best thing we can do is connect with each other.

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