It's on!

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Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
— Maya Angelou

Welcome to Sustainably Jennifer. This is where I share my journey of aligning my life with what matters most to me- living authentically in tangibly compassionate ways that positively impact my life, my family, my neighbors and mother earth.

When I was 5 years old I remember challenging my parents on the fairness of the world and our ability to do something about it. My dad’s response was “Jennifer, the world isn’t fair” to my questions around what was happening (particularly between my brother and I). I was not satisfied with that response and felt that there must be something we could do. The pursuit for fairness stayed with me and morphed into ideas around equality as I experienced more of society’s attempts to place limiting parameters on me as a girl. A career in social work seemed to be a place where I could work with others to reach equality. As my studies and life experience developed I began to see beyond equality to the root causes of many inequities which led me to seeking justice. Knowing and doing are two different things. I do believe that when we know better we (can) do better. For me it required looking inward at my own thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Motherhood by far has been the most powerful catalyst for living out my values. Deciding to have a child seemed somewhat irresponsible given the trajectory of climate change and violence, particularly against People of Color. Still I had a deep sense that creating life is an act of beautiful resilience. Every part of me wanted Isis, my daughter, to have the best start possible (ya’ know no cancer, racism, heart disease, poor gut health and patriarchy) which disciplined me more during pregnancy than I had ever been before. I ate more organic whole foods, cut caffeine, reduced my use of plastic, moved my body more, and started a meditation practice.  I started making my own bath and beauty products to avoid carcinogens, parabens and plastic. The self-full journey of nurturing myself and Isis helped me to take the theories that I learned and empower myself to put my values into practice as did becoming vegan years before that. With each change I could see how the connections of my own choices aligned with my values -caring for the environment, the workers who grow, harvest and/or produce what I consume and the communities that are negatively impacted by my consumption and subsequent waste.

Sustainable- what makes for a sustainable life? Sustainable for who? How can I cultivate wholeness in my life as well as make space for those around me to do the same? As I document this journey expect typical Jennifer- humor, realness and curiosity in the blog posts, videos and more.