Good Reads: Thrive
With the recent completion of a major life goal of mine (The YogaWorks RYT200 Yoga Teacher Certification Training), I'm FINALLY settling into the spirit of the holidays. As an an advocate for simpler, more sustainable living, I'm not much of a shopper, but with less than 2 weeks away from the holidays, I needed to take a moment to think about what I wanted to give this year and the impact each gift would make on not only the recipients of those gifts, but also on the Earth. With that in mind, I'm kicking off a gift-giving guide series of blogs today. Each of the next few blogs will feature one suggested gift that is well-intentioned, ethically and consciously made for your loved one with little to light impact on the planet. It seems fitting then, that the best gift to begin with is something that solves the most difficult dilemma when shopping for gifts:
What do you give to the person who has EVERYTHING?
Thrive, the book, is the gift of knowledge with the keys to an overall wellness and greater vitality for the person who already has every material possession you could possibly give. It's especially perfect for the person you know who seems to have it all but who may need to disconnect a bit from our ultra-busy, ultra-connected, high-tech life culture today.
Thrive gives us the thinking tools and concrete steps on how to cultivate a positive state of mind to maintain wellness for one’s life and sustainability for our home, planet Earth. In this manual for daily modern living, author Kamea Chayne provides research-based evidence, step by step exercises, with simple tips and suggestions that guides the through holistic well-being practices that apply to the psychological, physical, and environmental realms.
I recently met up with author Kamea Chayne to learn about her views on our culture’s relationship with our planet. Over organic farm-to-table salads near her home one sunny afternoon, she shared with me her ideas on what it means to be sustainable, mindful, and how to lead by example - all of which started out as blog entries which later helped her to write Thrive.
Ellume: You’ve traveled 40 countries which has helped you gain an international perspective on life and the realization that happiness is not something you can conquer in the outside world, but an ongoing, positive state of mind that must first be cultivated from within. And total wellness requires us to take care of not only ourselves, but also the planet that we all call home. In a consumer-oriented society, many people’s behaviors & habits do not often reflect a concern about the planet. How do you feel about that?
Kamea Chayne: Because many unhealthy choices stem from a lack of understanding, I think raising awareness is the first step for anyone to begin living more consciously. I’m not perfect, and I’m still learning new things every day. But I think we owe it to ourselves, no matter where we come from or what stages in life we’re at, to better understand the impacts of our personal decisions and begin translating our values into action--one step at a time.
E: At 23 years old, you’re one of the youngest authors to write such a comprehensive book on health, wellness, and the environment. How did you prepare for your book? How did you come to arrive at such philosophical revelations about such larger-than-life topics?
KC: My multidisciplinary studies at university helped to shape my broadened perspective on the world and my passion for sustainability; and my multicultural background helped me to realize we all have common desires in life for good health and happiness—no matter our origins, personalities, and interests. So I wanted to address this universal question using research-based information: How can we live more happily and healthily while improving the health of our planet?
E: What are your views on Sustainability progress in the world as a whole? Is Moderation and Mindfulness enough to slow down the effects of Climate change and some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems?
KC: We’re definitely heading in the right direction, as people are becoming more and more concerned about environmental issues. But I do think we can help by transforming ourselves—as individuals—from lite greens to deep greens. That is, rather than only expressing concern for our planet’s health, to go further and actually translate our desires into everyday actions. I don’t think relying on governments, NGO’s, or individuals alone will be enough to solve our world’s pressing environmental problems. Instead, we will all have to play our parts: We, as individuals, will need to practice Moderation in our consumer choices and Mindfulness to our personal impacts; governments will have to push for stricter environmental laws and regulations; and environmental organizations will have to help educate the public, raise awareness for current issues, and lobby for underrepresented causes.
E: What’s next for you? Do you hope to reach people more as an author? Teacher? Or Practitioner? Would you consider your style of influence to be more like… “Standing on a Soap Box?”, “Leading by example?”, or “Creating a revolution?”
KC: In my immediate future, I hope to continue furthering and challenging my knowledge of eco-conscious living and holistic health and sharing what I learn with others in creative ways. In terms of my style of influence... I'm not sure I'm any of those things. I guess that's up to people around me to judge. I just try to do what I can, share what I learn, and share even the challenges I personally face. If my words and actions inspire others to be more conscious, that would be amazing, and I would be very humbled to know that.
Sure, there are many different ideas out there from many different experts telling us how to live - how to eat right, how to exercise, how to land the dream job, how to maintain relationships, how to create a perfect home, etc.. But Thrive reminds us what it all boils down to: "The best we can do," says Kamea, "is take small steps to finding peace, health and happiness from within."
In many ways, Thrive, the book by Kamea Chayne, is the gift of vitality and sustainability. You can buy Thrive here from our Conscious Shop, and have it sustainably gift-wrapped and shipped just in time for Christmas!