I am not talking about your utility provider, but your personal energy supply. If you are thinking along the lines of food, sleep, etc. this isn't what I mean either. I want to talk about the benefits of clean energy; inspiration and appreciation.
It may sound a little wishy washy, but stay with me here. Think about a time someone has told you that you did a good job at something, or you read a particularly provocative and inspiring piece on the HuffPo... what did you feel? My guess is a little boost, providing you with some new energy, to continue with your day, or to take some form of action.
Image taken by Kylie Barton
I first heard about this idea of clean energy whilst on a Rewilding course in Salisbury. Alan Heeks talks about the synergy between environmental sustainability and personal sustainability. The basic premise of Rewilding is that all processes can be found in nature, therefore the answer for all questions can be found in nature too. When applying this theory to personal energy, it is about finding those things of which we can have an infinite (therefore sustainable) source of. Not just the food, the sleep, the exercise, which are obviously important, but the less physically tangible things that too give us a spring in our step. Heeks, and others in the field, talk about clean energy in two simple forms; inspiration and appreciation.
Things that inspire you give you energy. For some this may mean particular people (Lady Gaga and Caitlin Moran are mine), and for others it may mean a creative process (for me this is keyboard practice, singing, reading, writing, and adult colouring), or it may be a particular context or setting (the forest, the seaside, the library for me), and for many it's all of the above. All of these things give us the space, the motive, and the mental stimulation to act. Due to its broad nature, inspiration is actually surprisingly easy to come by. It is really important to make some time for yourself each week, if not each day, to read up on the person who inspires you, or talk to them if it's a family member or friend. Take five minutes to tinker on the keyboard, or read a few chapters, or whatever pastime fulfils you in such a way. Visit your 'safe' inspiring space as regularly as needed. It's ok to give up an hour of sleep for such activities, because you are gleaning your energy from a more positive source - we all know sleep can actually make us feel a bit groggy and unproductive (even if our bed is our favourite place in the world). Too often we put off such things, as our to do lists fill up with 'more important' tasks, when actually balancing your life in this way is the most important thing you can do for yourself.
Image taken by Kylie Barton
Appreciation is a little tougher to come by - or so it can seem. The thing with this is it is very much a two-way energy stream. I don't mean that you show appreciation merely to receive it, but the more good, positive, energy you put out into the world, the more you will get back. That's karma 101. Appreciation doesn't have to be some big gesture either. In current times, it seems people too frequently mix up buying gifts with appreciation. We don't need to commercialise this energy form in that way. Of course, appreciation can be shown by flowers, cards, chocolates, or random gifts, but this then makes the energy form finite and thus unsustainable when linking it with money. Instead use the sustainable resource at everyone's disposal; words. Written or spoken, sang or signed. It can be as small as complimenting someone on their hair, writing a complimentary email to a colleague, sending someone a meme to tell them how awesome you think they are out of the blue. Or it can be as big as you like; a hand-written love letter, a speech at an event, or a poem or song written for someone.
Stop and take a moment to think about how you can provide yourself with some more clean energy. Perhaps make a list of your sources of inspiration, and challenge yourself to show a little appreciation to another person at least once a day. I promise you the impact will be noticeable.