Wise Women Wednesday: Meredith Erwin

Meredith Erwin

It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions.  These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.

Q. Who are you? What is your background? 
A. My name is Meredith, and I'm a fairly recent North Carolinian transplant. I've spent time living in Virginia and Texas, and now I'm following my (future) husband as he pursues college baseball coaching dreams. In the past three years or so, I've developed a passion for reducing my individual trash footprint. I've always had a latent appreciation for our Earth and environment, but a fatalistic attitude about its steady degradation... It wasn't until stumbling upon the zero waste movement that I found a way to put my values into daily, positive action.

Q. What is your work?
A. In March of 2017, I joined the Be Zero ambassador team. Be Zero is a non-profit based out of Boulder, CO and started by Andrea Sanders (a fabulously inspiring, low waste lady)

Be Zero's mission: "To inspire, educate, and activate individuals to dramatically reduce their individual plastic and trash footprint and to create simple and sustainable lifestyle habits."

My work is community building. I share with local Greensboro residents the foundations and benefits of a "circular mindset," and resources to live with less trash specific to our community. Where to shop in bulk, where to buy second hand, where to find fun activities, volunteer opportunities, educational experiences related to low waste living, etc. My goal is to create an approachable and inclusive environment to explore our consumption and waste.

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Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I'm participating in the spring HAND-to-HAND Market at Revolution Mill, representing Be Zero. I'll have a booth and will be sharing with makers and buyers alike how to make less trash. I'm excited and a bit nervous, this will be my largest audience yet!

Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. I declared my by-when (deadline) to shift careers. I've reached a point in my life where I want my daily work to be more aligned with my ethos. I committed to myself, my family, and my friends that by November 1st, 2018 I will be on a career track within sustainability/low waste living. Declaring this felt, and still feels, daunting. Right now I have no idea what shape this track will take. I'm focusing on the when, and trusting the how will steadily reveal itself the more I explore and put myself out there.

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Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it?  If not why not what's stopping you? 
A. Yes, and no. I've dipped my toe into the work I most want to be doing through Be Zero. It's been a slow build over the past year, and I'm just starting to get some traction within the Greensboro community. I'd love to do it on a larger scale. The biggest thing that holds me back: lack of professional experience and formal education within sustainability work. I have no background aside from my personal experiences over the past few years. This leads to some self-doubt. Who am I to build a platform and proselytize? Who will consider me "legitimate?" I know this stems from a fear of rejection and being wrong. It's something I'm working through while learning to recognize the inherent value in my personal experiences, and exploring my options for further education.

Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. You'll never reach a point where you have life "figured out" - so save yourself some valuable energy and stop trying. The process IS the point. The journey IS the end result. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start your real work. Also, do more yoga.

Meredith Erwin

Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. "Practice and all is coming" - Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
I ascribe to the Ashtanga Yoga Method. My teachers always reiterate that Ashtanga is 99% practice, 1% theory. The practice is your biggest teacher. Only daily devotion and discipline, for years and years, will lead to enlightenment. Basically, there is no quick fix. I've been able to apply this lesson to literally every aspect of my life.

Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. I find a vast amount of inspiration from the zero waste community on Instagram. Social media is one of my main platforms for reaching the community. To keep it uplifting and productive, I've curated my feed to only what inspires me. Scrolling gives me motivation.

Meredith Erwin

Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. I utilize a wide array of self-development tools - one of my favorites being StrengthsFinder. I apply and live into my strengths every day. My results: Futuristic, Individualization, Harmony, Connectedness, Restorative

Q. What's your favorite yoga pose? 
A. Marichyasana A - the initial shoulder crack&opening when doing the bind is so satisfying! Plus, I'm still hanging on to a certain amount of pride from the first time I was able to do the bind unassisted.  

Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. I've embraced my quirkiness, my weird, and all other aspects of my varied personality. This allows me to create the habits and practices that best serve ME, and drop any expectation of what I should be doing. Abundance can look like a regular routine, a quiet night in, and eight hours of sleep! 

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