Ever feel like you know you need to change things although you’re stuck for where to start?

My take is that the buck starts – and stops – with me.

An example that pops to mind is from back in about 2005 when I visited an island called Tiri Tiri Matangi just off the coast of Auckland in New Zealand. The island is a bird sanctuary, and I was really impressed with the work they’d done to restore the natural wildlife. I was struck though with the apparent lack of native trees.

Like many areas in NZ, this island has been affected by the en masse de-forestation many years ago.

Whilst some progress had been made to replant, by a well organised volunteer organization, there was a long way left to go. I really got a sense of the impact that more reforestation could have on the native NZ birdlife too.

Since moving to NZ in 1993, I’ve visited this island many times with Chris and with family members – including special trips with my wilderness-keen nieces to really discover and explore.

On one trip with Chris, we arranged to stay in the Department of Conservation building on the island, where students and researchers go to study the local kiwi birds. We managed to rent bunks for one night and it was an amazing experience including a night adventure to spot the nocturnal kiwi.

I really wanted to see more progress on the island for the indigenous wild life

and realized, at the end of the day, it all starts with me, especially when it comes to giving back. 

So, Chris and I decided to make a contribution specifically for native tree planting, and it was extraordinary to pop over earlier this year and see the reforestation progress. It was so cool to see the results including the increased bird life ☺

I’ve also witnessed this idea of ‘it starts with me’ in other areas: for example, in communications with Chris.  If I sense things have gotten off track, I’m creating a new habit of asking myself ‘who does it begin with?’

And my answer is always ‘it begins with moi.’ 1

Often it may be time for me to offer the olive branch or to sincerely apologise.

When I am the change that I want to create, I just feel so much better about myself. And I don’t mean big-headedness; it’s more about my confidence, self-esteem, general well-being and sense of peace inside.

I’m curious to hear if mine maybe similar to experiences you’ve had?

We’ll dive in deeper in this week’s #AliveWithFi –  ☺

1 What’s powerful about the concept of “it starts with me” is that it’s a real way to create influence: “You change the world not by pointing out what is wrong with it, but by upgrading your model of reality to coincide with what you wish to see in the world.”


“If You Want to Change the World, Start with Yourself First”

  1. Fahkry (2018)

 Fi Jamieson-Folland D.O., I.N.H.C., is The LifeStyle Aligner. She’s an experienced practitioner since 1992 in Europe, Asia and New Zealand as a qualified Osteopath, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, speaker, educator, writer, certified raw vegan gluten-free chef, and Health Brand Ambassador.
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