Carla Robertson is the owner of Living Wild and Precious, a master life coach, and an official advisor to LifeCity. (She also hosts workshops like this one today, 1/8, so keep an eye out for the ones you’d like to participate in!)
Tell us a little bit about your company, and what’s on your plate right now both as a business and as a member of the sustainability conscious New Orleans community.
I’m a life coach who focuses most on the happiness and fulfillment of my clients. I support my clients in making sure their goals are aligned with their true purpose so they’re not just spinning their wheels being productive or more efficient in a life that doesn’t suit them. The name of my business is Living Wild and Precious Coaching because I believe the line from the Mary Oliver poem is a great question to ask yourself every day: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” I encourage my clients to stop postponing joy and to discover ways to be happier right in this moment, rather than waiting.
In terms of sustainability, I’m currently most excited about seriously reducing my own carbon footprint – I work from a home office and we recently invested in both solar panels and insulation along with a smart thermostat, and it’s making a huge difference in our energy consumption. I’m also excited about the growing local food movement here in NOLA and love promoting that in my circles and taking advantage of it myself.
What are some of your proudest moments as owner of Living Wild and Precious?
My proudest moments are when clients have an “aha” moment that completely changes their lives for the better. It’s such an honor to witness that. It’s especially wonderful watching my clients increase their confidence, see their truth, and then act on it and reap the rewards. It never gets old or boring. I also love hearing from clients months and years later about the lasting effects of something we worked on together. I also love when clients heal a relationship, whether it’s with their grown children, with their parents or siblings, or with friends or partners. Ultimately we are all seeking connection and it’s beautiful to see people overcome obstacles to reconnect deeply with each other.
I work with my clients to focus on what really lights them up, and often this leads to less mindless consumption, because it’s really not the stuff that’s making us happy. I teach a course called “The Indulgent Path to Money Management” that focuses, among other things, on teaching participants to identify what’s “enough” for them. We receive a lot of messages that more is always better, but I find that’s not true, especially when it comes to stuff and possessions. We are actually happier when we’re not overwhelmed with too much. Realizing that is good for our well-being and great for the planet.
I also bring reusable dishware to events and point this out to participants. I try to make sure that events don’t end with a pile of trash, but that everything is reusable or recyclable. I model how easy this is rather than making it feel like something complicated.
I’m a bit of a one-woman show, but I’ve loved collaborating with Audubon Yoga, Propeller and Raw Republic on wellness events. I look forward to more partnerships in the future!
If you had a magic wand to change one thing that would make it easier for your company or other New Orleans businesses to go green, what would that thing be?
In the future, I imagine green being the default choice instead of the one you need to jump through hoops to achieve. It will just be natural. Like smoke-free restaurants and airplanes. We’ll forget that once upon a time it was a struggle to make green decisions, just like it’s hard to imagine people smoking on an airplane, even though it was common 20 years ago.
Here are some of my favorite green future dreams:
I would love to see the elimination of many disposable products – from utensils to cups to packaging – I would love to see it become cool, encouraged and somehow easy for people to bring their own cups and utensils or be provided with non-disposable versions to reduce waste. We are finally beginning to bring our own bags to grocery stores. Let’s start a movement to bring our own forks to Jazz Fest! That would probably eliminate thousands and thousands of plastic forks being used once and going to the landfill.
I’d also love to see even more green space devoted to wild and native plantings – to support local wildlife and butterflies and honeybees. And places for people to gather outside – like outdoor classrooms or meeting spaces. I love coaching outdoors and I have my favorite spots – I’d love to see even more places like this where people can work and relax in an outdoor setting. I’d also love to see more meeting spaces available that look like a living room. Couches and coffee tables– areas that could be rented by different groups for a small fee. I envision a lot of communal space in the future, and more and more sharing.
I believe in a four-day work week. Everyone is so desperate for rest and connection with others, yet we continually support a society that pushes everyone– kids, adults– everyone who is not retired – to be so over-scheduled and overworked. I think that we often make non-green decisions when we are rushed and overwhelmed. I believe that freeing up more time would allow us all to live greener. If you have time, you’re willing to walk or bike to the store. If you have time, you can prepare a healthy meal with local food. If you have time, you don’t make impulsive decisions and buy things you don’t really need.
Lastly, it’s not difficult to construct green buildings, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. We have the technology, and some of it is super-simple. I look forward to a future where all new construction is done in a sustainable manner, and where no one feels the need to air condition interiors in the summer to 60 degrees!
What advice would you give to other businesses who are trying to improve their internal practices to benefit their city and state?
Consider the long term. Consider how you really want to live. How you want your children to live. Don’t just accept the status quo. Believe that better, greener, more human, more compassionate choices are possible and take brave steps to implement them within your own organization. We all create the world we live in – so let’s make it what we really want!
Be willing to be a pioneer, a maverick. When you take a courageous step to run your organization in a sustainable, compassionate way, you create a pathway for others to follow. Envision what you really want then figure out how to implement it. If you can imagine it, you can create it!
Anything else you would like to tell our community of Green Card members and Green Businesses such as upcoming events or promotions they should look out for?
I host monthly “wordless walks” in the wetlands at Jean Lafitte National Park. They are a great opportunity for participants to get quiet in nature in a relaxing and rejuvenating way. We always see something amazing! The next walk is this Sunday, January 11 at 9 a.m. Meet at the Pecan Grove parking area.
I am currently accepting coaching clients for 2015, so if you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed and want to make some changes in your life with the support of a coach, contact me for a complimentary consultation.
I’m also available to present engaging and interactive workshops or speaking events on designing a vision for change, incorporating more joy into work and life, being more courageous, reducing stress and more. I love supporting groups and individuals to envision a better, happier future and then implement that vision!
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop over to my website www.livingwildandprecious.com to sign up for updates and receive a free “Wild and Precious Walking Tour” – a 20-minute guided walk in nature to refresh and relax you any time.