I did something very luxurious with the children today. We went for a stroll to our sweet little town and I took them to lunch. In our town they have set up the streets so the restaurants can serve people outside. There are umbrellas, tables, planter boxes filled with tall grasses to seperate sections, and even street musicians. We found a Mexican restaraunt with a wonderful patio all closed in with shade clothes and fans with water mists. The closed in patio looked like an old Mexican village with art, lush plants and fountains.
The children behaved very well and used all their table manners. I told them, “this is a very nice restaurant, we will use our manners and act civilized.” It worked, we had a nice time and they thanked me for taking them out.
We rarely go out for many reasons. There is a lot of good home cooking and going out is often expensive and disappointing. With three children it is often not a pleasant experience. The quarantine happened when we moved and at first everything was closed, now business are finding creative ways to remain open, and thank God because this quarantine will be the death of many small towns if not.
Being poor is not the reason we avoid going out. Sometimes it is choosing to save money for a goal.
We have had some big goals. Two goals. To buy a house and then to buy another house. Being that we aren’t heavyweight money makers, we have had to practice intense frugality so we could make our dreams a reality. We sacrificed a lot of the modern lifestyle.
But it wasn’t a sacrifice and we, at first, forced ourselves to live in a very old fashioned way. The way our great grandparents lived before Dollar Tree, drive thru’s, and Walmart. We grew food, baked our daily bread, stayed home. I tried to stay off Amazon and not order things. Wasn’t always strong in this area. We lived this way many times over but the last year or so was an enormous push to move to a new town and that meant saving in such an extreme way that we lived on 3/4ths of a paycheck for the duration.
Something delightful and surprising happened during this time. We learned just how little we could live on and still thrive. We learned to grow and even can some food for a couple seasons. We learned that simple pleasures were far more sustainably enjoyable than the quick thrills of eating out or shopping for junk.
Sitting around reading library books, watching movies, dreaming big dreams, writing, art, learning to really cook from scratch in new ways, and being together was far more fulfilling than a life of running around being busy. The less we had, the less we needed or wanted.
Now we have moved and we don’t need to be so hard core.
We don’t live in the typical house with 2,500 sq ft, granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Thank God. I use the sink and a cheap dish drain for washing dishes. We have old furniture and old cars.
But we are very rich in time and resources. I can stay home and nest, cook nutritious food and be with my children all the time. They never have to feel alone or instability. They homeschool and belong to co-ops and alternative schools that focus on a child’s creativity, mental health, community, and inner development.
My partner can have a job that he likes and doesn’t cause stress or long hours away from his family.
Doing anything just for the money will be ones demise in the end. Maybe not right away or in a decade, but one day it will have caused some suffering in some way; eroded health, lack of joy, missed valuable time with children and family.
Our society is being awakened from a zombie-like state with this new disease. It has brought to light our inner dis-ease. We have no true stability and we don’t know what to do with ourselves when trapped in our homes. Some families are just getting to know each other for the first time. Nature is getting a break from our relentless defiling of it.
My husband is Indian and we was talking about city life vs. farm village life where he’s from. He says the city people are now like Americans, spending every dime they make and not preparing for the future. They have suffered with the shelter ins. The farm villagers have gardens and cows, they have wells for water. At the beginning of the year they take their savings and stock up on wheat, rice, corn, and sugar for the whole year. They don’t suffer that much.
We could all be like this.
Grow gardens in our front and back yards. Stock up our pantries for the year. Even have a goat or chickens if we are good with animals and have the room. It doesn’t take as much as one thinks. Look at the Dervae’s Urban Homestead. They had 4,000 sq ft in a LA neighborhood and raised chickens, ducks, goats, and grew enough food to feed themselves and sell to gourmet restaurants to buy things they couldn’t grow.
This is the real life. It is a lot of work in the beginning, but it gets easier and more enjoyable as time passes. The set up is tough but a cake walk after you get the hang of it.
The dream is to be out of debt and be able to provide for yourself and family as much as possible. The dream should also be to live in harmony with nature, showing Mother Earth respect and love.
I said it for years on my old channel, our economy is built on sand. We need a new, green, sustainable economy.
We need new ways to work and a new focus on family and how we raise our children. This world is toxic. The air, the water, the soil. Many people don’t seem to be right in their minds or ways. I find most of the “not right” people haunting the internet. I recently deleted a good sized channel and blog because of some group of people that are truly not mentally well or they wouldn’t go out of their way to harm others.
What is wrong with our people is that we want and want and want. Social media is destroying our relationships and how we relate to one another. It causes jealousy, comparison, envy, hate, anger, and false accusations. We live in false realities and not right were we are in the present moment.
I’ll admit that when I first began deactivating my Facebook I would feel disconnected and weird. When I finally deleted it for good I didn’t look back…well, I couldn’t, I ended it. I have felt so happy and free since. No more upsets and jealousy. When I deleted my channel I felt a few minutes of mourning for 3 years of work all gone in a half second and push of a button. Then I deleted my blog, 5 years of writing, work and sharing.
Strangely I felt a burden lift. I felt free. I stood in my home and looked out on the forest and I knew that I had released my identity (thus who I was online had just died) and I could start a new life however I chose. One that was in this present moment with what is real. The forest, my family, the daily rituals, the bird song early in the morning when the air is cool and my coffee is hot.
I just purchased a movie to add to our little library on VUDU, Way Of The Peaceful Warrior. It is a spiritual quest movie I’ve watched many times. I’m watching it again to remind myself how to become present and learn contentment in a very simple existence.
And life at home is something you have to learn contentment around. It gets boring, frustrating, and tiring being with children all day. Housework can become monotonous drudgery on some days. That is if you are being honest.
So, how do we flow with the day of laundry, dirty dishes, whiny children, and barking dogs? How do we feel when everyone else is out and about and you feel trapped? When friends are going out to dinner and movies and you are cooking everything from scratch on a Friday night and renting a cheap movie for the whole family off VUDU? How do you feel when family is traveling to fun places and you and yours truly have never traveled past a couple states?
I don’t know how you do it, but I’ve been busy making goals and reaching for dreams. And in all that I have fooled myself. Busy, busy, busy. I preached to get off social media to be happy and at peace but I was making videos like crazy and online all the time with comments and editing, uploading, downloading, responding, putting up content. I preach being in the moment with the family and home, meditating quietly over the suds in your after dinner dish washing. Meanwhile, I was thinking of the next blog, the next video, the next book. Always thinking of work.
I knew I wasn’t in the here and now. I knew I was neglecting my kids emotionally. I liked creating and being busy. Being distracted. Many of you had shared with me this feeling of wanting to escape life.
So, here I preach and blow smoke and all the while I’m completely not living my life, I’m sharing and teaching and dreaming and working a community.
When the gossip gals decided to pick my family apart and figure out where we lived and it became a safety issue, I deleted all my work. I could hate them for being so ugly in their souls and blame them for destroying my channel and blog and losing all that income.
But I know how the Universe works. I had struggled for over a year as to whether to keep going with this work. Everytime I thought of quitting the channel would grow and the community was buzzing. I thought that was a sign and at the time it was. I had something to offer and people needed it at the time. But then the time comes to an end and if you don’t let go easily the Universe will send in troops and destroy it all to force you to give in, give up, move on.
I’ve been on many spiritual quest. They aren’t as dramatic as in movies because you don’t have the background music. But when I leapt into the great unknown I was taken care of. Sometimes the provisions were just enough and then more abundance as the journey unfolded. Life always grew and flowed into better things.
I thank those crazy ladies for helping me end my old life online quickly. I pissed around the issue for over a year but when they came along carrying pitch forks I burned it down fast.
Now I get to reinvent myself. I also have this time to adore my children and partner. To really see them, hear them, be with them. I am getting to know myself again as well.
Now my days are not online. They are out wandering the village and forest with my family. I sit on a bench, a log, under a tree and watch them run around like wild puppies laughing and chasing each other. We walk through neighborhoods, we buy lollipops at the corner store and wander into town, we run along trails in the thick woods, I take them out to lunch to learn manners and how to tip the waitress, we read books to Little Miss and Sam, we lay on the big bed and watch silly movies, we make huge pots of popcorn.
I love the days now. I’ve never lived like this before…not working 3 to 5 different jobs. I’ve always worked so very hard and really didn’t get anywhere big or fast. My channel grew but it took years and I put in a million hours. My blog had started to grow after 5 years of hundreds of blogs. Nothing really flows when we work like crazy fiends. We just keep pushing the rock up the hill only to repeat it the next day and the next.
I remember a story about an artist. He was a young pop star. He kept cranking out the bubble gum pop until it was so watered down and rote that his fame was quickly fading into the light. He was about to have a common fate of many overnight hits. I read this a million years ago so I’m not totally sure of my facts and will not mention the singer, but he took off for India or one of those far away places to gain inner spiritual sight. He was gone for a year and when he came back he was changed. His songs and music was full of life and passion and he went on to be famous for years…he’s still working to this day producing good music, decades later.
He found his soul. If we all take time to go within and find our truest soul, we would find fulfillment.
Happiness and contentment is not out there. It is not online. It is not even with others. We all know others can disappoint us. It is such simple acts that ground us to the moment. It is clearing out all the noise and distractions. It is getting rid of ALL the things that aren’t bringing us inspiration or happiness. And that is the hard part…letting go of stuff, things, people, relationships, work…fearlessly.
Nothing will make us happy. It is only when we let go and surrender to the unknown and do things because they are enjoyable or we love doing them without caring what the outcome is.
I want to write books without caring if they are good. Will they be popular? Will I make more money? Will I get good reviews? No, I just want to have a great time writing them. I want to have so much fun that I love sitting at the kitchen table to type away and sip my coffee in the mornings. I want to eagerly start each new book excited to get to know the characters and find the story.
But first I need to sit until all this discomfort melts away and I find pleasure in just the sitting and observing.
“The journey is what brings us happiness…not the destination.” –Way of the Peaceful Warrior.