I am posting a video on YouTube about this very subject. It is a subject I’m going to go deep into for there are many levels and departments to cover here.
We all know this day and age is a bit wild and crazy to put it mildly. Very mildly for we don’t want to get into all the heaviness of the plagues, fires, revolutions, riots, and political mess…you get it.
I don’t want to be any part of it AT ALL. I get glimpses of the news here and there and even a minute creates this toxic fume that tries to penetrate my soul and fill me with fear and sorrow.
I have returned to my Amish fiction as of late. I don’t know that I’m as into the storyline as I’m relishing the moments in the life of the Amish family. I love that slow, quiet lifestyle. They haven’t allowed the modern world to change them that much or be an influence. They keep most of their ways and many parts of their lives are still the same hundreds of years to present. They have their buggies and horses, the same dress, rely very little on modern conveniences. You go to an Amish farm and you go back in time. The focus is on their spiritual and mental well being, their relationship with God.
Another thing I love about the Amish is how clean, neat, and tidy they keep their farms and homes. They take care of everything they have and take pride in how they maintain their belongings. You would not find a collection of broken down buggies parked on the lawn with an old weathered couch on the porch.
They have made the choice to keep most of the old ways despite the world speeding up and becoming crowded and hectic. I find it amazing. They have a strong community and I’m sure it’s filled with imperfections but they are doing a lot better than most of modern society.
I don’t remember things being this bad. I’m a 70’s child and people didn’t seem to be so plagued with problems, disease, mental health issues, and obesity.
I was watching Groundhogs Day last night. No cell phones, not one in the movie. You watch older movies and there are no laptops and cell phones. There was a payphone in the lobby. I remember those days. When people gathered they didn’t have distractions, they focused on each other and what was happening around them.
In that moment of watching this movie and remembering how it used to be, I truly felt and feel in my soul that social media has ruined us. It has ruined use as individuals and as a society.
Now, I do think there are many positives to some forms of social media if used sparingly and for educational purposes. I get great ideas off Pinterest but I go on there once a year when I’m trying to figure out what to do with a strange yard or repurpose a broken rake (you’d be amazed at what you can do with a broken rake or pallets). I have learned cooking, budgeting, gardening, homesteading, canning, spiritual healing, and so much more on YouTube. I can’t say I got anything but a headache and indigestion from Facebook, and I was never even slightly interested in Twitter or Instagram. I think Twitter is the most wasteful, stupid thing out there. Instagram is a waste as well. It’s like looking at other people’s photo albums all day. I used to dread when people would pull out their photo album during a visit.
Why are the Amish doing so well? They have no debt, own their homes and land, keep their things nice, have strong families and a devoted community.
I think it has to do with them being sober and doing most of their work by hand and in their homes and on their land. They are working outside in nature or in their homes surrounded by family that helps each other. No one is lazy but they balance work with rest, play. They have a strong sense of family and neighbors take care of neighbors. No one is alone or on their own. They don’t drink, take pills, do drugs, and they grow and produce most of their food in organic, wholesome, and compassionate ways to the earth and the animals.
The Amish have a strong connection to God and their spiritual practice is not reserved for Sunday, one more task to check off. It is a way of life that permeates daily works and doings. They don’t allow the outside world into their lives. They guard their community and family from all the mess that is todays society.
Another group I’m enjoying right now are monks. I watch any documentary I can find on their daily life. Buddhist…Zen…I don’t care, I just love watching them go about their days. No cell phones, no laptops, no TV’s…they cook with focus, sweep the dirt courtyards, wash the wooden floors, and walk to town for alms. They pray, meditate, chant. They have willingly given up all possessions. They wear simple robes. They walk with Spirit…God all day. How peaceful can you get?
Once again, there is a similar pattern. First the focus is on God (Spirit or God force, Infinite Wisdom, etc.) and it’s not just a once a week sprint in and out of a church or temple. It’s a daily walk with the Almighty Creator. It is a relationship that builds deep roots of faith and a source of wisdom. You are connected to Source at all times.
Second is a sober, wholesome life. The monks and Amish aren’t microwaving mac and cheese and swigging whiskey, taking a pill to sleep, or any other form of substance that alters the mind and pollutes the body. They keep the diet healthy and mind clear always.
Third part is no media and TV. They listen to the silence of nature or quiet of the house. They aren’t glued to cell phones or sit in front of computers all day. They work inside and outside doing, what I call, natural work. Working in the fields and gardens or doing housework and doing much of it by hand. There is something about working with your hands that slows one down and brings you into the present moment.
If monks can create this for themselves and Amish can retain a lifestyle over hundreds of years…why can’t we create our own worlds?
I love the Amish ways, I love the monks ways. Do I want to become either one? No. I would miss music and movies and long chats with friends on the phone. I would miss coffee with sweet creamer. I would miss my vegan alternative meats and milks. I would definitely miss my washing machine.
But I don’t have any accounts anymore with social media. I only have this blog and YouTube. I do sweep my floors often and wash my dishes by hand, hang my laundry out and cook 80% by scratch, bake our weekly bread. We are learning to grow huge amounts of produce for the future and put in a wood stove. There is a generator for power outages, I have learned to can and to build a fire in the pit outside.
My house is never silent but I often just have on the radio in the kitchen playing local stations. Music is a huge thing with me. I have no talents but I sure enjoy others musical talents.
I gave up drinking so long ago I’ve lost track of the years. Bali rarely drinks. We don’t even take aspirin. If I get a headache it’s dehydration, stress or too much of sugar or caffeine. Coffee is my only drug and I’m fine with that as I’m very cheerful and productive when under the influence.
I’m creating this magical world for my family (this includes even the dogs). I first chose a new location that we all fell in love with and I knew we would all thrive in. I chose to homeschool and each year I relax a bit more to a unschooling/free range style and as my kids take off in their learning and grow emotionally, mentally, and scholastically, I am renewed in favor of this style.
We don’t watch news in our house, the kids don’t have cell phones and we all share one banged up, old Chrome book for educational purposes and research. We listen to music most of the day and if boredom sets in due to being indoors with weather conditions, we watch movies that are fun, positive, have messages and lessons of integrity, honor, community, friendship. There is no social media. If my children watch YouTube I have it on in the living room so I can monitor it. They watch Science Max and Brave New World or Outdoor Boys.
Everything we read, listen too, watch is positive, uplifting, upbeat…sounds ridiculous but we are very happy and in good mental health for it.
Bali and I don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, fight or act crazy. We bicker but if anything, it is more like the Indian/American version of the I Love Lucy show. I always have “an idea” and he tells me not to get these “ideas”. I do them anyway and we bicker. A lot of my “crazy ideas” have worked out so well that Bali only puts up a small resistance these days and then says, “ok, whatever, go ahead.” Thinking he has now blessed the whole event. I’m grateful he is easy on me. He does put his hoof down now and then and I just find ways to make it work without his help. He definitely blesses those times.
I used to keep our calendar clear except for homeschooling coops and fun family trips. It’s a little different with fostering.
We are careful with who comes into our lives or home. That has been tricky since fostering. Fortunately, I have liked everyone I’m working with…and there are many. It feels like the county and social services department works from my home.
I prefer friends and family that are loving, supportive, nurturing, and semi like minded (we don’t all agree but we agree to disagree). I love being with people that we lift each other up and our vibration rises when together. Napoleon Hill talked of this. He said many successful business men (this was early 1900’s when women weren’t a huge part of the business world) would get together and vacation in the forest or at lake cottages. There time together did this synergistic type of recharge and they returned more inspired and ignited, more powerful and motivated. Not all friendships can be like this and certainly not all the time but I have this with a few of my close friends. After we vacation together I take off in my work.
I, personally, work hard on my relationship and understanding of the Universe and Spirit. I call it God force or Infinite Intelligence. I read books and watch documentaries and lectures that continue to help me heal and soar in my emotional and mental health.
Tony Robbins, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Abraham Hicks, Infinite Waters, Wayne Dyer, Florence Scovel Shinn, Jesus, Yogananda…are just some healers and teachers I listen to. I love Taoism the most out of all the religions and spiritual practices I’ve tried. Why? It is mostly about a balance and flow with nature and following it as an example and working with our hearts wisdom. It is the least pushy or aggressive. Most that devote themselves to this practice move to the mountains and away from the masses. They figure if your interested enough you will find them. They don’t knock on your door to push Jesus onto you along with a list of rules to follow then remind you of your sinning nature and the end is nigh! I love Jesus but those people didn’t inspire me much.
We are not minimalist but I have purged and purged the house of every bulky piece of furniture and things that annoyed me. I rid my drawers and boxes of books I never cared for, photos that make my stomach clench because they are from a hard time or when I was drinking, depressed and a downright mess.
We find simple pleasures every day. They don’t cost much. We love reading and coloring, drawing, playing some board games such as Chinese checkers, watching documentaries. I’m grateful that we are so satisfied with these things. That we are seekers and learners, always hungry to find new ideas and explore new worlds right at home. We love exploring life in Japan or those Street Food series on Netflix. What a great way to travel right now.
While most love the reality shows and following the plastic people in their boring lives, we choose another route that is earthy and deep. We are probably considered nerds and it’s an honor.
Our food is homemade and mostly organic. Not everything is perfect and we love alternatives. We are plant based…mostly, Little Miss loves her eggs so I keep a supply of local farm eggs in the fridge. We limit sugar to a pie or treat once a week. Our plates are filled with salads, sauteed veggies, fruits, melons, brown rice, bean dishes, nuts, and all sorts of fun and delicious extras from Gardein, Beyond Meat and other companies we have grown fond of to replace our meats, cheeses and milks. I also make faux baloneys, gluten steaks, soy milk, oat milks, and a fantastic cheese from tapioca and cashews I learned from Sam Turnbull and her website It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.
As for our budget and how I economize our monthly income; I shop on Craigslist these days. I give most of our things away but I’ve also sold things to make a little cash to then buy new furnishings. We rarely go out. We love cooking at home and learning to veganize all the foods we love is so much fun. I feel like we have a little cafe/diner right here in the kitchen.
I mend holes but sewing on a large scale is not in the stars for me. I search thrift stores (when they are open these days) and if things are free on the street I have no shame in rummaging through as I put many things on my street as well.
I love to shop at Grocery Outlet. I find organics and my favorite vegan items. We try new sauces and foods all the time.
A snapshot of our daily life would be of flavorful, nutritious food baking and simmering in the kitchen as I sit at my laptop writing, children playing, drawing, running around and building forts in the middle of imaginative acts. Coffee brewing and good music playing. Walks through downtown and charming neighborhoods or on long trails through thick forest. Maybe a movie on Vudu later and a huge pot of popcorn popping on the stove. Baths, bedtime books read, and falling into all our soft beds satisfied and looking forward to the next day when we do it all over again.