As I sit here at my computer, my mind drifts to a dream of mine to do my best to live as self-sustainably as possible. Anyone who has known me for any time can tell you that though I talk a lot about this and have done much research, I have failed to really live it. I want this to change. So I sit here asking myself how exactly to do that. How does one begin to live closer to the Earth, in a way that is gentler and more conscious of their impact? How do I, without running off to the woods, start to make the changes necessary to move closer to this goal? I guess the first step would be to determine just what it means to me to live in this way.
The first thing that comes to mind is to eat a diet that is more natural, less processed. (Thank-you Bossy Duscharme for your influence.)
Another piece of this for me is in unclogging. First off I will need to continue to declog my life of physical stuff I have accumulated. I have been working on this for some time, but the more I look at it, the more I realize that there is more ways in which I can downsize. One key to this is in getting a few things that I feel are very necessary instead of a bunch of things that aren’t. After this, comes unclogging my mind. As someone who no doubt has many ADHD type tendencies, it is tough for me to quiet myself and let my spirit work its magic instead. Writings like this are a big step in doing that. Another part of cleaning out the mind chatter, is the same as going through boxes of gathered items. I have to look within and find those ideas, thoughts, emotions that are not in any way helping me. Separate the garbage from the treasures. Then release whatever isn’t serving my goals.
Make my house a home. This is a huge one for me. If I do not feel at home within the space that I live, then I will find myself making many useless trips elsewhere. I will leave to try to find the comfort that I seek instead of creating it within my personal living space. For me, having a natural home is about using materials that come from nature and creating an atmosphere that is both relaxing and creative. All of this needs to be done without creating lots of waste or pollution.
This leads me to the next piece of living closer to the Earth, creating less waste. How do we do this when everything in the store comes packaged in styrofoam, and wrapped all over in plastic? One way in which I have begun to make change is by bringing reusable bags to the store. Another is to bring back my plastic containers and refill them. The health food stores usually have bulk containers from which I can refill my smaller ones. I also buy in bulk when I can which saves both money and garbage. Even so, I live in a small town with no room to compost or burn anything, so I have what I consider to be way too much garbage. This needs to change. Maybe I can look into a composter that is suitable for use in a back yard that is closely surrounded by neighbors. (out of site and odorless would be absolutely needed).
Make your own…Whenever possible, I need to make things from scratch, whether that be cooking, clothes, drinks, whatever. I have some wonderful friends who do just that. These great people inspire me in the way they grow their own gardens, tap the trees and boil down the sap for maple syrup, grind apples into cider, cook everything from scratch, learn to do their own repairs on house and car whenever possible, make or buy used clothing to prevent so much waste. When they cannot do things themselves, they barter their skills with others who have what they do not. I have been drying, canning, and freezing foods in an effort to prepare for winter and reduce my need to run out to the stores to get what my family needs.
After years of talking about it, I have begun to make my own laundry soap and use shampoo, soap and dish soap that a close friend makes.
All of this is taking me small steps closer to where I want to be, but I still feel that I have a long way to go. I have come to realize that the biggest hindrance to walking a more natural Path is myself. I have found it much easier to talk about, read about, and plan out changes that I wish to make, than to actually make them. So this year, my 42nd year, I am going to make a promise to myself that I will stop talking and start doing. I will give my life the attention it needs, and push myself out of my comfort zones. When I do not feel comfortable trying something new on my own, I will find someone who already does what I wish to incorporate and reach out to them for help. I will admit my faults, my areas of weaknesses and strive to see myself in a genuine way. I will become the Natural person that I believe I came here to be. I will walk the Path that Creator intends for me. I will stop trying to make others happy and instead focus on what I need in order to make me happy. (No I am not a selfish person, but like many women, have spent the whole of my adult life trying to do what I believe others want me to do, often sacrificing my own dreams and visions.)
From this day onward, I will let my heart’s voice guide my Path. I will ask for help when I need it and will learn to say no when asked to do something that is not in line with my intended path. I will do my best every day to be genuine and use only truth speaking.
Thank-you creator for all that you have done and continue to do for me. Please help me to be the daughter you need me to be. Help me to walk the Path that I am intended to walk. Aho.