My life has become so far out of the box that I am not even sure where the box is anymore.
This all started when I quit my government job thinking I would take a break for a summer—and then never went back.
I couldn’t be more grateful.
I now live my own self-created life, and I am so enmeshed in this out-of-the system rhythm that I find myself often forgetting that other people need to set an alarm and be in a certain location at a specified time.
In contrast, my days are filled with a fluid movement of inspiration, connection, and choice, which also includes all the uncertainty, fear, and coming up against my own insecurities that a self-made life induces.
And this is perfect for me.
Many years back, I adopted the view that there is no point emulating that conventional style of life that our society has chosen to champion—for the simple reason that I don’t believe it is working.
One day, I asked myself the following questions:
Do I believe the conventional lifestyle of this society is making people happy?
Do I believe the conventional lifestyle of this society is making people healthy?
Do I believe the conventional lifestyle of this society is making the planet itself healthy or happy?
And not surprisingly, my answer to all three questions was no.
From there it was easy to conclude that if something isn’t working, why would I participate in it?
This is such an important thing we all need to do. We can take a look at our own life, our community, and our planet as a whole and really ask ourselves if we think what we see is working. If it is clear to us that it is not working, then we need to get curious and interested in what changes we can engage in to feel like we are being part of the solution, instead of a cog in the wheel of the problem.
And yes, it isn’t easy.
We are told all the time that if we are not participating in the conventional 9-to-5 lifestyle then perhaps something is wrong with us. Perhaps we are lazy or less competent than others in our global tribe.
That is why the first step to being courageous and not participating in any environments that aren’t aligned with what we want our lives, or the life of planet earth to be as whole, is self-love.
When we are making choices based on the fear of not having enough, or the fear that somehow our being itself isn’t enough, we are losing sight of the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is that the human population can make a choice to steer this collective ship in the direction of peace and wellness, but it is a choice. A choice each of us has to make.
And for this collective shift to happen, each of us has to ask ourselves if are we individually steering the ships of our personal lives in the direction of peace and wellness.
My days are so incredibly rich.
They involve engaging with people in my community of all ages, and people all around the world who are willing to do incredibly courageous healing work.
They also include being in nature, cooking home-made meals, spending quality time with my loved ones, and developing a sustainable homestead.
When people say they don’t have time to put effort into making a healthier or more sustainable lifestyle, we really need to examine this statement.
We all have an abundant amount of time in the day, if we really are willing to embody the precious opportunity we have been given of free-will and choice.
The Dalai Lama has told us:
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
This statement is incredibly important. The powerful decision to take a look at the daily choices we are making, and become aware of our motivations and the reasons for what we do, is life changing.
I have to admit that I have been scared many times by my own unconventional choices. I have been scared that somehow I will be at risk for not participating in the typical structure of society.
Maybe I won’t have enough money. Or maybe somehow some sort of authority, or my community itself, will turn against me if I am not participating in the conventional way.
I think these fears are a normal part of making choices that go against the grain.
But as more of us increasingly make life choices that are healthier and more sustainable for the planet than working often uninspiring 9-to-5 jobs, the present structures will change. And then there will be a new norm, and it will be less scary for the generations to come to live differently than we presently are on this planet.
We need to feel like we are contributing every day. We need to feel like our life isn’t pointless, and that our actions have meaning.
There are so many beautiful ways to do this.
The ways we find meaning do not need to include money, prestige, or even recognition.
But they do need to include the participation of our true heart and pure mind, and a willingness to dedicate our life to something bigger than just our own comfort.
For me, living completely outside of the conventional 9-to-5 structure provides this. A remote location for home, and my own business that I can self-guide.
But this is not the only way to accomplish giving our life meaning—truly the ways are endless.
What ways do you ensure your daily life has meaning either within the conventional structures of our society or in a situation of your own creation?
I can’t wait to hear about them!
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Travis May