It’s time to live. It’s time to get in touch. The hyper-consumer, capitalist, exploitative, environmentally degrading way of life we call “normal” or “reality” cannot continue. This lifestyle we’ve come to know isn’t working. We’re all suffering for it, and it’s not clear how much more our fragile planet can take. It’s time to reject what we’ve come to learn. It’s time to get back to basics. It’s now or never. You don’t have to take one big leap, though. It’s the small things that can make all the difference. Those small changes can lead to a bigger, more dramatic shift. You’ve gotta start somewhere, after all.
29 Ways to Declare Independence from the Normal
- Get out of that cubicle, go outside, and take a breath of fresh air with your eyes closed.
- Take a computer fast for a day… or two if you’re feeling really radical.
- Turn off your cell phone. Hide it.
- Call in sick tomorrow and talk a walk in a park. Bring a book and read under the shade of a tree.
- Jump in a pond.
- Lay in the grass.
- Smell a flower.
- Yell as loudly as you can.
- Tell a stranger hello.
- Make conversation with someone sitting next to you on the bus.
- Watch a busy street for half an hour and observe what people are doing.
- Pick up a piece of garbage on the street and carry it home to recycle it.
- Wake up early and watch the sunrise.
- Take a cold shower.
- Make a meal from scratch, from fresh ingredients.
- Turn off the air conditioner and feel the natural temperature of your home.
- Step outside and sprint as hard as you can, until you’re out of breath.
- Ignore your car and walk to the store.
- Buy some seeds and sprinkle them in the soil.
- Shut off the TV and play a game with your family, friends, and/or loved ones.
- Look around you and imagine what possessions you can give away.
- Draw a picture. Write a poem. Sing a song.
- Stand up and point to the north. Then to the south.
- Drink nothing but water for a day.
- Try to identify the trees in your neighborhood.
- Build a fire and watch the flames dance.
- Ponder what the future will hold. What does it look like?
- Just wonder. Imagine. What is the reality of fifty years from now? Is it business as usual? Or is it something… different? How has our culture shifted?
Need a break from the routine? Yoga and meditation provide easy opportunities to get outside the “normal.” Check out our current listings for meditation zafus, benches, and eco yoga mats.
Image credit: Flickr via just.Luc
“Turn off the TV” should be number one, followed closely by “never permit advertising to rule your choices”. We would all have a lot more time and we would make much better decisions if our televisions were off, and we ignored the false promises of many advertising campaigns. I understand that there are many educational programs on TV, but download the video that you want from the Internet and avoid the trap that television has become. My family and I turned off the television 20 years ago, and have never regretted the choice. Getting rid of your television is the largest step you can make towards actually having a positive impact instead of just watching other people do it. Likewise, much advertising is an attempt to convince you to spend money on a product you probably don’t need. Break free of the trap of buying stuff just because someone tells you that you need it: Your pocketbook, your retirement fund and the environment will thank you.