Things We Can Let Go Of In A Crisis.
By Priya Logan
Sometimes we are like snakes that have outgrown our skins.
Sometimes, we need to shed them for safety.
It is a difficult time right now for many people and for many, it already was.
Some of the more redundant elements of our culture can and could be easily walked away from; it may be good to remind ourselves these are not necessary.
Here is a list of a few things you can pretty comfortably, ( in most cases ), live without.
- Expensive cosmetics, moisturiser being an obvious one. In most cases, oil is preferable to moisturiser, olive or almond oil is available in pharmacies and shops for a fraction of the price. Almond oil does require a lot of water in areas that may have shortages so olive oil may sit better with your conscience. The industry of the latest cream, shampoo etc. is a million-pound one that is not doing you any good. Your skin will thank you.
- Holiday resorts. Many will have no choice in this one, but we can take heed that it sometimes creates a divide between bearable and unbearable life often in places that fall prey to a decrease in quality of life for the permanent residents. A good practice is to develop and extend your feeling of being nurtured, protected, loved into your local surroundings.
- Empty snacks. Doritos, Cheetos. Most of us know this already, and a small indulgence is not a fall from grace. An excellent cure to compulsion is to respect and believe our bodies as deserving of nourishment.
- High maintenance decorative gardens. These hark back to colonialism and a showing of non-usefulness as a privilege. While they may look pretty so too does a garden rich in productive wealth. Start to think differently about what the will of your land is. Hint: if you are buying a ton of toxic chemicals every few weeks and employing a gardener to trim everything but having no actual yield and neither is the local wildlife, it is not what the land wants, nature needs or of any use. Everything is synergy — and dandelions can be beautiful too.
- Gym Membership. Some people who have physical restrictions can benefit significantly from the equipment in a gym. Professional weightlifters or professional sportspeople may need a gym setting. Most other people would get a lot more from bodily labour or getting active outside, in my opinion, and the benefits are multilayered.
- Computer games. There is going to be a lot more time to be had with access to games and virtual worlds. I’m not judging indulgence, but the effects of games disappear in a vapour. You matter, your words and actions can make a difference. Steer away from the vortex of dead-end activity, if you can’t do it all at once just a little at a time.
- Experts. Sometimes we need experts, and I don’t mean complete abolition but a redefinition. Our obsession with experts being the ones with titles can limit our connection with our inner expertise and allow us to overlook the experience and insight in the person sitting next to us. We are all experts in our own lives and responses. We don’t always need to outsource to those with papers, and we can learn from everyone.
- A belief that technology will save us from every limitation and growth is perpetual. We have lived without this delusion before, and many still do. Constant throwing ourselves into the future is also throwing away our present and plunging huge gaps between those who can access the tech and those who cannot. Calm down everything goes in cycles, not endless ascension. And, that is a moderating force.
An some things you can’t live without at least not well.
- The elements of life. I would encourage a lot of time thinking about the foundational: soil, food, air, water. Where does it come from, where is it going, what does it need, who has power over it. Where is it located in your area, get specific and tangible and wonder why on earth you have not done this before, if you have not before. Map it and talk about them.
And the less easily graspable but highly important elements:
- Love. Love is written into our beings — imperfect, lopsided love. Love that skews us into neurotic narratives. Nevertheless, it is like the air we breathe, and we don’t live very long without it. Believing that all these little, flawed but genuine loves are part of a greater appreciation that carries us along and is part of the urge that brings the whole world into being is a vision that has met many people throughout the ages in the most hopeless situations. A universal, accepting and non-dependant sense of love seems our birthright and is always a highly personal lived experience.
- Connection. We need connection, to be connected, to have an orientation. When in doubt spend time connecting with someone you care about, a place in nature, the sky, a dog. Eat some food and connect with all the elements that brought into being. We are entangled and held by a million and one strands of connection.
- Meaning. When you have not examined your sense of meaning and purpose, ideologies can be quickly thrust upon you. It is a good idea to reject the overriding mythologies of your time, well, especially in mainstream culture at this point. You can then give yourself time to tune into what motivates you and what holds, what encourages life and what plunders it. This search is likely to be lifelong and meaning always factors in our choices so it’s an excellent idea to locate it. Sometimes though this can become an overdrive — everything in moderation.
Happy to hear thoughts, additions and disagreements.