(published February 28th through my newsletter)

[In retrospect, this is a strangely auspicious piece to have written in February just before Coronavirus hit]

Is it just me or does it seem like people are talking about their environmental fears a lot more these days? Like, with real hopelessness?

I hear people saying stuff like, well, it looks like this is it for the planet, and, it’s all over now, or, it’s just too late, the damage is done!

This doom and gloom around environmental change is often followed by a rush of concern around resources… clinging to what they have, including tthe same old habits of consumption.

Do you have fears about not having enough? Not enough healthy food? Not enough fuel? Not enough clean water?

Yet, do you continue to consume at about the same level?

Do you luxuriate in the shower an extra five minutes? Do you pull plastic bags from that roll in the produce section every time you buy lettuce instead of bringing your own? Do you eat meat every day? Do you buy airplane tickets impulsively without considering the spray of toxins they leave in their wake? Do you impulsively buy things on Amazon without considering the process it takes to get to you – trains, planes, automobiles and all that packaging…?

What I’m really asking here is, have you considered drastically reducing your “needs” instead of carrying on with the same habits? No longer waiting til “the system” changes before you make your own changes?

This camper life I’m living is a big, huge experiment in ENOUGH.

How much water do I really need? How many square feet of shelter? How much do I need to pump the heat or will a thick sweater do? How much packaged food is necessary? How about meat? How many plastic bags? How many people do I need to see each day to feel important? How much money do I really need?

What do I need to live a life of value, of meaning?

These are questions that are close by at all times now.

And is it possible to keep using resources on the planet like we are, and still survive?

Someone was recently visiting me in the Scamp for dinner and they kindly did the dishes after. But they let the water run while doing so, instead of stopping and starting it between dishes.

I could hear the drain bucket outside filling and overflowing. I thought about how much more often I need to empty the bucket when I’m not mindful. I thought about California’s water supply, and how precious that overflowing rush of clean water is.

Then I thought about all the homes with mindlessly running water out there and inwardly sighed.

A dear person in my orbit said last week, “It’s good that you’re doing this now – you’ll be ahead of the curve – we all will need to learn to live on less as the planet’s resources dwindle.”

Yes. I want to know how little I need, and whether those “sacrifices” are even sacrifices… or if I’ve been sold a bill of bad goods (beliefs) by this society.

Since moving here, have I sacrificed eating well by avoiding packaged food? Absolutely not. It’s all about the Saturday farmer’s market and bulk section at the health food store. Plus the use of simple herbs, seeds and sauces for variety and texture.

What about water? Do I miss the way I used to let the faucet run? No. I’m embarrassed about it. I have plenty of water. Even though I use dozens less gallons per day. (Flushing a toilet is now a rare indulgence in my world.)

Have I had to sacrifice my glamour? No. no. no. Of course not. That’s mostly attitude anyway.

Of course, I have a long way to go. I’ve only scratched the surface and every once in a while, I do crave more. But when my ambition flares up and wants something bigger, something shinier, a soft voice from within says…

Shhhhh, look up… see the way those birds swoop and circle? See the way the clouds change shape? See the way the light shifts against those boulders…?

All this is evidence of enough. You can’t get away from it.

You want to know what it’s like to live without a ceiling? Step outside your house and look up.

It’s right here in nature. In your nature. In my nature. Right outside your door.

Less and less and is calling to each of us.

By responding to the call, expect to receive more and more…

Especially more peace of mind, as when you are on the side of doing something about it, it smarts a little less when doom and gloom swing by to smack you around.

Your small steps are bigger than they seem… the intention behind taking positive action travels far and wide… it reverberates around the planet. It shifts those fears toward possibility. Toward hope.

Reduce your dependence and increase your abundance.

It’s strangely simple.

Happy Friday friend,
Ariel

 

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