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Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Without a doubt, sustainable living and frugality are coming into vogue.
Yet by-and-large this lifestyle remains an ideal…something few people do and most people only talk about.
For those of us who challenge the status quo and act on our thoughts by stewarding the earth’s resources, living within (or below) our means, preparing for emergencies, making our own medicine, and growing our own food — well, by society’s standards, we must be nuts!
The world still loves to label free-thinkers crazy.
But what’s “normal” anymore?
Many individuals view it as you versus them. You have to be crazy…or else they are, and that’s simply unacceptable.
You see — independent, sustainable lifestyles are a threat to the mainstream flow. The only way our culture can attempt to manage it, is to make you feel like an outcast, marginal, a crazy person. This type of treatment can leave us feeling alienated and defeated.
I come to you today saying, there is a way to thrive when living a non-mainstream lifestyle. Yes, we must battle conformity at every turn, but haven’t we always? And look, those desires you have to…
- live debt-free
- save money
- do what you love
- become less dependent
- live within your means
- birth babies at home
- keep a few chickens
- store food and supplies for emergencies
- homeschool your children
- knit, crochet, and sew
- learn how to put up the harvest
…continue to pursue them! Don’t let anyone crush your spirit. You can continue fighting the good fight — refusing to go with the flow.
Tips for Thriving
1. Be confident in who you are. Knowing who you are and what you believe will plant you firmly on the ground. When ads come on the TV, when people try to persuade you otherwise, or when the feelings of defeat start to creep in…being confident in who you are will give you the courage to once again step away from the crowd.
When we stop looking for the approval of the world and those around us, we thrive.
2. Live in community. I often hear people talking about how difficult it is to live a frugal and/or sustainable life…that is takes too much time and back breaking effort. If we go at it alone, this can be true. But, we were never meant to live this life alone.
I find it fascinating when I read vintage homemaking books written 100-150 years ago! The authors, throughout the book, write with the understanding that women would work to put up the harvest, make soap, birth babies, and mend clothing…together. They did it together, in a group, as a tribe!
Yet, our modern societal pursuit of, and desire for, rugged individualism has created a culture of isolationism and dependence. In order to thrive, we must embrace a community of like-minded others.
3. Share your successes. Don’t be afraid to share your successes! When you discover a new way to do something, when you find a great deal on bulk foods, or when your first seeds sprout…share it. Let people see your joy, and the freedom your lifestyle affords. Trust me…they’ll be asking for your tips soon enough!
4. Read, read, and read some more. I find myself vulnerable and more susceptible to “giving in” to the norm during times when I am unsure of the facts or not confident in my beliefs. Reading blogs and books on the subject of frugality and sustainability has given me great insight. Knowledge is power!
I’ve been asked several times to recommend books that I love, but if I were to list them all…well that’s impossible. But here are a few that have the most highlighted pages and creased corners:
- Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture
- Your Money or Your Life
- The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health
- The Complete Tightwad Gazette
- Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
5. Find encouragement. I think we’d all agree that this transition away from a consumer culture into the brave world of sustainability is a journey…right? And, each of us are at different points on that journey. Not everyone will be where you are and there will always be someone ahead of you. In order for us all to thrive, we have to encourage and support one another! Look for ways to do that today 🙂
Now it’s your turn! What tips can you share for thriving in a non-mainstream lifestyle?