Are You Pushing the Snooze Button? – Day 139

October 17, 2010 1 Comment


365 Days to a Balanced Life Journey – Day 139


Quote of the Day

“Man must go back to nature for information.” – Thomas Paine 

Since embarking on this personal development journey I have had my moments of despair.  The more I study ways to improve my life experience, the more I feel like a failure in connecting with the true meaning of life.  The big buzz is conscious living versus unconscious living.  They say that when you wake up and “get it” you never go back.  I feel like I keep waking up and pushing the snooze button. 

Several times over the past few decades I have had an epiphany that I think will change my life only to find myself back in my unconscious state only slightly more the wiser and aware.  I realize that it takes constant discipline to live in a conscious state at all times but at times I question whether I have what it takes to get there especially when I read about an inspiring person who is living life on his/her terms like Eustace Conway.

I am reading the book “The Last American Man” by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray,Love).  This is the biography of a man from North Carolina who at the age of 17 went into the woods and lived off the land.  Made his clothes made from deer skin, ate rattlesnakes and squirrels – the real deal.  He hiked the Appalachian Trail in 4 and ½ months (for those of you who do not know, this is a 2000 mile journey).  Everything he needs he builds, grows or kills.  A nut you might say, but this kid also obtained a double major with honors while living off the land in a teepee.  He has spent his life trying to teach people to not only Reduce, Reuse, Recycle but first to Reconsider and Refuse.  He travels anywhere he has to in order to share his vision and try to do his part in stopping the endless destruction of forests and nature. He is someone who walks his talk.

It has got me thinking about what makes a person this disciplined and principled?  Most of us are so addicted to our creature comforts we could not even consider living this type of lifestyle.  It is because of this that we have lost a connection to nature and live in such an unconscious and self destructive way. 

I have noticed that when I spend time in nature I do feel at peace and more in balance. My needs and wants become less important.  I used to hike every weekend when I was younger and loved it.  I am not a camper and would not consider for one minute living in a teepee or eating squirrel stew but I do know that if we all spent more time in nature our spirituality would deepen.  We were meant to live closer to nature than we have been over the past century.  I remember at the age of 5 or 6 spending my days traipsing through the woods next to my house with my friends or brothers.  We spent all day outside so as a result we were happy and “good” tired at the end of day.  By contrast my kids have spent very little time exploring nature so consequently they have no connection at all to the earth.  How could they?

There is a quote in this book that although long I feel is important to share with you. 

“I live,” Eustace said, “in nature, where everything is connected, circular.  The seasons are circular.  The planet is circular, and so is its passages around the sun.  The course of water over the earth is circular, coming down from the sky and circulating through the world to spread life and then evaporating up again.  I live in a circular teepee and I build my fire in a circle, and when my loved ones visit me, we sit in a circle and talk.  The life cycles of plants and animals are circular.  I live outside where I can see this.  The ancient people understood that our world is a circle, but we modern people have lost sight of that.  I don’t live inside buildings, because buildings are dead places where nothing grows, where water doesn’t flow, and where life stops.  I don’t want to live in a dead place.  People say that I don’t live in the real world, but its modern Americans who live in a fake world, because they’ve stepped outside the natural circle of life.”

“Do people live in circles today?  No.  They live in boxes.  They wake up every morning in the box of their bedroom because a box next to them started making beeping noises to tell them it was time to get up.  They eat their breakfast out of a box and they they throw that box away into another box.  They leave the box where they live and get into a box with wheels and drive to work, which is just another big box broken up into lots of little cubicle boxes where a bunch of people spend their days sitting and staring at the computer boxes in front of them.  When the day is over, everyone gets into the box with wheels again and goes home to their house boxes and spends the evening staring at the television boxes for entertainment.  They get their music from a box, they get their food from a box, they keep their clothing in a box, they live their lives in a box!  Does that sound life anybody you know?”

“Break out of the box!” Eustace said.  “You don’t have to live like this because people tell you it’s the only way.  You’re not handcuffed to your culture!   This is not the way humanity lived for thousands and thousands of years, and it is not the only way you can live today!”

Maybe Eustace is telling us to quit pushing the snooze button on the box next to our bed box.

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One Comments to “Are You Pushing the Snooze Button? – Day 139”
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