I have not been happy with any of my attempts thus far to explain exactly what I mean by “natural living.” I have touched on many of the elements of it but I have not nailed it down into a concrete, concise thought… that philosophical nugget which actually sustains me in my own personal quest.
Some of my previous posts make sense and there are glimmers of something in each of them. But all of them came with some struggle to find my way from beginning to end. So, assuming that even I didn’t quite know what I meant, I stopped writing. (Well, I kept trying to write but I stopped posting the efforts.)
But it finally hit me at work as I was talking to a young but wellness-savvy colleague.
We, as human animals, used to spend most of our lives searching for, cultivating and safekeeping the things of life. Growing and gathering our food, finding a safe way among life’s threats, making our clothes, hauling our water, guarding fire pits and telling stories that shared our strategies for survival to our loved ones. That is our natural programming… our ‘human-ness’.
And now, most of us go to work and get paid money for our efforts doing whatever it is that we do and then we use that money to pay others to do the searching, cultivating and safekeeping of life.
As a society, we have ignored our human-ness. We have branded it fancy, naivetee, eccentricity, primitive social patterns, old-world ideals. We have maligned and outsourced the things that we are programmed to do and that keep ourselves and our loved ones whole, healthy and alive and in so doing, we have given other people wholly disconnected from ourselves control over the fundamental building blocks of our health, sanity and community.
It was that simple all along. (Don’t know why I couldn’t say it that way before now…)
But that means the answer is simple too. And it doesn’t mean dropping the jobs and money and entertainment and a few luxury toys. (We do have to live in this world built around us, after all.) It just means that we have to take up the sustaining once again and build ourselves and our loved ones, well, ourselves.