I spent the last ten days sweating and being gently coaxed to overeat at a place I affectionately call, “Granny camp” (video below).
A master of self-reliance, my Granny, has lived on her own on the family farm in Northern Michigan for the last ten+ years.
Before that she’s been a mother to 4, a dairy farmer, and a survivor of fire, famine, and late-in-life divorce…
What’s she learned in all that time?
Being self-reliant is a lot of work.
Gardening and guarding from gofers is a full-time job…painting the fence is more than a tricky way to train karate with Mr. Miyagi…and, strategic stockpiling is important even in the best of times…
(On top of having 20 jars of peanut-butter in her laundry room she also recommended a YouTube channel to me – My Self Reliance chronicles the tale of a Canadian that is building his own cabin/homestead from scratch…its really quite cool if you’re into that sort of thing.)
Turns out the human game is all about shelter, food, and water…sometimes we reproduce.
Maybe, it’s best that we don’t forget that…?
Sticks. Earth. Water…sometimes we have fire.
Or a modern form of it…would we know what to do without it, I wonder?
Sometimes it seems more complex, but at the heart of self-reliance it’s not…“Improving your position” is rule numeral uno in survival.
(And never forget shelter comes first – the weather always seems to get worse…especially, somehow, when you focus on fire first.)
As times get tougher and weirder, and weirder and tougher we might ask ourselves a simple question to spur innovation, creativity, and to help inform our efforting…
Make no mistake we are always working towards something…best to co-determine the direction ourselves whenever possible, I find.
I do that in a number of ways and by a number of tools –
– Asking myself, “What am I busy creating?”
– Challenge myself, “What am I grateful for right now?”
– Or, in modern day survival terms, perhaps it’s appropriate to simply ask, “How can I improve my position…right now?”
Whether you find yourself mired in depression, in a rut of inactivity, or on the hunt for an everyday mindfulness practice, ask yourself one or three of these questions.
In those few moments where you don’t seem to have an answer – or, a Granny to turn to – do push-ups until you can’t, and then do some more wondering…
Good luck, yogis!
Justin “Jud” Kaliszewski is the best-selling yoga teacher and renowned creator of Outlaw Yoga. Author. Artist. Adventurer. Though his studio is currently closed per state order, you can still take his class NOW at outlawyogaclub.com and www.youtube.com/outlawyoga. Find his writing and art at www.justinkaliszewski.com and his presence all over the internet – for an outlaw, he’s shockingly easy to get ahold of.