Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Vision Quest - motivation

These are some nice friends of mine that I met in 1997, some time ago I know. They are Barb and Milt (on left) and two volunteers who ran the then Ecovillage Headquarters of Canada. It was the first place I had been to that was teaching self-sufficiency. They had solar and wind power and a generator. The house was renovated so that it made use of convection currents to take heat from wood stoves around the house. They grew their own food, canned it themselves and also had cows and chickens.

That's me sitting on the corner of the platform in red eating as usual My Motivation to do Bushcraft and anything else:-

It was an inspiration to live with Barb and Milt; the first place I ever stayed at where the only bill they had was council tax or land tax. Minimal bills, no electricity bills; though they had a washing machine, computers, shower, stereo etc. To me this was amazing.

To my mind Bushcraft is the epitomy of self sufficiency. It is the knowlege that has brought us here. The fact that we have removed ourselves so far from nature as to have undermined our own independence and freedom is evident in colossal housing prices, massive debt and stress related illnesses. I know that learning Bushcraft isn't an overnight solution. It is an ongoing process. This is the same for self sufficiency; for adjusting our lifestyles to use sustainable technology and resources, and for the awakening of our own awareness. I sometimes feel like I'm struggling along in a swamp carrying a lot of useless knowlege that weighs a ton but doesn't get me anywhere. On this site I'm putting all of the useful things I've learned down and I'm sharing my knowlege and my progress and my pitfalls.

I'm not yet self sufficient. I like to pick wild food and camp out a lot, but I don't yet own my own house and I haven't got a very good income. But the biggest lesson I'm learning is that in order to adopt new and healthy habits I musn't kick myself if I don't do the right thing. The biggest obstacle to my having a positive impact in this world is my own guilt at not having one.

Yes, I've filled up a good percentage of landfill sites with my rubbish. Yes, I've undoubtedly contributed to the hole in the ozone layer; to drought in Africa from our emissions in the west causing global dimming. I haven't boycotted Chinese or Japanese products because they've been supplying the weapons to warring African countries like Uganda and Darfur; that have resulted in the awful genocide there.

I think at heart people want to be good, and somewhere in all of us is a kernel of purity that is unsullied by any of our actions or circumstances; a refuge if you like that means we can always be a little kinder, or turn a blind eye or forgive someone or especially forgive ourselves.

I've been very idealistic in my life and in the past have not considered the emotional repercussions of what learniing about nature and sustainable living can bring. In Bushcraft there are thresholds of comfort, to living outdoors, that you must go through, and they operate on all levels; physical, spiritual and mental. The same goes for changing the world you live in, for 'being the change you wish to see' as Gandhi nicely put it.

Transfromation, REAL Transfromation starts with a day dream; begins with a nagging feeling saying you're not dreaming big enough dreams. When we want to become healthy, we just think about getting rid of the excess weight, or the annoying spots or headaches. We react, we don't pro-act. When do we think 'Wouldn't it be nice to be the fittest I could be?' or 'Wouldn't it be amazing to be the richest person in the world' or 'I wonder how many people I could help in my lifetime' (help to stop starving, help to stop violence, help to bring peace)?. We're rarely specific enough or determined enough; so the spots return, the excess weight comes back and Africans remain with a life span that is half that of the rest of the world.

To love ourselves enough for the suffering of others to stop causing us suffering, we must forgive ourselves everyday, until we're feeling good enough that it can overflow.

My reasons for learning Bushcraft are as wide as they are broad, but I have always hoped that one day my best dreams would start to show up in my reality and they are, and I know that they will for you too.

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