A Declaration of Dependance



For the last little while I have been contemplating, journalling and even occasionally blogging about what I have been calling, for lack of more refined terminology, a culture of detachment.  I was heartened to find that I was not alone in these contemplations and am honoured to be co-blogging today with Heather Plett and Tara-Sophia Mohr as we explore the topic of location dependence. I invite you to also read their thoughts on this topic: Tara's Prana, Location Independence, and Getting High and Heather's Feels Like Home To Me.

I have written before about how I believe we are witnessing the last breaths of the patriarchical paradigm. And we are still uncovering and creating what the new paradigm will look like. Right now it seems we are transitioning through what Robert Bly indentified in his book as the "Sibling Society". He likened it to being in adolescence - a very spirited time. We are in a time of rapid technological progess, high ambitions, fast moving, full of change and excitement. All things full of masculine energy (which isn't the sole purview of men, by the way).  And those of us who spend any amount of time perusing the internet world can see this energy magnified through our computer screens. It shows up in language like dominating, crushing and epic. And it shows up in a whole parcel of "lifestyle design" movements sprung from ideas like those in Tim Feriss' Four Hour Work Week. Life can be large and exciting and expansive. And of course, you will make a lot of money, too!

Nothing wrong with this, but it's not the full story. Often characteristic of these movements is the seeking of superficial experience acquisition over deeper experiential wisdom, projects instead of processes, individualism over collectivism. The soulful, feminine aspects of life such as home, relationships, intimacy, nurturing, memories and stories, are at best ignored and neglected and at worst are treated with contempt. It puts me in mind of a woman I know who just went to visit her son after his first couple months in his first year of college. When they met up he wouldn't hug her and she had to be content with shaking his hand. Other mothers commiserated with her when she told the story - we seem to have accepted as a society that as the young seek to find their independence they will hold their mothers in contempt. It doesn't have to be this way. In many cultures it is not. I hope that as more of us give voice to the feminine we will restore a healthier balance. I believe this will be essential to heal what is hurting and move into the new paradigm.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.

 ~ Rumi

The part where I get to the point

One of the most popular of these trends right now is the Location Independent movement. The idea is that you can have a career that allows you to work anywhere in the world you choose.  Inherent in the promotion of this idea is this view:

"Are you fed up with having to live by the rules?The rules which say you have to work really hard, make lots of money just so you can buy a house with a big mortgage. And then work even harder to pay off that mortgage, until you can retire with a nice little nest egg pension…and finally start enjoying your life?"

If you believe that that is your only other option, then you are as much a slave to the idea as the people with big mortgages. You are shaping your life as a reaction to something instead of seeing it as a creation.  Much like the clutter/declutter duality, this is another one that just leaves us stuck on one side of the fence or another, and often just as alienated. Like one of my uncles, who was either drinking his face off and sleeping it off on our couch as we tried to watch Saturday morning cartoons over his snoring, or was on one of his pious sober kicks where he had "absolutely and don't you doubt it" conquered the demon liquor - until his next drunk phase. My uncle's life was only ever either/or. And it was a sad life.

As some are finding, when they let fear of something be the driving force in their lives, it shows up:

"In addition, staying a year, but knowing you are leaving is tough.  We’ve done it the last two years in different spots.  You want to join a church, but know you will be leaving.  You want to deepen relationship with local friends, but know you’ll be ditching them in less than a year.  There are countless activities where you say…  well, this would be nice to do if we weren’t leaving.

So you end up living a half-assed, gimped life, because you are scared of entering into an experience that will keep you tied down.  Too much thirst for not being tied down, means you suddenly find yourself living with single-serving friends, in single-serving social settings, pursuing single-serving passions."


Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

 ~ Rumi


An Invitation to a Deepened-dance

I know I have always been deeply attached to the few places I've lived. From the prairies where I grew up, to the northern coast of BC where two Ravens escorted me on my bike ride to work everyday, to my first home which I lovingly said good bye to not that long ago.

In each place I made deep, long-lasting friendships that I have come to depend on through the hills and valleys of my life.

In each place I came to know the land I lived on, to be able to read the language of nature and to depend on the tides, the seasons, the rain and the sun to grow my garden, the land to provide me with food, the rivers with fish.

In each place I was able to depend on storeowners to point me to a book they knew I would love, able to depend on the letter carrier to leave my parcel in the special spot behind the garage, and able to depend on the neighbours to watch my house while I was away.

I was not waiting to enjoy life, I have enjoyed all along the way. I have danced with my community, I have held hands with them and grooved to the rhythm and found a deepened - dance that filled my days with love and connection and meaning.

I invite you, whether you are living in your current location for 3 months or 30 years, to foster some dependence, to enter into a deepened-dance with the land and the buildings and the people who live there. To find a spot of nature and return to it often - observe it as if you were Mary Oliver "a bride married to amazement". Really be there. Involve yourself.

It isn't your circumstances that will determine your happiness, it is your engagement and your sense of purpose and meaning.  Don't end up simply visiting this world. As much as we all depend on it, it's depending on us.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

 ~ Rumi

Read more on this topic from Tara:

Web_tara-sophia-mohr_crop Prana, Location Independence, and Getting High





and Heather: Feels Like Home To Me