What if every aspect of living your life was a form of quiet resistance? Every. Aspect. Is that even possible in a world so interconnected by a consumption-driven global economy? What does that look like? Why would we do such a thing?
Yes, there are moments in our lives where open resistance and protest are necessary. Our society hits certain crossroads, power structures destroy life and we must stand up and scream at the injustice of it all. En mass. Peacefully when possible. Violently when not.
But what about our daily lives? Our “every” moments– can’t they also be forms of quiet- yet profound- resistance? What if every choice we make and every item we consume is a rebellion? What if we step outside of the modern societal institutions that rule our lives yet are seething with systemic racism and we embraced a different way of navigating daily life?
What if our morning coffee came from small, local roasters or mom and pop indie roasters we found online and purchased directly from them– not through the tyrannical web of Amazon?
What if our breakfast came from the eggs we purchased at our local farmer’s market or the granola from the tiny factory in the next town over?
What if lunch and dinner came from our own gardens?
What if how we make our living came from the physical fruits of our labor, working for a local business, a small online firm, running a small Etsy shop, selling produce at the local farmer’s market?
What if for entertainment, we watched independent movies, read books purchased from local bookstores or created some form of art or music?
What if when we fall ill, we turned to a functional medicine doctor, a nautropath or an apothecary for the remedy?
What if instead of a cruise we go camping for a week and support the park system?
What if we worked diligently to reduce our plastic consumption and moved as close to zero waste as possible?
What if our clothes came from a small seamstress or a tiny shop owner who dedicates her days to sourcing organic and sustainably produced clothing?
What if. What if. What if. I could go on for days.
We are living through unprecedented times. No doubt. A global pandemic, massive civil unrest, a country collapsing into fascism, broken supply chains, factory farming collapse and the crumbling of a health care system that views people as profit. This period in time is shining a harsh light on the brutal ramifications of a broken system.
We’re seeing, in real time, the absolute death and destruction that corporations and the stock market are placing on every day citizens. And, honestly, for a system to correct itself, it usually must collapse. As painful as living through that collapse will be, it’s necessary.
What I’m suggesting, by designing your life as a perpetual act of resistance, is a way to navigate and mitigate the collapse. What I’m suggesting isn’t easy and it takes quite a bit of thought, discipline and forgiveness of self for not being perfect.
What I’m suggesting isn’t easy or cheap. But such resistance doesn’t have to be expensive either. When the pandemic hit, one of my besties who works for a national coffeechain gave me her weekly free supply of espresso. It lasted almost two months. Once the java ran dry, I replaced it with medicinal mushroom coffee. In the past, I would have paid out the nose for some pre-made (and very delicious) shroom coffee. Not this time. That habit was not sustainable, even if I was purchasing small and domestic. I simply couldn’t afford it long-term.
I researched DIY mushroom coffee recipes. I made a plan. I found supplies that were organic, non GMO and ordered from a small company in California. I sourced organic and non GMO mushrooms from a company in Washington state that was affordable. I ordered enough to make coffee for 4-6 months. For the price of 2 months of expensive coffee and 1 month of daily espresso at the coffeeshop.
Was it easy to find? Not really, I spent hours researching. I paid for shipping (I refuse to give Bezos my money, except for Kindle books) and I experimented on the recipe. And damn, my morning coffee is now healthy AF and my act of morning rebellion. The medicinal shrooms help fortify my immune system. Every cup is a tiny act of resistance.
I continue most of my day in this way. I’m slowly replacing the corporate crutches I used with small sustainable products, DIY projects and products that both bring me joy and support my health.
I’m no saint. I still enjoy some indulgences that go against my resistance lifestyle. But I balance those indulgences. I recognize why I engaged in something that goes against my resistance (I’m human, you know), I try to put better systems in place to prevent this softness in the future and then I compassionately accept my humanity and try to do a little better the next day.
Embracing the minimalist lifestyle and a voluntary simplicity to living many years ago has made navigating the current global chaos much easier. And transitioning my life fully into a daily act of resistance isn’t a stretch for me. It will be for some. And that’s ok.
Simply start now. With one aspect of your life. Take a good long look at what your day looks like, where you spend money, what you consume and where it all comes from and begin to replace things. Swap out your Big Ag eggs for the local dozen. Reduce (or remove) your dependence on the Amazon tit and buy products directly from the producer’s shop. Stop engaging in fast fashion and replace your dependence on all Big Ag food products.
Start small. Tiny little habit shifts add up over time. Within months or even years, you’ll be moving through your day as an act of resistance. And here’s the thing, you’ll have more joy, health and time as a result.
A simple life is one that’s filled with what’s important to you– not what’s important to your social status or your bank account. A simple life highlights time and connection.
Embrace your daily resistance strategy and create a life of beautiful rebellion.