How are you? We have been talking all weekend about Subtle Activism, and we have thought of some really exciting things that we can all be doing to empower ourselves to live beautiful, healthy lives. None of this is new, but it does help to be reminded once in awhile of how important it is these days to do everything with thoughtfulness and love. If these ideas are new to you, then get really, really excited because there is a whole new, vibrant world awaiting you with open arms, a "world where the power of love has over come the love of power."
FYI, we just watched Zeitgeist last night, which is why we have been thinking this way. OK, here are our favorite Subtle Activism actions:
1. Eat a Live Food, Vegan diet. If you haven't yet, please watch David Rain's talk on Subtle Activisim to learn why eating this way is so powerful. When we have our health, we have our personal power, we are not dependent on a medical institution, we do not give any of our money to pharmaceutical companies, and we do not live in fear of medical bankrupcy. Sadly, this is not the reality for most North Americans. It can be for you, and by being vibrantly healthy, you are teaching others that health is possible, and you become amazingly valuable.
Another thing to note is that the meat and dairy industry creates more waste and pollution than the trucking industry. See "Livestock's Long Shadow" by the Food and Agriculture Administration of the United Nations for the complete data on this reality. This means that you can be a raw/vegan eating goji berries shipped from Peru, raw chocolate bars sent from England, and spinich trucked from California while living in Vermont and still be causing less environmental damage, pollution, and waste than a meat eater raising all their own poultry and cattle in thier own back yard.
This does not mean that shopping locally should be ignored, quite the opposite, it only goes to show the immense impact of eating raw, vegan foods. It is, we believe, the most impactful thing you can do, far more than say, getting rid of your gas fueled car.
For more on the political power of live foods, please watch David Rain's talk on Subtle Activism here:
2. Get rid of your T.V. The television is one of the most powerful tools used to shape public opinion, and everything that comes into your conciousness has gone through the filter of corporate, money hungry America, even the news brodcasts. Not only does the T.V. tie up your valuable time, time that you could be using for beautiful, self-actualizing activities, but it uses this time to manipulate you, create false needs and desires, instill fear, and causes you to live vicariously through the actions of television programming characters. T.V. is not real life. YOU are real life! Stop giving your life away to the tube, and get out there and get really juicy with your precious time.
3. Shop with a concience. There are many of us who shop recreationally, buying on impulses often sparked by advertising agendas, giving away our money to unethical companies in trade for a short lived moment of instant gratification. New possessions are not a way to happiness, as we have learned the hard way. We consume more resources per capita than any other country on the planet, and take more anti-depresants than any other country on the planet. Don't fall into this trap! Instead take a good look at what you really need vs. what you think you want. There is always something new and flashy to get, replaced instantly by the next new and flashy thing, you can not possibly keep up! Use your money instead to feed your body the best foods possible, which will in time lead to the best health possible, which will lead to a deep, real, sustained happiness. A great place to go to learn about thoughtful shopping is www.treehugger.com. We also love second hand, thrift store shopping, re-using and re-loving things while also giving our dollars to a good cause (often thrift stores will be associated with public service work, and if not, you are supporting someone's business that is actively engaged in reducing, reusing and recycling.)
4. Avoid debt. This one is really important. Many of us have been seduced into massive debt by 0% down, low interest rates, no payment for one full year, and much more. We can end up paying more than twice the original price on a consumer item that loses 75% of its purchase value the minute we carry it out the door of the store. This means if an item is originaly $100, we can pay up to $200 through a payment plan for it, while at the same time sitting in our living room is that same item worth only $25. This is nonsense.
In 1990, the New York Times reported that the average was about $2,550 for those households that carried a balance. At the end of 2003, that balance averaged about $7,520 – an increase of nearly 200 percent!
And that's only credit cards. The average U.S. household owes mortgage debt, student loans and automobile loans, in addition to credit card debt.
When you are in debt, you are very easy to control, to be held back, and to be kept in fear, as you are stuck on the debt treadmill. We end up sevicing our debt instead of saving for our dreams, our big, beautiful dreams that are far more satisfying than getting that new car/T.V./computer/dinning set/outfit/case of pop/CD/cell phone/ or jewelry on credit. Don't allow debt to control you. It is quite easily avoided really, all you have to do is spend within your means and re-structure your value system. Learn to value your debt freeness over the value of a temorary high from buying that new pair of shoes you couldn't quite afford but what the heck, your credit card is for that type of thing. I can't believe they don't offer classes in high school about the importance of staying out of debt, or the importance of managing your money wisely. Instead, teens are offered thier own credit cards, they even offer credit cards to small children now under the same account as thier parents! Credit cards and debt are not child's play. If you are already in debt, get out of it as quickly as you can and do everything you can to keep it from growing. A nice side effect of avoiding debt is that you also become a more responsible consumer, only buying what you have carefully considered and what you truly need.
5. Have a Carectomy. My Dad just did this. I am really proud of him. He said it didn't hurt, and he didn't have any post-surgery trauma, and he actually feels a lot happier, healthier, and he truely enjoys riding his bike and walking. If you are interested in getting rid of your car, or even just becoming less dependent on it, check out www.carectomy.com. We also strongly recommend you look into alternatively fueled vehicles. In terms of fuel and energy usage, it has been said that you are more fuel and energy efficient being a vegan SUV driver than being a meat and dairy eating cyclist. Wow. Imagine how wonderfully fuel efficient you are being by travelling on foot, bycicle or public transit on a raw/vegan diet!
There are many, many more things you can do to be a subtle activist. These are just a few that carry big results. It is important to realize that we now live in a Plutocracy (society governed by money), not a Democracy. All of our politicians are bankers and businessmen, or are controlled by bankers and businessmen. In such a situation, our most powerful votes are made with our dollars. Think about this every time you use money, be it to buy food, fuel, clothing, or a movie. Your money goes to support the agendas of those who's hands it falls into.
For a very clear idea of why Subtle Activisim is so crucial now, please watch Zeitgeist. This documentary can be very frightening, or very inspiring, depending on what you know about what to DO about all of this. YOU are a very wise, and loving person, and you know the power of Subtle Activisim. YOU know what to do about all of this, and so it isn't so frightening after all. All you have to do is get supper healthy, eat amazing, beautiful foods, spend your time in enriching activities, spend more time outside travelling via foot or bicycle, find the joy and pride in wearing and using sweat-shop free, environmentally friendly, re-used clothing and products, discover the peace of living simply and within your means, enjoying the present moment and avioding the imposible catch up race of consumerism. Quite simply, all you have to do is live a beautiful, thoughtful, peaceful, loving life and you are acting as a radical activist! And isn't that what we all want anyways?
To your vibrant life and health,
Love, David and Katrina