Wrong.

Until very recently, I thought I was perfectly stable emotionally. Every magazine article told me I had to figure out why I was fat in the first place. But I couldn’t fathom what the reason could be. My parents weren’t divorced; my grades were good; I am eternally happy and optimistic; I have not been touched by death or disease; I had lots of great friends; I traveled Caviar Class and had great shoes; I am loved. Why did I have no resistance to overeating?

It dawned on me when a friend gave me Ishmael to read. Of course there was something wrong with me, but how can a lion born in the zoo know why it paces? How can it even imagine the truth of how it should be living? Even the happiest, most giving of our species are unfulfilled on some levels—and we don’t know why. No matter how much money we make, or love we feel, or happiness we experience, we somehow pace.

I think about how we spend vast amounts of our extra time and money on being more human. Our most hard-worked-for resources are spent just to be who we are for very short periods of time. We vacation where we can take in the Earth and the people we love. We go to the beach or the mountains, deserts, jungles, lakes, gardens, parks. We head outdoors. We hold hands and kiss and hug and laugh. We walk. We sit on patios, enjoy outdoor cafes, sleep in hammocks, sit around campfires, intoxicate ourselves on nature and each other. Bathe in it. Breathe it. Roll around in it. We are happy. It satisfies us deeply. It’s a glimpse of our true selves. It’s worth everything.

Realizing that the deep-rooted problem was civilization itself and not that my dad yelled at me was a shock to my system. Seriously, how do you even begin to fix that problem? I was an anthropology major for goodness sake, but I was still as ignorant as is a fish of water. How does a caged lion get back to the savannah?

I’m not literally thinking of a physical move into a jungle hut (although it has come up), but I am certainly considering how to help my family live more ‘in the wild’ (but with air conditioning). Here are some things I’ve determined to be ‘wild’: living in an intimate aligned cooperative community, spending a lot of time with those we love, building our own houses, providing our own food, providing and caring for one another as if our lives depend on it, and being deeply intimate with our piece of the planet.

Starting The Ultimate Moms Club was my way to start building the community that cares and to spend more time with my loved ones. It’s only step one and year two, but I feel certain I’m on the right path. Will I start to feel less hungry as I check things off my ‘wild’ to-do list? Will I pace less and reach full speed more? Will others who are on this journey with me feel more ‘right’? More free?

And a journey it is, so we shall see.

Extreme Reality: Can we live without money?

"Extreme is converting the Earth’s splendour and bounty – its salmon, its magnificent ancient redwoods, its rolling hills, its generous soil, its gushing rivers, its gloriously Wild creatures – and the pageantry of life into meaningless numbers with no intrinsic worth. Extreme is not knowing our neighbours, let alone feeling comfortable enough to ask them for help. Extreme is having a spare room in your house while others sleep on the street. Extreme is spending our lives doing jobs we hate, just so that we can repay the bank money that it created out of thin air in the first instance. Extreme is taking what was freely given to us and then charging another part of Nature for it, only sharing that which was gifted to us if we receive something in return. Extreme is walking towards the precipice as we smugly recycle our tetrapaks. Extreme is letting it all unfold before our eyes, as if somehow we were not powerful enough to stop it." (from Mark Boyle, The Moneyless Man on transitionnetwork.org)

tumblrbot asked: WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY?

Being bathed in the laundry room sink.

Hi, I’m Helena and I’ve been fascinated by other cultures my whole life. I used to be a fancy First Class jet-setter coveting expensive shoes, but when I became a mom, things just didn’t seem right in the world. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong with the way we live. After six years of introspection, reading and experimenting, I’ve grown to rely heavily on my anthropology fascination. We need to learn from history, but going back 200 or even 5,000 years, is not enough. We need to learn from people who live ‘in the wild’, natural humans, people who know nothing more than to do what people are born to do and live the way people were meant to live. There’s much to learn and apply to our world now. There is a best of both worlds, and my mission is to find it.

Hi, I’m Helena and I’ve been fascinated by other cultures my whole life. I used to be a fancy First Class jet-setter coveting expensive shoes, but when I became a mom, things just didn’t seem right in the world. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong with the way we live. After six years of introspection, reading and experimenting, I’ve grown to rely heavily on my anthropology fascination. We need to learn from history, but going back 200 or even 5,000 years, is not enough. We need to learn from people who live ‘in the wild’, natural humans, people who know nothing more than to do what people are born to do and live the way people were meant to live. There’s much to learn and apply to our world now. There is a best of both worlds, and my mission is to find it.