Regardless of whatever else we do in life, each one of us needs to create a daily life that supports our survival. And in doing so, we need to do it in a way that can both sustain our own individual lives, and all Life on Earth.
This life that we create is called a "lifestyle."
We know this sounds a bit commercial, so we want to explain what this has to do with Life.
The word lifestyle is simply the way in which a person or group lives.
This goes far beyond what we usually think of as "style," which often refers only to how something looks.
But that's only one definition of lifestyle.
In another definition, lifestyle refers to every aspect of your life, and is often rooted in a particular philosophy.
When health practitioners refer to "lifestyle changes" they are talking about chosen aspects of a person's material life—things like changes in your diet, quitting smoking, getting more exercise, and eliminating toxic chemical exposures.
But it can be much more. Your lifestyle can include such things as:
- cultural celebrations, such as holidays, music, art and other things related to your heritage or family
- expectations of behavior, such as rules of politeness, courtesty, and civility
- where you choose to live and the resources that are available in these places
- what you do for work and the style of your work life
- how you move from place to place
- your behavior while shopping, such as what you buy, where you buy it, what influences your purchasing decisions, how you pay for purchases (cash, credit, barter) where and how you get money, how you handle your finances, how much money you want or need.
- experiences you seek for personal fulfillment
- how you explore your own nature and potential as a human being
- how you explore and express your spirituality
- what you do for entertainment and fun
- what type of health care you choose to maintain your body
- how and where you get information about the world
- what you do for physical fitness
- what you eat, how you obtain food, how you eat it
- your experience of nature and your impact on and responsibility for the natural world
- your personal interests and pursuits
- your social connections with family, friends and community
- what kind of home you live in
All of these aspects of life and more can be part of a lifestyle.
So when we talk about the "Spirit-Mind-Body Lifestyle" we are referring to a lifestyle based in the Lifely Spirit-Mind-Body
which informs and influences all the decisions we make in our material lives.
To put it in one sentence:
THE LIFELY SPIRIT-MIND-BODY LIFESTYLE IS CREATED BY SPIRIT
AND EXTENDS THROUGH HOW WE THINK AND THE CHOICES WE MAKE IN OUR MATERIAL LIVES.
This means that it begins with spiritual principles such as caring for all life and respects the physical laws of matter.
Steps Toward a Sustainable Lifestyle
For more than 50 years a new way of living has been emerging—bit by bit, piece by piece—breaking free of existing ways but not clearly establishing a new foundation for thinking, creating solutions or making decisions.
The change started with books like Rachel Carsons’ Silent Spring and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and continued with the appearance of natural food stores and restaurants, organic farming, green building, nontoxic and green products, and interest in a wide range of spiritual practices and philosophies. As a society, we have clearly been looking to change our ways.
Today many of these ideas have gone or are moving into the mainstream, but from our viewpoint something has been lost in the translation to mass market. Organic farming, for example, is excellent, but most people eat their organic food processed into potato chips and snack foods rather than whole and fresh as Mother Nature intended. So even though we are reaching out towards sustainable practices, we haven’t broken free of the main problem—industrialization.
The very ideas on which industrialization and consumerism
are based lead us to make choices every day that are not in our best interests as humans nor in the best interest of Life itself. Yet we cannot break free of this unless we understand something about Life, how we are part of it, how our actions affect it, and what we can use as a foundation to lead us in the right direction.
Fortunately, there is such a foundation, and that is Life itself.
With Lifely, we want to go deeper and explore the roots of this emerging movement, going down to Life itself, what it is, and how it operates. And then see how we can live our lives in ways that express the basic fundamentals of Life.
After a lifetime of study and experience, we started The Lifely Group to gather what we know for our own clarity, put it in order, and make it available to others as a resource and a legacy for the future. We’re doing this because we want our lives to revolve around living lifely, and we see it as the logical next evolution for humankind. Indeed, collectively, we are already pointed in this direction.
Our Lifely Spirit-Mind-Body Lifestyle
The whole point of a Spirit-Mind-Body Lifestyle is to create a lifestyle that is right for you as an individual spiritual being and is also right for sustaining life in the place where you live.
That said, here are FUNDAMENTALS of lifestyle choices we have made that are consistent with our Spirit-Mind-Body viewpoint to the degree that we currently understand it and the degree that choices are available or can be created.
#0. SPIRITUALITY IS THE CENTER OF OUR LIFE AND RELATIONSHIP. At this time our exploration of our spirituality is primarily self-awareness. We share what we've learned at our Spirits Bright website. We consider ourselves spirits who live physically as organisms in the self-regulating system of the Earth.
#1. WE MAINTAIN A 'MICRO" HOME-BASED BUSINESS. Central to our Lifely Lifestyle is having a home-based business. This gives us independence to make our own decisions and live our lives the way we want to without being tied to having our income and financial condition tied to an industrial company. Alternatively, one could work for a home-based business and support their efforts, but that is a step away from having one's own autonomy. We both have been self-employed for most of our working lives. We have a variety of skills that we could use at any time to produce income, but our intent is to have a home-based business that does good in the world, thriving and prospering and producing continuous income, and managing that money well for financial security. And just a note, we consider "financial security" to be ongoing income, not having money locked up in an industrial financial institution which could be lost any time the industrial economy crashes. We each receive Social Security and strive at any time to have multiple streams of income.
#2, WE EAT WHOLE, ORGANIC, LOCAL, SEASONAL, HERITAGE/HEIRLOOM FOOD. Food is fundamental to being alive and having a healthy body and functioning mind. So it's our very first priority. More about this at Wholefood Cuisine. We eat primarily food from our garden or local farmer's market or community co-op markets. I prepare most of our meals at home. We eat primarily whole foods, mostly plant-based. We do not eat a lot of meat but do eat chicken or beef or pork occasionally and mostly heritage breeds raised sustainably We have local farms where we can get really top quality pure food and we take advantage of that.
#3, WE'RE BUILDING OUR OWN HOME. We have, for most of our married life, owned the homes we have lived in. Currently, we are living with Larry's mother, age 88, in her home to help her stay home with her cats, her family, and her familiar surroundings. While we are here, we're building a tiny house so we can have flexibility to explore our options when the time comes when we are no longer needed here. We're excited to live in a tiny house we are designing ourselves, so we can have our essential needs met without having to heat and clean more space than we need.
#4. WE CHOOSE TO LIVE IN A RURAL AREA. We live in a rural agricultural area that is near a suburban town. We have many small organic farms, farmer's markets, and farm-to-table restaurants in the area.
#5. WE CELEBRATE THE SEASONS. We have no cultural roots in our family or religious affiliation, so we celebrate the seasons on the solstices and equinoxes. We also look to pre-industrial cultures for examples of celebrations that are more Earth-oriented and updated expressions of those themes. For example, I no longer sing Christmas carols, but rather have dug up old carol tunes and have written new words. And that's what we sing for Winter Solstice.
#6. WE GIVE AND EXPECT RESPECT. We expect each other and those in our lives to be polite, courteous, civil and act for the highest good of all concerned.
#7. WE USE THE MOST SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION WE CAN. We get from place to place by walking, riding our tandem bicycle, or driving in our hybrid Prius. We have only one car for the two of us and Larry usually drives. He is happy to do that because he loves to drive and I love having a chauffeur, so we are both happy with the arrangement.
#8. WE BUY OR MAKE LIFELY PRODUCTS. We buy only products that are nontoxic, most are made with renewable resources, many are organic, more and more are locally-made. We are constantly going to farmer's markets and craft fairs and local businesses as our first choice for where to shop. We pay cash mostly and will barter. We used to belong to a time bank in Florida. Larry had a lot of skills so he was in demand and had a lot of time in the bank, but then when he fell out of a tree and couldn't move, everyone he had worked for came and helped.
$9 OUR HEALTHCARE IS SELFCARE. Our healthcare is primarily self-care and healthy lifestyle, plus spiritual self-healing. When necessary, we will go to the emergency room and both of us have had surgery. We have a primary care MD and health insurance, but our preference is to take the natural route. For exercise, we walk around our rural neighborhood and in our local redwood forest, and ride our tandem bicycle.
#10.* WE GET INFORMATION FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES. We generally don't read the newspaper or watch the news on TV, although recently we've been watching TV news to find out about the covid-19 pandemic. Usually we're not concerned about the everyday details of things happening in the world. Most of our information comes from the internet. We also use the library a lot and order books from other libraries.
#11 THINGS WE LOVE TO DO:
- study the spiritual and physical aspects of Life and figure out how to live more lifely
- watch movies on television and in movie theaters
- eat in good restaurants with organic farm-to-table food, or inexpensive ethnic restaurants
- ride our tandem bike
- be out in nature
- build houses, particularly renovate existing buildings
- be curious about everything!