Good intentions don't change the world.
Wanting to learn about something doesn't give you the knowledge.
Studying it does...taking classes does.
We live today in a world that just talks the talk. I am reminded of this oh so much as the elections are tomorrow. Politicians are the perfect example of talking the talk...but they just are the ones on the news.
I wanted to learn how to spin....so I bought a drop spindle. I sucked at that but I really wanted to do it....so my husband surprised me with a spinning wheel for our 8th anniversary (purchased from a local yarn store too!). Guess what, now I can spin.
I wanted to learn how to use herbs and essential oils for my family...so I started reading...then I wanted to teach others...so I went to school. Now I am a clinical herbalist.
My husband and I want to go off grid in a yurt and try to be self sufficient. So we researched yurts, stayed in a yurt, and started saving for a yurt. We started reading about preserving food and more about foraging. We started pickling and canning and took a day class on foraging.
I don't list these to show how good I am...it has been hard. My wheel sat for a few months before I was able to take a class. My husband and I still have a long ways to go before we will be living in a yurt.
But its all about taking action....even if it is just a baby step.
I hear a lot of people talk about their good intentions...shit, I was raised by a women who only had good intentions and never actions to go with it....but I never see action from these people.
I read complaints on FB about how shitty life is....how people generally are unhappy in their lives...I can see it in the empty smiles of the women I pass by.
Yes, venting is helpful. Yes, sometimes we can't change certain circumstances. But we can do something. It just means taking that first step to walking the walk.
Everything you see on this blog is on here because I tried it. I will not publish anything on this blog that I haven't done myself. How can I try and get herbal medicine into everyone's home if I am not doing it myself?
So, how do we start?
1) Read about it from people who have actually been there
With the internet like it is, there are books like crazy. Yes, some may not be the greatest but you will learn a lesson in everything you read....even if it is what NOT to do. Check to see if your local library has a book or if they have inter library loans. Lots of libraries are starting to get Overdrive, which is ebook lending from the library.
Take a class...even an online class. There are tons of lectures and how-tos on YouTube...but you can't just watch/listen.....
2) Start with a short "walk"
No, I am not talking about a literal walk (although that would be healthy for you), I am talking about doing 1 thing for your journey.
Want to knit? Order yarn and needles. Put them somewhere you will see them and set a time (with a timer on your phone) dedicated to trying to start. I actually recommend a basis hat as your first project because it gives you something wearable besides a scarf. Many people will start with a scarf and then find it so boring they stop knitting all together.
Wanting to preserve? Many of the recipes you will find on canning can be reduced. I usually just can about 6 cans at a time because that is all the stuff I have at the time.
The law of inertia states that an object in motion stays in motion...once you get going it will be easier to continue on.
3) Meet with like minded people
Humans are not solitary beings. We need community. We will also start to become like the community we find ourselves in...so put yourself around people who are like minded...even if its just a few things. This is one of the great things about intentional communities (sometimes referred to as communes....)
When I was learning to use a pressure canner, I thought for sure I was going to blow the top (I didn't), but it would have really been helpful to have had someone locally that I canned with first.
Find a knitting/crocheting group. Find other natural minded people. Connect with people in classes and FB groups (although I am not a huge fan of FB groups).
4) Step outside your comfort zone
Sometimes walking the walk means you will find yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable.
My biggest one was when I went to Finland for Sacred Pregnancy Instructor training. I HATE flying and I was flying alone...in a foreign country...to a place I had never been and don't speak the language at all. My plane got in late, I missed my bus and had to figure out how I was going to get there on my own. I knew absolutely no one at the retreat I was going to and the day was pretty stressful.
But it was the best time of my life. I cried leaving, even though I missed my family. One of my new friends, Sari, sat with me as far as she could on the Metro and I cried again when she got off. If I had changed my mind because I knew travel stressed me out, I would have missed out on such an amazing experience.
When we don't follow through on our good intentions....that is what we miss. We miss learning new crafts/skills that make us happy. We miss meeting new and amazing people.
I am now a go big or go home person. We sold our couch to be floor sitters, bought a couch because the children tackled me whenever I sat on the floor, sold the couch again because I really wanted to be a floor sitter (long story), and then ended up buying another couch because I finally decided it wasn't right for me. I would never have gotten to really make an opinion on it if I didn't go all in.
Everything I do is because I stepped out and tried something. I didn't just sit on my good intentions. I acted and it has made all the difference in life.