I’m learning more and more about the evolution of our lives and the development of our belief systems.
I get frustrated when we humans (myself included) feel the need to identify ourselves as one type of individual, as if we will be that person for the rest of our lives.
I’m a democrat. I’m a vegetarian. I’m a morning person. I only wear the color black.
As if we are not living, breathing animals that shed all our cells every 7 years and change habits with the seasons.
I was chatting with my friend about it this past weekend – this innate need to be labeled as a “type” of person. She and I both agreed that we have felt some inner dissonance with being metropolitan, city girls who are also drawn to the rural, farm-inspired ways of our great great great grandmothers. In her words, “I’ve been thinking its good to tell people you can love your Kate spade bag but also enjoy making hand lotion.”
We can be both these women in one. Why did we feel like we couldn’t?
I understand the human need to be identified with something, and I’m quite certain it has to do with wanting to belong and feel safe.
Way back when we belonged to tribes, we typically identified around one thing – wearing hair a certain way, marks on the body, eating a certain type of food, or singing a specific song when harvesting our food. This is what united the tribe together. Not being a part of a tribe meant being alone, and being alone meant you were in danger. There’s no tribe to protect you from the saber tooth tiger or incoming storm.
So I get that our instinct is to want to belong, meaning we are drawn to being identified as a certain type of something.
It look me a few years to figure out that it’s OK (and safe) to not be that one thing.
After college, I enrolled in a master’s program that focused on environmental sustainability. After having just been exposed to the very real damage being done to this planet when traveling around the year before, I dove in head first to this program. I was determined to make a difference in this world. I was going to get this country off oil for good, convince everyone I came in contact with that plastic was killing the polar bears and I would get the entire world to compost.
Because when I dove deep into the complex realities of what is really, truly happening on this planet right now, it was overwhelming and frightening. How could I sit in my yoga class with a smile on my face in meditation when such horrific things are happening every day all around the world?
So, I became a purist.
I would unplug every outlet before leaving the house, obsessively ask friends and family members if they composted (in that accusing sort of tone of voice), and flipped out every time I passed a Hummer on the freeway. Needless to say, I was pretty miserable. I was in a place of judgement and fear, and it did not serve me or the people around me. There was no way, in this space of anger and frustration, that I was going to get the entire world (let alone my parents) to compost in this contracted state.
So, in my time since graduate school, I’ve been in a process of focusing on and surrendering to the beauty of this world – seeing the incredible gifts of this planet, its people, and what’s within me. My focus is on my pleasure in being the fullest expression of my self, without placing judgement on the person beside me. I compost with love and gratitude for this planet, and hope I can inspire you to do the same. No forcing, just love.
This also means I forgive myself when I can’t be pure, earth-loving Becca every single moment of the day. This might mean taking NyQuil when I have a horrible cold and just need to get some ever-loving sleep, or eating my take-out salad in a plastic container because that is all they serve it in and I have 15 minutes until my next meeting. Gentleness – with myself, with this world, with you.
And man, does that feel so much better than the regimented, scared and angry Becca I once was. I feel so much freer to learn, explore, and inspire a more beautiful, thriving world.
And I don’t think this website could be what it is without me doing this work. Can you imagine The Dabblist being about the terrible things that are happening in the world and everything you are doing to contribute to that? It’s paralyzing and doesn’t help the cause. We help the cause by dabbling in what makes us happy, bringing wonder back into our lives, and living as conscious, loving beings.
Since it’s summer here and the sun is shining bright, I made you a cooling foot soak. It’s great for when any part of your body is overheating, bringing cooling herbs and stillness back into the moment.
- Cold water to fill a large bowl, bucket, or bathtub.
- 1/4 c. rose petals (fresh or dried)
- 1 tbsp. peppermint leaves (fresh or dried)
- 1 tbsp. lemon peel (fresh or dried)
- 2 tbsp. lemon verbena (fresh or dried)
Combine everything together in a large bowl, immerse your feet in, and take deep breaths until the heat subsides.