The word Utopia means ‘no place’ and was invented by Sir Thomas More who was a sixteenth century English writer and politician. He wrote an essay about the search for a perfect form of government. I believe the word has come to represent so much more than just a perfect form of government.
I’ve recently been re-evaluating my priorities in life and the way I choose to not only lead my life – but also the way I choose to feel, think and act. For a whole variety of reasons I have spent the larger part of my life on medication. The dosage I was taking increased and increased over time until I believe I almost lost myself completely. When I finally managed to stop taking these daily pills I realised just how much they had been changing me.
I think that it is, in part, a reaction to this that has made me really take notice of what I put in and on my body and the ways that I act and react.
Some of the changes I’ve been making in my life include:
- Focusing on the words of Jesus and making his commands a mantra for my life. Most especially: Romans 12: 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- Cutting out chemicals as much as possible and finding natural alternatives. [this includes dying my hair with Henna, cleansing with oils, making my own shampoos and conditioners, making my own cleaning products etc.]
- trying to follow a macrobiotic lifestyle.
- Recycling as much as possible.
- Avoiding films, books, and media that are filled with anger, badness, violence etc.
- trying to buy second-hand clothes more often rather than new.
One of my favourite quotes of all time is:
“When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.” C.S. Lewis
Most importantly, I’m trying to live like this. It’s not always easy. It’s so much easier to love someone who loves you in return. It’s extraordinarily difficult to go out of your way to be kind to those people who hurt you – but the more I manage in my own flawed and pathetic way to do this the happier and more at peace I become.
It turns out it’s true.
I don’t always manage it – it’s a real struggle sometimes – but when I do I am always amazed at how much it improves my life. I think we all go about carrying very heavy loads as though it’s the burdens we carry that make us who we are. As if we’d be fools to put down past hurts, failures, guilt, regrets and disappointments.
Whilst I’m spouting quotes – here’s another good one:
“The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.”
So this blog is basically going to be about my attempts to improve the way I live. I will certainly fail to live up to the standards I have set but I can at least try.
I’ll blog about natural alternatives, about ways of thinking about things, about the environment – I can’t predict everything I’ll want to talk about but I hope it will become a conversation with people sharing with me what they think and feel.