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I Live Off-The-Grid In A House-Bus

I Live Off-The-Grid In A House-Bus
The first question people ask me when I tell them that I live off-the-grid in a house-bus/mud brick home is: What about wifi? Does that mean you don’t have the internet?
My answer is definitely no, I have the internet because I run my business from home. The internet and the TV are some of the few luxuries we have.
Everything else is fully self-sustainable and natural.
It is seriously exciting and so eye-opening, living like a hippie off-the-grid. Waking up when the sun comes up, to the sound of nature and hearing nothing but silence for miles.
Last year my partner and I made the shift. I wasn’t prepared for the move, but I did it anyway. What the shift has bought about is more than just downshifting externally, but internal downshifting.
I won’t lie, it’s been hard living off-the-grid, it does involve its fair share of work.
We don’t have free running electricity (we are getting solar soon), but right now we use a generator. So, if you want a cup of coffee you have to start the generator to turn on the electricity. You can’t have too many things plugged in at any one time, so make sure you are using your electricity wisely.
I light the fire in the winter around 3:00pm- 4:00pm because it’s so cold. Sometimes I chop the wood because it doesn’t fit into the fire.
My life is simple but it does involve work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I feel blessed now to be able to live the life that so many people yearn for, but it wasn’t easy. Here are three of my biggest lessons that I have learned by living off-the-grid in a house-bus.

1. Don’t try and fit your life into a perfect box

For the first six months I was constantly projecting myself into the past, comparing how things were and wondering why it wasn’t as easy as before. When I started to let this go, and I stopped trying to fit my life into a box of what I think it should be, I could allow my life to be exactly as it is and enjoy the present moment.

2. Being busy doesn’t mean you’re going places.

When I look back on my life before I moved off-the-grid, I was extremely busy with things that didn’t add value to my life, my relationships or myself. Now, I can see that life isn’t about doing more, having more, or being more, but being selective and grateful for the things that you do have. Doing or having more, isn’t better.

3. The relationships you have matter more than you think.

I spend large amounts of time by myself now, I couldn’t have done that before I moved here. My relationship with myself is the most important relationship that I have. It’s important that I nurture and look after me. When I’m happy my world is a pleasant place to be in, when I’m miserable, my world is miserable. The best thing you can do for yourself is look after the relationship that you have with yourself, become your own best friend, lover, and even coach.

Living off-the-grid didn’t create a simple life automatically; creating a simple life is about a mindset shift more than a move. What living off-the-grid has ultimately taught me, is that life is all about choice- at every moment we can choose how we want to live, feel, and be, in that moment.

My best advice for anyone thinking about moving off-the-grid is this…
It won’t be anything like what you imagine it to be, it will be better.
My life is perfect, I don’t pay rent or have a mortgage, and I don’t have huge stresses in my life. I understand the value of small things and see the interconnectedness of all things. I feel like I am always on holiday, always living what I want to do now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Featured photo credit: Sarah Liddle/ I am the original owner of this image. via imcreator.com

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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