As early as I can remember, my parents took me camping, hiking and swimming naked in streams and hot springs. They pointed out native healing plants, encouraged me to look for fairies among the flowers and nurtured my love for animals.
I developed a love for the natural world that never wore off. We never had much money when I was growing up and got just about everything secondhand. Garage sales, thrift stores and free boxes were the treasure troves of my youth. Now, even though I can afford to buy new things, I don't see the point a lot of the time. I can find more unique items secondhand, because they aren't on the shelf next to hundreds more just like them.
Also, items that are still in circulation in a secondhand shop are likely better made than new items of lesser quality. Above all, though, my respect for reusables has to do with my respect for the environment, for the power of conservation, and for feeling fortunate in all of the ways I am already blessed. Although there was a time during my childhood that I rolled my eyes and was embarrassed to hold hands in a community circle and sing "Simple Gifts," they are some of my fondest memories now that I have retroactive perspective. I am grateful to have known the sweetness of deep connection with a community of friends who feel like family.
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I now seek this kind of connection in all facets of my life. For a large part of my childhood, my parents didn't have TV in our house, so I really had to tap into my imagination in order to feel engaged and entertained. In fact, I believe that my urgent need to harness the power of my imagination and creativity as a kid is one of the reasons I developed an entrepreneurial spirit. Like many hippies in my parents' generation, my parents were into "new age" books like A Course in Miracles.
I remember my dad telling me when I was 10 years old that if I wanted to manifest something, all I had to do was visualize it and then imagine a rubber band stretching between me and the thing I wanted. The "structural tension" of the rubber band between me and whatever I wanted would draw it to me.
This image, and the philosophy behind it, has probably been the greatest gift my hippie parents ever gave me. Today, my husband has short hair and I wear makeup and shave my legs. We have jobs, drive cars and live in a city, but I still like to think of us as modern-day hippies, in the best sense of the word. We try to instill those same values in our kids that my hippie parents passed on to me — the values of real food, real nature, real community and the awareness that our thoughts have powerful effects, as do our actions. Peace out. Want to know if you should you go Keto?
Benign neglect and noodle dancing to Ravi Shankar do not a healthy childhood make.
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