Our off grid guide to emotions

Well where to start … lets start at the beginning.  To fully grasp the emotions that affect many who are on the journey to the off grid life, we need to first understand some of the concepts many of us are coming to grips with.  Then it’s a lot easier to understand the emotional rollercoaster many of us have and still are experiencing.  I feel the best way to do this is to share my experiences.

What led to us choosing to live off grid

I’ve always been an environmentalist at heart, I care a lot about people and the environment but for a long time I was living a life of ignorance … and you know what, ignorance is bliss.

Sometimes I wish I could unlearn much of what I now understand about human nature and and what we are doing to our planet.  Well there’s the first mistake, did you notice?  We often think the planet belongs to us … that it our.

It’s not our planet, we don’t own it, we are one of the estimated 1 trillion species  (give or take a few billion) species currently living on earth.  And it’s estimated that 99 percent of all species that have ever lived on earth are extinct.  To give you an idea of how much that is look at the following.

How long does it take to count to the following at 1 per second

1 Million – 2 weeks
1 Billion – 31 years
1 Tillion – 668 years

Ok so we are 1 of a trillion species and its not our planet, but we are the most dominant species or at least for the last 50,000 years or so.  From the context of being the top of the food chain you could argue that it is our planet … but it’s a pretty weak argument.

Anyway what’s the point I’m trying to make.

We need to get perspective

We as a species have trouble with perspective.  For instance if you have a look at what we’ve started doing in the last few centuries and the impact on our (oops did it again) … the planet that sustains us.

Look up the following on Wikipedia.

Peak Oil
Climate change
Economic Bubble

To summarize

All these things are linked.  We need oil, coal and natural gas to power our economic growth.  This in turn is polluting the environment, which in turn is affecting our climate creating more adverse weather events in the form of storms, floods and droughts.  This interrupts our production and extraction of resources which in turn affects our economy.  To fix this we need more growth, which requires more energy (oil, coal, gas) and it goes around and around.  We are stuck in a loop and it’s slowly killing our (there I go again) … it’s slowly affecting the world we live on and biodiversity that sustains us.

We are acting a bit like fat narcissistic children in a candy shop (i.e. we are greedy, self centered and irresponsible).  If God was a person (as we like to imagine) he would be smacking our bottoms, taking away our toys, putting us on a diet and teaching us about consequences.

Anyway this is the journey many of us are on and when you understand what’s going on and your part in it, it’s a real kick in the guts.  Basicly like many I went through the full range of emotions (and still am) that you would associate with the loss of a loved one.

  • Denial and isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

and it doesn’t end there, when you’re living off grid you tend to be socially isolated and you’re also coming to grips with the huge amount of work required to be self sufficient.  This can be both incredibly fulfilling and soul destroying at the same time.

Ok … so how are you finding our off grid guide to Emotions so far … lol

My journey

Hey it’s not that bad, I’m actually a glass half full kinda guy … here are the stages I went through

  • 2005 –  really came to grips with peak oil, climate change and our economic system
  • 2006 – decided I was going to be part of the solution, joined group and spoke to friends, family and workmates about what I had learned trying to get people to understand and change
  • 2008 – 2009 slowly came to accept that most people only care about their small circle of friends and family
  • 2009 – gave up trying to change the world, decided we are screwed and that we need to get off the grid asap
  • 2010 – went off grid, moved into a portacom on 6 acres in Wairoa, New Zealand
  • 2011 – 2012 slowly withdrew emotionally from everything … (these were not good years)
  • 2013 – 2014 slowly started coming back, taking on projects and getting back into ICT working for myself
  • 2015 – 2016 Decided that I can change the world, started bringing optimism back into my life.
  • Now – working on changing the world 🙂

All the time I was cycling through the Isolation, Anger, Depression and Acceptance, I still do but I have a much better handle on things now.

What did I learn

  • The only person you can change is yourself
  • Forcing information on others will generally have the opposite result than what you expected
  • Live your truth, for me it’s helping others
  • Acknowledge what you have achieved, this will give you energy to change
  • Always dream, imagine the future you want
  • Your direction in life is defined by where you look.  If you always look to the future you want that’s the direction your life will take

Accept that the way the world is with all its problems, its just like looking in the mirror and accepting yourself for who you are, this is the first step to change.  So take a few minutes and imagine looking in the world mirror, and accept it for what it is, the good the bad, the past present and future … it’s ok.

Its a bit like the spoon scene in the matrix

“Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible.
Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself”

Just to clarify, if you want the world to change … you must change yourself.

What’s my future now?

I am now fully in control of my life and my future, well to be fair its a work in progress, but I am happy to say I’m making great progress.

I also have the following mantra taped to the ceiling above my bed where it’s been for the last 5 years to remind me, it reads

I am always positive and motivated
I have a healthy body and mind
and I live my life in a calm relaxed proactive and wise manor

If you’re struggling to understand what I mean try a few of these examples

Gandhi – “…be the change you want to see in the world.” His viewpoint was that when people change the way they think and feel, they change the actions they take, and in doing so change the world around them.

Nelson Mandela  – “it always seems impossible until it done”, went from 27 years of prison to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and becoming the first President of a democratic South Africa.

Elon Musk in his early teens decided that his life mission is to save humanity, and so far he has done more extraordinary things towards this end than anyone on the planet, and he’s just getting started. http://fundersandfounders.com/how-elon-musk-started/

I hope reading this guide has helped you as much as writing it has helped me 🙂

I will leave you with a quote from another individual who had a profound impact on the future

the best way to predict the future is to create it Abraham Lincoln








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