How extreme escapism has taught me to be more mindful with my resources

extreme escapism

About a month ago I started watching adventurer Ben Fogle’s documentaries on extreme escapism.

He shares the experience of living off the grid with those who have chosen to create homes in some of the world’s most isolated locations.

I enjoy the sense of adventure, the natural beauty and I am intrigued but what type of characters choose this way of life.

Most have chosen a life that is more meaningful, slower paced and more connected to the natural environment.

But one of the most intriguing things, that sparked a shift in my mindset, was how they manage their resources so mindfully and joyfully.

Living is their primary occupation and it fills them with a sense of flow, freedom and fulfilment.

They are resource keepers, carefully caring for their inner and outer resources to create a sustainable life.

Of course in some ways, this extremely remote way of living creates vulnerabilities for themselves and their children, but it also fuels them with strength, resilience and an immense sense of self-reliance.

It is definitely more challenging to be mindful about our resources when things are plentiful; food, water, money, sources of love from family, friends and luxuries.

You start to get used to a certain level of ‘stuff’ in your life and it is easy to take it for granted.

It made me think “How could I be more mindful with my resources without having to leave everything behind?”

My attempts to answer this questions has started a ‘wild in the city’ mindset in our household for a bit of fun and reflection on how we use our resources.

Here is a list of some of the changes we have made so far when we stop and think what would we do differently if we lived off the grid?

     * Turn off lights when we leave a room and don’t put them on unless they are needed

     * Food must be reused and portions reduced to reduce waste – porridge becomes pancakes, veggies sticks from the kid’s lunchboxes are added to soup and stir-fries, crusts on sandwiches are made into croutons for soup or added to mince when making hamburger patties. Every piece of food is considered before it is put in the bin.

     * Fix instead of buy – “What can I do with what I have?” we ask ourselves. Even when replacements are cheap they are still using unnecessary resources. The pleasure that comes from fixing and creating is something we lose when we get caught in the habit of buying new all the time.

     * Fuel your body with rest, fresh food, water and projects and activities you are passionate about.

When you are more mindful about your resources and use them consciously and not recklessly the people around you will notice (especially your kids).

By being careful with your inner (time, energy, body etc) and outer (money, house, car etc) resources doesn’t mean you need to be scared that they are going to vanish but it means that you value them and the responsible planning and management of their use.