Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wild Hippie Momma?

My daughter called me a Hippie the other day.

I found that rather amusing. And then I stopped and asked myself: how do I actually define ‘hippie-ness?’
Born in the middle of the 1960’s to parents who were anything BUT hippies certainly didn’t expand my awareness on the subject.  If anything, as my awareness of culture grew in the 1970’s – the Hippie movement had mainstreamed into the world around me. Civil rights, non-violent activism, Scooby Do, sexual freedom and yes, the clothing – the world that I was growing up in was permeated with the impact of the Hippie movement.

Looking back on what I learned as a kid, I tend to think of Hippies as folks who have chosen to live what mainstream culture would call alternative lifestyles. I think about people who eschew the consumer driven society, use their voices to promote peace and environmental health and live on Salt Spring Island in the summer.  Birkenstock sandals, long hair and vegetarianism complete the picture. 
Not exactly me.  And that stereotypical image is certainly not representative of just how complex the Hippie movement was nor the people who lived it.

So what is my daughter referring to? Is it because I’m doing a four day fasting vision quest in May?

No, it’s because I told her that maybe I should embrace my wild side and get a tattoo.

“Just don’t start smoking weed, mom- that would be too weird.” That’s all she said when I asked.

I’m home after a ten day trip to south Nevada– most of which was camping out in the desert with an amazing community of people who were pulled to this type of nature-based, self-actualization work much as I was. This work is about peeling back layers of all the different ways I think about Self and the World – using the wilderness as a gateway into my understanding, fears, and gifts.

I love it.

In essence, I'm clearing space mentally much like a strong meditation practice would do. The tools are different but being present to what manifests as the true, living experience of being in my own body/mind/spirit is at the core. This forty seven year old body, this woman who is moving into middle age and will soon no longer be the primary caretaker of children. She who is all the ages that she has ever lived with all the dents and scars to prove it. Who am I now? If I take the time to pause and listen, what do I want to know?  As I get older, I am drawn to questioning the choices that I have unconsciously made through the years. That deep, inner conversation is easier without the distractions of cell phones, computers and all the relationships that live in my day to day world.

I’m not going to start smoking – rest easy, my dear. There are too many other, natural, healthy ways to get high on life.  And if I buy birkenstock sandals, get a tattoo and stop eating meat - I'll just be living into a future me that will still like to get facials and drink red wine with friends.

1 comment:

  1. As I said on FB...LOVE this post! LOVE the photo of you. :) Let's both get tattoos!