The Secret Society of Barefoot Weirdos
I mentioned recently on my personal facebook feed that I had a little rant about the term "crunchy" that was brewing inside of me. Some expressed interest and some clearly needed me to explain myself and so I decided to go ahead with that rant here on the blog.
If you're easily offended, this blog post is probably not for you...here are some softer places to land.
So, I cringe a little when I see the word "crunchy" come across my feed. I cringe a little when it sneaks its way into casual conversation. Wondering why that word bothers me so much is what prompted that FB post, and an exploration of why is what prompted this blog.
My first thought when sitting down to write this was of a photo I saw in a local photographer's Facebook group of two camera bodies, dressed up in the straps that came in the box. This photo, along with the text talking about how 'these are the cameras she shoots with', gave me a pretty good idea of how much she isn't shooting. Perhaps the photos were her way to justify to herself having spent the money on the cameras? Perhaps it was an attempt to get admiration? Whatever the reason, it was NOT that she is a busy full time photographer.
Busy full time photographers don't have the time to photograph their cameras and talk about their ownership of them on social media.
Busy full time photographers require camera straps that don't chafe.
When I encounter the term "crunchy", the feeling I get is quite similar.
Truly crunchy people aren't talking about their crunchy Whole Foods adventure or proselytizing the benefits of essential oils (of only the highest quality brand, that they happen to have just become an independent consultant for) on social media. Truly crunchy people are out living their lives, they're doing their laundry and walking their dog, washing the dishes and buying groceries...just like everyone else. I'd say they're putting their pants on the same, one leg at a time (but if they're at home, they likely aren't wearing any).
No, going pants-less at home is not a "crunchy" requirement.
That's the point of this post-- there are no requirements.
It's not a special club with a secret code and a clubhouse in the big tree in your best friend's backyard. It's not a label, it's merely a different way to go about living your day to day...different foods, different medicines, different viewpoints on health and well-being; a different way to approach life.
So when I see you refer to yourself as "crunchy", what I see is someone who is searching for their path, but hasn't quite yet found it...or someone who has found their path but is still too scared to live it. I'm writing this to you as much as I'm writing this about you.
I want to warn you, the quest for your path is full of distractions, and your culture has co-opted everything alternative and is using it to make bank.
A weekly trip to Whole Foods or that pricey essential oil starter kit will not buy your "crunchy" status any more than purchasing a violin will make you a violinist.
While being a "crunchy granola hippie" probably started out as a label for those folks that were out there getting down and dirty, living unconventional, authentic lives, the words too have been co-opted. These days they seem to stand more for those that still cling to the mainstream, afraid to rock the boat, but are willing to pay their dues to get into the secret society of barefoot weirdos.
There is no cheat code, no shortcut, back home to your essential self.
There is so much studying, growing & evolving...there is so much inner work and struggle.
There is so much practice and learning on the road to reconnecting with your inner knowing.
But, also, so very much peace.
I'm writing this post to encourage you to see past what's right in front of you- probably on sale, today only!- and dig deeper.
If essential oils are really calling you, take an aromatherapy course. If you want to grow your knowledge in herbal healing, reach out to your community and find a mentor. Buy and read some books. Do a google search and stick some blogs into your feedly. Watch YouTube videos. Listen to podcasts.
...never stop learning. questing. working. growing. living. loving.
I see you there, on social media, telling your friends to rub coconut oil on everything, as if it's the duct tape of health products (I am not at all disputing this claim -- coconut oil is magic) and talking about how you keep your home disease free with your essential oil diffuser.
I see you all out there and I know you want to learn more, I know you are thirsty for the knowledge of your foremothers...but your Facebook feed is all essential oils and coconut oil and it is too easy to get distracted/stuck.
I would argue that I have one of the best Facebook feeds, filled to the brim with inspiration and zen. I swear I grow a little as a person with every scroll, but still social media is a distraction and even with a feed full of inspiration, it's rarely ever a place to find the deeper meaning of life.
In summary, I went on this rant to suggest you transcend your need for a label...to suggest you spend more time becoming who you truly are than you spend on trying to name it. You'll have more time and space for studying and growing when you let go of your need for definitions. Let go of your need to explain your weirdness to your friends and family; let go of the need to live up to some "crunchy" standard and just start living your authentic life.
I'm not at all suggesting that you don't share the things you are learning and discovering. Goodness knows you should let your freak flag fly high so the other freaks can find you.
Just don't forget, it's a path, not a destination. Keep learning how to be self-reliant, keep practicing loving kindness, keep working to become the best possible version of you that you can be in this moment.