It’s Halloween. Most people think that Michael Myers, Jason, and Freddie are scary. Not me. I think walking down the aisles in a grocery store is as scary as it gets…
Stress comes in many forms, and one of them is that our modern world asks us to make too many fucking choices. Like I said, just walk into a store, go down an aisle and look around. I mean, how many energy bars can stores sell? Or bottles of water? Or toothpastes? Or try sending your husband to the store to buy tampons or pads? God forbid, you search for something online! And what about all these diets? People don’t even know WTF to eat anymore! Way, way, way, way too many choices.
The stress response can be boiled down to 4 options: fight, flight, freeze, and in the case of women, befriend. I think too many choices result in either fleeing or freezing. People either consciously or unconsciously choose to check out and others are paralyzed.
I love Mark Manson’s book Everything is Fucked for this reason: too many choices actually diminishes our freedom. Check out what Mark has to say:
“The more options we are given (i.e. the more ‘freedom’ we have), the less satisfied we are with whatever option we go with. If Jane has to choose between two boxes of cereal, and Mike can choose from twenty boxes, Mike does not have more freedom than Jane. He has more variety. There’s a difference. Variety is not freedom. Variety is just different permutations of the same meaningless shit. If, instead, Jane had a gun pointed to her head and a guy in an SS uniform screaming, “Eat ze fuckin’ cereal!” in a really bad Bavarian accent, then Jane would have less freedom than Mike. But call me up when that happens.
This is the problem with exalting freedom over human consciousness. More stuff doesn’t make us freer, it imprisons us with anxiety over whether we chose or did the best thing…
If the pursuit of happiness pulls us all back into childishness, then fake freedom conspires to keep us there. Because freedom is not having more brands of cereal to choose from, or more beach vacations to take selfies on, or more satellite channels to fall asleep to.
That is variety. And in a vacuum, variety is meaningless. If you are trapped by insecurity, stymied by doubt, and hamstrung by intolerance, you can have all the variety in the world. But you are not free.
The only true form of freedom, the only ethical form of freedom is through self-limitation. It is not the privilege of choosing everything you want in your life, but rather, choosing what you will give up in your life…
You can become freer right now simply by choosing the limitations you want to impose on yourself. You can choose to wake up earlier each morning, to block your email until midafternoon each day, to delete social media apps from your phone. These limitations will free you because they will liberate your time, attention, and power of choice.” (p287-290).
Well said, huh?
In the spirit of real freedom and vitality, these are things I choose. I don’t have to waste my time thinking about it. These things keep my life simple and free up my energy. Maybe you’ll see something new for yourself:
Diet: A low-carb, high-fat diet narrows down options in our carbohydrate-addicted world. All I eat is fatty animal protein, unstarchy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and some berries, along with olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard. Busy menus with lots of items don’t bother me a bit, and three cheers for not having to walk down the aisles at a grocery store! Just stay on the perimeter.
Supplements: I get concentrated therapeutic foods from Standard Process in Wisconsin and the best herbal medicine in the world from MediHerb out of Australia. Yes, I will look at new supplements AND I will wait 5 years before a jump on a bandwagon. The latest isn’t always the greatest, particularly when it comes to supplements.
Water: If I have to buy water in a store, I like Mountain Valley Spring Water which is in a glass bottle and Fiji which has a high silica content that helps bind and remove aluminum in the body.
Treat: I eat dark chocolate that’s 85%+ cocoa content, so all the other stuff on the shelf can go fuck itself!
Dental care: Dr Ellie Phillip’s program is the best. I have not a spot of tartar on my teeth and haven’t needed a cleaning since Drake was born. Her book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye teaches you how most toothpastes damage your teeth and that the market for natural dental care has failed us.
Self care: My family only uses the medical system for emergencies, instead I get acupuncture, massage, weekly time in a float tank, walk, lift weights the super slow way, and our entire family gets adjustments from a chiropractor. Unless we are on our deathbeds, antibiotics are not an option in our home.
Avoid wireless technology: I don’t buy anything that utilizes wireless technology. This one is new but boy is it helpful. Anything that communicates in the air is negatively impacting our health and one way to reduce this invisible pollution is to stop buying stuff that utilizes it.
Get rid of cell phone: The ultimate way of obtaining real freedom in my life was to get rid of my cell phone and leave social media. I don’t think there is a more profound way to restrict your freedom than thinking that you can’t live without that computer in your hand when the truth is that you can’t live with it.
Are you still confused about what to buy? Did I miss anything? Let me know and maybe I can offer more suggestions.
Narrow down your choices in peace, my friends!
P.S. – My book is also a great resource for helping you think through all these choices we have to make.
And by the way, I figured out how to hardwire my iPad for internet. When I went to the Apple store they told me it couldn’t be done, but then I found an article by Jeromy Johnson that walked me through the process, and this attachment is all you need. Now I can download and listen to podcasts, audiobooks and music without ever taking my iPad out of airplane mode. Oh happy day!
Last but not least, Happy Halloween. This year the Halloween fairy is going to come take all of Drake’s candy and leave him something he really wants like a new box of Magnatiles. Maybe this little tip will help a parent or two out there navigate this sugar-laden celebration. It's not too late to go to the store and be confused as to what to buy. ;)
Thanks for reading and see ya next week!