A Long Grim Battle

April 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Freedom, Self-Reliance

For a long time I have been fighting a long grim battle with extreme moodiness and drastically fluctuating energy levels.

Last summer, everything came to a head.  I had a number of extremely stressful events last summer–  and my energy totally collapsed.  I was in bed for a full month.  After years of trying to live healthy, I was extremely frustrated.

I went to a (holistic) nutritionist and got a battery of tests (hormones, brain neuro-transmitters, vitamin and mineral levels, etc..)– and the results were disastrous.  In her words, I had the body chemistry of an 80 year old man!

After a bit more frustration I did what I had to do… I started again.  I threw out all of my assumptions about health, energy, vitality, and mood.  For the past 7 months my entire focus has been on mood and health.  I have read countless books and articles on nutrition.  I have experimented with many ways of eating and many supplements…. and many approaches to fitness.

And I have finally figured out the answers (for me anyway)!

Answer 1. Sugars & Grains are The Enemy

I have completely stopped eating sugars (other than organic fresh fruit/berries).  I have completely eliminated all grains from my diet (wheat, rice, barley, oats, etc.).   I get my “carbs” solely from fresh vegetables and fruits (including sea veggies).  Because diabetes is strong in my family, I limit my fruit intake to a minimum (and focus on veggies).

Answer 2. Nothing Processed (at all)

I call this the “Jack Lalanne Rule”.  Jack famously said, “If it’s made by man, don’t eat it!”.   I agree.  I eat nothing from a box or can now.

The positive way to state this rule is:

Answer 3: Eat Only Real Primal Food

“Real” means unprocessed.  “Primal” means “paleo”…  in other words, foods that hunter-gatherers ate prior to agriculture.  No pastries, no pasta, no rice, no other grains, no bread, no processed drinks,….

Answer 4:  Fat is Awesome, As Is Protein. Carbs Only From Veggies/Fruit (& In Moderation)

I’m eating a very high fat diet… and losing fat pounds at a nice steady rate.  I’m also building muscle (very gradually) thanks to higher protein intake.  While my eating could be described as “low carb”… I’m happy to eat carbs from fresh vegetables (and fresh fruit/berries in limited amounts). In terms of fat, I avoid highly processed vegetable oils.  I eat LOTS of coconut oil, virgin olive oil, raw cheeses, fish oils and ghee.

Results

My blood sugar is now extremely stable throughout the day… even when I miss a meal.  As a result, my mood is also much much MUCH more stable, as is my energy level.

My body composition is changing in a positive direction too–  body fat is very gradually going down, muscle is very gradually going up (as is strength).

In a month, I will have my blood chemistry tested again to compare with the initial results (7 months ago).  I expect to see significant improvement, based on how I feel.

Lessons Learned

One key lesson for me (a reminder really) has been this:  be extremely wary of conventional wisdom (which is usually driven by the corporate media).  For me, the conventional wisdom of “base your diet on lots of whole grains” was a complete disaster.  Is this true for everyone?  I don’t know.  But clearly the high-grain (processed) and high-carb diet of mainstream America is disastrous…producing epidemic obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

To find peak health, energy and fitness… I had to experiment with my own body- through direct experience.  You can find a diet book and research to support nearly ANY kind of approach to eating and exercise.   It’s not the research or opinions that matter–  it’s direct experience–  what happens to your body, mind, emotions and energy when you eat a certain way?  When you exercise a certain way?

Through lots of experimentation, I have finally found a way that is leading me back to peak health and fitness.. to a body leaner and stronger than I had in high school and college.  Just as importantly, it’s leading me to happier more stable moods… every day, throughout the day.

Other Benefits

At age 44 I’m taking up new, fun and exciting activities.  My newest hobbies are Kite-surfing and Stand-up Paddleboard. I do very little “training” anymore– preferring to just be vigorous and active every day (by walking, snorkeling, kite-surfing, paddling, swimming, and doing a few basic calisthenics).

I can’t promise that this approach will give you tremendous results.. but I do encourage you to experiment with different methods to eating and moving your body.

Give this approach a try for 21 days and see how you feel.  Here’s a great book to get you started with this experiment:

The Primal Blueprint: 21 Day Transformation

(PS:  21 days is a good standard for your nutrition and fitness experiments.  Whatever approach you are testing, give it at least 21 days in order to really feel the results (good or bad))

 

 

 

The Disease Conspiracy

June 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Self-Reliance

The horrific state of health in America is NOT natural.  It’s not accidental.

I don’t understand how anyone can look around and not see that there is a HUGE problem.

Obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart-disease.. all are proclaimed “epidemics”.

Yet people shrug and pop the pills their doctor gives them… and few people seem upset by the situation.

It absolutely horrifies me.

Something is very very very wrong.

The industrial food industry and the industrial medical industry have created the sickest and most miserable population on the planet.  Through relentless marketing and total control of the media, they’ve convinced people that fast food, diabetes, insulin injections, chemotherapy, anti-depressants, and cholesterol drugs are “normal”.

It’s worse than anything found in Brave New World.

Health is the most basic right and gift of every human being– and it has been systematically destroyed in this country.

When I think of people I know who are over 45 years old… I can hardly identify a single healthy person.

It’s a tragedy.

It’s a tragedy because we can all have the vibrant health of Jack Lalanne, or Paul Bragg, or Fred Bisci.  We can all be strong, vibrant, pain-free, and alive in our 80s, 90s, and beyond.

This health is possible– but only to those who wake up from the media-food-medical nightmare and reclaim their lives.

It’s not too late for you.

Not Willpower

April 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Self-Reliance

For many many MANY years I struggled with blood sugar problems.  For much of my life I was a sugar “addict”.

This produced terrible consequences both physically and mentally.  Physically I found my energy crashing at several points during the day.  To raise my energy back up, I would eat more sugar or drink a coffee.

The mental consequences were even worse.  I became very moody– sometimes super-energized and manic and enthusiastic…  other times depressed, frustrated, and irritable.

Of course I recognized that I needed to change.  I tried many times to kick the sugar (and coffee) habit… using willpower.   I would decide to eliminate sugar…  then struggle for several days or weeks.   During that time I’d feel strong cravings and would have to battle those urges constantly.  Inevitably I’d see something sugary, or pass a coffee shop… and then my willpower would break and I’d start eating sweets again.

It was an up and down battle for years and years.

And then suddenly, it all changed.  Suddenly, avoiding sweets became easy and effortless.

The “secret” was a focus on what I would ADD to my diet… not on what I wanted to avoid.

I began to study nutrition (especially raw food nutrition) and realized that if I fed my body highly nutritious foods that would keep my blood sugar steady, I could eliminate the strong cravings for sugar.  And that’s exactly what I did.

First, I increased the amount of healthy, easy to absorb protein I ate each day.   I did this with superfood smoothies containing:  raw sprouted rice protein, bee pollen,  blue-green algae, spirulina, goji berry and maca.

Next, I increased the amount of FAT– healthy fat– that I ate each day.  Fat is NOT the enemy of health and weigh-loss… we need HEALTHY fats.  To my smoothies I added coconut oil (raw) and Udo’s oil (flax, borage,…).  I also began eating avocados daily.

Finally, I added polysaccharides to my diet.  Polysaccharides are “healthy sugars”…  slower burning, steady energy sugars.   I got these from chaga mushroom, reishi mushroom, sprouted barley, and goji berries.

By adding these three elements to my diet in significant quantities… I eliminated cravings for sugar.

Now, when I pass by a coffee shop or pastry shop, I feel no physical craving for what’s inside.  As a result, I no longer require willpower to resist sugar.  I simply make a rational decision to avoid eating things that will destroy my health.

This is the key to achieving lasting changes in your diet.  Don’t try to rely on willpower… and don’t obsess about what you want to avoid.

Rather, ADD in more and more foods that will stabilize your energy and blood sugar.

As David Wolfe says,… these healthy foods will gradually crowd out the unhealthy junk… until you no longer desire the crap.

The result– you’ll experience the most energy and vitality you have ever felt– all day long!

Onwards to Health and Fitness

November 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Freedom, Loving-Kindness, Self-Reliance

The Shikoku 88 Temples Pilgrimage is finished and it was a fantastic trip.  Culturally, it was great.  It was a completely different kind of travel than the usual backpacking or vacationing we all do.   Strolling through tiny villages… up and down mountain paths.. in rural Japan– Wow!

Of course, there was also a spiritual component.  Even though I don’t know a lot about the specific type of Buddhism practiced by the temples  (Shingon Buddhism…  founded by the great Japanese Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi)… it was impossible not to feel a sense of peace, calm and mindfulness while walking and visiting the temples.

Lastly, this was a significant fitness challenge.   We averaged 5-6 hours a day of walking,.. plus 20-30 minutes at each temple.   We took some buses and trains too… in order to finish the whole walk in 30 days.   Needless to say, my aerobic fitness level was fantastic by the end of the trip (something I’m maintaining and building on).

On the other hand, this was a very difficult trip nutritionally.  Being a vegetarian in rural Shikoku is not easy!  We ate a TON of Udon noodles.  Nearly every day, that was our lunch and dinner.   Which means we got a lot of processed carbs  (think:  eating spaghetti for lunch and dinner every day).

Now that I’m back in Osaka, I’m eating much healthier.  I’m also running every day (about 7 miles a day.. every single day).

One of the big realizations of this trip was that I have been living with a mediocre standard of health for about 7 years.  I let my standards slip… every so slowly and gradually.   During that time, I added nearly 20 pounds of fat to my body.

As I strolled along every day, I thought about this… and I projected forward.  I imagined what kind of health and energy and vitality I wanted for the rest of my life.   Did I want to go down the path of most people in the modern world….  or did I want the kind of life-long super-vitality of people like Jack Lalanne (who works out 3 hours a day at age 95).

Of course we all want life-long super-vitality.. but then the next question came:  am I willing and eager to do what it takes to have that vitality?  Am I ready to raise my standards much much higher in this area of my life?   In the past, I have wanted to… but didn’t.

But I really got associated to the consequences of both paths (the normal and the super-health path) on this trip.  I could see and feel what kind of life I’d have,… depending on choices I make now.

And so I decided to commit totally to Super Health and Fitness…. with the same no-compromise attitude I have towards being a vegetarian.

My decision is to be a model of health, fitness and vitality now… and for the next 4-6 decades of my life… and to eventually help others live this way as well.

I’m starting a new blog called EffortlessFitness.com to chart my progress on this path.   I’m adopting a natural raw food (vegan) eating habit and have committed to doing 12 marathons in 12 months (starting sometime next summer).

The starting point (last month, before Shikoku):

Weight:   170 pounds  (77kg)

Sugar/Carb-addict (ice cream, candy bars, pasta, rice)

Pizza lover

Coffee addict

Where I’m at now:

Weight:  164 pounds (74.5 kg)

No ice cream or sugar in 3 weeks

Drastic drop in carb intake

No pizza in 5 weeks

Taking 2-3 “Superfood Shakes” a day

Running 7 miles a day, every day

Feeling 1000x better.

As  additional leverage for myself…   I have been thinking about 2 old friends who each died, suddenly, of heart attacks.   Both deaths came as big shocks to me.

I also think of many family members whose health has deteriorated.  I’ve watched their vitality and energy drain away.  I’ve seen their passion for life fade.   People who used to be full of life and humor now constantly complain about being “tired” all the time.

Then I think of Jack Lalanne and his wife…  both full of passion, energy, enthusiasm, strength and happiness.  Jack is 95 this year… his wife is in her 80s (I believe).

I hope, in the long-term, not just to transform my own health… but to learn strategies to help others make the same changes.  I know that many many people want to do this… but feel betrayed by their own minds and bodies… by deeply entrenched habits and cravings that feel impossible to break.

(Of course, the massive multi-billion dollar food & pharmacy industries are working against them… bombarding people with advertising and conditioning and supporting these unhealthy cravings).

So that’s the new mission I have adopted– first make the change in myself…. then help others do the same!

Onwards!!!!!!

Inertia

July 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Self-Reliance

Inertia… the tendency of something unmoving to remain unmoving.

Inertia is a scientific (physics) term… but metaphorically it applies to our psychology as well.   In other words,  when we have a habit of being sedentary, we tend to stay sedentary…  and to change to an active lifestyle requires a big effort in the beginning.

Sad to say… but over the past 4 years I’ve become more sedentary than at any time in my life previously.   The process of launching and growing my online business served as a convenient excuse for spending hours and hours in front of a computer screen.   Gradually I spent more and more time in my apartment… less and less time outdoors.

Maybe it was necessary… though probably not.    Regardless,  this year I realized that I was spending most of the hours of my day sitting on my ass…. staring at screens (computer, DVDs…).

I decided to change that.

And… because I know the power of inertia,… I knew that small gradual actions would likely fail.    I knew that I needed MASSIVE action.

And that’s how the Shikoku hiking trip was born.  I was sitting in a coffee shop, thinking about my sedentary life…  and the idea to do an outdoor challenge came to my mind.  I remembered the Shikoku 88 Temples route.. and immediately decided to hike the whole 650 mile route–  not next year, but in just a few months.

What’s more, I also know that there’s a danger that I’ll finish that big hike and immediately relax back into a more lazy life.  And so, I have decided to do a bicycle tour of northern Italy in the Spring.   And after that?   Probably a 1-2 month hiking trip in Patagonia.

What I’m doing is trying to build momentum.  Because the second part of the “law” of inertia is that objects in motion tend to stay in motion.   In other words,… once we do establish a vibrant, active lifestyle… we tend to keep it.

Put another way… it takes a lot of energy to change… but once you make the change… it takes much less effort to sustain it.

So my strategy is to be SUPER-active for the next 12 months…  stacking one tough, physical, outdoor challenge on top of another… until an extremely high level of activity and energy becomes my normal default lifestyle.

This is the best way to transform your life… in any area:  business, finance, relationships, health, fitness, etc..

If you are in a rut…  and have been for a long time… then small steps probably won’t be enough to break your old pattern.  You probably need some powerful, massive actions…  BIG massive changes at the beginning.

Once you break the old pattern,… and establish a new one… it’ll take much less effort to keep it 😀

Good luck to you… whatever you hope to achieve.

Just get out there and live my friends!!   😉

The Real World

The beauty and tranquility of the old-growth forests, the vistas that stretch for miles over unbroken treetops, the waterfalls and rivers, the severance from the noise and electronic hallucinations of modern existence, becomes, if you stay out long enough, a balm to wounds. It is in solitude, contemplation and a connection with nature that we transcend the frenzied and desperate existence imposed upon us by the distortions of a commodity culture.  –Chris Hedges

One of the reasons for my upcoming hike around the island of Shikoku is stated in the above quote:  “severance from the noise and electronic hallucinations of modern existence”.

It is amazing to me that the vast majority of people seem to live their whole lives lost in the “electronic hallucinations of modern existence”.  In other words, they live their whole lives focused on the bullshit presented by TV, radio, movies, etc…   They believe that this electronic hallucination of human society is the sum total of “life” and “the world”.    They live according to the programming presented to them.

Most modern people are asleep.. hypnotized by media.

Luckily, there is a cure..  a sure way to wake up…  and Chris Hedges points it out:  Nature.    There is a reason that saints and holy people throughout human existence have left human society… and gone into the wilderness.   They needed to escape the bullshit of human conditioning and get to the essentials of life and existence.

When you go into nature, the bullshit and programming and fake drama quickly fade away.  You quickly gain a wider and wiser perspective on both your own life, and on human society as a whole.   Your mind clears.

Nature is healing.   Compared to it, human society is insignificant.  It’s important to remember that..  because you are bombarded every day with manufactured dramas to entertain and distract you.   To be sane and healthy and whole, you must unplug.

Unplug from the TV.  Unplug from movies.  Unplug from music.  Unplug from newspapers and magazines.  Unplug from books.  Unplug from the internet.

Return to the direct experience of your life, now.

The best way to do that is to put on a backpack, and walk into the mountains.  Or the desert.  Or the forest.  Or sail into the ocean.

That’s where you’ll discover what is real, what is essential… and who you really are.

4 Results In Advance Strategies

September 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Freedom, Self-Reliance

In a previous post, I promised to discuss the vital topic of promotions re: your new micro web business.

This area is probably the most neglected aspect of most people’s micro web businesses.   A lot of people seem to think that just having a cool website is enough.  It’s not.

Hobopoet is the perfect example.  Why does Hobopoet get almost no traffic, but my English teaching site gets tons of traffic?  The main difference is promotion.  I promote my English site like crazy.  I have never done any kind of promotion for Hobopoet… and so it toils away in obscurity (sniff… :(   😉

So, once you have a simple blog website… and a product/service that ads real value and eases the pain or frustration of a group of people… how do you get people to your site and how do you get them to try your wonderful solution to their problem?

Here are some strategies:

1. Social Media

Advantages:  Free   Disadvantages:  Slow and Tricky

The cheapest way to promote your web business is through social media, especially Facebook.   I recommend a triangle of sites:  Your Blog/Site,  Facebook, and Twitter.

With Facebook, first signup for a personal account.  Then create a business Fan Page.  Fan Pages have no limit to the number of  friends (“fans”) they can have.

The tricky part of social media is how to use it.   Here’s a very important suggestion:  NEVER sell anything on your social media sites.   Perry Belcher gives great advice when he says, “Think of Facebook as a barbecue party, not a sales pitch”.   Facebook is basically an online scrapbook.  So…  add photos to your page (trickle them in one by one… only one a day).   Make little videos for your Facebook page in which you discuss your daily life.  Be friendly and fun, just as you would at a barbecue party at your home.   Facebook is about showing people that you are a real person, not some kind of business automaton.

As for Twitter, think of it as a cocktail party (another Perry Belcher suggestion).  Your goal at Twitter is to provide little charming, interesting, or useful nuggets… with links to something more in-depth.  Again, absolutely NO SELLING.   Just link to cool articles, or funny videos, or your Facebook photos.

So, how does all this help your micro web business?  Well….    sometimes you will write a really cool and useful article on your blog/site… and you will link to it from Facebook and Twitter.  Below this article, you will have an email signup form, so if people like the article they can signup to receive more great information from you :)    You can do the same thing with videos.

2. Results In Advance Videos

The central strategy in all my promotions is what Frank Kern calls “Results In Advance”.  To my mind, this is the most honest and open way to promote your website (and also the most powerful).

In a Results In Advance promotion, you do just what that suggests… you deliver some of your best content & solutions for free.  You give it away.  For example, on my Effortless English site, I constantly give away great audio and video lessons, and also motivational videos and articles.

You must have an abundance mentality to do this.

Why is this effective?  Well, you don’t need to do a lot of selling or BS.  You just say, here’s a great solution to your problem that I’m going to give you for free.  Enjoy it!  Later, you give them another great solution to their problem, for free.    Because you are doing something valuable, you gain people’s trust and gratitude– by being a great person who is helping them.

One easy way to do this is to make a series of FAQ videos.  In each video, you answer one of the frequently asked questions about their problem and you give a short and easy solution.

Then you offer your full and complete package with even more great solutions… and many people are happy to buy it because they already know you and trust you.

You didn’t trick them into trust… you earned it by giving them Results In Advance!

3. Adwords

Google adwords sucks… let me say that up front.  Google has complete and utter contempt for their advertisers… so you must be careful when starting an adwords campaign.

That said, this is also the fastest and easiest way to get traffic to your site.   Before you start a campaign, read lots of books about Adwords.

And then… VERY IMPORTANT… start with a TINY daily budget.  I recommend $1 a day.

Send people from your ad to a page where they can sign up for your free video or email course  (your Results In Advance course).

Then wait a while and see–  are you making more from sales than you are spending on adwords?  If yes, increase your daily budget to $2 a day.  If no,  adjust your ads, adjust your email signup page.

At $2 a day you wait again, until you are sure you are making more from sales than you are spending.  Then you increase your daily budget to $3 day.

You get the idea.   Increase your daily budget slowly and gradually…  and NEVER lose money on adwords.  If you start losing money, immediately pause all ads….  change your ads or email signup page or results in advance campaign… drop your budget low again… and start again.

4. Learn From The Masters

Keith Cunningham says, “Your business will never grow faster than your learning”.   If you want financial freedom, you must learn.  I recommend that you study the best. You can do this for free.  On Twitter, follow people like Frank Kern, John Reece, Brendon Burchard, Tony Robbins, and Perry Belcher.  Notice how they are using Twitter for their business.   Watch their Results In Advance videos.  Read their Results In Advance reports.  You’ll learn a lot just from their great free content (without ever buying anything from them).    Also, get on their email lists… and again notice how they promote their own businesses with Results In Advance campaigns.

By using these strategies, you can build a successful micro web business.  And when you combine that with a simple life with reduced expenses… you will very quickly attain financial freedom.

The above is the exact approach I will take with my good friend Todd’s web business.   By living in Thailand (especially small town Thailand), he has already massively reduced his living expenses (but still enjoying an amazing quality of life).

Next, he will start blogging and making videos to chronicle his progress as he builds his bungalows.  We’ll get him on Facebook and Twitter too… to start building an audience.

When I get to Thailand in December, he and I will then make a product that is valuable and which solves some kind of pain (related to Thai language, or traveling in Thailand,…).

Then we’ll follow the above strategies– and give away some of his best content.

Finally we’ll sell his full package of great solutions to very happy and eager people.

And through this process, Todd will gain financial freedom… and the ability to live and travel as he wants, whenever he wants.

He’ll do it by living his dream and by contributing to people and helping them with a painful or frustrating problem.

You can do this too!

Koh Phayam Awaits

Todd is flying to Thailand, and eventually Koh Phayam, tonight.  We said goodbye to him at the airport.  You can watch the little video we just made at the airport:  watch here.

What’s really cool about all of this is that we will document another Hobopoet success story in real time.  My old archives (http://hobopoet.blogspot.com) and this site already provide the fully documented process of my path to freedom and self-reliance  (from wage slave, to car and van living, to living abroad in Thailand, do scraping by in San Francisco, to micro-preneur, to successful and free entrepreneur).

Now we’re documenting Todd’s path to freedom…  starting now as he flies off to Thailand… and continuing as he builds his bungalows, builds his web presence, and fulfills his dream of living a free, simple, healthy, and happy life on tropical Koh Phayam island in Thailand.

The reason this blog excites me is that YOU can see what’s possible… not in theory but in reality.  You get to see the whole process… with all the bumps and warts and challenges…. and the victories.  I want you to see that freedom, self-reliance, simplicity, and happiness are possible… without following the mainstream programmed path.

So I hope you’ll follow Todd’s adventures in Thailand, both here at Hobopoet and on his new blog.

And I hope you’ll see that my essays and exhortations are not just grand ideas and theories…  but hard-nosed reality-based blueprints for anyone to follow.

Most of all, I hope you’ll find your own path to freedom and abundance!

Good luck to you too!

Car Living and Communication

April 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Self-Reliance

Car living seems a very relevant topic right now, so I’m going to re-visit some of my advice on this topic.

The first thing I want to discuss is communication.   To thrive, and not just survive, while car living- it’s necessary to stay connected.  Each person will have to decide what this means exactly, but here are some thoughts on the general topic of connection and communication while car living:

Car Living & Mail

Mail is, in fact, a very important subject- because our evil government demands a mailing address at almost every turn.   In order to get or keep a drivers license, for example, you must have a mailing address.  The same goes for a bank account should you want one.  And also for getting a cell phone and various other services you may want.

The first and best choice is to use a friend or family member’s mailing address– and only receive vital mail there.   All bills you have should be paid online…  eliminate paper billing and paper statements as much as possible.

Second choice is to get a post office box– though some services and agencies will not ship to a post office box (UPS for example– and certain government agencies).   However, for most purposes, a  post office box will work fine.. either one through the post office or a private post office box through UPS (they will ship to their own store :)

Car Living & Phone

If you can afford it, a cheap cell phone is by far the best option.   It’s mobile and convenient and a very basic plan is fairly cheap.    If you’ve got the money, an iPhone gives you a lot of options– get the unlimited data plan and then you effectively have a small computer as well as a phone– perfect for paying bills, and emailing out of country friends.

A very cheap option is to get the most basic, cheap plan possible…  and add on unlimited text messaging.  Then use text messaging instead of calling to communicate with friends, arrange meetings, etc.

Car Living & Computers/Internet

The internet is another great communication option for car-living hobopoets.  Internet access is free at most libraries.  If you can’t afford a phone or phone service, use email to connect with friends and others.   You can also blog as a creative outlet.

Of course, if you can afford your own laptop, your options increase.  With a laptop and a little money, you can take advantage of free wireless at many coffee shops.   Spend hours working or playing online, writing, and reading–  all for the price of a coffee.   In San Francisco, many entrepreneurs run surprisingly lucrative and successful businesses from coffee shops and laptops.   They even have a name for these folks:  neo-bedouins.

Imagine, for example, running a tiny jewelry business while car-living.   Make your jewelry in your van or at a park.   Create a website to sell it.   Market the jewelry through a blog, podcast, newsletter, etc.   Receive orders & payments online through PayPal… then ship them out–  all run from a laptop and a wireless connection at a coffee shop (it might even be cheaper to get a monthly wireless service through a cell phone company)!   You wouldn’t need to sell much in order to support such a lifestyle.

Car Living & a Fun Social Life

Car living can be fun because you have so much free time.   There’s a lot you can do with that time– without spending money.   Sports and outdoor activities are some of the best.   Play soccer.  Play ultimate frisbee.  Play softball.   Do yoga at the park.   Free local groups can be found in almost every community.

As you may know, I’m particularly fond of disc golf– it’s a great way to meet people, it’s fun, and it’s free.  Find a course near you at:  www.pdga.com

Music is another great free pursuit that can be social.   The simplest thing is to get a small super-cheap hand drum.   Drum circles can be found all over– and beginners are usually welcome.  This is fun and a great way to meet people and enjoy life.   Of course, guitars and various other portable instruments are also great fun.

Join Clubs While Car Living

Look on meetup.com to find local groups to participate in.   Also look on bulletin boards at coffee shops and colleges…  and look in the newspaper.   Fill your evenings with interesting clubs and hobbies.

See Speakers While Car Living

Speakers are another great way to learn and enjoy your free time.   Some may charge a fee, but many interesting speakers can be heard for free.   Look for announcements from colleges and libraries to find speakers.

As you can see, it’s possible to have a very rich social life while living in a car or van.  It’s also possible to stay in touch with friends and family.  In fact, you may find that your social life expands tremendously– because suddenly you’ll have a lot more free time.  Take advantage of it and enjoy it!

Car Living A Vital Skill

April 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Self-Reliance

Simplicity Can Be Fun!

This year, the topics discussed on Hobopoet have taken a deadly serious turn.   We are at the beginning of a huge economic disaster–   the same kind of bankster engineered disaster that Argentina experienced.

Because of this, the collapse of American Empire is accelerating.  While Obama and the banks loot the country and enslave it’s citizens with massive debt, the media continues to show idiotic stories about “the coming recovery”.   The corporate media also loves to fawn over Obama.. while purposely hiding what is actually happening.

Why is this important?  Because practically, it means very tough times ahead–  “The Greatest Depression” as many economist are calling it.  In fact, we are nowhere near the bottom… the worst is yet to come and it’s going to be much worse.  We’ll see another huge stock market crash, massive unemployment… and then the killer–  massive price inflation.  In other words, the value of your cash savings, if you have them, will be eroded or destroyed–  just when you are either losing your job or starting a new one with much less pay.

Such is the bankster economic system… a system that Naomi Klein calls “Disaster Capitalism”.  First the banksters & their government partners engineer (or take advantage of) a disaster.  Then, while regular people are dazed and confused and pliable, they swiftly enact new laws that enrich the banksters while looting the confused and clueless public.  They did it in Argentina and many other places.. now they’re doing it to the United States.

In fact, it’s already done.   So the practical question becomes–  how to survive the unfolding disaster?

This is where Hobopoet skills become important.   As hobopoets, we choose to live simply but happily.

The difference between a miserable homeless person and a happy Hobopoet is planning, preparation, and mindset.

Being thrown into homelessness (and unemployment) is traumatic… but carefully planning and choosing it can be quite fun.   As my old archives note, its possible to live very happily and comfortably even in a Nissan Sentra.  To do so, you must be intelligent:

  • Modify the car for living:  Take out the back seats and create a bed from the back area all the way into the trunk (extend your legs into the trunk area when sleeping).   Tint all back windows as dark as possible (and put cardboard behind the tinting).  Run a shower or curtain rod just behind the front seats, and hang a black blanket or sheet over it (to block rear area from sight).  Use plastic storage bins for clothes and food.  Use a camp toilet… or a gatorade bottle (for peeing– women can get a funnel to make this easier :) and doubled freezer bags (for emergency shitting).   Park in stealthy areas– such as big apartment complexes or public streets with  other cars around…  or best of all- at a friends house.
  • Create a micro-business:   Create a business that is tiny and easy to run from anywhere.  You might sell art or jewelry at music festivals.  You might create a small online company.   You might sell information products.  Just create an independent small income source.. to lessen or eliminate your dependence on jobs.
  • Collect Quality Camping Gear Now:  A quality sleeping bag and sleeping pad is vital if you will car-live in a cold climate.  A camp stove is also useful.. as is a set of compact cooking gear.    Consider quality (non-cotton) clothes for cold weather.   A hiking water filter is also useful (for filtering water from rivers, streams, or public sinks).   A tent is also great if you plan to be in rural or wilderness areas sometimes (or campsites).   An LED headlamp is extremely useful at night.
  • Think about Cleanliness:  How will you clean yourself?   You could join a gym and use the showers there (if the membership will be affordable).   You can sponge bathe in public bathrooms (use lockable bathrooms and ALWAYS thoroughly clean up any water– so they’ll never suspect you are bathing in their bathroom!).   In hot weather, you can bathe in a stream or river (as I did in Athens, Georgia).
  • Consider Safety:   Take a combat self-defense course or study one at home now (I recommend www.attackproof.com ).   You might consider keeping pepper spray in your car….  and possibly a knife or gun (but only if you REALLY know how to use them and are well trained.. otherwise stick to pepper spray and self-defense training).   Another safety issue:  identify safe and fairly “stealth” parking areas in your town.  If possible, secure a parking place in a friends’ driveway.

Those are the basics.   As I read more about tent cities popping up, and people losing their homes,.. and the economic disaster still to come…  I feel that car-living and voluntary homelessness topics are more important than ever.

Therefore, I’ll be re-visiting these topics in the coming months–  to provide detailed practical strategies for people to THRIVE (not just survive) even if they lose their home, job, etc.

Car Living is one such strategy– as long as you can still afford to insure and maintain a car.  If that’s possible, I believe that car-living is the best choice for those who have no other home.  Tent living (or open air camping) would be a distant second choice,.. as it’s less secure.. but I’ll discuss homelessness strategies as well.

I believe that everyone should think about and plan for this… even if you feel you are financially secure.   Planning for the possibility of car-living or homelessness will give you tremendous confidence and strength if you are indeed forced out of your home.  You won’t fear it so much and won’t panic if you already have a plan and have already prepared!

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