I’m facilitating a Modern Primitive workshop at the Students of Sustainability conference this year in Launceston. If anyone wants to discuss this with me I’d be happy to chat, it will help me improve the workshop. Here is my outline so far:
Concept: A lot of the things people are into are part of this idea of being a modern primitive. It is a useful concept to guide your actions. Taking ideas from hunter-gatherer cultures.
Why would people want to be a modern primitive?
- To learn useful survival skills
- To create a culture, a tight-knit group or tribe with rituals of their own
- Spiritual satisfaction
- Life satisfaction and sense of empowerment from doing things oneself
What activities could be considered part of being a modern primitive?
- Hunting with guns or bow and arrow, trapping
- Raising livestock and growing food
- Eating ancient foods or traditional foods
- Foraging for edible weeds or bush tucker
- Dumpster diving
- Cooking on fire or rocket stove
- Relying on refrigerator less and more fermenting and preserving
- Living off-grid
- Living in a tent or hand-made shelter
- Creating rituals of your own
- Rites of passage
- Creating a tight-knit community with a shared history and shared stories
- Learning new languages to expand one’s point of view
- Body modification (can be to identify someone, for sacred purpose or for rite of passage)
- Animism, paganism
- Connecting with nature
- Living ‘in the body’, being present
- Living as a human animal
- Less screen more outside
- More time spent doing nothing
- Less electric lighting
New house, new housemates, new weapons.
Everyone seems to have insomnia these days, so here is the info on how I fixed mine.
I had poor sleep for about 2 ½ years before I got really ill with Fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed in April 2012 and put on amitriptilyne for joint pain, muscle spasms and insomnia. Amitriptilyne is a sedative. It stopped working after about 5 months so I started taking Phenergan, codiene and over the counter sleeping tablets in addition. I also took a bunch of herbal sleep drugs: valerian, St John’s Wort, mugwort, zinc, magnesium, phosphatidyl serine and mulungu. I still had trouble sleeping so in Feb 2013 was put on Seraquil, Lyrica and Largactil, all of which stopped working after about 3 days. This was as far as I could go, there were no stronger sleeping pills, so I knew I had to get off of them.
To do this I took less and less drugs each night. Some nights I wouldn’t sleep at all, but at some point the next day I would fall asleep. My sleep was erratic for a few weeks. I was tired and nauseous a lot of the time. I couldn’t think very well. Eventually my sleep got better. I found that I felt better after 6 hours of unmedicated sleep than after 10 hours of drugged sleep.
I did the following lifestyle things:
- Paleo diet with carbs and dairy
- No alcohol, caffeine or stimulants of any kind
- Exercising when I feel energetic. No over-exerting myself. Going home when I feel tired.
- No working (I’m lucky I didn’t have to work during this time)
- My house only has one small light so I think that helps my brain know when it is night time
- Being out in the sun, especially morning sun
The following supplements helped:
- Phosphatidyl serine (it blocks cortisol, it’s cheap on Ebay)
- Valerian root
- St John’s Wort (in bulk from the shop next to the Honey Shoppe in the Central Market)
- Mulungu (a sedative from Happy Herbs on Bank St)
- Melatonin (from Ebay)
I went to a sleep clinic and they said that once you have a good sleep pattern you have to stick with it so your brain learns a good schedule, so for the next month or so I will be in bed by 10 or 11pm.
I also had to rid myself of threadworm! That improved my sleep a lot!
Some gigantic greasy breakfasts I’ve been eating!
I saw a fibromyalgia expert the other day, who told me that I don’t have fibromyalgia, I have “Indeterminate Functional Somatic Syndrome”, which means ‘mystery disease’. He gave me some better drugs for sleeping, and I have since been able to come off the first drug I was prescribed for this condition, amitriptyline. I was put on that drug to treat joint pain and muscle spasms, and those symptoms haven’t returned. So now my only problem is bad sleep. I’ll tentatively say that I only have insomnia at this point in time, which is an incredible improvement from a year ago, when I was pretty much house bound and in constant pain from every joint. I think I’ve done a really good job to recover this much. It’s been a lot of work to figure out how to live and eat and sleep and what drugs to take so that I get better. I submitted to a fibromyalgia study saying that paleo diet has helped me recover, hopefully more people will hear about it that way.
I’ve had better sleep the past few months, and have therefore been feeling more energetic. I’ve gotten stronger too, I noticed it the other day when I was making out with this dude and found that I could pin him down really easily. It was pretty funny! I’ve only done ‘exercise’ exercises a few times, mostly I get stronger from digging, pruning, staking, plumbing, wiring, riding, building things, fixing things etc.
I’ve learned so much the past 2 months I’ve been squatting. About electricity, plumbing, glue, locks and all those household things. I even reconnected the electricity at one house all by myself. I can’t connect it at my house, but I like it this way, it’s a good detox from internet and movies. I’ve been trying to use the internet less, especially facebook, and it’s been working, I went 2 days without it the other day with no ill effects. The internet is this huge addiction that no one seems to think is a problem. I want my mind back! I want to be quiet in my mind!
The owners of my old house were planning to raise the rent, then they drove past and saw the garden I grew, and liked it so much they decided to keep the rent as is! Awesome! (See the photos below.)
Elliot’s gourds are growing super fast, they are nearly on to the roof, it will be cool to train them all over the roof and have big gourds hanging everywhere.
I want to grow Romanesco Broccoli (fractal broccoli) but I am out of room at my old house. I’ll probably grow some at my friends house, we built a garden bed there the other day.
I can’t have a garden at my house unfortunately because the owners are next door so I have to be sneaky. I have a worm farm though. Also some mushrooms grew in my compost toilet the other day, that’s kind of a garden?
I reckon more people should take up foam rolling. It’s been hard to sell to people because it hurts a lot and it’s hard to tell if your muscles have become more efficient. I’ve finally made progress with my piriformis, it was jammed up real bad from muscle spasms early last year. I had to smoosh it with a baseball about 100 times over the past year but now it’s a lot better. Still sore but not terrible. Also I got a full-body massage the other day from my friend and nothing was tight because I’ve been foam rolling everything. So everyone please get a Rumble Roller, or foam roller, or even a bit of PVC pipe and smash those muscles.
I just read Mycelium Running and now am obsessed with mushrooms, going to grow heaps of them!
Also my friend is giving me a bike trailer, so soon I’ll be able to cart around heaps of manure and straw and other gardening stuff. Exciting.
Been having too much energy lately, I’ve never had that problem before, it’s a really good problem to have! At the moment I ride about 15km each day, freedive once a week and dance once or twice a week. I also ride to the beach sometimes, that’s a 20km round trip. I’ve also been lifting some light weights to get my arms a bit stronger. Will try rock climbing soon. x