Sunday, December 4, 2011

Alternative Does Not Always Equal Open Minded

I’ve met a lot of people in my life, many who would be considered to live alternative lifestyles.

I’ve met people who are homeless (some by choice) and who would feel imprisoned by having to live in 4 walls, who are modern day hobo’s – backpacking and/or cycling all across the world, who live in their cars, vans or RV’s, who travel with the circus, who work and live on cruise and party boats – hopping from one to another as the whim arises, who live on their own houseboats, sailboats or yachts, who don’t have a permanent residence but instead bounce from place to place house sitting or helping out as needed, who are traveling missionaries – living out of a suitcase as they spread God’s word, who live in communes and care for the land and environment, and a whole host of others I can’t even remember at the moment.

Meeting and talking to these people always fascinates me and I love getting a glimpse into their lifestyle, which is very different from my own.

I used to think that because these people were living on the edge of what’s considered “normal,” they somehow had an inside handle on what it takes to be truly open-minded and really embrace all possibilities. Since I’m all about that – I really do love to see the possibilities and to experience them myself when I can – I get excited when talking to these alternative people and often in my excitement will start spouting off even more exciting possibilities for their already leading-edge lifestyle.

What I’ve finally realized – and only just recently I might add – is that alternative in no way corresponds to being open-minded. In fact many alternative lifestyle people are some of the most close-minded and rigid people I’ve ever met. It’s as if they have carved out their own little way of living, are proud of the fact that it’s “different” but in no way want to entertain anything outside their norm.

Sad really because at one time they had to go outside the norm of “acceptable living” to get where they are today. Yet instead of continuing to be progressive, to see the possibilities, to explore ever greater experiences – they choose to put the brakes on and remain comfortable in what is. The very thing that set them free becomes a prison of sorts, limiting them to a life that is so much narrower than it could be.

In other words… they turn out just like the rest of us only with a different address. The sad part is that these people believe they’re open-minded. They don’t see their own limitations, choosing instead to believe they’re on the leading edge of human evolution.

How do you know that someone isn’t as open-minded as their lifestyle appears? Simple. Ask questions and offer possibilities. If you immediately get negative responses and reasons why this or that isn’t a good idea or won’t work then bingo – narrow-minded person living in an alternative cocoon.

If on the other hand they get excited about your ideas, join in the conversation, ponder things, and really consider the possibility (even if they don’t ultimately embrace it), well… then you have a true adventurer –  a person who really understands and embraces a lifestyle that includes personal growth and expansion on all levels. Even if on the outside they seem pretty mundane and boring.

It’s all in the mind and heart folks.

And one more thing. If you’re on the leading edge of human evolution. If you’re about expansion and growth and love to see the wonder and possibilities in everything around you then we need to talk! There aren’t many of us out there and I’d love to connect with you and see how we can blow this planet right out of the water with our creative energy!

1 comment:

  1. so true Maria. I have found too that those who I think should be the most open minded are actually the opposite. Sad really.

    Carrie

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