Posts Tagged ‘Survival’

“Should I Leave the Country?”

Since the Boston Marathon, I’ve received quite a few private emails, texts and blog comments from people either telling me they feel like they should leave the US or wondering if I would advise them to do so. That’s a tricky question, because individual circumstances vary widely, but since so many people are asking me that question right now, I thought it merited at least a short blog post. Before I get to it, I want to say that I’m not advising anyone to stay or go: that’s a very personal decision. I’m simply sharing some thoughts, intuitions and observations here. Please make of them what you will. Take whatever resonates and leave the rest for someone else who might have a different viewpoint and life goals but also read this blog.

You don’t need to be psychic or particularly intuitive to realize things are dicey in the USA. In case you haven’t noticed, though, they’re also pretty crazy in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, South and Latin America, Australia, Asia and the Middle East.

Most people in the US tend to think of themselves as immune from human rights issues, civil wars, famines, martial law, brutal dictatorships, drone attacks, fascism, genocide, torture, and guerrilla warfare. These are things that happen “somewhere else,” like Nazi Germany, Palestine, Iraq, Cuba, Stalinist Russia, Communist China, or Guatemala.

Frankly, I’m surprised even more people aren’t asking me if they should leave the US right now; however, head-in-the-sand syndrome and Stockholm Syndrome run pretty deep these days. With people working multiple jobs just to put food on the table, trying to find ways to get a job, fluoridated (i.e. Prozac’d) into compliance, GMO’d into lethargy, or glued to all manner of electronic programming from tell-LIE-vision to video games to text-mania to Facebook farms instead of actual gardens, those of us who have been watching the creeping transformation of America can’t honestly feel too surprised that most people have no clue.

Of course, this cluelessness makes many awake people even more nervous about the current, extremely precarious state of affairs. What happens when the rich, but not super-rich people who’ve banked on the security of their retirement accounts and savings wake up one day to a Cyprus scenario? What happens when food stamps and social security checks stop coming? What happens if multiple disasters — natural-, government-, or “legitimate” terrorist- induced — occur close enough together that Big Government either can’t or won’t swoop in as saviors? What happens if Big Government “saves us” with Martial Law?

What happens when masses upon masses of doped up people suddenly realize that everything they’ve built their lives upon has been a highly contrived and externally controlled lie? What happens when people who’ve struggled to put food on the table even with three jobs suddenly don’t have those jobs because the bottom dropped out of the economy? What then?

What happens if a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME/Solar Flare) knocks out the grid and life as we know it never returns? What happens if Washington DC sinks under 100 feet of water? What happens if things get so crazy that most people have a nervous breakdown?

I’m not listing such questions to freak anyone out. These questions and more are simply things to consider, scary or not, because refusing to look at them hasn’t made them go away. If more people can at least garner enough courage to look at the scary possibilities, then we can develop individual, group and community strategies to deal with the challenges. One strategy may or may not involve relocating to another town or country.

When deciding whether to stay or go, you’ll need to assess your necessary and available resources, including time.

Things are moving quickly around the world, especially in the US. The Bill of Rights has been all but gutted, and –with the exception of that pesky 2nd Amendment– all laws are in place for a complete private military dictatorship and management of all aspects of daily life. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” We’ve got some laws on the books right now that would make even Hitler blush, not to mention the vastly increased powers of the UN and would-be world dominators like Monsanto. Although the plan started slowly, almost imperceptibly, the speed of this crackdown has dramatically accelerated in recent months. Some of us saw the ugly cloud from far away. Many more have suddenly noticed the darkened sky before a previously unimaginable storm.

How long before the tornadoes, hail and lightning strike?

I don’t know. I personally hope that if enough people recognize the signs, then enough of us will decide to join our energies into shifting the current trajectory. Fight? Flight? Pray? Or Garden? It may take all of the above, and that’s where decisions become tricky.

If you plan to remain in the US, then you will need to determine a) how to make your current location as safe and sustainable as possible or b) if and how you can relocate pronto to a more suitable location. If you determine that you really can’t relocate right now, whether due to family, finances or whatever logistics, then do yourself a favor and stop fantasizing about leaving the country or living in rural Montana.

You’d be better off focusing your attention on how best to develop community right where you are, as well as how to cover basic human needs like food, shelter, and water for individuals as well as the unprepared. If your town has no disaster plan or community gardens, consider starting one, not just for yourself but because offering security for the disenfranchised increases everyone’s security in times of crisis. Finding ways to connect with neighbors, co-workers and natural leaders also provides multiple safety nets by encouraging people to assess skills and resources and develop relationships before anyone really needs them.

“Would you personally leave the USA?”

Under very different circumstances, yes, I probably would; however, I truly feel called to live exactly where I live and to do exactly what I’m doing.

If I lived in a city, I can honestly say I would relocate, because I already did strategically relocate to Goshen, Indiana. David and I came here to support his aging parents, but we also looked at any and all of the potential challenges of our times and opted to surround ourselves with organic farms, Amish people who know how to live off grid, a sunny permaculture yard, and a community already implementing Transition Town concepts to support life after peak oil or a belly-up economy. Since I have a deep love for Earth and find permaculture principles absolutely fascinating and healing, I can’t think of a better location for me right now.

Ideally, you will find a way to make whatever location you happen to live in a top-notch location for you … or … you will quickly assess what you need in a location and very speedily find a way to manifest your move there.

I will say that vibration makes a huge difference. If you fixate on fear, you’ll attract fearful scenarios. If you fixate on solutions, you’ll attract those. We can use the challenges of our times to build a better and stronger world than the one we know now. Collapse of the known could bring celebration and renewal. In permaculture, we say, “The problem is the solution.”

If you feel called to live somewhere overseas that affords you a closer relationship to the Earth and more freedoms, and you can get there soon, then I’d say go for it. I do hope that not everyone who can leave the US does. Plenty of us feel called to stay, and we are the people frantically trying to build new structures before all the old ones fall away. We are the people trying to get community gardens growing so well that an economic crash or radical disruption of food transportation doesn’t matter. We’re the ones speaking beyond Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative, actively seeking common ground from which to build systems of mutual support. We’re the ones looking at problems and choosing to address them instead of pretending they don’t exist.

If enough of us create preemptive solutions, then we create possibilities and paths for life to change easily, without the need for crash and burn or smashing into rock bottom. When enough visionaries take action, then all the problems facing the US and the world today can result in an amazingly lush, healed and prosperous society that honors everyone for the unique beings we are while living in harmony with Nature and Natural Law.

“What should I do now?”

I’m not a fan of “should’s.” What do you feel called to do? What excites you? What worries you? What fears keep you up at night? What strange ideas tickle your fancy so much that you can’t seem to stop giggling about them? How might your “problems” become “solutions”? An old saying says that God never gives us more than we can handle, and I believe that’s true … with one caveat: sometimes we do need to turn to God (or Goddess, Spirit, Nature, the Faery Realm, Ancestors, Runes, Animal Totems, Myth and Legends) in order to survive those challenges.

“We are spiritual beings having a human experience,” and we need to remember that. As challenging as we may find the physical realm, being here is a privilege and an adventure. Whether you decide to stay or go, I would suggest you invite your spiritual side into your decision. Ask your body what it prefers. Feel the longings of your heart. Pay attention to the mind that assesses and strategizes, then invite inspiration in all you do.

Once you’ve invited this special Wisdom available to each of us, allow yourself to receive the answers. I guarantee those answers approach you whenever you invite them into your awareness. As the Hopi say, “This can be a good time.” When you discover the eternal Wisdom that whispers within yourself, you will always know what to do or how to respond in any given moment. I will leave you with two helpful mantras:

“If not this, then something better.”

“I am always in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.”

And so it is.

Hunter-Gatherer Skills Course

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend this one, but my friend Sue asked if I’d spread the word. This is a course brought into being by The Permaculture Project, LLC. It’s open to anyone interested in learning how to survive in the wild for practical and/or fun reasons. I’m not a doom and gloom subscriber, but given the recent events and trends in US government and around the world, I do like knowing my options for foraging and community building. This course seems like it offers a lot of both!

Learn the arts and practical skills of outdoor survival

Hunter-Gatherer Skills Course
August 19-26, 2011

Taught by Wayne Wieseman, The Permaculture Project, LLC

Sponsored by Popular Resilience, a Madison-based permaculture organization

Live for a week completely immersed in the environment in 548 acres of prairie, forests, cliffs and wetlands habitats located in Wisconsin’s un-glaciated “driftless area.”

Join with other individuals and families to adopt a hunter-gatherer lifestyle as you learn to make essential tools for hunting and fishing, and pottery vessels for cooking and eating.

Try your hand at fire-making, building shelters, foraging for useful plants, weaving, making cordage, flinting arrowheads, firing pottery, setting snares and more.

All (vegetarian) food included in fee. A kitchen, including refrigerator and freezer, and outdoor grills are also available on site.

Download a registration form or flyer
Please register by August 12th

Contact Norah Cashin ( for the course schedule or more information
$495 per person
Ask about special pricing for families.
Minimum age 13. Teens 13-18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian

Popular Resilience: Skills for the long term
A happy, healthy, liveable world for our great-grandchildren