Hello all, it’s been a while since I’ve written an article, so I thought I’d poke my head in and say hello. I haven’t stayed away for any particular reason other than being occupied with other endeavors. I’ve been in the process of working on my full-time profession of writing books. While Chris and I only have one non-fiction book (The Millennials Guide to the Future), I also write fiction books under a pseudonym as my primary source of passive income. Another exciting announcement is that I’m also working on a new non-fiction to be published in the fall. This book will look at the psychology of collapsing to help get people in a state of strong mental health before the full-scale collapse of our current civilization. I’m not saying it to scare anyone—it’s just an inarguable fact.
I bring this up only to express how much fun I’m having now that I’ve made writing my primary occupation. I feel light and liberated because I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I was never in the proper position financially to be able to make a concerted effort to make writing books a career. Now that we’ve simplified our lives and have little to no expenses, we have much more time to dedicate to our passions and hobbies.
I have a question: what would you do if you didn’t have to go to a traditional nine-to-five job to live your life?
If you could pursue your passions, what would your life look like? I’ll tell you what it looks like for someone who's simplified and done precisely that. CD and I take turns letting out the chickens and ducks every other day in the morning. They usually start waking up around 0630, so we get up to give them their food and water and open up their pens in the orchard. After that, we usually go back to sleep for a little bit.
I naturally wake up between 0830-0900, and by naturally, I mean my cat Albus kneads my chest until I wake up for his mandatory morning face massage. After that, Chris and I sit outside on our patio, discussing the day ahead and what we want to accomplish. We work far more efficiently with a structured schedule than just winging it.
Usually, after our talk, we have a little breakfast and hit the major chores of the day so we can get them out of the way to do other things. Of course, having the chickens and ducks presents its own mandatory list of things to do daily, but we break it up to make it manageable.
After that, Chris and I sit down separately. I’m usually outside under my covered well house/picnic area, and Chris sets himself up inside. We just have different needs when it comes to a conducive environment to write.
We ALWAYS have something to do during the day, and both have multiple side projects, which can become exhausting, but the steady flow of ample work keeps us motivated and focused.
I spend a couple of hours in the morning and then a couple of hours in the evening (after the feathered children are put to sleep) writing and editing different projects. My average word count is between 2,000-3,000 words or 8-12 pages per day, but sometimes I do far less or way more. I especially like the days I’m on a literary roll and do 4,000 or even 5,000 words. It’s rare, and I don’t push myself to do that because I don’t want an overworked brain coming up with plot points. My point in all of this is to show you how simplifying your life will not only reduce your bills, thereby freeing up some of your income, but it can also afford you more time to focus on understanding yourself and the things in life that give you passion.
Another great reason to simplify and follow your goals is to use the extra time you have to work on your mental health. Increasing your emotional intelligence and focusing more time and energy on making sure you’re mentally healthy will be the difference between success and failure in the years to come.
Exploring why your emotions are important and how healthy boundaries are necessary for any relationship are two central pillars in understanding yourself. CD and I have spent the last couple of years living a simplified off-grid life by intentionally learning as much as we can about ourselves and the psychology of our emotions.
We’ve learned that setting healthy boundaries will reduce the people in your life by an unimaginable margin. When you learn to look after your own self-interests without people pleasing your way through life—you’ll also begin to see how many people were in your life with the only purpose of using you for their selfish needs.
Another thing we’ve learned is how to spot a narcissist from three clicks away in a thunderstorm. I’ve always been quite good at interpersonal communication and understanding the motivations of others. My abilities were honed even further when I spent years working in counterintelligence, and now I’m working on mastering the psychology behind human emotions and how they affect actions.
Narcs are only defeated in one way: no contact. When you’ve identified the narcissist in your life, your immediate action should be to start working on an exit strategy. I believe the steps following the discovery of a narc should be done carefully but swiftly. Some people hold the idea to try to see things from the narc’s perspective, but in this one circumstance, I vehemently disagree. Narcs cannot be rehabilitated to a new level of understanding because their brains are wired in a way that is incompatible with typical human relationships.
Lastly, but most importantly, you don’t have to be anyone's savior. Unless, of course, if you have children, you are only responsible for yourself. You don’t have to cater to someone else’s demands, You don’t have to explain yourself for wanting distance from a toxic sister-in-law, and you certainly don’t have to justify the boundaries you establish. At the end of the day, there’s only one person guaranteed to be there as you take your final breaths and shuffle off this mortal coil. So be kind to yourself, and it will attract people who value you as the authentic person you are.
Understanding and respecting yourself shows others how you expect to be treated. Have compassion for yourself by taking a break when you need it, indulging in a treat every now and then, and giving yourself space to explore all the depths of your emotions. No one, except for you, can make you understand any of this—you need to make the conscious choice to work on yourself to build as much resilience as possible. All it takes is for you to start.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article. Mental health is a complex subject, but it doesn’t have to be. With some time and introspection, I know you will be well on your way to a healthier tomorrow. If you like the content, drop us a message because we’d love to hear your thoughts. Be well, friends. Today is difficult, and tomorrow may be worse, but if we simplify now, we might have a chance at braving the storm and building a future worth having.