cropped-canal-du-midi-1-1.jpgI wrote about us entering the Age of Aquarius and how it will lead to world peace and our personal happiness, but if you don’t believe in reading the stars, astronomy, or that we are all connected; then it is just a whole bunch of hogwash.

It wasn’t my most popular post, but I really enjoyed writing it, and sometimes, actually most of the time, it is the only reason I write; when it matters to me the most.

So let’s get real and talk about the biggest changes that we have witnessed in the last 5 years.

Something is actually going on. After reading this article last night, I really started thinking.

There has been a shift of people throwing out the model of working 9-5 jobs. It is like my generation woke up from a sleep walk, and realized that everything we have been told by our parents and grandparents doesn’t actually have to apply. It is all a way to assimilate to a model that doesn’t feel comfortable for our generation.

Gone are the days of sticking it out at a bad job. Gone are the days of sacrificing family time to work that double shift for your short tempered boss. People are revolting against these archaic standards of working, and demanding more from life other than waiting to enjoy retirement. And with the retirement age steadily increasing, by the time we reach retirement at 73 or more, with my family history, and statistically being the first generation to die before our parents; we will be lucky to live the average 6 months after retirement anyways!

Then the idea crosses the mind… why not enjoy life now? Find a balance between life and work that you can get really excited about. Imagine, waking up and doing something you actually love to do so much, that it doesn’t actually feel like work. Your own schedule, your own idea of what the work and money relation should be, and still have time to enjoy the things you love, like travel, children, home and hobbies!

For us that meant to chuck out the idea the regular workday. We had to break away from our parents views about working and revolving life around that job. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the years of hard work I put in when I was young. I saved for a house, started my family, but then something inside me shifted. When was the money going to be enough?

Life has a way of steadily increasing. You buy a starter home, renovate, flip it and move up. Your work is no different. You start, you work and then you get promoted. Each step up comes with additions and more bills. More working hours, more travel time in the car to work, and more responsibilities which equates STRESS. Instead each getting easier, we built on to our lives, following the last generation to the bank for mortgages, credit lines, and investing into retirement plans, RESP, stock options and bonds… More is never enough. And we have a way of spending everything we make no matter what amount we make.

By replacing this standard with home based business start-ups and online companies we can find balance. Why are more people searching for alternatives when it comes to income, and why is it possible now when before it was only a dream?

Among my friends many work from home. Some work outside the home and also inside with the hope to one day only work their home based business. The goal is setting up life around the family unit which provides freedoms that the 9-5:00 job doesn’t. Not to mention daycare costs. Don’t get me started.

Why is this possible?

#1 Internet

The internet has not only connected us and made the world smaller, but has given us a multitude of options when it comes to start-ups. We couldn’t have moved to France ourselves without the world wide web.  We would not have been able to research where we were going, translate to our new language, book agents in other countries, view real estate listings and stay connected to family back home. We virtually set up and found our dream online.

The Internet also connects information across borders, not only what our country feeds us. This world globalization has brought many global possibilities for writers, IT people, selling things online, and connecting people to products on a world scale.

#2 We are on to the powers that control, a fall in consumerism, and a rise in spirituality 

We realize how brainwashed the last generations are; their need to constantly consume. This over exaggerated consumerism is the reason so many of us feel a disconnect from people. Trying to fill the void with things doesn’t work.

We are now not asking but demanding balance, holidays, living on less. The need in us has changed from going after money, to going after contentment and peace.

In Canada we made far more money, had mortgage payments, car payments, gym payments, school payments, RRSP, RESP the list was endless and the pressure was on to always make serious dough… By learning to give up the Starbucks each day, eating out twice a week, cutting back on designer clothes and all the things that really shouldn’t matter; we found that we could live on far less and not compromise our lifestyle too much. Instead of new clothes each month, we buy things, just when we need them. Balancing needs to wants is a huge part of this mind shift.

I remember my father practicing yoga and meditation in the 70’s. He was rare, and thought of as the exception to the rule. Most people worked, and came home and watched TV. That was life. Being entertained during the gaps of a job they disliked was normal. Big Christmases with massive amount of presents. Big vacations to Mexico. Big pools. Big cars. Everything was inflated.

There has been a rise in spirituality and a fall in organized religion. So many people have refused to give their 10% to their church. Instead, people are getting in tune to their surroundings, their gardens, and their hobbies. They are connecting to the things that make them feel content, not buying the things that make them look the part.

#3 There are others like you

I thought I was the only person brave enough to move away, start again, and live my dream. But the internet connects other crazy dream seekers to each other. Through blogs, online magazines and expat newsletters; you quickly find that you don’t have to do as your parents did. One carreer in your life doesn’t make sense for everyone, but a multitude of changing careers might be the answer to our happiness. At 18 I wanted to be a singer, but ended up with a high paying union job for 20 years. It is funny how things come back around. Now I am not saying give up your day job and become a singer, but what about a balance and including hobbies into your life.

By going after your dreams there are alternative ways to make a living and to be happy.

#4 Homegrown Products

More people are understanding the value of eating healthy, the 100 mile rule of eating seasonal local products, getting back to the basics of growing your food. By personally digging up your garden, growing your veggies, finding healthy foods. It all balances your life towards combating work stress, and health. When you eat corporation mass produced foods, sure it is cheaper so you can buy more stuff, but at what cost.

Health is going back on everyone’s list, and food quality should not be an option but the highest level of our demands as human beings on our planet.

#5 A shift in education

You can learn virtually anything online. Fix a washing machine, figure out how to figure out your computer, cook a roast, grow a garden, ride a horse, take apart the swimming pool pump. We are empowered. We can in fact do anything. And guess what, we are doing it. Whatever you dream of from building a house, building a birdcage, to building a business; we can do it. A few clicks of the mouse, and the information appears.

The internet after so many years, has become an information source better than any university or library. The information highway has become a tool for innovation, education and exploration like never before in human history. It gives every person on the planet the same playing field when it comes to learning.

#6 Understanding how crazy the rat race actually is

Once out of the rat race, looking back at our schedule, it was nothing short of insanity. Wake up, coffee on, wake the kids, make lunches, put dinner into crock-pot, shower and get ready for work, drop kids daycare/school, work all day long with a 30 minutes break in the middle to wolf down a cold sandwich and make a quick phone call to schedule an appointment or check on the kids, finish work, get the kids, take them to extra activities; ballet, soccer, come home, baths, dinner and bedtime. Meeting at the school, home by 10:00. Good night.

Days off are running around getting the kids to practices, food drives, gym, other jobs, cleaning the house, shopping, laundry… it is a non-stop endless busy schedule that we add more to instead of less to as the years go by.

Life doesn’t have to be like this. In fact, we are not designed to have this kind of stress in our lives, for 40+ years to retire and then die within 6 months. Balance is the key, living your life in the moment you are in, appreciating the life you have and not always reaching and striving to buy the next big thing.

We have needs as humans, and it is not just about competing with each other to see who has the newest and shiniest things.

#7 Education paradigms are shifting 

Roadschooling, homeschool, unschooling are becoming more popular. Why? Because the old model is obsolete. People are seeing a gap between what we learn in school at a snail’s pace and our children’s ability to learn at lightening speed. If you want your children to be like everyone else, then yes, put them into the brainwashing system to formulate your child to learn how to cope in our society. Or, you can go against what society thinks, telling us what we should learn and teach our children. Imagine a world where your child learns from their own natural curiosity. Imagine a child that develops the way he or she is supposed to without standardized testing or stress. It is the same stress I am escaping in my adult world that seems perfectly acceptable to subject our own children to in academic based schools.

Why aren’t things like gardening, farming, sewing, cooking, strategy, collaboration, organization, balancing checkbooks, accounting; or a vast list of real life skills taught in schools anymore? Camping, fire starting, survival skills…. Our kids are becoming full of information but they are so very useless when it comes to applying it, knowing how to wipe off a table after they eat, chewing with their mouths closed… there is no time left in the day to raise our kids. We are too exhausted to teach them the basics, when every moments is filled with downloading information into their brains.

Parents are looking for more options, and we as parents understand that we don’t know what the future looks like. Shouldn’t we be teaching them how to think?

Think about it. Who says we need to learn this subject or that subject.

Level 1  Physiological needs: food, water, shelter and warmth. But once we figure out how to get these basics down pat, we strive for the next level.

Level 2 Safety: security, stability, freedom for fear like wars. Most of us in North America and Europe don’t have to fight for these things, because even the poorest among us have these two levels.

Level 3 Belonging: love, friends, family, spouse lover… Once we feel safe and stable, we start to search for someone to share our lives with. Some people never find their place.

Level 4 Self Esteem: achievement, mastery, recognition and respect. Getting a good education and reaching a certain level, getting promoted at work, getting rewarded by your peers, mastering a certain skill; this level is about your self esteem while you are working to reach a certain goal. Once you feel like you have mastered something, then you start to grow as a person, find balance and then you go to the next level.

Level 5 Self Actualisation: Pursue inner talent, creativity and fulfillment. So if this were a pyramid it would be the top and a part of life that most of us never reach. Those among us, those well development humans who get this far, as very lucky. It takes a lot of work to reach this point, to realize who you are and what you are. This is happiness. Being content in your own skin, feeling a balance between work and life, feeling confident in your abilities.

When I dream of the future, in my utopia, everyone reaches actualisation. 

Something extraordinary is going on in the world. There has been a shift in how people think.


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