I don’t believe in parttime ideals. They are incredibly uninspiring. Parttime ideals lead to parttime principles (actions that you practice to live up to your ideal). However, you only obey them when it suits you. For instance:
- I separate my plastic and organic material from waste, unless the wastebin is full.
- I refuse to sleep with married men, except when their partner is abroad.
- I would always buy a dog from the animal shelter, as long as that one is more cute than the one from the petstore.
- I eat vegetarian, unless I get meat for free.
For instance: My principle is to maintain a feet-only policy for six months, started on September 21st and will continue till the first day of spring. This means I only transfer myself by foot. I call it an urban pilgrimage in which I discover althars and rituals in the hidden corners of the city. Inspired by the encounters on the streets, I write music.
Lately I noticed that many people wanted me to loosen up my principle. For the sake of caring for myself. When I shared my feet-only policy, they said things like:
- ‘You should’nt be too hard on yourself, Milou’
- ‘Why not take a cab home?’
- ‘But it is rai-ning!’
Without noticing, my strict policy of ‘I walk no matter what’ changed into: ‘I walk when the weather is nice and I am not late for my appointment.’
Whether I break with my principles out of discomfort, lust or shame, truth is that I am not honest to my authentic ideals that go beyond the principles I have set to myself. And you know what? More than hyperintelligent, Adriana Lima-like beautiful, athletic or a brilliant cook, I want to be honest.
H O N E S T Y
B O R I N G ?
Nope. Not in 2019.
In case of my urban pilgrimage, it seemed quite obvious for my surroundings that I made exceptions when walking was not fitting in my day. It seemed obvious that I put my own comfort (read: my old habits) first.
Now that is
B O R I N G !
I decided: From now on I adapt my habits to my ideals, not the other way around. Because by holding on to my feet-only policy, I not only create a more powerful story and train my willpower. It also deepens my experience of taking a different pace in the streets, switching perspective in the city, changing my perception of time and space. Most of all, having to decide every time deciding to go walking instead of taking a tram, costs more force, than incorporating this principle as a new habit.
Listen to this. In order to make a positive change in your life and create a domino-effect of positive changes, sticking to the actions that follow the principles without compromise is the way to go. Be radical in your actions. After all, those who persist in what they believe in show us that it is possible to make different choices and have another lifestyle against all (or some) odds, right? It doesn’t mean every one should copy you, but you make them think about their behaviour towards your principle. By following your guts unconditionally, you make the pathway free for people to do the same in their own way!
If you are reading this (apparently you are), I invite you to become a micro-revolutionist from this moment onwards. I don’t believe you should act like an iron saint. No. Just choose a tiny mission. Something that excites you. How to choose?
Follow these steps:
1. Make a drawing of your ideal planet.
Draw yourself in it.
- How do you start your day?
- What role does nature play in your life.
- What do you say to the homeless woman sitting in front of your house?
- How does your daily behaviour differ from your current lifestyle?
2. Choose one topic that you feel most attracted to. Phrase it in one sentence.
3. Write as much principles around this topic as you can, eventhough your ideal planet might differ a lot from how you perceive reality right now. Like:
- All plastic I buy, I hang in front of my window
- Every Sunday I bake an apple pie for a homeless person
- I compliment every waiter/waitress for his/her smile
- Every morning I start with a tree-hug session of 20 min in the Vondelpark
- I plant a flowerseed daily
4. Choose the principle that you find most tempting.
This will be your first mission as a micro-revolutionist.
5. Make a timeframe varying from one to twelve months in which your principle will be sacred.
Tell me all about your mission for 2019. And if you know someone who would also like to be a micro-revolutionist, feel free to share. With maintaining your new principle you train the ‘being persistent to your authentic ideal, no matter what’ muscle. The power of this challenge lies in its continuity.
B I G B O N U S If the set time for this challenge is over, you can add another principle of yours.
Wishing you a fabulous 2019,
Picture by Annelies Verhelst