What’s all this Spirituality stuff about, and can I do it too …?

Amy Rose LaPrairie

An open letter to the straight-laced person who is on the verge of becoming a free-loving, hippie convert …

You may have noticed a slight change in fashion lately. You may have noticed people wearing crystal necklaces and feather earrings – which you have a feeling they, of course, made themselves or supported a local artist at a grassroots craft fair.  And what’s with the colorful, paisley patterned lounge clothes with tassels and so many guys with long hair and full facial hair? … And gee, those farmer’s markets are starting to look like a lot of fun… And wait, is that a drum circle, too?  And why do they always carry a metal water bottle around with them as if it were a token of membership to their secret club?  Part of you wants to judge them, but another part of you is incredibly INTRIGUED.  Everyone just looks so vibrant, happy and healthy.   Yeah, you’re right, something’s definitely up.  You might even feel a slight change in the air… not quite perceptible.  You just can’t quite put your finger on it…

Well, get used to it.

The hippie trend is back in full force and this time, it’ll go full circle. Like the LOVE movement that started in the 60’s & 70’s, this one has all the same components…. Psychedelic drug use, open expression of love,expressive dancing, long hair, nudity, trippy music, and pssst…. even the 70’s bush is coming back (hallelujah ladies! Sorry Fuzz Wax Bar with your 5 locations, it’s okay, it’ll be a neatly manicured one, so you’ll still remain in business) Though all these similarities exist, this time around, the movement seems more intentional.

This crowd is intelligent, talented and well-informed. They work hard and party smart. Progressive ideas spread like wildfire between them.

This crowd likes to keep it light on the booze … Maybe a little high-end, Reposado tequila, but that’s about it.  After all, too much alcohol dehydrates you and doesn’t help with those challenging yoga poses. It also“lowers your vibration” and “deadens your spirit” as the hippies say. They prefer green juices and well-thought-out virgin drinks when they go out … And they’ll pay a pretty penny for them too, THAT IS, if the bar owners can catch on to this quick enough before they go under, wondering why no one’s ordering$8 vodka sodas anymore. “Too acidic” their conscious consumers will say, and order a $2 bottle of water.  Pay attention fat cats, it’s key to stay on top of the trends here.

Start offering apple cider vinegar, wheat grass and cacao shots, Chagatea, Kombucha on tap, or shots of sour cherry juice which you can buy at ANY health food store and it relieves joint pain naturally and tastes like heaven! (You should just go buy a bottle and see).

Your new hippie haven bar should look like a hybrid between a cozy tea house and night club with colorful, low-light lanterns, comfortable lounging nooks with fun, patterned pillows and psychedelic tapestries. Time to get rid of those sharp, stylish coffee tables and replace them with shabby chic re-purposed, mismatched tables. Basically, you want to encourage a space where they can rest, converse between dancing and maybe have a few bottle-service, I mean blender-service superfood shots.

This crowd prefers to dance hard and not smoke cigarettes. Instead, they bring fresh-cut veggies with them everywhere – cause they’re so damn refreshing after a full day at a festival.

Just look around at ANY vegetarian restaurant … They are‘out-of-their-mind’ busy. Getting a table in there is similar to trying to get likes on Instagram for a duck face pic… It’s just not happening (Full toothy smiles are better, k babes?).

They want good, healthy food choices with lots of greens and vegetables.  Even if they’re not full-blown vegetarians or vegans. They might identify with the trendy term “Reduce-tarian” whereby they eat meat once or twice a week depending on what their body needs.  They are well aware of the environmental impact of factory meat production and they’ve seen those heartbreaking images too… but it’s moved them to change.

These new-agers are even getting serious about supplementing. You’ll hear the phrase, “you know, we’re all deficient in magnesium” echoed among them in excited conversation about what new self-optimization techniques they’ve heard about on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.   After all, if you’re going to survive partying for a week in the desert at Burning Man, you’re going to have to take care of your body… the vessel that allows us to have all this fun.

These non-conformists are also finding great healing and self-awareness from psychedelic drug use. Just make sure not to call them ‘drugs’ around them.   The preferred term is ‘plant medicines’… but they’ll be happy to gently correct you with a smile if you do.  Where pharmaceuticals are failing, psychedelics or plant medicines are swooping in to pick up the slack.  The modern hippies advocate that the introspection that these experiences allow for, has helped them quit tough addictions like smoking, shopping, junk food, excessive drinking and more. They’ve even helped them get over anxiety and depression and release FEAR to live life in a more meaningful way.

Caveat: This crowd, however, knows when to pull the reins in, unlike some of the greats who went a little too far with psychedelics like Jim Morrison or Janis Joplin (RIP).  This new generation is adept at using the knowledge gained from travelling into the realms of the unknown, and applying it in their lives to become the best versions of themselves.  There is so much promising research being done in this field, I believe it’s only a matter of time before these medicines are offered to the masses in a controlled, therapeutic and safe setting with professional therapists.  It is an exciting time to be alive to witness such great healing taking place.

This new generation knows when it’s time to PLAY, time to WORK, time to VOLUNTEER,time to LOVE and time to be a badass ACTIVIST for a worthy cause.

I like to think this is the best trend that could ever happen. It’s cool to be sober, it’s cool to be CONSCIOUS. It’s cool to have meaningful, un-slurred conversation.  It’s cool to be a change-maker.  It’s cool to be yourself.   It’s cool to call it love-making instead off**king. It’s cool to be a bright, positive, contributing part of the Shift that is taking place.

The young ones will catch on fast. They’ll start wearing the crystals,the feather earrings and show up to the conscious parties… not quite understanding everything just yet.  In the beginning, they’ll front… But THEN one day, after a few good book recommendations from the older ones, they’ll get it and learn how wonderful it is to be free.

So, do you have to quit your corporate job, change your name to Rainbow Bear and go dance naked in the forest to reap the benefits of spirituality?  No, definitely not.  You can be a modern hippie and start exploring some of their practices right now while still maintaining your modern life.   Meditation and yoga is a great place to start.  I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to meditate”.  But hang on, before you dismiss this completely because “it doesn’t seem like an effective use of my time”, I invite you to think about it a different way.

Meditation is one of the only activities that actually REFUNDS YOU BACK the time spent doing it in the form of added years onto your life.  We all have a chronological and a biological age. Your chronological age advances once every 12 months and your biological age speeds up or slows down depending on how much stress you have in the body. So using meditation to relieve stress and quiet the mind, keeps you young.  Starting to make sense now, isn’t it?

Another idea would be trying a float session in a sensory deprivation tank instead of watching TV after work to unwind.  There are float studios popping up everywhere nowadays.  Speaking of TV, ponder this…. A desire to watch excessive TV is a signal that you want to avoid feeling your feelings.  It’s like numbing pain. Even something as simple as unplugging and going out for a walk into nature can be highly effective.  It’s also very beneficial to practice gratitude, patience, generosity, and forgiveness whenever possible.  These practices get you in touch with what you truly want, what your body wants and the kind of person you truly want to be.

Meditation or ‘going within’ is like exploring every little dusty corner of your mind and your heart.  It’s like clearing away the cobwebs and turning over empty boxes to see what’s underneath: Is it fear? Is it anger? Is it sadness?  Is it resentment? Is that resentment festering and causing the foundation to mold?  Better address that before the whole house caves in.

This path is definitely not easy… it IS work.  But the work is rewarding.  When you know yourself, and I mean REALLY know yourself, your life becomes the opposite of lackluster.  You’ll find yourself surrounded by friends who are incredibly inspiring and the right opportunities and things will arrive on your doorstep simply because you are constancy aligning your thoughts and actions with your truth.

You’ll also have to become proficient at self-education.  We are blessed to live in an age and country where knowledge is available on the internet and for the most part, is not censored.  So throw out your TV(responsibly) and get out there on the web and start digging. Reset.me is a well-spring of information and it’s exactly where I started 2 years ago.

One final point I’d like you to ponder, is this.  Consider that each and every single thing in our lives can be categorized and compartmentalized into one of the 7 boxes below.  Family, partner, work, hobbies, health, self, and leisure.

If you don’t have a Spirituality box/path, how do you deal with the inevitable existential questions that crop up?   Like ‘why are we here’,or, ‘what does it all mean’ and ‘what is my purpose’?  Adding the ‘Spirituality’box/path can have profound effects on your life.  It can bring balance by acknowledging that we don’t know everything about our existence and that it’s perfectly okay.  It also helps address the question… “Was I really born to work, pay bills and die?”.  Heck no you weren’t.

So why do I think spirituality and the hippie movement is not only around to stay, but about to gain momentum?  Because deep down, we all want to feel free. We are yearning to express ourselves.  We are yearning to be exactly who we ARE and be accepted for it.  I consider myself a modern hippie and am proud to call myself one. I like thinking about the magic of the world and the meaning of life. I feel as though it makes our present world a little easier to live in… and if that means ‘hippie’, then so be it… it’s just a label.  It doesn’t mean, however, that I am apathetic.  I feel deeply for what’s going on in our world and am working to become a contributing member of society by sharing ideas about how we can heal and improve ourselves,by becoming a conscious consumer and by getting involved in worthwhile causes.  Everything we do and say, no matter how small, has a ripple effect and one idea and change millions of lives.

If we have a chance at getting our sh*t together as individuals… Then maybe we have a chance at saving ourselves and the planet.  As many great shave said, change starts with you as an INDIVIDUAL.  Then and only then,can it reverberate out to the rest of the world.

Subscribe to my blog ‘Back to The Ground’ for more content, tips and ideas about how to integrate a spiritual path in your life.  Easy on the ‘woo-woo’ guaranteed.

So get onboard, because…

I believe in the good things coming,

BIO- Amy Rose LaPrairie is a world traveler, yacht-y, scuba diver, musician, flow arts performer, avid festival goer, writer, philosopher and spiritual warrior.  Her self-proclaimed biggest accomplishment thus far, has been crossing the Atlantic ocean with a crew of ten on a 150 foot boat. Favorite mantras include, ‘Everything is in perfect alignment’ & “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”. Hailing from the quaint lake town of Port Dover, Ontario, Amy is presently living and writing in the thriving, multi-cultural city of Toronto, Canada.  

Check out Amy’s blog, Back to the Ground for tips and content about how to integrate a spiritual path into your life…. And about her personal journey back to love spirit and purpose @amylaaaaaaa 

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