Over the last month, we’ve empowered and incorporated a few very important words. These words are “Opt-out” or “Opting Out.” They are powerful, full of intention, and carry both intended and unintended consequences.
Opting out doesn’t imply anything nor is it ambiguous. It is making a statement and a choice. We have to reach within ourselves to find our vulnerable voice, add to it our integrity, and make a promise, vow, or contract. Opting Out is like Opting In. It carries with it a set of actions that are just as intentional and complete.
If you Opt-In to a particular cause, you set your intentions to support that thing you are opting into. If you Opt-Out, you are stating you will not be involved with a cause, program, or contract.
I opted to remove myself from Facebook not too long ago after I was censored for saying something that wasn’t against any community standards or guidelines. I’m still on Instagram, which is owned by FB, but because they haven’t censored me I have remained on that platform. I don’t have a problem with social media platforms as long as they don’t muzzle free speech, especially when nothing was said that was violent, malicious, or against the law. However, when youtube and FB start censoring those who may have alternate opinions on social justice, information on coronaviruses, COVID-19, vaccines, 5G, I have to draw the line.
What does drawing a line look like? We say it all the time, don’t we? “I draw the line at being forced to obey.”
Okay, so now what? How are you going to maintain your rights? Will you protest? March at a rally? We see the unrest happening. Much of it is a distraction used as a bait and switch. Look over here at what’s happening on the streets with violence so you can’t enter the courthouse and state your objections to forced mandated vaccinations. Yes, that’s happening right now as I write this.
Business is being conducted in these courthouses. Laws are being passed while the rubber bullets, police brutality, and naked aggression take place against the very people they have said they would protect. There are these dichotomies of speech happening. For or Against. Black vs White. Muslim vs Christian. Police vs civilians. Yet in very sneaky ways laws are being passed while all this continues.
It seems like I just went on some sort of diatribe, right?
It’s all interconnected. I hear often “the world is waking up.” Are they really? Are they waking up to what is really going on?
Let me tell you something about waking up. Waking up and becoming conscious causes something visceral to occur inside us. It starts a mourning process. A depression that grips the soul and asks, “what else have I allowed to deceive me?”
A deception is a cooperative act. It requires both parties. To be deceived or lied to requires our consent.
Will I consent to being lied to anymore? Nope. We stopped that bullshit last year. We chose not to engage or invest in anyone who would knowingly try to deceive or lie to us in order to get something or to use us. It was the best decision we ever made.
We opted out of being lied to by those we know.
Here is a list of things we’ve opted out of so far. We have only just begun the opt-out process and it will continue for years to come. One side note before I start listing things…We are not extremists. It isn’t a “for or against” scenario when we discuss opting out. One option for us to be able to walk away from weekly shopping is to purchase items in bulk, cutting down on the amount of packaging involved. That might involve ordering a 50 lb sack of rice and other grains for grinding our own gluten-free flours when we need them. This, for us, would be a better outcome in terms of packaging. Purchasing 2 pounds of rice in a plastic bag, 1 pound of gluten-free flour mix, and other things just add to the garbage we’re trying to reduce.
Here are a few of the things so far we’ve Opted out of:
1. Using a washer and dryer or going to the laundromat- Opted out of buying machines and spending money on the electricity and gas to run the machines at home or at the laundromat. We reached inward to realize we could do a better job washing our clothes by hand and line drying them, saving both electricity and gas every week/month. We allowed ourselves to be lied to that we “needed” a washing machine and a dryer to get our clothes clean. We allowed ourselves to be deceived that our clothes wouldn’t be clean if we did it ourselves. We lied to ourselves by stating that we couldn’t physically do it on a regular basis because it’s too hard. We opted out of lying to ourselves about the laundry we do. We now use a laundry bar soap for our laundry which cuts down on the chemicals that would go into our septic system and eventually leach out into our environment.
2. Buying store-bought drinks- We no longer buy anything bottled at the store, with the exception of Simmi’s apple juice. No more soda, mineral water, bottled water, alcohol, and other adult beverages, drinks on the go. We just started doing this on June 7, 2020. We have been preparing to opt-out of all store-bought beverages for about two weeks now. Reaching inward, Dom has been brewing up lots of fermented drinks for us so when we do want to have a beer, wine, or hard cider, it’s available to us. We have collected all the glass bottles for bottling up our own fermented drinks for about two years now. Reaching inward we knew it was time to let go of consuming things that weren’t necessary to our health or lives. In doing so we will be saving even more money, which can be used for purchasing a pressure canner and fruit press. When we have those items, we will be able to make Simmi’s apple juice and can it for later use. When that is complete, we will be fully opted out of buying beverages from stores. We’ve opted-out of lying to ourselves about how much we need mineral water, bubbly water, soda, wine, alcohol, and traveling drinks. We don’t need them, we like having them. Is there anything wrong with them? Not necessarily, but for our lives, in opting out of plastic products means that we are not participating in the making of the supplies that go into making plastic bottles and producing waste for landfills, or involved in the health implications that those who work around these chemicals are exposed to every day.
In the end, purchasing things in bottles and containers doesn’t move us forward in our own lives.
3. Eating out at restaurants and other food establishments- We rarely go to any food establishment. If we do, it’s usually Japanese food. We opted out of eating in restaurants 12 years ago after Simmi was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies. We can name the number of times we’ve eaten out over the last 12 years, however we feel we can do even better! Reaching inward we realized we can make Sushi at home and we do a damn good job of it. No need to go to a Japanese restaurant. We have an excellent cookbook we haven’t even used yet! It was gifted to us by our son two years ago. Now is the time to reach for that book and start enjoying Japanese food more than once every 6 months. We opted-out of lying to ourselves about how we deserve to go out to eat and be served by others.
4. Owning a cell phone, wifi, wireless streaming devices, Bluetooth devices, cordless phones, and anything else that emits microwave radiation. We opted out of wireless technology four years ago and we never looked back. After I discovered I am extremely sensitive to microwave radiation and removed all devices as well as moving to a wilderness area with very little cell signal (cell tower more than 5 miles from our property) we discovered a peace like we never had before. It wasn’t long after we discovered my sensitivity that we observed Simmi was also very sensitive to it. Removing all devices resulted in a miracle…Simmi no longer had violent meltdowns that would last for hours. She was unable to learn, unable to reason, unable to problem-solve, unable to calm down. She was always either laughing and getting into trouble or screaming and physically violent. We thought we were going to need to get her medications for the psychotic episodes she was having. Children are often put on antipsychotics and medication for ADHD if they have frequent violent outbursts, no attention span, and are hyperactive. It only took a month for her to be completely calm and peaceful without any kind of meltdown and that is without the assistance of pharmaceuticals. I am happy to report that we’re now going on our fourth year without a single violent meltdown or meltdown in general. Reaching inward we discovered that we could hardwire our computer to a regular modem. No wifi needed. That’s what we did and continue to do every day. We opted-out of lying to ourselves about how much we needed our cell phones for communication and life. We stopped lying to ourselves about how cool wifi and wireless devices are and how much they enhance our lives. They don’t. They actually do the opposite by damaging DNA and causing autoimmunity, neurological disorders, metabolic syndrome, and even cancer. Beyond opting out for our own personal safety, we are opting out also
because the mining done to extract the rare metals needed for different technology components are causing damage to the earth. The conditions for mining as well as those who are forced to work in inhumane slave conditions is our other reason for opting out. When workers in other countries have netted the bottom of their buildings so that those working can’t commit suicide due to horrific work environments, and when children are forced to work long hours we need to ask ourselves if having wireless technology is helping us or hurting others. There may even come a time when we no longer use any technology and unplug completely. Every time we purchase a cell phone or other wireless device, we are opting into human suffering on an unimaginable scale.
The movement to Opt-Out of cell phone and wireless technology to raise awareness of the conflicts, human rights violations, human trafficking, can be done simply by not participating any longer in the lives being oppressed while mining rare metals for cell phones, the Congo, in India and also in Asia where similar conditions exist. Black Lives Matter not only in America, but also around the world. Let us not oppress others so we can use a cell phone. Make a difference and opt-out.
I’m considering starting a blog series about Opting Out. I want to provide a space for keeping track of what we opt-out of, why we’ve made the choice, and the steps we’re taking along the way. I feel it could be helpful for those who are also considering opting out of the current system. We’re in a system that has enslaved us to consumerism and enslaved others, many at gunpoint around the world so that we can consume these goods without understanding the consequences or the harm that has come to those who are forced to work in inhumane conditions. We are not free and our other human family members are not free either. So, how do we loosen the bonds and free ourselves? It takes time, careful thought and consideration of our needs, our family’s needs, and even the community around us.
They say it takes three weeks to form a habit but it takes two or more months for that habit to become automatic. We’ve given ourselves three weeks for each new Opt-Out. Doing laundry every day or every other day by hand has become a habit. Our next break with consumerism is with prepared snacks. That will involve potato chips, corn chips etc. That’s three weeks from now.
Opting Out by Reaching In is a new concept for me. It’s about reaching into my heart to see what really matters in life. To reach in and find out how the things I might purchase may impact others negatively. Sometimes it feels like being an accomplice to a crime against humanity, and for me, such a burden is too great for me to bear alone.