Life Outside the Cage (how to free yourself from conventional wisdom)

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How I got here

I think I’ve always rejected the status quo.  I’m not sure if it was my upbringing or any particular thing my parents taught me or if I was born with it coursing through my veins.  I’ve had my moments of running with the crowd, trying to people please and jump the cliff with everyone else.   I pretended to agree with my pediatrician when he told me that sugar was sugar and to not bother buying raw honey because my body would metabolize it just like white sugar.  Oh bollox, I say.

Interestingly, I’m also a rule follower.  I know my parents taught me that.  The fact that I’m a rule follower is the reason that I fully vaccinated my first two children, made my first baby sleep in a crib in the beginning and drank fat free milk for a really long time.  I look back now and shake my head.  I was really trying to do what was right.  I wanted to be a good wife and mother, so I turned to my doctor, books written by doctors and other people who determine what conventional wisdom is.  (that is until they find out they were wrong and influenced an entire generation of followers to execute their crappy advice)

As I’ve grown older, more confident and as I’ve studied, researched and gathered evidence, I realized that my instincts were right all along.  Babies (and parents) are happier when they are breastfed and co-sleep or sleep very nearby Mom and Dad.  Vaccines are dangerous and cause side effects.  You don’t need a prescription every time your baby farts.  Pesticides and chemicals are not good to eat.  Pills are not the answer for every ill.  Heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure is not caused by natural, whole foods, healthy fats and unrefined sea salt.  Raw milk, butter and cheese are really good for you! All of these rules that I slowly gained the courage to break shouldn’t have been rules to begin with.

Trapped, we are.

Look at us.  We’re so modern and sophisticated with so much knowledge.  But we’re trapped like animals in cages built by the “experts”.   Doctors, scientists and politicians get together and dictate what the rest of us should do and then expect us to drone our way through life.  Capitalism and corporate greed corrupts our lives and picks at the threads that bind us as an empathetic and instinctive people.  We’ve lost our way and lost touch with our humanity.  Doctors tell us to eat fake eggs because real ones have too much cholesterol.  Or better yet, eat real eggs but take a pill to “fix” the high cholesterol.  We’re mesmerized and inundated by messages telling us what to buy and when.  We’re told that we must inject ourselves with unknown substances to avoid getting sick.  Most cities drink recycled poo water, for heaven’s sake.

So, I reject it all.  I’m finally at a point in my life where I’m fed up with the nonsense and confident enough to stand up with the other renegades and forge my own path in life.  I always knew why the caged bird sang, it just took me a long while to untie my feet and fly away.

Breaking Free

I believe that if and only if we can begin to trust ourselves again; return to listening to our bodies, instincts and intuition will we ever rise above the rut our society has tumbled into.  We have to return to our roots of traditional life.  Follow in the footsteps of our great, great grandparents with their morals, values and work ethic.  Raise chickens, bake bread, grow gardens, cook real food, work hard, save money and spend little, fix it up, wear it out make it do or do without.

I’ve never felt more at ease than when I followed my gut, did the due diligence in researching then did what I felt was right.  My intuition hasn’t led me astray yet and I don’t expect it to. I’ve slowly broken free of the cage built by conventional wisdom and hope to keep it that way.  My family and home is becoming increasingly unhindered by modern society and it’s lack of traditional wisdom.  Nothing is holding us back.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou




CC Image courtesy of Ky Olsen on Flikr; Birdcage Head -Image by © Alberto Ruggieri/Illustration Works/Corbis, L’Oiseau bleu_Bird cage_06, by Ajari.


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