‘Do you know of a good health app?’ asks a client.
‘Yes, yes I do’, I say.
It’s called nature.
It teaches you to wake up as it gets light and sleep as it goes dark.
It makes you want to be more active when the days are long and quieter and more restful in the darker hours.
It makes you want to eat fresh green leaves and sun-swollen fruit when the sun is high, and comfort yourself with thick, warm stews when the fires burn.
‘Its hard to do that when we work’, he says.
‘It is’. I say.
But it is the only way
because the life of 24/7 neon is leading to exhaustion, anxiety, addiction, disconnection, over consumption. It leads us to drink alcohol to sleep, caffeine to help us rise, sugar to keep us going through the winter when we are exhausted. It leads us to buying stuff we don’t need to help us feel better, keeps us online rather than walking through the woods with friends, talking, flesh in leaf.
And it isn’t just external nature, it is our own nature which can lead the way.
Working with our menstrual cycles; sometimes social, sometimes needing quiet and rest.
Owls, larks, siesta snoozers.
Those who can think sharp in the dawn and fade away in the mid afternoon as others are peaking at dusk.
‘I need to think sharp all day, there is no rest, no time to play. I have to work to pay the rent’
to pay for the bigger car, the newer sofa, the afterschool club for the kids who I only see when we are all tired and bickering.
‘The thing is’, I say, ‘no app can change your life, it can guide you, remind you, show you another way’.
But we all need to decide how to live this life of ours,
fitting into the consumption machine
or starting to tweak and adjust around the edges at first;
walking in our breaks
sitting in the sun
walking to work
feeding the birds
resting when we are tired
moving when we have been still
plotting our menstrual cycle
putting the coffee down and going to bed earlier
knowing that your weight is designed to seasonally adjust (ask a hibernating bear)
knowing we are mammals too
and sniffing our way through
what seem like a new way of living
when we arrive
we find we know
and find the place strewn
with our ancestor’s bones