the question of ‘rules’

So, I’m going to Byron Bay tomorrow to talk to a guy on the radio. My dear friend, Joline, will be driving. I would have hitched, but she jumped up and down in a very excited way when I told her I was going and said she had been wanting to go to Byron for ages – for a day off – with her daughter, Mya. So, I’ll be going by car. Now, for those of you who don’t know, I am living without money to minimise my environmental footprint – I don’t drive my own car, I don’t buy stuff (obviously) – I try not to use any new resources just for me. I don’t have anything against driving in a car that’s already going the direction I am going. I will join in with the use of resources if they are already being used by someone else. I will also make use of any ‘waste’ resources – we have a lot of this in this middle-class Australian world I live in. I am NOT perfect at this but have learned not to give myself too hard a time of it if I use a bit of paper to dry my hands in a public toilet sometimes, or I boil a kettle or charge my laptop at a friend’s place. Actually, as I write this, I DO feel a bit guilty…… It’s a fine line. I have to remind myself of where I was at just over a year ago though – I have come a long way in reducing my impact. Goal achieved I would have to say.

Two journal entries about the ‘rules’…….


27th April 2014

I’m still unclear about what I am trying to achieve. I know WHY I want to live without money, but not the finer details. I want to walk my talk – actually DO something to minimise my impact on the planet. I feel too sad about the state of things and want to live a life-affirming life rather than continue to just go along with the status quo.

As for the rules/parameters I put in place for myself – I’m not clear yet. Mark Boyle (The Moneyless Man), has listed some of his rules which I will learn from, but I need to be clearer in my reasoning and goals before I can really pin these sorts of parameters down. Maybe just reminding myself of my desire to minimise my impact is enough. Everything else should hinge off this. In any given situation, I could ask myself, “What would cause the least impact?” I would still like to be comfortable and have some fun – as ‘normal’ a life as possible….. Therein lies my dilemma. I can’t always have both, so I need some clearer rules……


26th June 2015

It’s a wet and rainy day today but I feel deliciously warm and set up under the bed covers sitting, sheltered and warm, reading and giving myself permission (because it’s raining and I’ve got a sore neck), to just read and think……

I’m reading No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, page 160. He is talking about attachment to stuff. He explores that attachment to stuff also extends to attachment to feeling accomplished and loved. The reasons for undertaking these sorts of ‘projects’ is to somehow feel a sense of accomplishment and do we all do this to be loved? Am I doing this, in part, to feel loved? There is definitely an element of that deep need present in all that I do – this experiment included. That does not make it wrong but it does mean I need to recognise this about myself and not let it blind me.

He also talks about the breaking of the rules thing. I have had many conversations with myself and others about the ‘rules’ and breaking them. The feelings and thoughts I have around this are many but I mostly come to the conclusion that I am actually doing a pretty good job all up and I’m certainly having a much lower impact on all other beings by doing this. I can feel good about that.


10 thoughts on “the question of ‘rules’

  1. Hi Jo, heard the end of your interview on BayFM today. Now signed up to your blog. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventure. Cheers, L


  2. Guidelines are more forgiving than rules. Better to be responding consciously in the present moment than squashing yourself or the moment to fit the ‘rules’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm yes guidelines and a good moral compass, rules hmm not so much. Rules are for people that don’t want to think much about this stuff. Red light – stop….even in the middle of the night with no cars in sight…they will sit there. How absolutely ridiculous for supposedly the most intelligent of creatures. Anyway, hope you had a lovely time in the Byron town.


  4. Jo Impact
    Today I heard your interview on ABC Radio National and I must say I was very impressed with your experiment. My wife and I have been attempting low impact living but not as serious as you. We built a mud brick house using recycled timbers etc with the aim of not wanting to borrow money as if you borrow money ‘the have got ya’, the banks that is.

    It sounds like Bev and I are a little bit like your parents…living of the smell of an oily rag. We have an organic garden and we ride bikes when ever we can. My son and his partner have just bought land at Dorrigo NSW and are about to give the system the flick and build without borrowing money, they have been through borrowing money from the banks.
    If you are ever over in the Moonbi area (north of Tamworth) please come and stay, we have a shack made from recycled materials in which as I say weary travellers can stay for free.

    Regards Fred and Bev Hillier PS: We have a travel blog you might like to read…search the latest post about a bike ride from Trieste to Verona in Italy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Fred and Bev. Thanks for your offer – I may well take you up on that when I head South sometime in the next year hopefully. Would be great to see your place and what you’re up to there. Will check out your blog. Cheers, Jo


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