The other night, around 3:00 in the morning, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up and started listening to Mark Manson’s audiobook, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Now, in this society of instant gratification most will see, “…Not Giving a F*ck.” Guess where that got Pinocchio on Pleasure Island. That’s right, it turned him into an ass. The real point of this book is the Subtle Art… It is a brilliant way of Mark Manson getting the attention of a reader who is used to an overwhelming amount of information at his fingertips, can’t possibly process it all, and winds up not learning anything. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is actually about learning what your personal values are and where to give your f*cks.
This made me really think about what my personal values are so thank you Mark, goal achieved on making the reader figure out what and why they give a f*ck. It made me think about an earlier blog I wrote on why I make soap and I realized that I described very well all the practical and logical reasons, all the reasons why it was a good idea. It was an article written from my brain space and I needed to write about it from my heart space. The reality is, it doesn’t matter if I feel compelled to find products I can use. I have free will. I can continue to choose products that irritate me and make a decision to go about life without questioning anything. The thing is, I was born questioning everything, I have never been content with the status quo. Now, the real question is, why? Why am I not content with the status quo, why am I a wild woman, and why do I make soap as a wild woman and not a domesticated one?
Before I answer that question, let’s break down this idea of personal values and the idea of what we believe our values are but, in reality, are external ideals we have been told to value versus internal values, abstract nouns that in our heart of hearts are extremely important to us because that is where we find joy. I am of the opinion happiness is society dictating what we should value and it is external and fleeting. Joy, on the other hand, is internal and promotes a sense of spiritual and psychological well-being. In order for me to understand why I give a f*ck about soap, I had to really dig deep and find the intrinsic, personal values that made me love soap in the first place. I then realized it wasn’t necessarily the soap, it was the creating of the soap. With the understanding that online tests and quizzes can be quite arbitrary, I found an online personal value test that seemed as close to legit as I could get. It confirmed what I knew in my heart.
I value honesty. In today’s consumeristic society what we see is not necessarily what we get. There is no transparency in what ingredients are going into our products and we are being told that they have minimal risk. As an example, let’s pick the controversial topic of pasteurized milk. Contradicting information flies around everywhere. Again, an overwhelming amount of information to be found freezing us into a state of paralysis where we make no decisions at all. For me, I just know as a kid I drank raw milk with no adverse side effects and today, lactose intolerant and I have to take lactose pills to consume my dairy. My personal value, honesty. Could we possibly get an unbiased study not paid for by interest groups? Even putting that link in makes me think twice because I cannot attest it is a credible source. I leave that up to you as the reader.
I value wisdom in a society where they say we are not smart enough to make our own decisions and they are made for us at the governmental level. Our government has become our bubble wrap, helicopter parents and in doing so have taken away our freedoms, one of my other values. Of course, with the pandemic over the last year I have seen people take that to the extreme and in a quest for their personal freedom have taken away mine. An example of this is not to wear masks or follow protocols. Yeah, maybe there has been a lot of hype and inconsistent requirements, but can’t we just use our common sense to get through this. If you’re out in public, just try to be considerate and respectful. If an establishment requires you to wear one, wear one. People who don’t question wearing a mask can make the choice to frequent places where it’s not required if they want. People who do question wearing a mask can wear one where it’s required and not wear one where it isn’t. It’s really that simple. Which brings us back to wisdom, the ability to use knowledge and life experiences to objectively assess the situation and make right choices. It’s about using common sense and interacting with people and the world in a mature way.
That being said, it is the three values of authenticity, freedom, and creativity, that make me want to create soap. I have always had the soul of an artist, I just had to dabble in various mediums and outlets before I found my heart song, a way to live my truth. A way to be authentic. It all started out as a journey to heal my inner child and learn to play again, to be my authentic self with no apologies. I always loved chemistry, I just didn’t do well in chemistry in high school. Since then, I have circled back and it makes way more sense now than it ever did. I love being in nature where I feel grounded and centered. I love creating things that other people can use and feel confident and comfortable in using. I love creating soaps and sundries with products from nature and names we can pronounce. I love the simple life.
And it is here where I learned what to give a f*ck about. Yes, I should respect people and my environment but, not at all costs. Within the boundaries of my personal values, that is where I give a f*ck and if I have to compromise any of those values for you to be in my life, I don’t need you in my life. I don’t give a f*ck. I didn’t need to learn how to be more assertive, or how to hold my ground, or avoid confrontation and live a life of unicorns and rainbows. I needed to know what my personal values are and defend them without apology. I needed to learn how to confront anyone or anything that would put me in a position of compromising those values. I needed a whole paradigm shift.
Now, I give a f*ck about what is most important to me with the understanding it is a process and I won’t always get it right. As mentioned in an earlier blog, it’s been a year since I chose authenticity over attachment and that’s what I need to give a f*ck about. The result, inner harmony. Finding balance and self-fulfillment. Learning the only person I can control is myself and being able to go inward to self-reflect and to work on my self-awareness every day. Not expecting everything and everyone around me to be drama free and live simple lives. Just working on being drama free and living my own simple life. Finding peace where I’m at by going inwards. Holding myself accountable to obtaining my own personal values. So, when I dig really deep, making soap isn’t just about the logistics, it’s about living an authentic life, a life of freedom and creativity, a life of inner harmony. A life of the wild woman.