#159 | The Privilege To Leave: Stepping Away From The Center Of Empire w/ Michael Sliwa

In this episode, I speak with Michael Sliwa — author, former educator, and “one of the foremost speakers on simple living.”⚐ My discussion with Michael addresses the traps of modernity — including work, consumerism, settler-colonialism, our culture’s attachment to things, and the path Michael has taken to move further away from the center of Empire in an attempt to liberate himself from false needs and excessive wants, in turn learning to live much more simply, nomadically, and communally.

In particular, what we discuss is that in spite of this worthy effort, privilege plays an enormous role in an individual’s ability to move away from the destructive nature and impact of this industrial culture, and as Michael addresses in this episode, the recognition of this fundamental aspect of living within a society forged in settler-colonial values and maintained through the socio-economic imposition to “make a living” informs this effort in more ways than can be initially understood. The false sense of security careers and material accumulation brings in a culture bereft of community and land-based consciousness is something worth addressing and overcoming in spite of this, especially in the face of widespread ecological disintegration and abrupt climate disruption — a result of this imposition to “make a living” regardless of the long-term consequences. Michael and I get at the worthiness of the effort to liberate oneself of false needs and wants, and what interesting paths await those that make the leap toward personal responsibility and deep recognition of the role privilege plays in the maintaining of the illusion of stability and prosperity in this society, in light of the devastating impact this logic has had on the living systems of this planet — in which we are inextricably tied to. Michael’s insight is a treasure, and we discuss these subjects and more in this episode.

Michael Sliwa is the author of 'Chasing A Different Carrot: A Manifesto For The Predicament Of Privilege’ and is one of the foremost speakers on simple living. He and his wife Karen are former educators who left behind their careers and most of their worldly possessions in order to pursue a life of genuine connectivity. For years Michael and Karen have been traveling, working and speaking about what it means to live a life of simplicity. They have built a skill set that has allowed them to continue along a path where stress and chaos are left behind and efficiency and durability take their place. Michael has shared their story through keynotes, workshops, assemblies, and TEDx Talks along the way. Today Michael is the Co-Founder and Development Specialist for one of the most dynamic speaking agencies in the country, TRUality, and is the former co-host of Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network.⚐

⚐ Source: http://bit.ly/2ANMhEO

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Michael’s work at his website: https://michaelsliwa.wordpress.com

- Watch Michael’s video series ‘Another Way’ here: http://bit.ly/MSanotherway

- Learn more about and purchase Michael’s book ‘Chasing A Different Carrot: A Manifesto For The Predicament Of Privilege’ here: https://amzn.to/2PejD4Y

- Follow Michael on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michael.j.sliwa

- Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarrotChasing

- The songs featured in this episode are “Right On,” “African New Wave,” and “The Doldrums” by Paul White from the album Rapping With Paul White.