Awareness

How To Be A True Bohemian: 7 Simple Steps

Dig the bohemian style? Looks appealing right? Those countercultural folks, they’ve got the whole hippie – free spirit thing going. Those barefoot walking, bandana-wearing jam band fans have been on the barricades for over a century now.

They say, screw mainstream. They value art and self-expression over status and stuff. But how exactly does one live the bohemian lifestyle?

Here’s how to live an unconventional lifestyle with few permanent ties. Follow these tips and join the ranks of vagabonds, hobo’s, free-spirited artists and wanderers.

 

1. Wear Bohemian fashion

bohemian-fashion
rebellion can be bought at LuLu’s

 

Wearing boho chic helps you retain the original spirit of revolt.

Sure, since end 18th century, consumerism has run off with the original bohemians’ clothes. The last time, gypsy clothes were popularized by Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. But that’s a good thing.

Glossy magazine covers featuring liberated, pouting Boho women, their hair blowing in the wind while sporting vivid colors and a hotchpotch of patterns, are there to help you decide what’s appropriate.

Make sure to pseudo-nonchalantly wear two different socks to fit the Berlin or Mission District crowd (don’t make the mistake to accidentally put on two matching socks on a hasty morning, because you’re being very un-bohemian).

Negative nancy’s will proclaim that shallow fashion trends create a fake sense of liberation. Don’t let that hold you back. Bohemian fashion is a means of expression. A style that routes back to the century old look, one that helps instill the free-spirited roots of Bohemia in your attitude.

Wear boho chic and nonconformity radiates off of you. Follow the trends closely to stay connected with the core value of living a truly free, unconventional life.

 

What I’m actually saying:

Bohemian fashion has become a marketable commodity. We’re being manipulated into insecurity by sneaky advertisers. Don’t be fooled. Be free. Wear what you want and maintain your free spirit. Boho chic is a cuss word in the ears of the genuine Boho chick.

 

2. Start drinking absinthe

The Absinthe Drinker by Viktor Oliva (1861–1928)
The Absinthe Drinker by Viktor Oliva (1861–1928)

 

In the late 19th century artists and poets were lumping together outside of the bourgeois mainstream culture in Paris. The political radical, anarchistic Bohemians gathered in ‘cafes’ and drank absinthe like the Germans drink beer.

Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Charles Baudelaire, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, and Aleister Crowley were all known absinthe drinkers.

It was no coincidence that absinthe consumption was frowned up by social conservatives and prohibitionists.

The myth that absinthe turns you into a hallucinating junkie came to life during the late 1800s because famous absinthe imbibers such as Oscar Wilde and Vincent van Gogh took various other drugs too.

The myth is still persistent so go ahead, provoke the establishment, drink absinthe (here’s how to drink absinthe like a proper bohemian). In case the consumption of the green elixer is socially accepted in your hood you’ll have to up the anteby taking step 3.

 

What I’m actually saying:

Drink absinthe, white russians, beer or a virgin bloody mary. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you drink or don’t drink. Bohemians are original. Hit the clubs while drinking a cold glass of cow milk? Go ahead. You don’t give fucks. You’re free to do as you want. You’re a bohemian.

 

 

3. Do drugs

psychedelic drug use has been repressed for thousands of years

 

You always thought drugs are bad? Gotta man up bro / woman up sis. Using, abusing actually, is part of the lifestyle.

Keith Richards, commonly known as the ultimate hobo, in his own words  “used to walk down Oxford Street with a slab of hash as big as a skateboard”.

So take some Acapulco red, Galloping Hores, or Gift of the Sun God.

Don’t be afraid, tripping, amping, deliriums, blurred vision, puking, flashbacks belong to the experience. Just as epiphanies, day dreams, and divine interventions do.

A drug-infused bloodstream is the backbone of the true Bohemian. Go loco, score some Gorilla Biscuits and start your modern day bohemian existence with some chemical induced dedication.

Don’t hold back. Take an example of Dali. He did not just take drugs, “I am drugs” he said himself.

What’s more,

Drugs are the fuel on which the artistic machine runs. Without you’re a poser. Merely a soulless bum.

Taking drugs will make you a better artist, thus a better Bohemian. How else are you going to surpass drabby doodles and stodgy songs? All the great artists, from Picasso to Van Gogh, from The Stones to The Beatles did drugs.

It’s like Bill Hicks said:

“If you don’t think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes and CD’s and burn them”.

 

What I’m actually saying

I do not advocate breaking the law. Realize that drug use, whether it’s illegal or sanctioned by the state can be dangerous for your health and freedom (you can die or end up in jail). Again, doing drugs has nothing to do with being an authentic human being / living a bohemian lifestyle.

It’s true that psychedelic drugs are known to give you a whole other perception on things. They, for instance, erode work ethic, which is exactly why most of these botanic substances are prohibited. Psychedelics dissolve boundaries, erode the excess of ego which is the main problem of humanity in its current state. They help us put things in perspective. Be kinder. Love more. Awareness that the whole war on drugs is pure insanity is growing. Psycho active substances need to be studied and put into the hands of doctors and therapist so they can be used to help people. Terence McKenna put it like this:

 

“Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.” – Terence McKenna

 

4. Create art

bohemian-artist-bohemianhomes-tumblr

 

Tell your boss to go to hell and live the minimal, artistic live in your tiny, paint splattered studio apartment.

Gather with your bohemian friends and chat about pursuing artistic endeavors such as making music or writing books. Other transcendent activities; sing, dance, draw, paint, sculpt, write poetry or write blog posts about the bohemian lifestyle.

Throughout history, arts have been a vessel to express ideas that were not acceptable in society. Playwrights, painters, writers, poets, and graffiti artists across time have used their art to criticize their world.

So be bold. Make art.

It beats watching TV, reading consumption culture magazines, or other mindless activities that fuel your zombie-like existence.

Revive your imagination. It’s been dumbed-down by intrusive advertising and corporate media. Spark your creativity by thinking outside the box.

Wake up! Dream! Break loose and Create. Shatter suffocating paradigms and muggy moralism.

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” – Bertolt Brecht

 

What I’m actually saying

Well that’s pretty much it.

Wait. what? No sarcastic tone here?

Nope. Creating art is our purpose. Our salvation.  “We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.” – Bill Hicks

Making art opens the doors to higher consciousness.

“The thin thread of shamanic descent into our profane world—leads through the office of the artist.” Terence McKenna

Inspiration is hard to find? Need a vision?  A muse, a voice that leads the way? Take the next step.

 

5. Unleash your inner beast

unleash-your-inner-bohemian-beast

 

Not giving two blue shits about punctuality and tidiness is just the start. Back in the day, bohemians manifested shocking behavior.

Illegitimate children, homosexuality, free love, drugs and alcoholism were the social norm among bohemians. They worked as nude models, got kicked out of restaurants for using patchouli, while their bookcases featured all the Romantics, from Erotica by Anais Nin to Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums.

These hardcore socialists, feminists, sexual radicals, and anarchists were cultural innovators because they were in touch with their animalistic side. Society telling me I can’t love the same sex or alter my consciousness? Fuck that! It’s my body, my mind, my life.

Bohemians were able to defy the status quo because they were aware of the possibility to do so.

We’re disconnected from our archaic nature. Forgotten we are animals. Part of mother Earth.Dissociated from the Gaian mind. Wondering why we feel out of our element in our cubicles.

Release your inner beast. Nothing exists in a hollow shell.

Step in the realm of animals again. Hike to mountain tops. Climb trees. Swim in ponds. Surf the ocean. Dance to drum beats. Have rough, primal, passionate sex. Jump on a fence, crouch like a tiger during yoga. Fight like a lion during martial arts class.

Pick and eat wild edible plants. Toss processed foods. Watch the clouds. Taste the wild air. Experience you are equal to the plants, the waves, the birds overhead. Be one with nature. Remember, alone is all one.

 

What I’m actually saying

We’ve lost touch with our roots. Get ’em back.

 

6. Be an outsider

Ridin’-Dirty-Face-Mike-Brodie

 

“The bohemian is an outsider, defines themselves as an outsider and is defined by the world as an outsider… A lot of people regard them as subversive, elitist and possibly just a little bit immature.”

Exactly, by being (perceived as) immature, they’re wise. Let the bourgeois label you immature. What do they know?

Be childlike.

It’s so powerful it’s mentioned, and endorsed, in the Bible:  “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Luke 18:17.

Without childlike wonder, without shaking off the dogmas and morals you’ll never find enlightenment.

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” – Aldous Huxley

Quit your job, go live in an RV, grow stinging nettle instead of daisies, pick another way of living differently or whatever rocks your boat.

 

What I’m actually saying

Be childlike, not childish.

 

7. Question authority

question-authority-Anarchist-Graffiti

 

You can’t be a true bohemian if you don’t realize you’re a puppet in a game you don’t understand. Challenge your belief systems. Ask yourself why you support a certain religion or political taste. Do you really belief this or are these just habits? What if it’s all a lie?

You have been convinced of things all your life. By your parents, teachers, TV, the news, magazines, politicians, website posts (including this one).

“Perhaps you should allow yourself the fantasy that you’re not your social security number, your job, your name but that you’re 18,8 billion years old and you’re part of this incredible ocean of happening instead of just this one individual. Embrace the glorious knowledge that you’re part of never ending, ever flowing matter.” Duncan Trussell.

 

You should always question authority. What do the geniuses have in common? They stood up. Became freedom unto theirselves. No one has ever become extraordinary by following the crowd.

 

Think about whether nationalism is truly a good thing. Or did Doug Stanhope nail it when he said, “Nationalism does nothing but teach you to hate people you never met, and to take pride in accomplishments you had no part in”?

Ponder if it’s normal that you can give a massage but you cant’ touch someone’s dick. Contemplate it all.

 

What I’m actually saying

The above may sound like fuzzy, airy-fairy hippie babble to you but the fact is we don’t know jack shit. I don’t. You don’t. Nobody does.

What we do know is that we need more compassionate folks with the courage to challenge the powers-that-be.

 

So what is a true bohemian?

It’s still a label and labels are for soup cans. And clothes, Cd’s, gadgets, Ikea furniture. Labels are there to make it easier to sell you stuff.

But okay, since you insist.

It’s not about what you wear, smoke, or which quotes you post on Facebook.

Bohemians do what they want. They live life their way. They value freedom, creativity and change. Call them hippies, bohemians, free-spirits, indigos, dandies, or freeloading bums, they don’t care.

True modern day bohemians are people who operate from the margins. They are aware that we have inherited a world whose ideologies are depleted and can only be refreshed from outside the box. They work in cooperation with like-minded souls or in solitude, in refreshing our culture.

 

Bruce-Lee-man-living-creating-quote

 

What do you think?

 

References

BBC News.

Bitch, bold intelligent and total in control of herself.

 

Images

Featured image, Pharaolaith. DMT metoloji. Inner beast, Tumblr. Psychedelic drug, IFL Science. Painting bohemian woman, Bohemian Homes. Oursider on train, Mike Brodie http://mikebrodie.net/. Bruce Lee stencil art, Wikimedia.

15 Comments

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  • I really hope this article is satcasm. Do drugs? Drink absinthe? Van Gogh didn’t do other drugs if you actually studied his life you would know he had a disease called porphyria (which I have as well) and the absinth is thought to contribute to his suicide since it triggered his disease and causes severe pain. I hope people don’t take your advice. Maybe study a little more and gain some morals before putting this garbage out there.

    • What is wrong with advocating drug use and absinthe to others? With moderation they won’t do you any harm. But being a close minded, conservative backwards bigot bitch like you, can certainly hurt someone.

      Next time before you insult an aspiring writer who is actually doing something creative and is brave enough to share his/her thoughts with the world think real hard about your life. Before you start preaching about morals and education you really need some introspection. Calling other people’s literary work as ‘garbage’ shows exactly what kind of person you are. Shame on you!

      I’m sorry if any of this hurt you but your ignorant, contemptuous comment really infuriated me. I’ll leave my e-mail here if you want to discuss it further or want to be a little more open-minded and emphatic or philanthropic.

      PS.: I still think your a bitch, Ashley.

  • Being bohemian doesn’t mean doing drugs and drinking, it doesn’t mean you defy all laws and do whatever you want. It means you are true to yourself. It means you wear clothing that says you are free and it means you take care of your body and show love to the world. Being bohemian means you want to make the world a more beautiful place. Bohemians want peace. They love the earth. They love nature. This article is not speaking of bohemians. Yes they are free. Yes they are open-minded. They are not reckless, society hating, drug taking rebellions. You are obviously NOT bohemian.

    • The author never said be reckless or society hating, s/he said question what your taught (aka fed). Have a mind of your own, that is a true Bohemian. My ancestry is Czech (Bohemian). Key is allow you to be you, mindful to not harm other living beings. Nice article!

  • Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic, or literary pursuits.
    A Bohemian is a person who lives and acts by a different set of conventional rules and practices than the average person. The word evokes the romance of a wanderer’s life. For all those non-conformists there is no more attractive way of expressing the inner life than through clothing. Bohemians hold the creation of art above all other pursuits.
    What you like and don’t is part of your individual personality, why hide that? Bohemianism is all about rejecting conventions if they go against what personally inspires you. Challenge what you and others believe, never accept anything on face value.

  • I agree with Laces Kay being bohemian is about being true to you! Not being a law breaking rebel! This article does’t correctly portray or define a bohemian and obviously wasn’t written by one.

  • Love the article ! Being Bohemian is just being yourself, without any regret. Whatever you choose to do in life is self expression not what society says you should do. Nope, you don’t have to do drugs or drink absinthe, lol. I’ve been Bohemian my entire life and I love being me 🙂 I’m a loc and beanie cap wearing, unconventional dressing, self sufficient modern day Bohemian. I get high off yoga, meditation, love and happiness. My spiritual poison is God, can’t get enough of Him. One of my favorite motto’s : Don’t worry, Be Happy 🙂 God Bless and Keep You. Love and Peace Baby 🙂 Love and Peace.

  • If you are a Bohemian spirit, you don’t give a rats ass about being told how to be one, starting with this nonsense article. Most Bohemians I know don’t imbibe in nothing that’s not natural and most are vegetarians. There is a difference a bohemian lifestyle and a rock star lifestyle. Just because a lot of rock star introduce the lazy carefree persona of the character they become on stage don’t mean they are bohemian by nature. The first lesson of being Bohemian is there is no lessons to learn. Just being who you are and not apologizing for it is all you need to do.