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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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
“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?
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
What I’m actually saying
Be childlike, not childish.
7. Question authority
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.
Want more inspiration?
This inspiring book will help you be your best bohemian self: The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes. Discover your personal spirit environment, find out how to make your personal spaces really you, make optimal use of fabric, color, scents, and plants so you can thrive.
What do you think?
Bitch, bold intelligent and total in control of herself.
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.