Six years ago, as I was preparing to leave the United States for my trip around the world (#worldrace, #11n11) my grandpa gave me a piece of solid advice:
Grandpa: “If they offer you KoolAid… don’t drink it.”
Samara: *eye roll* “Graaaampaaa… it’s not like that…”
And, I can happily report, that it wasn’t (entirely) like that.
However, after living with the Lorensen family for almost four years now, I realize that I may have ignored my grandpa’s advice and have accidentally (willingly) drunk the KoolAid of the ‘Caleb Lorensen cult’.
I have recently become obsessed with Myers-Briggs personality types. and I mean obsessed. Like…I listen to podcasts about personality types on my motorcycle and in the shower.
Because I couldn’t keep my obsession quiet, little bits and pieces of Myers-Briggs wisdom would seep out of me and into our family dinners and conversations. Eventually the Lorensen’s took the personality test themselves to subdue my curiosity.
The results are as follows:
Samara: ENFP: highly imaginative and free spirited individual that needs help remembering to do normal human things, like showering and putting on clean clothes.
Tracy: ESFJ: the ultimate hostess who is all about caring for and providing for the needs of those around her and can not understand how the ENFP has forgot, once again, where her car keys (cellphone, glasses, motorbike) are.
Caleb: ENFJ: the charming and persuasive cult leader.
Tracy wrote a blog about her life as the wife of a cult leader which includes topics such as: drinking the KoolAid (ie: green juice and smoothies); group think and community living.
So if Tracy is married to a cult leader… I suppose that means I am a full fledged cult member… or a cult leader follower. This news, my being a member in a cult, was disturbing to me at first.. I mean.. valuing my independence and creativity so highly, but, upon reflection… it may not be all be so bad.
Tracy’s blog covers the most noticeable ways the ‘Caleb Lorensen cult’ has influenced my life. From dietary habits and work-out regimes to educational pursuits and passions… I am a changed woman. Her blog is hilarious and you should read it. Here’s a link: link.
In this blog I will write about a few more subtleties I have noticed in my life since joining the cult.
-Taking on of life mantras:
The Lorensen’s live by a unique set of life values. There are many and I will not cover them all here…but, the first that comes to mind is ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down’. I hate this. But over the years, it has been adopted into my lifestyle. In fact, the Lorensens exude general lack of shyness about bodily functions—be they farts, burps, poops or periods… bodily functions are not to be ashamed of. Honestly, conforming to this belief system, was not a very difficult one for me and is actually very freeing. I suggest you pick it up as well.
Another of the Lorensen mantras is that ‘children are assets and not liabilities’. The communal way in which we live our lives over here in Thailand, means I have been given the rare opportunity to actually witness the ins-and-outs of parenting, without actually being a parent, and have therefore, picked up some of their parenting techniques as my own. The Lorensen’s are not held back by their children, nor do they hold their children back. Their children are encouraged to explore, be curious, make messes and think for themselves. This can lead to interesting situations…yes, but it also creates highly creative, confident individuals. Community living and valuing children… again, ideas that perhaps you pick up with as well.
-Changes in Diet and Exercise:
Again, Tracy already wrote about this in her blog (link)… so I will be brief. But I want to say, I have never exercised so consistently in my life than I have since living with the Lorensens. I say this after having NOT exercised consistently since starting my MA program a year ago and the statement is STILL true. As for my diet.. I have been following a no sugar, no carb diet with Tracy for about 9 months now.
The impossible has been made possible via the Caleb Lorensen cult.
I used to pride myself with being a sweet, sunshiny girl. And… I still am. The difference, however, is since being part of the Caleb Lorensen cult, I have begun to actually take myself more seriously. I think living under the influence of someone like Caleb… and having him take me seriously, has affected the way I view myself. I have grown leaps in bounds in my self-confidence. I have learned how to set effective boundaries and how to say no. I have also learned how to use my super-power of ‘sweetness’ and ‘like-ability’ to speak hard truths and say hard things to people. I have become a very bold speaker, standing up not only for the people in my life, but also standing up for myself.
This also comes out in my willingness to state my mind and share unpopular opinions and ideas. I have found myself playing devil’s advocate in situations where I would have previously just sat quietly. I have picked up the attitude of the Caleb Lorensen cult and it suits me well.
I could go on an on… from living by sayings like “stop that stinkin’ thinkin,’” “no pressure just opportunity” and “drink good coffee” to pursuing an actual career as an educator, I am a full fledged member or the Caleb Lorensen cult.
I drink the juice and I repeat the mantras … and I wouldn’t want it any other way.