Destiny Hagest

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since Mar 04, 2014
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I started working with Paul Wheaton here at Permies.com in January of 2016 as a virtual assistant, spreading the influence of this site, and assisting in matters such as customer/tech support, page design, promotion, advertising, and a smattering of other things.

Personally, I'm a work from home mom, trying to juggle living a more sustainable life in a very rural place while giving my husband and son the best life I can. I love hiking, foraging, hunting, and growing our own food, but I'm also a greatly terrible knitter, a devil-may-care cook, and a clumsy snowboarder.

When I'm not running from one end of my house to the next after my son, I'm handling official Permies business, busily running virtual errands for Paul, or managing my workflow through my personal freelance business as a copywriter.

In the midst of living so feverishly and fully, I try to remember to breathe, but I find the lack of oxygen only makes you appreciate it more when you finally get a deep lungfull.
Little Belt Mountains, MT
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Recent posts by Destiny Hagest

I'm a huge lover of wool for a variety of applications, and I think the largest market for this in the coming years is likely going to be in children's apparel and mattresses.

Over the last few months, I've focused heavily on building my writing business and have been doing a lot of market research as a result. What I've found is that consumers are getting more informed than ever, and there really is a strong demand for more sustainable and effective alternatives to petroleum-based textiles like polyester.

I hate seeing truly sustainable things become "trendy", but I would kind of love to see that happen on a larger scale with wool, and I think it's right around the corner.

With cloth diapering catching on in massive numbers, and people looking for alternatives to petroleum-based mattresses, I've seen a really large surge in wool products in those sectors, and I think with the right marketing, that will continue to take off.

I think the biggest thing here is going to be pitching consumers on the incredibly unique benefits of this textile, like the antimicrobial nature of it and the circulation benefits.
These are all such fantastic suggestions! I live in an area where fresh trees are by and large the norm, and I'd love to organize some sort of community effort to make it easy to put them to good use after the holidays - perhaps something to ponder whilst I smolder over the summer.
1 year ago

John Weiland wrote:Destiny,  

Would the Little Belt Mountains be an old home to the Blackfoot indigenous tribe and are there any from that lineage within your friend or acquaintance set?  It may be interesting to get a hold of the type of footwear that was worn by them along with notions of the source of leather, how it was maintained and how often a new pair needed to be produced.  I would think this type of shoe would be very close to the soft-sole concept that you are desiring, with a YYYUUUUUGGGGE history of using that shoe in your climate and terrain.

Will also just add this link from another thread that impacts this topic:  https://permies.com/t/61611/Running-Joy



That's a really good point John - in my area, the Crow were the predominant tribe - the Blackfeet were farther north in Montana. It's definitely worth investigating! I could see elk hide being used in this region.
1 year ago
So when I became a parent, and my son approached the age of walking, I immediately started trying to put him into those little slide-on Vans type shoes, with the 3/4" white walls. To my surprise (first time mom over here), he was immediately tripping over the heavy soles on the shoes, and seemed to have much more trouble with finding his footing. I watched him walk, and remembered what it was like for me in first pair of high heels. I started doing some research.



In my mommy friend circles, soft-soled shoes were all the rage, and were supposed to help tiny developing feet find their footing. Robeez was a really popular brand, and very well made, so I ordered him a few pairs, and immediately we saw a difference. He was sure-footed, and very soon from making that purchase, started running with great abandon, happy as a clam at his new-found mobility.

This prompted more research.

Some of you may know, we don't sleep on a mattress in this house - just a couple of blankets on the floor. There are a lot of reasons for this, but as it pertains to this discussion, primarily it's because mattresses provide too much support for your back, weakening your posture while you sleep, and generally causing more problems than they solve. It's like being in a big squishy body brace all night, and all of that support all over your body puts things out of wack.

Apparently the same is true for conventional shoes. We have all of this shock absorption and arch support built in, and as a result, many people's posture suffers, we have poor balance, and even problems with back pain and ankle discomfort.

Being barefoot, your foot falls into the alignment that nature designed it for, and there is no compensation on the part of your legs, butt, and lower back to make up for a shoe that alters that. You have better balance because you're in direct contact with the ground, and there's not the barrier of a thick shoe sole desensitizing the experience of walking and running.

Now before you start saying 'But but but I work on concrete floors', let me just say that I get that shit. The human body definitely wasn't designed to spend 10 hours a day zipping back and forth over a concrete floor, and in this case, some shock absorption is, in my non-podiatrist opinion, exactly what you need. I was cooking and bartending when I was pregnant with my son for 11-13 hours a day, and had horrible sciatica as a result. A big part of alleviating pain from these sources is just giving our bodies a little TLC - elevating my feet for 15 minutes every four hours really pissed off my coworkers, but my body was in a much better state by the end of the day.

Anyway, I digress, back to being barefoot.

So in a place like Montana, we have a few factors that prevent us, and most certainly toddlers, from being just plain ol' barefoot all of the time, in addition to the usual things:

  • it's really fucking cold here
  • lots of prickly, pokey plants
  • rocks. rocks EVERYWHERE
  • rattlesnakes in high and dry regions
  • my soil is littered with ancient bits of broken plastic and glass
  • grocery store floors are gross - I don't want to be barefoot there


  • A few of these, you can adapt to. Unless you're spending an extended period of time outside, the cold isn't an issue for bare feet, and you adapt. Your soles toughen up to the rough plants and rocks, and you generally become pretty desensitized to them, the longer you go without shoes.

    However, the sharp waste issue (I rent my home, and the soil has seen a lot of junk over the years), coupled with folks in the higher alpine desert areas that see rattlesnakes, put themselves at some serious risk by exposing the part of their body mostly likely to come into contact with a rattlesnake first - their feet.

    Being barefoot in as many scenarios as I can is generally what I shoot for, and I love the sensation. I had a friend stay with me for a few days while her new house was being prepared, and I remember coming in from a hot day in the summer sun, barefoot on a mound of compost and topsoil in the bed of the pickup, shoveling and heaving it for hours over the side. I came in to cool and have some water, and she chirped, "I brought my pedicure stuff, want a pedicure?!!"

    I gave her a wry smile, and looked down at my filthy feet, nearly black from my work, with dirt and poop literally between the toes she was talking about painting, and said with the least amount of smartassery I could muster, "Yea, I don't really do pedicures."

    Dirty feet, I love them! Those are feet that have been busy, toiling in the soil, stomping and hiking across the mountains, climbing over fallen trees, deftly sprinting after wandering toddlers - these feet of mine were made to touch the earth and get filthy.

    There's actually some evidence that it might also be beneficial to come into direct contact with the earth because of the negative electrical charge the ground puts out. "Grounding" is based on this principle, and apparently it's pretty well established that it helps with inflammation.

    I found this article really interesting on the subject.

    For those of us, like toddlers, that probably shouldn't walk everywhere barefoot, there are soft soled shoes out there, which keep our feet warm and dry, and can protect from some of the sharper things we may encounter. However, I will say that running all over our gravel driveway, my son has worn some serious holes in his little soft soled shoes - I have a bag full of them that need repairs.

    They do make soft soled shoes for adults as it turns out - maybe one day I'll spring for a pair.



    If you're up for the maintenance, it's a really intriguing alternative to conventional footwear, and the benefits seem to go well beyond toddlerhood.

    I'm curious to hear from other Barefooters, or people that have tried shoes like these - any noticeable changes for you when you made the switch in terms of your foot/muscle health and overall comfort? Any tips for those of us looking to make the transition?
    1 year ago

    G Duke wrote:Thank you for your thorough reply, I greatly appreciate it.  So CYLL's 30 day course is highly recommended?  Are there any other courses I should consider at this point?

    Thanks again.



    Eh, you know, it just kind of depends on where you're at. I'm still ramping up, since I've been focused on Permies this past year, and my freelancing work definitely ended up on the back burner, so I'm just focusing on sharpening my current skill set so I can charge more. I just took a white papers course on Udemy, and my next move is probably going to be Jenny Beres' six figure freelancer boot camp. I only do courses by people that are doing what I want to do.

    Once I hit the income ceiling with copywriting, CYLL is going to be my next move - it's more marketing skill focused, but a very comprehensive course. They teach everything from Wordpress to click funnels, all things that work nicely in tandem with copywriting services.

    G Duke wrote:Destiny, could you give me a general idea of the level of ability you had when you started working online and what kind of work it has allowed you to do?

    I am trying to get an idea of whether I have marketable skills at this point, or whether I would have to pursue further education to make money online.  I am known as an excellent writer (resumes, cover letters, newsletters, persuasive essays, editing and rewriting, ect), but I don't actually have any credentials beyond "I'm a darn good writer... everyone says so."

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you.



    Honestly, that's the great thing about it G, you don't really need any credentials as long as you have the ability to write. The hardest part about getting started this way is doing so without a portfolio behind you, but you can always start a blog on your professional services site to get your foot in the door and showcase your talent to potential clients.

    To give myself more of an edge, I boned up on SEO and digital marketing strategies, so that I could work in tandem with these strategies with my clients, and had the familiarity with the topics to execute them and build them into my writing.

    I started out ghostwriting in tech, doing software reviews and conversion articles for a pretty low rate, but I got a lot of experience and education with inbound marketing strategies, and learned about working with online teams. Since then, I've written for a number of blogs, magazines, and done several product descriptions and reviews (only ever honest, authentic ones of course), and am currently looking at branching into white papers.

    I got my start on UpWork, which used to be a low paying labor mill for freelancers, but I've discovered there are in fact clients there that will pay you what you're worth, you just have to dig to find them. I'm a copywriter myself, and though a lot of paid positions with corporate level jobs want you to have a bachelor's degree, I've been able to freelance at a very nice rate without one.

    A buddy of mine was in a similar position - great writer, wanted to freelance, just didn't know how to get started, and didn't have a portfolio. I did this workshop and just introduced him to some of the basic tools and client acquisition methods, and he is ROCKING it - he has more work than he knows what to do with now.

    Just dive right in - you'll be so glad you did. There is just no reason you should have to commute to work with those kinds of skills.
    Hey Sandra, so glad you're liking it around here - these Permies people are pretty cool

    I'm a 26 year old mom to a two year old little boy, living in central Montana. No longer a nomad, I've found my home, but I do love to travel. If you ever want to connect, feel free to reach out, I'm on that dreadful social media thing.
    Hi Annie, not for the time being - I'm pretty absorbed in building my client base during my transition out of my role here at Permies, and just have no time for it. But I will update here in the future if and when I do it again.

    On that note, there are a lot of really great resources out there to get your started - Create Your Laptop Life has a 'Sign a Client in 30' program that's great for beginners. Once I get my workflows established, I plan to take their mastermind course to sharpen my own skill sets.


    About the Website

    Intentional communities, for many people, are the foundational building block for sustainable living. You take a bunch of like-minded people, put them on a big plot of land, divide it up, and pool their resources to establish a collective that protects, nourishes, and sustains itself.

    It's bringing your grocery store to your backyard.

    It's lowering your dependency on fossil fuels.

    It's building relationships with people so that when times get tough, you're not alone, and someone's always looking out for you.

    Ic.org is an organization dedicated to the education, support, and promotion of intentional communities all across North America. Their online resources are user-friendly, and make it easy to find a community that aligns with your values, no matter where you are.

    Their continued work in this field has given people the education they need to make informed decisions about this kind of lifestyle, and produced valuable information sets to make collaborating with communities easier than ever.

    You can use their Classifieds section to find intentional communities in your area, and filter the results by location, keywords, and types of ads to narrow things down.



    In addition to their handy classifieds section, FIC also has a community blog, newsletter, and a calendar of events - you can check out all of that and stay in the loop here.



    If you've been toying with the idea od diving into intentional community living, but want to get a feel for it first, The Fellowship for Intentional Communities is a fantastic resource.

    Bookmark this page, subscribe to their blog, and learn from this invaluable resource.


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    Summary

    In this podcast, you get a sense of who Paul is, and why he is the way he is. Paul and Jocelyn talk about deviating from the norm, and about how Paul prefers to be an honest asshole over a polite sugar-coater. Hey, fair enough - as Paul points out, some of the most polite people can stir the most trouble up. They go on to discuss examples in Reddit, where a lot of Paul-bashing goes on, indicative of people's resentment to someone who is obviously in charge.

    The irony? The Paul-bashing is actually helping to promote Permies. Booyah.

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