I've been gone for awhile, on a 30-day tech break. And let me tell you, I've never felt better or gotten more stuff done. Which isn't to say that I haven't missed you, because I have. I've also written about 142 blog posts in my mind. I hope you subscribed to my telepathic blog, because it was fantastic last month.
Tibetan Buddhists have a tradition of creating sand mandalas. These are beautiful and time-consuming works of sand-art that are ritualistically deconstructed as soon as they are complete.
Many people cringe at the breakdown of something so lovely that was so obviously time consuming, but this process is the physical practice of letting something go in order for it to become something else. It is impermanence personified. Or sandified, I guess.
You missed my made up words like sandified while I was gone, didn't you?
What I learned most about my time away from blogging and writing and just plain communicating with the masses was, my every thought does not need to be recorded lest I forget it. Everything is fleeting, which isn't to say that a good blogging lesson won't turn up in my mind again, but that it is OK if it's gone. Everything goes away eventually.
And because I'm a terrible Buddhist (not to mention not a Buddhist at all), while I was letting blogs be impermanent, I was furiously working on a book that I hope is forever published so that it never (ever ever) goes away. Clearly, I'm a poser. A juxtaposer.
So, how about a chunk of thoughts from this poser's upcoming book on ancestral health?
From my book:
When utilizing a paleo model of health, consider how our modern construct of abundance with respect to foodstuffs affects the way we think about and initiate movement programs. The ancestral model of movement says movement initiates reflexively via a desire to find food. In order to satiate biological hunger, movement was initiated in an organic way. When food became readily available without movement, our relationship between food and movement did a 180. Now we move as a response to too much food. This perspective, that movement is necessary to mitigate the effects of food, is a repeated mantra by every health publication and practitioner. The notion that movement’s purpose is to avoid negative repercussions of food is fundamental to our modern beliefs about health. This reversal of natural thought process and the chemistry cascaded by negative thinking is very different to the mental chemistry of the hunter-gatherer.
Our currently utilized model sets both food and movement as a negative. Energy from food is something we must dissipate via the atonement of exercise. It is no wonder so many people feel unable to begin moving (and eating) in a way that honors both food and our innate ability to move. We’ve got it all backwards in our mind.
Thoughts are powerful enough to shape outcomes, as repeatedly demonstrated via the placebo effect. While it is integral to mimic hunter-gathering behaviors when following the model of ancestral health, we must also consider the chemical mechanism by which they and we are motivated. Motivation (and thoughts) create most of the body’s chemistry, so they way you think about eating and moving could, in fact, be undoing some of the positive benefits you were intending to reap by choosing to eat and move well.
How many times have you told yourself something like, “I ate so much yesterday I have to exercise today?” When consuming food, how often have you thought, “I’m going to eat this right now and pump up my workout to burn it off!”? Thoughts like these can interfere with your reflexive, natural motivation to move and rather than adding to your health, can actually subtract. When utilizing the hunter-gatherer model of living consider the unconsidered. Think about mimicking even the smallest (perceived as inconsequential, perhaps?) of behaviors like thoughts, as it will bring you more in line with the holistic perspective that reaps the abundant-health reward.
(I'm speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta this August. Will I see you there?)