Thursday, May 02, 2019

Lifestyle, Diet, Exercise -- Putting It All Together

The three foundations upon which every individual has immeasurable control over their outcomes, is lifestyle, diet and exercise.  That is the world they live in -- more than what society and any other imposes on them.

The key to lifestyle is mindfulness, for which the alternative is mindlessness -- which in everything one undertakes, determines the quality of their experiences.  Mindfulness developed to a high degree, is what people also call meditation -- or cultivating that mindfulness.  It is achieved simply in being aware of what one is doing -- and not hoping to achieve something other -- which is the fragmentation of thought from action, resulting in mindlessness, in everything they do -- no matter how much of it they do.

So the best way to begin, is to do nothing -- and be aware of that doing -- and not thinking, "I should be doing something -- or I should be doing something else," which takes attention away from what they are actually doing.  Many unfortunately live their entire lives that way -- preferring the illusion for the real.  Eventually they cannot tell any difference -- and so nothing matters, and every action is futile.

So one asks, "How can one achieve this mindfulness?"  The simplest and quickest way is to fast -- which observant people have been saying for ages.  That is to do nothing, and be intently focused on that -- and that is the easiest way to "know oneself" -- as simply as possible.  Anything else becomes a bit more complicated -- and so in learning anything, we begin with the easy, and not the most complicated.  There will be plenty of time for the complex -- but that understanding begins with the simple, and easy. 

However, many on hearing this, immediately pose a complication -- and so can never get started -- even for a moment.  And that is all it takes -- to begin any journey, and accomplish anything monumental.  They never begin -- anything.  They will talk long and hard at how difficult (or impossible) it would be to embark -- piling difficulty upon difficulty that makes even the thought of such an action prohibitive.  It is simply the unthinkable -- anything but that.  But that is also how they are with anything else -- and all they need to, is convince everybody else of that futility of judgment and action.  And so they are mired in hopelessness -- never venturing to find out what would happen if they did otherwise.

One does not have to administer a half-day intelligence test to test another for this resolve.  It can be determined in their willingness to find out their own limits -- in the simplest terms possible, which in laboratory mice as well as humans, can be readily observed by their action towards food.  Can they resist it -- even for a moment?  And then it was noted that those that could defer those immediate gratifications, were capable of achieving much higher rewards in the hierarchy of needs.

And those are the things that really matter -- and not just showing up for every meal -- or treat.  They have much bigger fish to fry -- and more important things to do.  So that is a very powerful exercise -- is learning to distinguish the more important from the less so.  And that is what we are seeking to accomplish in every thing we do (exercise) -- or we can just wear ourselves out, rather than prepare us for successively greater achievements.  In that manner, we become much greater than we could have imagined from the beginning -- without practice.  But each practice, is a benchmark for any other subsequent attempts.

However, one will never get anywhere, never taking the first step -- and so it is essentially important to begin -- even without knowing where one hopes to end.  The awareness of where one is, will guide them on the proper path.  So the beginning or the end is not important -- as knowing where one is, and what one is actually doing.  As always, the easiest place to start -- is at point zero -- and know where one is, because if one doesn't know that, they could already be at where they think they want to be -- yet thinking they have to be somewhere else.

And so they search the world trying to find a perfect place -- yet have never bothered to discover where they are.  So what makes them think there will be any difference being somewhere else? 

For the last fifty years, we have been advised and warned not to listen to our own bodies (senses), but instead to heed the "experts," who it now turns out, have no idea what they are talking about -- but that doesn't stop them from mindlessly repeating the fallacies of the past as though they were eternal truths.  It's not like finding out the truth for oneself, will cost them their lives -- as they are often warned -- with the threat of an imminent heart attack, stroke or Alzheimer's -- for disobeying the dietary and exercise guidelines, although they haven't worked.

In fact, they are the very diseases and problems of these times -- the obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndromes -- despite following all the rules.  It could be that it is not in spite of following that advice -- but actually because of it -- that is responsible for the health crises of our time.  But now the tide may be turning -- because people are being advised to listen to their own bodies and senses -- first, and not in deference to the expert opinions that may have no idea what they are even talking about.

That's how much the world has changed -- and is much better for it.  "Experts" now have to prove they know something -- by actualizing it.  Otherwise, they're just "jerks" pretending to know what they have no idea what they are talking about -- but repeating it because they think that makes them seem knowledgeable -- even if they have not begun to ask the right questions.


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