Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
28 Aug

20 Ways to Cultivate IE in Your Life

auroraborealisRecently, I caught up with an old friend of mine. He’d just returned home from a trip to the Northern Midwest, where they rented a cabin on one of the Great Lakes with family. He showed me pictures of his kids. Being used to a landlocked existence, his 6-year-old daughter had been wholly enthralled by the vastness of the lake, which she referred to as the ocean throughout the entire trip. One afternoon as their younger child napped, he took his older daughter to a nearby park reserve for a bit of exploration. She was mesmerized by a river gorge and more so by the brave, unruly souls who were hurling themselves off a rock ledge into the borderline hypothermic water hole below. What ultimately drew her in that afternoon, he explained, was a sandy beach cove lined with enough tall jagged boulders to make a dramatic show of the temperamental lake’s waves. She ran along that beach all afternoon, he said, scrambling up rocks, dancing along the shore, teasing the waves to catch her bare feet, and squealing at the cold and sheer exhilaration. In one picture, we stood looking out across the lake with outstretched arms, “commanding the sea,” as her dad described laughingly. When you’re six, after all, that’s entirely within the realm of possibility…. My friend’s eyes reflected a deep, parental sense of awe as he showed me the pictures and told me about that afternoon, his favorite time of the entire trip. He clearly marveled at his daughter’s innocent, wild wonder in the same way she marveled at the “ocean” that day.

Last week I introduced the Primal principle of IE – intermittent euphoria – to re-prioritize the peaks of life – the thrill, wonder, and amazement possible in this existence of ours. Thriving, after all, isn’t about accomplishing an inventory of “healthy” behaviors each day. It’s about living out the full measure of your humanity – in all its depth, vigor, and vitality. Euphoria, of course, isn’t something you can summon at will. It doesn’t lend itself to a handy checklist. In fact, it most often catches us unaware. Nonetheless, we can cultivate a mindset and lifestyle conducive to euphoria – one that seeks adventure, values awe, and relishes discovery.

Euphoria comes when we venture ourselves in some way. We give it space when we let go of our self chatter, inner list making, and task orientation. We open ourselves to it when we release the tendency, as author Paul Pearsall puts it, to be “too self conscious to be fully conscious.” In prioritizing IE, we can pursue experiences with the power to elicit deep feeling (e.g. fear, awe, connection) and simply cultivate a mindset open to wonder. Here you’ll find some modestly proposed ideas to galvanize a good Primal life with some intermittent opportunity. I hope you’ll add your own ideas to the conversation.

  1. Witness the wonder others experience. Seeing your child filled with awe is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding moments of parenting. You can encounter it, however, in your aging parents, close friends, your partner, nieces/nephews, and complete strangers. Seeing that unmistakable look in others’ eyes inevitably unlocks something in ourselves. We can be deeply moved witnessing another person’s awe.
  2. Make your own list of “natural wonders” you want to see. Make #1 your next vacation destination.
  3. Find – and regularly enjoy – music that sends chills running through you. If you can, see it performed live.
  4. Spend an entire day noticing things you know you otherwise overlook in a typical hurried day. Observe puddle reflections. Examine the trees in your neighborhood. Watch your children’s myriad expressions throughout an afternoon hike.
  5. Read books that make you feel you’re living inside the story.
  6. Watch (or attend!) events that evoke a sense of connectedness and wonder. It’s little surprise I’m a fan of the Olympics. To this day, I relish the moment in the opening ceremonies of the Barcelona Summer Games when the archer lit the cauldron with that flaming arrow. How many hundreds of millions – or perhaps billions – of people around the world hung on the arc of that arrow’s trajectory?
  7. Go for a long night walk in the woods, through the fields, along a beach. No flashlights.
  8. Invest in experiences.
  9. Volunteer on the front line of need. You may feel intimidated or maybe awkward. You won’t know the perfect thing to say handing out dinner to a young family in a soup kitchen. You will come away each time, however, having done something meaningful and having been changed in the process.
  10. Take up an “extreme” sport (it’s all relative here, folks) you’ve been pondering (e.g. deep sea diving/snorkeling, mountain climbing/tree climbing, trail running/trail hiking). Take a lesson. Sign up for an outing. If you’re already an extreme enthusiast, find a new destination or variation of your sport to challenge yourself.
  11. Indulge in nostalgia. Reread old letters or watch family videos. Getting wistful over memories can enhance our feeling of connectedness.
  12. Recall past experiences of euphoria. What have been the most thrilling, most meaningful hours of your life? What would’ve inspired you as a kid? Bring that fascination to whatever happens this day.
  13. Spend a day doing a novel kind of exploring. Go caving, map a trail, or set out on a hike with an artistic (e.g. photographic journal) or scientific (e.g. bird cataloging) goal in mind.
  14. Take an adventure vacation – as a personal retreat or a family project. Bike across the state, climb a triad of mountains, run a lighthouse for a week. It will be much more memorable than a hotel pool or standing in line at Orlando.
  15. Do something that scares you. (Anyone?) Revel in the sharp awareness that overtakes you. It’s a poignant dimension of being fully alive.
  16. Take on a creative project unlike anything you’ve committed to before. What do you want your opus to be? Begin it today.
  17. Spend a day in a busy public place (e.g. train station, popular coffee shop) and people watch. See how much you can learn or ascertain about the characters you encounter. Imagine their stories.
  18. Borrow a telescope or visit an area planetarium for their late night star gazing program.
  19. Find a beautiful vista-side or secluded outdoor “sit spot” and see what reveals itself in an afternoon.
  20. Put on a 6-year-old’s mindset for the day. Go out into the world – preferably the natural world. “Command” the waves, conquer the squirrels, orchestrate the clouds, hang from the tree branches, journey an animated path full of risk and marvel.

Thanks for reading today, everyone. Share what moves you to experience IE in life these days. Have a great week!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. MovNat, in Nature and lose yourself in the movement. Never fails for me.

    brandon wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • yes!! me, too. It really is a mindful practice and being mindful leads to euphoria.

      Tracy wrote on August 28th, 2012
  2. Once I climbed a tree with a three other people. Tree climbing is usually something I do alone but I was lucky to be accompanied by people with some shared interests. It was one of my best experiences… a psychedelic one – I don’t want to talk about drugs too often here, it being a health site, but it’s relevant to the experience.
    Two of us, the two I think were most enthusiastic about climbing the tree up to a platform someone had built, discussed as we were climbing how we felt like the tree was helping us climb and that we felt connected to its spirit and through it, the living earth below. We ended up hugging the tree on the platform. Climbing down I did some *slightly* risky maneuvers that probably required a lot of energy but it felt practically effortless and very smooth like the tree was controlling me and all I had to do was go with its flow. And I was bare foot for all this, which added to the experience. It definitely made me feel more grounded.

    Animanarchy wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • I like this story. A zen moment?

      Sharon wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • I hear you on the psychedelic aspect. What a wonderful experience. Wow.

      Christina wrote on August 28th, 2012
      • + 1 to psychedelics!

        Joe wrote on August 28th, 2012
        • I remember being on something and watching a Mash repeat back in the early nineties. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen in my life- oscillated between giggles and outright hysterics. Then my boyfriend and I went through to bedroom (my parents were away) and my ceiling turned into water and I had an informal chat to my long dead grandfather through the reflection.
          That was the first time. I didn’t take much thereafter, I only wanted an experience to understand what the deal was, but my friends took a fair bit recreationally and always went wondering in the woods among the big old trees. It was wild to see their reactions and hear their words.

          Ma Flintstone wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Can I just suggest that it might be a bad idea to climb trees on psychedelics, particularly if you’re doing any “risky maneuvers”. I have a friend who sustained a substantial head injury that way. A lifetime of anti-seizure meds isn’t particularly primal.

      Not that I’m against taking risks or climbing trees or psychedelics… all of which are worthwhile, but can backfire. Combining them however can be a recipe for disaster.

      jj wrote on August 30th, 2012
      • I agree but that time I had good coordination (better than normal I think) and was reasonably sure I’d be safe. There are some substances that I feel confident being physically active under the influence of and others I think are best for chilling. That time there were three in my system – two of them I already had extensive experience climbing trees with and the other was basically an upper.
        I’ve also climbed trees drunk.. and learned not to repeat that. My back still hurts a bit from over two weeks ago when one moment I was walking along a branch, the next I was rolling around on the ground 8 feet or so below, with a thin branch I’d been holding on to for balance broken beside me.
        And there was the time around a couple months ago, after downing a bottle of red wine, I was pushing my shopping cart of belongings to my friends’ apartment at night and felt energetic and so decided to run. It was going well until the front wheels banged a curb that I hadn’t noticed. The cart flipped over, I cut my knee on it and landed on my head, getting a bit of a bump and doing sort of a rough somersault. I find what I did immediately after interesting, as it was on impulse: I sat there and rubbed my knee with one hand and the painful spot on my head with the other in circles – fairly synchronized I think – and it caused the pain to decrease drastically. While doing that I had a thought of trying to slightly speed-heal and reduce inflammation. Someone interrupted and asked from their balcony what I was doing and I told them I was trying to do some “friction voodoo shit”, which after being asked “What?” (for clarification apparently) I then explained as “trying to stimulate my nerves to get rid of my headache” then went somewhat sheepishly around the building.
        A little alcohol seems alright for monkeying around. I’ve climbed and been active slightly buzzed on it and just had to be careful. A lot makes events very unpredictable, especially because it can blind the frontal lobe and blunt decision-making ability, resulting in stupidity.
        I read a book called Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine, and the way alcohol’s action in the body was basically described in it is that it acts sort of like a free radical (it’s very reactive, attaching to just about whatever molecules it runs into), causing extreme disorganization and “randomness”, including in its effect on brain receptors and neuronal membranes and thus the flow of neurotransmitters.
        For me the worst dangers being active on drugs haven’t really been from a lack of coordination, as there’s many times I’ve been clumsy but careful, but from making bad decisions out of recklessness, over-confidence, excitability, and sometimes from a sort of tunnel-vision focus that, though concentrated, makes me miss important peripheral details. And of course the odd chemical glitch / brain fart, or even hesitation.

        Animanarchy wrote on August 30th, 2012
    • http://www.sott.net/article/281051-Tree-hugging-is-good-for-you
      I knew it. I even sharpied something on part of a bridge after climbing a tree to get to a ledge beneath it mentioning something like this. It was close to “This spot is so chillin’, but be sure to touch the tree once in a while to use it as a conduit to the earth to resonate closer to its natural frequency, which is also your brain’s: 7.83Hz.”

      Animanarchy wrote on June 29th, 2014
  3. This is a great list and I’m sure many people have their own ways of finding IE but may not even realize it. I would advise AGAINST walking without a flashlight in the woods, unless it’s a really full mooon. There are far too many true predators in the woods west of Denver including bear, mountain lion, and moose. Unless you’re on a very established, well worn path, the other worry is falling over a tree log – something which I have done personally while trying this very thing years ago. Despite a full moon, the contrast is all off between the dark ground & dark objects. Now walking along a beach without a light pretty much sums up my idea of heaven. Thank you, Mark, as always for such insightful tips!

    Mary Taylor wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • I was thinking the same thing. My hubby was walking down our driveway from the road and nearly stepped on a copperhead. I’m less enthusiastic about night walks since then. No, I’m not a snake-phobe either.
      Otherwise, great list. Many of the things I have been doing all my life when I thought I was wasting time. :-)

      Susan wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Beware of the walking down the beach barefoot at night with no light, especially if it is an ocean beach with a reasonable population of small children. People seem to enjoy digging enormous holes in the sand on shell quests, and depending on where you are, there are risks of stepping on jellyfish. I used to think barefoot nighttime walks on the beach sounded like heaven, too, until I realized how much dangerous stuff (broken shells, broken glass, fish hooks, fish bones, jellyfish, deep holes, etc.) there was.

      Jenna wrote on August 28th, 2012
      • … and the needles and pieces and broken glass! Not bowl spitting. In Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, my grandparents used to take my siblings and I for walks and I remember seeing needles and broken glass along the shore.
        I also remember seeing salmon that had shored themselves after migration. That seemed a bit pointless.

        Animanarchy wrote on March 21st, 2013
    • Haha I was thinking about the same thing here in Arizona. I went hiking the other day and have to hike down at night. I was so scared, the innate fear arise. The whole time I feel like I might die, falling from the mountain any minutes ( well this happen when I hike down steep rocky mountains during the day too).

      But I was reading a book by this guy, Stuart Wilde, saying that walking in the wood in the dark is one of the thing that really evokes his senses, after a while your peripheral vision is activated, and it’s very meditative once you get over the fear and get used to it. I yet have to try it though. I am very scared of wilderness in the dark.

      I hike trails these days to reconnect all the time.
      I would go to the beach if I can since I grew up on a coast of Thailand; and my dad took me to a beach almost every weekend. Nostalgia!

      As for number 5, do something that scares you all the time– I do that in yoga by getting into inversions. rock climbing would do too :)

      Gift Clumsywarrior wrote on August 29th, 2012
      • Inversions during yoga as a means of scaring you in a positive way. Interesting! I’ll have to Youtube that one.

        Rick P wrote on August 30th, 2012
    • Seriously? We can’t even get to 10 posts before someone goes fretting about the dangers of doing stuff that humans have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years? Predatory animals have been around as long as we have — it’s something we deal with.
      I’ve hiked in the foothills of Colorado (and plenty of other places out west) at all hours, and the risks of running into something that wants to eat you are extremely low. Besides, a little bit of spookiness makes things more exciting.

      Grok On Rock wrote on August 29th, 2012
      • When feeling threatened by wild animals an intimidation response is often a good way to go. Make yourself look bigger and make a lot of noise.
        You can fill a can with pennies, rocks etc. and shake it like a rattle. Maybe blow a whistle or carry an alarm. When I was younger going for walks in the woods I’d often bring a stick or metal pole with me partially out of fear, partially because it made me feel kind of badass.
        One night a few years ago I was walking home along a paved country road and saw three coyotes just off the side a bit past the ditch. One stayed where it was and two went off slightly to either side of it. I wasn’t sure if I spooked them or they were coordinating an attack as they then just stared at me so I put my arms out and walked towards the center one making growling noises and they all ran.
        Another night walking home at the top of a big hill I stopped, kneeling down on the road to get a water bottle out of my backpack, when a van came over the crest of the hill and illuminated five coyotes crossing the road around 20 feet in front of me. The van stopped and the coyotes maintained their relaxed trot, seeming completely unconcerned and uninterested in the van and me. That was quite a shock.

        Animanarchy wrote on August 30th, 2012
  4. I have never felt more alive then when I hit the ground after sky diving my first (and so far only) time. I literally threw my head back and screamed out of pure adrenaline, excitement, and joy. I felt like I had discovered the true meaning to life in that 30 sec free fall. I recommend the experience to anyone healthy enough to partake.

    Merky wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Where did you sky dive? I’ll be doing this fairly soon. If not this year then next year! I plan on getting dozens of primal folks together to do this with. Bungee jumping and many more scary activities too.

      Primal Toad wrote on August 28th, 2012
      • If it helps, I have a post about skydiving, entitled, Skydiving: 4 Things You Won’t Learn From A Movie” it gives some insight into the whole experience. I didn’t find it euphoric but it was life and mind altering.

        Every success!

        J. Delancy wrote on August 28th, 2012
        • Great post!! This makes me want to officially skydive. Ill be adding it to my bucket list!

          Primal Toad wrote on August 29th, 2012
    • Sky diving will happen for me this weekend, weather depending.
      For me, participating in BIG physically demanding events (half marathon, Tough Mudder) make me feel all giddy upon completion.
      I have Fibromyalgia, and living Primally has all but erradicated the worst symptoms, so these big physical challenges are REALLY big for me. I have come from a very dark, painful, emotionally draining place into this world of light, happiness and good health, so every time I complete an athletic challenge, I am absolutely HIGH on life! (Even though I am usually so physically exhausted that I should be collapsing into a bed. haha)
      I even rode my motorcycle 2 hours each way to participate in the “Tough Mudder” event held north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. That, my friends, is a picture of health and happiness I never thought I’d be the focus of!

      Doug D wrote on August 28th, 2012
      • Well done for not letting your illness beat you. Too many ‘healthy’ people are forever finding excuses not to do something. You’ve insure me for the day so thank you and all the best.

        Christian wrote on August 29th, 2012
  5. Do something that scares me?

    Since I adopted primal eating I’ve sort of developed this fear of eating bagels… does that count?

    flenser wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Maybe if you spread a bunch of liver pate on it!

      Primal Toad wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Haha, me too! I had a nightmare last night that I ate a mountain of bread and ice cream…I woke up relieved!!

      Shay wrote on August 28th, 2012
  6. I totally agree with walking in forests in the dark, no flashlight, though I would recommend waiting for a full moon. When I was a boy we did a 20 mile hike at night at scout camp every year. I have some great memories of those hikes. Anyway, it’s all about the mountains for me. Mountains and mountain rivers. Can’t get enough of it.

    Pilgrim wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • I did something similar one night. My parents revoked my bail, told me, and I freaked out, so while my mom was on the phone describing what I was wearing to the local detachment I was filling a backpack with more clothes and some food and water. I had enough time to hug one of my cats outside the front door and rush across a field across the road from my house before two cruisers pulled in the driveway, went to the door, then hurried back to their cars, one of which had a searchlight on top that they were swiveling around. My backpack was black so I dropped behind it and lay in the dirt. For most of the rest of the night I was creeping through fields and stuff, while the cops just sat in their cars on the roads near my house with their headlights on – as if I would take the roads! – but it was scary wondering whether or not I was visible in the fields. My heart was practically fluttering and I had that jello feeling in my limbs. I looked in a mirror the next day and must have lost a couple pounds that night.

      Animanarchy wrote on August 30th, 2012
  7. Well this is something I’ll be referencing multiple times over the next decade!!

    It seems as if I’ll engage in all of these 20 recommendations while walking across all 50 states of America.

    I begin mid to late September…

    Primal Toad wrote on August 28th, 2012
  8. I really need to get back to experiencing nature. I’ve become to distant form it, and accepted it. I’d love to go back to the Rockies and just “be” again.

    Chris wrote on August 28th, 2012
  9. I like to sit by the window when in a commercial airline because often there are perspectives on scenes I have never before seen. Once, while flying through the most incredible canyon of clouds I got really excited. As usual, the rest of the passengers refused to be the least bit interested. I can’t believe any of them had ever seen such and incredible sight before.

    I don’t know about walking through a forest at night without a light but I do recommend hugging a variety of trees. There is something wonderful about it, although I don’t know what it is. Just don’t hug one harboring a trailing poison-ivy vine.

    Sharon wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • My neck is always sore after a plane flight from looking out the window. :)

      Meesha wrote on August 28th, 2012
  10. Oof. Watching young kids climb rocks like monkeys at the ocean edge is nightmarish for this mom but I know it was great for them in so many ways and make them *so* happy. I don’t know who was more euphoric when it was over – them or me. ;-)

    Alison Golden wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • I know what you’re saying. I found watching strangers’ kids didn’t bring out the same anxiety. Maternal instinct is quite a force!

      gibson girl wrote on August 28th, 2012
  11. Surf. Its cheap, fun to learn, different every time… the list goes on. Mark knows whats up with the SUP.

    Peter wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • +1

      mars wrote on August 28th, 2012
      • I have checked out SUP boards. Not cheap, really. :)

        PaleoPoser wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • When we lived in Venice CA, I had a summer working for myself where I followed high tide all summer, bodysurfing (never got good with the board). Peak experience: sunset, decent waves backlit by the setting sun…then 3 dolphins (porpoise? never got clear on that) shooting through our wave just before we got it…just don’t get that in Chicago!

      Tom B-D wrote on August 28th, 2012
  12. An idea for an IE (and very primieval) experience: find a comfortable sit-spot outside at night, in a lawn chair under a tree for instance, be still, and just wait for the wildlife to show up. Around here we have opossum, raccoon, bobcat, grey fox, coyote, domestic cats, rabbits & other rodents, owls, skunks. Amazing what is going through the yard at night! And how you will be ignored if you don’t move around too much.

    BillP wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Sounds like a good place to set up a barbeque.

      Ma Flintstone wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • I domesticated some “wild” kittens. Three my family took from a barn-like building when I was young, 7 or 8, and they were really young so they got imprinted on us. Another was an older kitten, which I entrapped mischievously. I was renting a room and a mother and its male kitten were living under the back deck. My landlord’s daughter did most of the work befriending him first and said he let her pet him once and my landlord bought cat food so we’d all been feeding them. As they got more used to us they’d come closer to us on the deck and once I dangled a string around for the kitten to chase. The mother gave me a look that I felt I could read, and it said something like this: “You’re taking away my baby and I both resent and appreciate you for it.” Maybe I imagined it. But more and more the mother would not be there while the kitten remained and he’d walk along the railing of the deck when I was sitting out there alone, hitting the bong. One time the wind was going the perfect speed and direction – a breeze basically, and the kitten was directly downwind of me on the railing while I sat in a chair. Carpe diem, I exhaled in his direction and he was briefly immersed in a cloud of smoke. He appeared pleased so I did it again. Then he jumped from the railing and came over to me and started climbing on me so after a bit of that I brought him in the house to explore, and after that he was a pet.

      Animanarchy wrote on August 30th, 2012
  13. Great post!

    We’re going camping this weekend and bringing the telescope to see the blue moon this friday! Our 4-year old is very excited as are we…

    mars wrote on August 28th, 2012
  14. I love your suggestions. 5 is one of my favourite things to do.

    I suggest geocaching – discover great new places near where you live and get away from things for a while. Great fun for kids too.

    Sarah wrote on August 28th, 2012
  15. My son is 3 1/2. I love to just stare at his beautiful face. He catches me quite often and laughs. He’ll say, “Mommy, what’s the matter?” I tell him “nothing is the matter.” He says, “you’re funny mommy.” In those moments, I feel like life cannot possibly get any better.

    Lea wrote on August 28th, 2012
  16. @Animanarchy – Here is an excerpt from an eastern mystical book that I was reading earlier today.. Rhymes well with your experience

    “Have you ever said, “Hello, to a tree? You yourself would think that you are going out of your mind. Have you ever touched a tree with love, the same way you would touch your beloved? Have you ever hugged a tree? You are missing a whole world of sensitivity that surrounds you, that is available.

    Slowly, slowly, you will start feeling that when you say hello to a tree…of course, it cannot respond in language, but it will respond in some way. It may start swaying even though there may be no wind. When you touch it lovingly, just a little acquaintance is needed, and you can feel that on the other side there is not something insensitive, but something which is far more sensitive than people are. The tree will be sending its energy, its warmth to your hand.

    If you hug a tree, the world is going to think you are mad. But all the trees will know that there is still hope for man; there are still sensitive people. And hugging a tree, you will find more sensitiveness, more lovingness, than you can find even hugging your friend or your beloved, because your friend, or your beloved are full of tensions, anxieties, agonies. Trees are absolutely innocent; their consciousness is as pure as the purest sky, unclouded. We are not living in a dead world.

    Although it has not been discovered yet by science, it is predictable that even in rocks you will find a consciousness deep asleep. Nothing is dead anywhere; it is whole, alive, sensitive. We are unnecessarily confining ourselves to human beings. We should spread our hands in all directions – to the animals, the trees, the birds, the rocks, the oceans…. By this expansion of your experiences, your own consciousness will be evolving more and more. This universe is not a graveyard, it is full of rejoicings; you are just deaf. It is full of beauties, but you are blind. All the birds are living in a different dimension of consciousness; you can have a communication with them…”

    Resurgent wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • When I talk to trees they always bark at me.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • That’s beautiful. What’s the book title? I think I’d like to read that.

      Doug D wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • oh my goodness…during my 3x week walk/sprint, there are three incredible trees I make a point to greet and at least lay my hands on [no hugging – residential area ;)]- two are tremendous old oaks, and the other (my favorite) is a gnarly, twisted ancient butternut tree. And, yes, there is a certain energy flow; I know I walk with a bit more pep after saying hello. This posting truly spoke to me – thank you.

      judipurple wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Wow this reminds me the episode of the Dinosaurs, when Sinclair switches with a tree

      WildGrok wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Resurgent; J.P Farrell has the physics to describe the ‘alive’ rocks- or at least the means for everything to contain consciousness, albeit past experience locked in to it. It’s trippy but followable. He describes the Giza pyramids vibrations… oh man, where to start.
      He has the physics at any rate.

      Ma Flintstone wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Awesome.
      And that last sentence, due to the mention of birds, just reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post for a while but kept forgetting.
      In a town I was recently living in I spent a lot of time hanging around in a plaza parking lot with a bunch of “friends” (I didn’t know them well but was accepted into the group because of a mutual friend). One of these people is a good guy but spazzed out a lot at various people or various things, often shouting on the edge of an angry hysteria, pretty much steaming mad.
      The one day I was sitting on the plaza curb watching one of his rants and it seemed so ridiculous to me I was having a difficult time holding back laughter – then a bunch of birds sitting around starting chirping and I was entirely sure – still mostly sure – that they were laughing at him, and that caused me to think: “Even the birds are laughing at him!” which brought me over the emotional threshold and made me double over, laughing in tears.

      Animanarchy wrote on August 30th, 2012
  17. I think intermittent euphoria is the reason Maurice Sendak has maintained such lasting popularity. Every time I read ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ to my son, I am careful to watch his eyes as I turn the page. I can only imagine what a scary, wonderful experience it is for him to see the pictures.

    Adrian wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • +1

      my favorite book when i was a kid, and now my kid’s favorite book! I have an original 1963 edition!

      mars wrote on August 28th, 2012
  18. Sorry Mark. I can’t achieve IE with my pants on :)

    Groktimus Primal wrote on August 28th, 2012
  19. Spot on. Perfect reminder in the middle of a hectic time that we still need to be aware of those little IE moments around us that all too often go unnoticed.

    I’m in on the surfing!

    Rob wrote on August 28th, 2012
  20. Great topic, Mark. I actually get to live on one of the great lakes. It is awesome! Great place to lose the clamoring of SELF and begin to be part of the universe.

    No urge to walk through the woods at night around here. Lots of logs and holes, skunks and coyotes and even cougars and black bears! Did i mention mosquitos? :)

    gibson girl wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Death to mosquitoes! A huge one landed on me the other day. It was about three times bigger than a regular mosquito and a darker brown with darker stripes. If I remember right it also had white stripes on its legs.. can’t be sure because I quickly as possible brushed it away after examining it in shock momentarily.

      Animanarchy wrote on August 30th, 2012
  21. I went to a local reservoir with my family. We landed the boat in this random area and a friend of my brother found a small waterfall caused by late-season rains.

    It was kind of hard to get up to, and I knew it would be more difficult to get down, but I made the climb anyway. The last time I saw a waterfall was at Yosemite.

    On a whim, I stood under it and let the cool water flow over me. It was exhilarating! I could feel the energy and pulse of the water (it would flow more for a few seconds and then flow less).

    Such a simple thing, but I felt I had experienced something special.

    :-P wrote on August 28th, 2012
  22. 3, 8, and 16 seem like the ones I do a lot. Great ideas, will have to try some of them especially the nature stuff!

    Lauren wrote on August 28th, 2012
  23. Hiking at night during winter in Alaska is pretty awesome. The snow reflects the moon fairly well, so it’s light enough that you don’t need headlamps.

    I always used to do this with my boyfriend when I lived on campus in Anchorage to avoid angry moose! Man… I miss those days.

    Charlayna wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • What a magical image! Reminds me of Michigan in the winter in my childhood. Thanks for sharing.

      NA wrote on August 28th, 2012
  24. I found joy this weekend when I kayaked for the first time…hooked for life.

    Amy P wrote on August 28th, 2012
  25. I seldom comment on any post, but this touched my heart. Why must we make things so difficult? Simple pleasures trump everything else we percieve to be important. Thank you for the reminder, and better yet, through the lens of a six year old!

    Michelle wrote on August 28th, 2012
  26. Several years ago, I took a 10-day wilderness skills course near the Shasta wilderness. We camped for these ten days and learned about primitive survival techniques.

    The morning of the sweat felt different from the other days. The sunrise was pink and the air had a closeness and heaviness to it, it made everything seem oddly quiet.

    As the day went on, it began to cloud up and, later, we would get intermittent thunder claps.

    By nightfall, the thunderstorm was going in full force. And we went and had the sweat anyway. We didn’t even use the pool to cool off, we would just go out and stand in the rain. Now I’m supposed to be afraid of lighting, but as I stood out there watching the lightning crack the sky through the trees overhead, it was clear to me that, on this night at least, she was a Kali type feminine force dancing in the sky. We know about the destructive aspects of lighting, but also it balances the electrical charge between earth and sky, and it puts nitrogen in the soil. Like Kali, lightning is both a creator and destroyer of worlds.

    :-P wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Standing out there, I felt as though I was straddling the boundary between life and death. It was conceivable that a lightning bolt could come my way. The idea made me a little uncomfortable, but I wasn’t afraid.

      If it was going to happen that night this would be one of the better ways to die.

      :-P wrote on August 28th, 2012
  27. Go Nordic Skiing on a cold winter night with headlamps on, full moon, snow falling.

    Elizabeth McInerney wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • I’ll definitely be doing that this winter!

      Stacie wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • I used to occasionally run through a forest I knew well (had a bit of a path developing) in the dark with a headlamp. It was thrilling and surreal. The light illuminating branches and twigs one moment then others at different distances the next as the elevation it shone from changed made everything look a little choppy. It almost seemed that what was illuminated was all that existed, or that what existed beyond the “light radius” was a mysterious ether that could generate anything. I guess it would be what you make of it, but to me it seemed sort of like a scary movie or video game (reminded me particularly of some of the darker levels in Painkiller).

      Animanarchy wrote on August 30th, 2012
  28. Watching children fly kites, can be euphoric. Their happiness is infections even if you haven’t flown a kite in 20 years.

    J. Delancy wrote on August 28th, 2012
  29. Going to primal con 2013. Either way, will be an adventure ;)

    Iris wrote on August 28th, 2012
  30. I think the last purely nature euphoria I experienced was watching the aurora borealis last winter (aka. Northern Lights). I live in Anchorage and the lights that night were simply amazing. I had friends say they could see them in town, white, purple, green, and some red. But I was up on one of the mountains and it was simply one of the most marvelous things I’ve EVER experienced. It was like looking at a wind chime that was made out of lights, the way they danced and moved across the sky. There were moments when I thought I could reach out and touch them. Words don’t do it justice, and neither do pictures. I still get shadows of the euphoria I felt that night whenever I think about it.

    I also had a personal euphoric experience a couple weeks ago on a run. I had been training for a 5k and that day when my run was finished it timed perfectly with a place on the trail where the trees opened up and I had a stellar view of the ocean and the sun reflecting off the water. That view mixed with my feeling of accomplishment created such joy for me that I started tearing up, and I had to really smile at people passing by me so they wouldn’t think something was wrong. In the end I walked down to a small beach area to just sit and take it all in. It was a very cathartic experience and not one I’ll ever forget.

    Stacie wrote on August 28th, 2012
  31. “Invest in experiences” … I like this one alot. Simply stated yet full of endless possibilities and potential memories to cherish.

    Hiking anyone?

    Chika wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • I wonder, is that one a subliminal suggestion to go to Primalcon? 8O

      Animanarchy wrote on August 30th, 2012
  32. This might be too “simple” (though I think that’s the point, ha!) but my latest IE moment was choosing to swim in the Brazos River in the pouring rain, with lightning crackling overhead. Watching the raindrops hitting the surface of the water and making bubbles with each hit was amazing. I know I laughed aloud more times than I can count.

    locogirlp wrote on August 28th, 2012
  33. Loved this post. There is so much round about us and we just don’t always take the time too see and experience it. I’ve started making better use of my lunchtimes in the city centre. All our museums are free and just this week I’ve marvelled at the beauty of a Salvador Dali painting, been awestruck at the size and history of a locomotive and enjoyed a organ recital.

    Penfold_67 wrote on August 28th, 2012
  34. This post is exactly why this blog stands out from others in the same genre. Thanks so much for the reminders listed here!

    PracticeBalance wrote on August 28th, 2012
  35. I’m surprised the euphoria experienced when making a love connection was not addressed here.

    Morgan wrote on August 28th, 2012
  36. I would second music, but suggest that people look a bit further afield and experiment with music they might not necessarily have heard before. I find a lot of non-English recording artists tend to write songs that are more euphoric, more beautiful, more sonically meaningful than a lot of Western English-language music these days.

    Also, dancing is a pretty good way to let everything float away.

    Al wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • Go to a Zumba class and you will have an out of world experience :-)

      WildGrok wrote on August 28th, 2012
  37. Swimming I’m the ocean is one of the few ways I can naturally induce euphoria. Love is the other. Just hugging someone I have that kind of connection with will do it for me. Actually, just thinking about them will. But like mark said, our minds and hearts have to be open; the connection must be allowed to develop and build.

    Morgan wrote on August 28th, 2012
  38. Sailing, man.

    Mark Cruden wrote on August 28th, 2012
  39. I think number 7 and 15
    Would be the same thing. Eeeeek

    Kay wrote on August 28th, 2012
  40. Barefoot (or minimal sandal) run or walk in snow or cold rain. It’s exhilarating to me to know I can do that and survive.

    Susan Kelly wrote on August 28th, 2012
    • A twist on an old cliché that came to me in the woods today, sorry if it’s not original – Before you insult someone who’s primal, walk a mile barefoot (or in their Vibrams/moccasins/etc. I’ve been wearing boot-slippers as they were free.. they were a bit embarrassing at first but removing the pom pom things and adding half a shoelace to each made a difference.)

      Animanarchy wrote on August 30th, 2012

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