Well, the apocalypse never came. No earth-rending seismic activity rearranged geography. Nary a tsunami wrought despair and destruction on coastlines, nor did the turn of the calendar awaken an ancient, many-tentacled evil force hidden deep below. We experienced neither a global awakening of consciousness, a visit from the original extraterrestrial architects of our physiology, nor an explosion of eschatological novelty. What that means is two things: the prophets of 2012 got it wrong, and you have to plan for the rest of your life.
Let’s start with 2013. How are you going to make sure it’s a successful year? What steps will you take?
This past summer I did a slow living inspired guide to enjoying summer. Those lazy days feel long gone now, but I’ve heard from a number of readers lately who are looking to fill their winter and holiday seasons with the same Primal inspiration. Besides the amazing recipes and great winter workouts, what food for thought can the Primal Blueprint offer this time of year? What can we do to make the most of these shortest, darkest days and busiest holiday weeks? What does it mean – in practical as well as broader terms – to apply a Primal lens to the season?
Let me actually reframe it in terms of the Primal Connection – the concept that our evolutionary roots have something to teach us in creating a contented, fulfilling life – because I think it most aptly addresses the question. In making the Primal Connection, we’re motivated to embrace the full potential and pleasure of our physical as well as intuitive selves. We’re moved to reconnect with the natural world and our innate rhythms. We’re drawn to explore deeper, more essential dimensions of social relationships and expand our practice of creative play.
I have to admit I’m still caught up in the excitement of last week’s launch of the new Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings cookbook. (Favorites yet, anyone?) But wouldn’t you know – there’s more in the hopper. In a few short weeks I’ll be releasing The Primal Connection, the long planned sequel to The Primal Blueprint. As friends and colleagues within the ancestral movement have so generously described, The Primal Connection offers the first really new dimension in the paleo/Primal space in years. Is there any better way to start the new year – not to mention the fact that we all survived the Mayan apocalypse? In all seriousness, I’ve been pumped about this launch for months now. Like The Primal Blueprint, The Primal Connection is both a culmination and expansion of principles I’ve first introduced here on MDA. Inherent to The Primal Connection is the concept that we can use the model of our ancestors to create not just a healthier existence but also a more balanced and fulfilling life.
Last week’s post on negative emotions got people talking about the intersection of mental and physical wellbeing. It also filled my inbox (a very good thing, in my opinion). True, it’s not usual subject matter for MDA. Living Primally, however, is about taking a full and nuanced view on enhancing our health. That’s what we’re all after, isn’t it? So, if we recognize how negative emotions – when they’re allowed to linger beyond their natural, short-term function – can undermine our physiological wellbeing, why not take a look at the flip-side? Is positive thinking mere psychobabble fluff as some would argue? Does it attract love, opportunity, and other good energies the universe has to offer? I’ll leave these angles for others to explore (although feel free to argue your own perspective on the board). For my part, I’m all about the brass tacks basics. I’m sure you can guess: the physiological impact of positive feelings and their potential evolutionary roots. Call me a simple guy.
Living Primally is first and foremost about taking responsibility for your own health. Though we might not be able to control each and every facet of our lives and genetics, we have considerably more power than we think. Diet, exercise, sleep, sun, social connection, and play all figure centrally into our health. (If you’ve been with us at MDA for even a week, you’ve probably figured that out.) That said, there are also more nuanced facets to wellbeing – subtler influences and interactions that we might not consider each day. True, when we rein in the bad habits and rewire unhealthy patterns, we open the door for an unprecedented level of thriving. Some of us, however, carry other kinds of baggage burdensome enough to keep us from ultimately passing over the threshold. I’m talking about the emotional cargo we live with – the anger, resentment, repression, sadness, guilt, or inertia (to name a few) – and its inevitable toll on our physiological health.
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