Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
Recently, 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.
Thanks for reading today, everyone. Share what moves you to experience IE in life these days. Have a great week!