The Art of Compromise

We arm ourselves with knowledge. We gauge the evidence and outline a plan. We form our ideals and establish steps for carefully considered goals. We seek out support and put our noses to the grindstone. We stay focused, keep learning and hone the design with time and experience.

Goals require responsibility, commitment and fortitude, but life invokes flexibility, compromise. In the midst of all the good, the bad and the ugly we hash out here (in the name of the Primal Blueprint), there it is at the end of the day: the compromise.

We talk about both ends of the stick here: the compromises we choose and those we’re more or less handed by life. Those we elect, the sensible vices and occasional indulgences we adopt? They’re ours to own and savor. It’s the glass of wine, the dark chocolate bar, even the piece of French bread during a long awaited dinner out on the town. A compromise of choice isn’t a weak moment or a giddy transgression in which we feverishly relish cheating – on ourselves. (What’s that about anyway?) Compromise in the Primal Blueprint is a fully informed and intentional act. We consciously choose how we will balance the enjoyment of everyday life with the commitment to cultivating health and well-being. We consider and select what we let into our lives, our diets, our bodies.

On the other end of things, we find the compromise of circumstance. Just as we bring a consciousness to the choices we make, we bring deliberation to the impact of conditions we can’t control but can mitigate: aging, stress, environmental toxins, etc. We take responsibility by seeing, sensing, learning about what is going on in us and around us. When it comes to the compromise of circumstance, we own it by knowing it. We do what we can to mitigate the damage.

To maintain the muscle mass and organ reserve of our younger years, we include weight bearing exercise in our workout routines. We maintain good protein intake. To alleviate stress, we meditate, take part in yoga, and spend time outdoors. To lessen the impact of toxins, we limit our use of synthetic chemicals and toxic substances, eat a clean diet and use wise supplementation (Mark’s store) to help ensure optimum health.

Some of you who have adopted the Primal Blueprint have commented on an evolving sensitivity to the body’s messages. You might react more strongly to a dessert or alcohol than before. You might feel unusually restless from skipping a workout day. True wellness involves both a deliberate attention to and naturally heightened perceptiveness of the subtleties of our physiological response. Not to sound too new age, but when we’re in tune with our bodies, we’re in a position to make better decisions about our daily health efforts. (Our bodies seem to have a lot more to say, but it’s likely the fact that we’re listening more intently.) We’re able to develop more individually appropriate, balanced responses to life’s compromises. And when we feel that keyed in, that aware and in charge, it’s easier to own the compromises we make and not feel frustrated or powerless in the face of compromises that are out of our hands. We also don’t end up “splitting” our life and health efforts between the good, obedient and the flawed, escapist. It’s all one picture, and the perfect doesn’t have to be the enemy of the good.

Everybody’s experiences with the Primal Blueprint framework and their own implementation of it are inherently different. We’re all coming to this with varied histories, conditions, frustrations, life situations, levels of fitness and health knowledge. Some of us have been pretty aware and honest with ourselves all along. Some of us had to turn over a new leaf and take charge. We hope the Primal Blueprint, in both its ideals and respect for life’s compromises, has helped you construct your own design for a consciously healthy and enjoyable life.

What are your thoughts and experiences with the Primal Blueprint – whether you’re just beginning to try things out or you made a solid commitment to the basic principles long ago?

robsmith-qld, Bethany L King, airpark, Wes & Eli Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

What is the Primal Blueprint?

Veganism – A Very Big Compromise

Are there any good carbs?

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