Category: Nature

Summer Reset: 30 Days, 30 Actions

We’re almost halfway through the year. History is accelerating. New advances, technology, scientific findings, and social changes are occurring faster than ever before. There’s never any time like the present, but these days it feels like the present is slipping away at an exponential rate. This is no time to be resting on your laurels, biding your time, or waiting to see what happens. It’s time to act. It’s time to make the changes you’ve been mulling over, the ones you know in your heart are the right moves to make.

To help you on your way, I’ve put together a 30-day action plan for the month of June. No one has to follow this to the letter, or even at all, but use it as a template or inspiration. Wake up on June 12 swelling with energy and unsure how to direct it? Check out the action plan. Feeling a bit lazy on June 19? See what the action plan recommends; it may resonate.

Let’s get right to it:

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The Roots of Depression: How Much Does Modern Culture Have to Do With It?

I can’t complain about my existence in modern culture. My life is great. I have a loving family. My kids are happy and successful. My wife is a friend and lover and confidante and partner. Business is good and interesting. I care about what I’m doing. Every day is meaningful—and unburdened by concerns around mental well-being. Depression isn’t an issue for me.

But it’s not the case for everyone. The numbers don’t lie. Depression rates are climbing. Antidepressants are among the most common drug prescriptions, even among children. And because it can be embarrassing to admit you’re depressed—like there’s “something wrong” with you if you say as much—many people with depression never seek help, so the real numbers could be even higher. Depression isn’t new of course. The ancients knew it as “melancholia,” or possession by malevolent spirits. But all evidence suggests that depression is more prevalent than ever before.

What’s going on?

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Primal Starter: Meeting the Wild Within

Over the course of a day’s hike or in a sudden wonderstruck moment, many of us have felt the edges of our selves dissolve into the wild that surrounds us. We become unconsciously “of” our environments. Shedding the insular, constraining cages of our everyday hyperrationality—the mental chatter, the rigid expectations, and inevitable tension and failures that accompany them—identities and desires evaporate into the senses. For a time, we become raw awareness. The heightening of the senses alone can feel like a kind of animalistic thrill.

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Rapid Fire Questions and Answers: Getting Wild

Last month, you asked a ton of great questions in the comment section of my post on reclaiming your wildness and being less civilized, covering everything from rock climbing to role playing games, grappling to kung fu, walking meditation to grounding. For today’s post, I’m answering as many of them as I can.

Let’s get right to the questions.

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Dear Mark: When Nature is Stressful and How to Use Fish Sauce

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a couple questions from readers. First, is nature always relaxing and blissful? Or are there instances where being in nature is far more stressful than being indoors? Why, and what should we do about it? Second, how do I use fish sauce, and how would a parent use fish sauce to get picky kids to try (and like) new foods?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Erythritol and Weight Gain, Chicken Liver and Arsenic, and Tips for Laptops in the Sun

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, is erythritol, one of the more common sugar alcohols, linked to weight gain? According to a new study, it is. What should we make of the research? Next, I talk a good game about chicken livers, but there’s a new study that seems to show they’re big repositories of arsenic. Should you stop eating chicken liver? And finally, I give a few tips for improving screen clarity when working outside on your laptop in full sun.

Let’s go:

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