What is your reality? Is life something that just happens to you or do your actions help determine what occurs? How much of our life must we accept as is? How much of it do we actually control? I personally believe that whenever we are not satisfied with our lives we have the power to change them. Dreams and aspirations can only transpire when we truly allow them to become a part of our reality. However, to change our lives, we must learn how to let go of the things that hold us back from our success. In this post, I’d like share three things that must be understood in order to bring about a more fulfilling reality for ourselves.
1. How you respond to reality is influenced by your perceptions.
We interact with the larger reality via our five senses. When we make judgments based on them, perceptions are formed. We view life through the filter of our perceptions. However, our perceptions are limited and there are many instances where they can misinform us. If a perception is based on misinformation, it will not be in alignment with the rest the world. This can result in problems.
Have you ever misinterpreted something someone else said and got offended? Maybe instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt you confronted them with anger, which resulted in a breakdown of communication. Perhaps the conflict quickly led to a deterioration of your relationship with that other person; all because of a misunderstanding that you acted upon.
This leads us to another key point...
2. The direction of your experience is governed by the choices you make.
To live in this world means choices must be made. In every circumstance, we are presented with a set of options. Each of these options has a consequence that goes along with it. Every event in our lives allows us the opportunity to choose how we are going to respond to it. The pattern of our decisions forms a chain of consequences that lead us down the road of our existence.
Let’s say I want to start exercising more. But, when I get off work in the evening…I’d really rather just go home, collapse on the sofa and watch my favorite show (personally, I fixed this problem years ago by trashing my TV). In the long run, I have to decide what is most important to me and what is the best choice for lifelong health: watching that episode or building a better body. This is something to look for in the decision making process. What will the outcome of each scenario look like ten years down the road? Some decisions broaden the amount of options made available to us (a healthier body is more attractive and leads to clearer thinking), while other decisions limit them (becoming a couch potato makes you fat and weak). Some choices bring us closer to happiness and the fulfillment of our aspirations. Others take us further away.
Often times, it is difficult to remember what is most important to us. Life has a lot to offer and for many people it can become like a juggling act of priorities and responsibilities. At times you may feel spread thin and start to lose focus on what really matters most to you. Which brings us to the third point I’d like to address...
3. The measure of your internal congruency regulates the amount of personal power available to you.
Personal power is your ability to make things happen. Congruency is the quality or state of agreement within an individual. When people experience internal conflict, there is a lack of congruency between two or more aspects of their personality. When a part of you really wants to get that job promotion, but another part shies away from the responsibility that comes with it, that is a lack of congruency within your being. Many people who are unfulfilled or unhappy lack this inner congruency. They are perpetually torn between the gratification of simple desires and what they really want out of life in the long run. Also, hidden fears and insecurities can sabotage our sense of self-worth. We unconsciously start to feel undeserving of the very things that would make us happy. The more congruent we become, the more fulfilling life becomes because the relationship we have with ourselves grows increasingly harmonious.
In conclusion, I’d like to leave you with an analogy. Living your personal reality can be like driving a car. Your perceptions make up the control panel, mirrors and windows. They inform you of your environment, the proximity of other vehicles and how the engine is functioning. If your windows are dirty or your control panel misreads, you may be headed for trouble. Your choices are like the steering, accelerator and breaks. They are what ultimately determine where you are going and how fast. Will you take the shortest route to you destination or the detour? Lastly, your internal congruence is the engine. It gives you the horsepower needed to achieve what it is you set out to do. Are all your pistons firing in rhythm with one another? As each of us drive to our respective destinations in life, perhaps these ideas of perception, choice and congruency can help you enjoy the ride.
I've now talked about the beginning of the digestion process. Next I went into how your body assimilates and uses the nutrients it's consumed. The focus of this blog will be what happens at the end of the digestion process.
Or is it? Well technically the food we eat still has one more stop before leaving the body. The large intestine acts as a catch-all to make sure that nothing leaves that could potentially be used by the body. Here, some water is recycled and re-absorbed. With the help of bowel flora, the large intestine also captures any lost nutrients that are still available and converts the nutrients into the Vitamins K, B1, B2, B12 and butyric acid.
Poop, feces, excrement, doo-doo, dropping the kids off at the pool... Whatever YOU call it, it's still the same thing. Now the waste is finally ready to leave the body. According to everydayhealth.com,
"Water makes up about 75 percent of your bowel movements. The rest is an often-stinky combination of fiber, dead and live bacteria, other cells, and mucus. Soluble fibers found in foods like beans and nuts are broken down during digestion and form a gel-like substance that becomes part of your poop.
On the other hand, foods packed with insoluble fiber, such as corn, oat bran, and carrots, are more difficult for your body to digest, which explains why they may emerge in the toilet bowl looking relatively unchanged."
Now that we know what our poop is made of, let's take a moment to talk about good postural alignment for eliminating your waste. After-all, it's not something that's really taught in school. Did you know there's a right and wrong way to take a poo?
The invention of the modern-day toilet has transformed our lives in both positive and negative ways. It's made it easier to relieve ones self on many occasions, however it has also removed the necessity for us to squat on a regular basis.
I think that the makers of the Squatty Potty explain it best when they describe what happens when we sit on the toilet:
“When we’re sitting this bend, called the anorectal angle, is kinked which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps the feces inside. This creates the need to STRAIN in order to eliminate. Compare sitting on the toilet to a kinked garden hose, it just doesn’t work properly. In a squatting posture the bend straightens out and defecation becomes easier.
Assuming the squat position is the natural way to achieve easier and more complete elimination. Research has shown that in some people, the kink is completely gone while squatting.”
So what to do? Aside from working on your deep air-squats - get yourself a small stool for your bathroom to elevate your feet each time you have to answer nature's call. You could also go all out and get an official Squatty Potty as your latest bathroom accessory.
Now - let's recap. Over the past few weeks, I've gone through the Top to Bottom path of digestion. Here are the main take-aways:
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As I had mentioned, I recently managed to bounce back from a slightly fractured knee, which could have left me out of the training I love to do for a long time. Instead, I was able to heal from the injury months ahead of what the PT told me I would and am back to running, jumping, flipping, and single-leg squatting.
Most of what many people believe about our body's healing process is flawed. We are not machines that gradually wear out with time. A healthy body has the amazing ability to regenerate tissue and is constantly replacing damaged cells with new ones. Much of the "wearing out" of joints, ligaments, and tendons that many people associate with age and overuse is based more on flawed movement patterns than anything else.
If you have (or would like to have) an active lifestyle, there is always a chance that you'll get hurt. Here, I offer tips that will help you get back into action fast when injuries do occur.
The stronger you are to begin with the faster you will recover from injury.
The first key to rapid healing is to take preventative measures. This means strengthening the whole body and preparing it for the variety of dynamic movements that your activity or sport demands. In addition to this, you need to make sure that strength is developed through exercises that involve moving the joints in their fullest range of motion.
Everyone (especially adults) should be dedicating a significant portion of their workout to “prehabilitative” exercises; special exercises designed to offer a protective element to your body. They are the kinds of exercises that you should be doing if you want to avoid or reduce injury. Neglect your prehab exercises and you’ll end up doing rehab exercises instead. Rehab is both more expensive and not as fun.
In a future article I will discuss the second key to rapid healing. Pssst…it involves a little known secret to handling swelling and pain. Stay tuned. In the meantime, check out this great warm-up that you can do everyday whether you're training or not.
A few weeks ago, I shared with you the key elements of our Primordial Movement equipment that we use when we’re living nomadically. If you missed this post, you can see it here.
If you aren’t carrying all your belongings in a single back-pack and have a dedicated gym bag, here are a few more items to add to the list. These are the types of items that are great to have on-hand when you find yourself with an opportunity to use a high bar or beam, two well spaced trees or posts, or just a little more room for carrying around mobility equipment that will pretty much rock your world!
The Primordial Gym Bag contains everything that is in the Primordial Traveler Pack, plus:
If you’ve enjoyed this article, please consider purchasing some of the equipment at our Amazon Affiliate Store. The price to you is no different, but we can receive a small commission when you click through our links. Consider it a donation for allowing us to continue providing high-quality advice through our blog.