What Is Primal? And, I Could Sure Use Your Vote!

You probably know I’m a CrossFit addict by now. It’s more fun than a cooler full of coconut milk, more effective than erosion, and anyone can do it just about anywhere. However, done on its own, with no regard to your nutrition, isn’t going to get you nearly as far or as fast as if you pay really good attention to what you’re eating and why.

Enter: Primal.

grass-fed beef is primalIt’s not that CrossFit doesn’t have a nutritional recommendation: it does. And it’s about as simple and clear as it can get: Meat and veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar. And any CrossFitter worth his/her salt is going to be able to rattle that off like a well-grooved mantra. And, at the same time, knowing what to do and actually doing it are often not the same thing at all.

I’ve read all kinds of fantastic nutritional information before, and have for years, but never have I been able to make it a lifestyle like I have since adopting the “Primal Blueprint Eating Plan” like I have with Mark Sisson, at Mark’s Daily Apple.

Primal living is, in my own words, a prescription for eating the way we’ve evolved to. Our genome has honed itself for over 2 million years, adapting to a particular style of eating that didn’t really fluctuate until about 10,000 years ago. And, since that “recent” shift, we’ve done nothing but go downhill, health-wise, except for the hygienic changes that have increased our average lifespan. It’s pretty clear if you look at how we’ve evolved to eat that it makes a lot of sense to stick close to our own internal genetic recipe. After all, you wouldn’t pour rocket fuel in your car’s gas tank, right? It’s just not designed for it.
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Why It’s Not About The System You Use.

climber

Do you have a goal? Professional, personal, or otherwise? I bet you do, whether it’s to get a certain number of clients per month, to stop eating grains, or to learn to juggle.

Now, let me guess: You’ve got a system worked out to get you there, don’t you? You’re going to attend networking meetings, write blog posts, and update your LinkedIn profile. You’re going to only eat at home so you can control your meals, and throw all your old grains into the compost heap. You’re going to watch that Juggling For Fools video, and practice your juggling fifteen minutes every night after dinner.

No matter what the goal is, you’ve got a system, I’m sure. How am I so sure? Because systems are said to be the key to achieving everything these days. Just think about productivity… there’s GTD , ZTD , and Hipster PDA’s; Blackberries, Franklin Planners, and 37 Signals. What’s best? That’s like asking, “What’s the best kind of music?” It all depends on you, what you’re doing, and what works for you.

The point, in any instance, is not what system you use… it’s that you stick with it.

If you’ve dabbled in productivity systems for any length of time, you know what I’m saying is true, because everyone has discovered, researched, and spent time on setting up some kind of system, only to have the thing gather dust and fall by the wayside.
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How Blogging Helps You Focus On What Really Matters

Blogging is arguably one of the best, most fundamental actions you can take to further your business, your self-expression, and deepen your understanding of your place in the world. Don’t just take my word for it; ask Seth Godin & Tom Peters…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=livzJTIWlmY[/youtube]

But there’s a big difference between writing for the heck of it, and actually expecting to get some positive return out of it. There’s also a big difference between writing a five-post boom-and-crash, and blogging for a lifetime.

Hoping to get some help both of those points, I recently watched an excellent video by Mr. 4HWW, Tim Ferriss, and I thought it was fantastic. He calls it “How to Blog without Killing Yourself”, and says, “one of my favorite presentations I’ve given in 2009.” After watching it, and taking notes of the highlights for myself, I’d have to agree.

Now, for anyone reading this who’s anti-Tim, just let me say this: On one hand, that’s cool. Like who you want, and don’t who you don’t. I’ve got no beef with you. But, if you’re thinking to leave me a trollish comment because you’ve got an issue with him, then answer this: Who are you? What have you done with your life so far? How many people have you impacted? Smile on your brother, y’know?

What I’ve written below is my own personal commentary on the notes I took from the above talk. He covers a lot more than what I took notes on, which is why I recommend you watch it – my takeaways are going to be different from your takeaways, by necessity and design. My hope in adding my notes is that it’ll help add some context to quotes taken entirely out of context, and lend some insight from my own personal perspective, for what it’s worth (and hey, if you’ve read this far, then maybe it’s worth enough to you to keep reading…).
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Why I Love to Chant… oh, never mind

Chanting Rocks.I love to chant. When all else fails, it’s one of the few spiritual practices that doesn’t ever let me down.

I’ve been meaning to write a post about it, just so you all know I haven’t fallen off the wagon completely… grin But then Fabeku beat me to it. Brilliantly.

Of course, our histories are different. And each of us has our preferences, and brings to it what we do. But all the reasons Fabeku speaks about as to why he chants… how it rejuvenates him, how it cleans him out and fills him up… he could’ve been channeling me, there.

Why it matters

So I chant. Fabeku chants. Big whoop, right? Well, as I’ve been a fan of saying for some time now, when it comes to spiritual practices,

It doesn’t matter so much what you do… but it matters a ton why you do it.

I stopped working as a healer a over year ago now. I was talking about this with my wife the other night, and I told her that one of the big reasons why was because I felt dry. I didn’t feel I had anything left to give… I just couldn’t be there for my clients the way I could before. And to be honest, I was never completely satisfied with my answer as to why that was.
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How Change Happens

Be happy. It matters.I was reading a post over at Fitness Fail that was talking about personal responsibility when it comes to health and exercise. Being someone who thinks about these things a lot, I had to leave a comment, and decided to come here and write about it, too.

This question was posed at the end of the article, after talking about the b.s. of the US government’s food pyramid: Do we as a whole have a responsibility to change the health recommendations to something that works?

And here is my reply:

Yes and no, imho, I think that people have their personal responsibility first, of course. And then, those that get called by the personal passion to take the truth to the FDA/whoever should totally do it.

But, not everyone who ‘gets it’ is going to have that passion. They may feel more inspired to open a CrossFit gym. Or a healthy restaurant. Or keep working at their jobs, but share happily with people who ask them, “Dude, what have you been doing?”

Changing the governmental juggernaut is a task that I believe will happen, but not through rebellion. Too much resistance that way. Instead, enough people will be lovingly loud, and change will happen from within.

Just look at Wal-Mart’s environmental initiatives. People have hated WM for years, complained, etc. – nothing. But then, the President/CEO dude gets an awakening moment about going green, and blamo – there they go.

So keep preaching it, brothers and sisters. Share your loving message, and those whose ears are open will hear it, one at a time.

And even though I may have gotten a bit kum-ba-ya there at the end, I do believe that this is how change happens. Just like Margaret Mead said:

Never doubt that a small group of commited citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

We can rail against the powers we perceive, claim unfairness, or judge the policy-makers as evil SOB’s… but if you understand the Law of Attraction, you know that this is not a good way to go about things. It’s downstream. It’s giving energy in the wrong direction.

Focus on what you want to see happen. Don’t sit on your ass complaining about how sick everyone is; if you want to see people get healthier, then work to make them healthier. Focus on health. Focus on transformation. Focus on the goodness.

Image by psoup216 on Flickr via Creative Commons license.

Shortlink: http://goo.gl/6IlJfD

Just warming up.

parkour class, warming upHi, all.

I’ve had it in mind to write a personal blog for some time. I’ve got a business, an ex-business, a Facebook page, and a Twitter page, so what’s up with this blog?

Good question.

To be honest, I’m not sure where this is going to go. What I do know is that I’ve been writing “for” something other than the joy of writing for so long, I’m beginning to forget what it’s like. I’ve been thirsting for a venue that doesn’t have to “produce”, in the sense of generating business for me and/or my company. I’ve seen friends like this write for no obvious reason other than the joy of expression, and it appeals to me.

And, after years in the limelight (I used to be an “esteemed faculty member” of a seminar company/spiritual movement), I’m wanting a place to let my hair down — well, if I had any left, that is. I’ve grown very, very tired of censoring myself, doing what’s socially appropriate, and toeing the party line for the purposes of acceptance. So, with all proper respect, eff that. No more.

I’m not saying that I’m here to be a crabby bastard… just that I could be, if the mood struck. Most of the time, I prefer not to be. Life’s just better when I’m happy and joyful. But, from time to time, I might get my back-end outta whack about this or that, and who knows, I just might write about it, in the name of being therapeutic and all.

So, with no promises, and no more excuses, here I am.

Image by Tyson Cecka via cc on Flickr.

Announcing: Bright Coconut

Hello there!

Long time, no write, eh? The Monk has been busy!

In fact, that’s exactly what I want to talk to you about. No, not the “busy” part, the “Monk” part.

You see, I got out of spiritual healing work for a number of reasons, one of the biggies being that I didn’t like the feeling of charging for spiritually specific work (intuitive work, healing work, business work… sure. No problem. But teaching it? Just didn’t feel right.).

But even though I transitioned to full-time web design, I was still running everything out of MonkAtWork.com, and that just kinda bugged me. I would’ve preferred to have a different home for the web work, and leave the spiritual stuff here.

At the same time, as I worked with a number of clients, I began to realize a few things about the way my clients and I were approaching the design process, including what made a big difference in people’s success levels with their new sites (and, of course, what didn’t). I wanted to rectify those pitfalls, make it better/cheaper/faster/easier for folks, and do it in a way that really played to my strengths, and the strengths of WordPress (my platform of choice).

Long story short: I have a new home for my “web design” services, and it’s going to blow your doors off. Enter: Bright Coconut.

What’s the big diff?

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How To Escape The Gratitude Trap

Gratitude is the key
When it comes to making change in your life, your health, or the health of your business, the #1 item on every “Law of Attraction”-based, personal growth-oriented list is always gratitude.

Why? Because, the logic goes, when you are feeling grateful for something, you’re in a state of appreciation and happiness, which begets a greater state of happiness. The more you get accustomed to feeling good about what you have, the more you get to feel good about, and the more good you feel about what you have, and so on… it’s an ever-growing spiral.

But what if gratitude brings you down?

I have to admit, I used to resist gratitude in a huge way. Not because I have anything against showing appreciation, but because whenever I’d do a practice involving gratitude, I ended up feeling small and unhappy, which is the opposite of what it was supposed to do for me.

Not cool, I thought. Not cool.
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Why the “Six Months to Live” Question Is The Wrong One To Ask

Time to ponder your path
Focus is perhaps one of the most crucial qualities to develop when it comes to bringing your best to work. When you’re focused, you can get incredible amounts of work done in short periods of time. Focus makes staying on task easy. And there’s one question in particular you can ask yourself that’s supposed to inspire herculean amounts of focus.

Now, you’ve no doubt seen this question circulating amongst the well-intentioned, self-help best-seller bookshelves’ residents for years. It’s pulled out time and again as the ultimate refiner of focus, the samurai sword of the cut-through-the-fluff-ers’ arsenal, the go-to tool of the productivity heroes’ utility belts. Ready?

If you only had six months to live, what would you do right now?

Ta da! Answer that question, and all your troubles will be solved, right?

Well…
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Why Growth Is Better If It Don’t Come Cheap

You gotta embrace the suck.
As I was bouncing around on Twitter the other day, I saw someone ask the question, “What do you do for your mind, body, and spirit?” It’s easy, of course, to answer that question with three answers. “Oh, I’m cleaning up my diet, I exercise a few days a week, and I meditate.” Nothing wrong with an answer like that… it means you’re looking after yourself.

But being the between-the-lines kinda guy that I am, I wanted to answer the question not with three answers, but with one. And so naturally, my answer was “CrossFit.”

Now, I never would have answered that question with any other fitness/exercise/sport that I’ve done (except maybe Nomadics), and I’ve done tons: intercollegiate rowing, yoga (bikram’s, ashtanga, hatha), triathlons, tai chi, full-contact martial arts, bodybuilding, you name it. Why?
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