america-space

Convergence

As part of my training I hiked up a fast moving stream up in the high Craggy Mountains near Asheville to sit in the fast moving water. While submerged I suddenly understood how it all links together, the one word which can encompass the myriad parts that make up a holistic life, that have created the being I am today. The Sacred and Magical. the Dry and Pragmatic. The Arts and Creativity. the Business and Service. The Health and Nutrition. The Physical Mastery and Body Intelligence. the Emotional and Mental Maturity. The Child-like Wonder and Reaction Time. The Music. The Adventure. The deep dark Shadow work. The Courage. The Vulnerability.

The list goes on and on. It as been a long goal of mine to discover how to effectively share the importance of all of these things and how they all work together, change each other to make a beautiful, holistic life. And in that moment, submerged a word came that tied them all together.

Convergence.

It has ran through my head like a mantra since, suddenly streamlining the process through which I can share all of these.

The book is one and it is almost ready.

Videos and Podcasts are another.

And of course, retreats and workshop events with the occasional seminar.

Branding forthcoming, if only to give cohesion to that which is converging.

I hope you will join me on this journey.

oldest living people

9 Lessons We Learn from the Oldest Living People

There are people all over the world living to ages well beyond 100 years. The oldest are pressing further and further beyond this age.

What is interesting to note are those places that contain the highest concentration of these individuals.

What is it about those people, their environment and lifestyle that help them to achieve a longer life.

That is exactly the research that has been done by Dan Buettner and National geographic, yielding our knowledge of the world’s ‘Blue Zones’ where the most long-lived people dwell.

The world’s Blue Zones are as follows:

Ikaria, Greece

Okinawa, Japan

the Ogliastra region of Sardinia

Loma Linda, California;

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

So what accounts for the high percentage of centurions in these places? They are scattered across the globe and encompass many different cultures and socio-economic situations. What Buettner and his team discovered was that there were indeed lifestyle choices shared by members of each community. Some were surprising.

1. Move Naturally

Office chairs, driving, stiff=soled shoes and a general state of sedentary lethargy has left western human bodies twisted and out of balance. Those who live in the Blue Zones tend to move as nature intended and often. The combination of regular exercise and correct posture and body alignment leads to healthy and longer lives.

2. Know your Purpose

Having a clear directive when you awaken in the morning is said to add seven years to your life when compared to those who do not. This does not mean waking up resigned to work that makes you miserable. Cultivate your talents and passions and share them with the world in a powerful and intentional way.

3. Down Shift

Stress and diet yields chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation yields a treasure trove of illness, disease and pain. One of the greatest ways to prevent chronic inflammation, besides diet, is to get plenty of sleep, take naps and lots of space to meditate, pray, or otherwise quiet your mind.

4. 80% Rule

I like to eat. I learned in my family that the slow eater doesn’t get seconds. This, however leads to overfilling the stomach and overloading our digestive system. This results in poor assimilation of nutrients and poor elimination of wastes. When we eat slow we give our body time to register fullness. However across the blue zones there is another piece. While eating slowly and chewing food completely we eat, on average, 20% less food. We gain more nutrition with less waste to process. Long lived people tend to eat a large breakfast and a small dinner, maximizing their sleep without the extra need for heavy digestion.

5. Plant Slant

Sustainably speaking we can only afford to eat about 2oz of meat a week, per person. Luckily that is just the amount that is eaten (or less) by the longest lived people on the planet. A diet of fruit, nuts and leafy greens makes up most of their food intake..

6. Wine at 5

Drinkers live longer than non-drinkers? Research would tend to agree that this is true. This does not mean getting wasted every day, or ever, really. The benefit is present only in small quantities.Two glasses of wine, preferably eaten during a meal of veggies, will serve you best. I recommend local metheglin (herbal) mead as a powerful alternative that delivers medicine and nutrition to boot.

7. Family First

Family is our greatest teacher and, according to this research, a powerful component of our longevity. Cultivating close ties with relatives, healthy relationships with kids and spouse is a sure way to live a longer, healthier life.

8. Belong

A personal spiritual practice is a wonderful thing and will certainly lead to a happier healthier life. The blue zone people also belong to a spiritual community. Whether a Buddhist center, Christian, Jewish, Islam, or any other community dedicated to celebrating the mysteries and the magic, having a spiritual community is a crucial part of the blue zone alchemy.

9. Right Tribe

I once heard an old saying that you could look at the ten people closest to you and see a clearer reflection of yourself than your own personal idea of who you are. This adage has stuck with me and helped me to cultivate a life where I am surrounded by people who inspire me. Loyalty to people who bring you down only hinders your ability to be effectual and happy. Create space from those who spread dis-ease and find the tribe of people who inspire you most. These people will keep you active, healthy and inspired.

In Conclusion

The Blue Zone research gives us an interesting perspective into the lives of those who live the longest on this planet. Studying the places where the highest concentrations of these people live has yielded a simple strategy similar to the one I have outlined in my book ‘Unleash Your Creative Genius’. In the book, however I do not focus on longevity in terms of how many years you live. To me it seems like more years is a natural consequence of opening to creativity and physical vitality. What stands out about these practices is that they increase the quality of the moments you have, right now. They create more unique and memorable experiences which translate to a greater number of unique memories in any given moment. Relative to memory you literally experience more time in one day than someone who is caught in a behavior loop that repeats every day and blends together.

So while Blue Zone research confirms many of the practices I outline in my book, I am still going to search for the longevity of this moment right now through the unique experiences I can create. Extra years will be a welcome bonus, not the goal.

winter-mornings-stumbleupon-6

The Most Important Choice to Save the World

 

It  is clear now, more than ever that we are at an environmental threshold the likes we have never seen.

Prominent scientists have come out saying that we are now, unquestionably, in an epochal Mass Extinction. One of the species least likely to survive it? Humanity.

Current measures for sustainable energy are inspiring but just aren’t cutting it. By current projections it will cost many trillions of dollars and take two decades to switch off fossil fuels.

And fossil fuel use isn’t even the worst cause of environmental degradation right now.

Many people try to be ‘environmentally conscious’ through short showers, composting, recycling and carpooling. While helpful these practices a just a drop in the bucket of our culture’s real daily consumption problem.

Fortunately, with a growing population approaching 8 billion, we have achieved a moment of a perfect necessary opportunity.

In order to be a true environmentalist, without hypocrisy under the population and environmental pressures we are presented with right now there is only one choice:

The single most important decision we can make in regards to saving the world is to stop or at least significantly reduce eating animal products.

Scroll down further for facts on why this is true.

Seriously, every political battle, social justice reform and sustainable cause pales in comparison to this one massive necessity.

It isn’t a moral issue. It is the pure scientific fact of maintaining life on this planet.

There is no greater way a person can reduce their personal impact than stopping eating meat. Unlike the sustainable energy reforms which will cost trillions of dollars and take decades to implement this costs nothing and can be implemented today.

I live one of the healthiest lifestyles possible. I have incredible amounts of energy and wake up invigorated and revitalized every day. I climb mountains, perform acrobatics, slackline and adventure race. I also eat next to no animal products ever. They are completely unnecessary for the greatest health imaginable.

So a diet that makes people healthier and happier is also the single most important choice we can make to save the world?

Seems like a no-brainer, right?

Here are the facts:

  1. 18% of all Greenhouse gases come from Animal Agriculture. All transportation combined equals 13%.
  2. Live stock and byproducts of livestock account for 51% of CO2 emissions on the planet
  3. Methane and NO2 are hundreds of times more destructive than CO2 and livestock produce the highest sources of these as well
  4. While fracking uses 70-140 Billion gallons of water a year, livestock agriculture uses a staggering 34-76 Trillion gallons annually!
  5. An average Californian is responsible for the consumption of 1500 gallons of water a day.
  6. One pound of beef consumes 2500 gallons of water in its production.
  7. A person who does not eat animal products produces 50% less CO2, uses 1/11 of the oil. 1/13 of the water and 1/18 of the land of a consumer of animal products
  8. The list goes on. (see links below for more info!)

So taking short showers, fixing that leaky faucet and similar measures are trivial in comparison to stoping eating meat.

Regardless of what else you do in the world, with a population of 7.3 billion and rising there is no sustainable way for everyone to eat meat except on very rare occasions.

Like I said, it is no longer a moral issue. It is not about ethics. It is pure, unadulterated science. The number one cause of rainforest destruction, global warming, species loss, and everything that is killing this planet right now is animal agriculture.

In some ways this is good news. All you have to do, in order to make the greatest impact, is to stop eating meat and dairy. It costs nothing, it will save you money, and make you healthier to boot.

Good thing there is a plethora of information out there about the incredible and complete vegan diet. If you do not believe you can THRIVE on this diet than you are not doing your research. Here are some of my favorite examples of people who push the threshold every day without the use of animal products.

Peter Ragnar is older than most of our great grandparents and yet, somehow younger than us at the same time! He is a true inspiration.

Peter Ragnar http://www.longevitysage.com/

David Wolfe is out there discovering the healthiest foods and picking them apart to figure out what makes them tick.

David Wolfe davidwolfe.com

No Meat Athlete: This is a great resource to find info on people who perform superhuman feats without meat.

Here is a link to an article with advice from fruitarian Ultrarunner Michael Arnstein on nomeatathlete.com

Do the research. I used to respect people’s meat eating habits. Just because I know I do not need meat does not mean everyone needs to change their diets too… except, actually they do. Literally, time is running out.

 

Infographic from the Great documentary on this subject: Cowspiracy. *All numbered facts above compiled from peer reviewed articles by Cowspiracy as well*

Cowspiracy-Infographic