Friday, 12 June 2020

Unsolicited Rewards

Think about your favorite places to go. Do you have a favorite restaurant? If you do, that place is probably your favorite because you know you're always going to get a great meal there. If the food was fantastic sometimes while other times it was only okay and occasionally it was really bad, you probably wouldn't want to keep going there, right? It's the consistency of the place that makes you love it. And when I'm talking about consistency with the championship mind-set, I'm talking about being consistently great. If you have a flexible schedule, you may want to avoid visiting parks in the summer, which is peak tourist season. If summer is your only free time, try scoping out less popular trails and attractions to avoid crowds, or plan your visit during off-hours, like early morning or dusk. Do your homework. Before venturing off into the wilderness, do some research into the various offerings of the park you plan to visit. You can usually learn the difficulty of different hikes, the relative comfort of campsites, and the best places to swim or watch the sunset before you arrive, which will help you to make the most of your time. Travel light. When visiting a park, you want to focus your attention on the landscape around you, not your stuff. Avoid packing anything that you'd be devastated to damage or lose. Do make sure to bring layers, bug spray, sunscreen, a water bottle or two, and a flashlight or headlamp, even if you're not planning to be out after dark. Check in with park rangers. Let any worries or concerns drift away, and feel your breath moving through the area around your heart. As you sit, quietly or silently repeat the following or similar phrases: May I be safe and secure. May I be healthy and strong.

May I be happy and purposeful. May I be at peace. Let the intentions expressed in these phrases sink in as you repeat them. Allow the feelings to grow deeper. After a few repetitions, direct the phrases to someone you feel grateful for or someone who has helped you: May you be safe and secure. Sometimes we can't avoid the storms of life, the traumas. They happen to nearly all of us. Although we keep looking forward, those past experiences belong to our existence: sometimes they manifest in ways we do not want to experience. Traumatic experiences that settle in the body always proceed according to clear structures and patterns, but at the same time they also give us clues as to how they can be resolved. We address these healing processes in the next section. If a painful experience surprises me and I feel alone and abandoned, then the three factors--shock, isolation, and dramatic significance--come together to create a traumatic crisis situation in which I feel so threatened that I cannot think straight. This is the activation of a survival program. The brain stem, which is the transition region between the spinal cord and the brain itself, takes the lead when the other brain functions are confused. In particular, the cerebrum, which is normally responsible for rational decisions and solutions as well as the movement of the body, is in a state of shock in the case of severe traumatic situations, causing us to freeze. The repertoire of the brain stem consists of three programs: fight, flight, and if the first two are not possible, paralysis. What we know reliably is not for want of holes in the whole truth; The Whole Truth: of Science, Sense, and Solidarity In August 2017, an article ran in The New York Times about the imminent solar eclipse. The author noted that people inevitably trusted scientists to predict the eclipse, yet many of the same people chose to doubt or deny the comparably scientific predictions of climate change.

I would add that EXACTLY the same is true of the scientific consensus about diet and health. It is doubted, debated, and disputed NOT because of legitimate uncertainty, but because: (1) the truth about diet, like the truth about climate, is inconvenient, rather than fun like an eclipse; The whole truth is the child of not just science, but also sense. Science is the best parent to robust and reliable answers, but sense is required to pose good and useful questions. The whole truth is modest and allows for doubt. The whole truth about diet and health is not just about any one nutrient, but is about them all. Being consistently bad at something important in your life isn't going to help, obviously. And neither is being consistently pretty good. Sure, you're not going to be great at everything you do all the time, but you need to strive to be consistently great at all of the stuff that really matters. What are those things in your world? Is it parenting? Is it your job? Is it helping out in the community? Whatever those things are--and at this point in the article, you should have a pretty good idea--you need to make sure you're consistently at the top of your game. People should never have to wonder what they're going to get from you or who you are going to be from day to day. How do you practice being consistently great? When you enter a park, stop by the visitors' center and speak to a ranger. They can provide valuable information about road and trail closures, weather and animal warnings, and more. Leave No Trace means striving to leave trails, campsites, and other outdoor spaces better than you found them in order to protect the landscape's biodiversity and ensure its continued existence for future generations. The Center for Outdoor Ethics lists seven principles for minimizing impact on the natural world: 1) Plan ahead and prepare;

Dig into History with a Shared Heritage Itinerary. The NPS has teamed up with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, along with state and local organizations, to create travel itineraries based on historic and cultural legacies of the United States. The itineraries--which include Where Women Made History, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage, Sites of Aviation, The Amistad Story, Florida Shipwrecks, and more--combine travel tips and site-specific history lessons. The environment, after all, is where we all meet, where we all have a mutual interest. It is one thing that all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become. May you be healthy and strong. May you be happy and purposeful. May you be at peace. Next visualize someone you feel neutral about. Choose among people you neither like nor dislike and repeat the phrases. Now visualize someone you don't like or with whom you are having a hard time and repeat the phrases with that person in mind. Kids who are being teased or bullied at school often feel quite empowered when they send love to the people who are making them miserable. Finally, direct the phrases more broadly: May everyone be safe and secure. Music can soothe, inspire, improve your mood, and help you focus. It is important in every known culture on earth, with ancient roots extending back thousands of years. For example, if I have a relationship with someone but I have a serious conflict in which I would not attack or run away from that person--for example, I have a dispute with my boss, whom I cannot attack because I might get fired--I have a situation in which neither fight nor flight are options. In this case the third program comes into play: I freeze and am unable to do anything at all. To resolve this situation I need to move. This is how our basic method works as well.

We find that through movement we can resolve the deadlocked situation through a series of step-by-step movements that allow the cerebrum to regain control. Only our consciousness may ultimately find the solution for the healing of a traumatic situation. Traumatic events are always associated with stress. This places excessive demands on the system, causing the two halves of the brain to vibrate differently. When that happens, the whole system becomes unbalanced because we feel divided and unable to work as a unified whole. The combination of emotion and rationality breaks apart. The whole truth is not about any one ingredient or food, but about wholesome foods in sensible combinations. The whole truth is not just about what is eaten, but what it is eaten instead of; The whole truth is generally uninterested in scapegoats and silver bullets. The whole truth allows for what is not known, as well as for what is. The whole truth is informed by the weight of evidence, not just any one study, let alone an unsubstantiated story, opinion, or bit of clickbait. The whole truth makes sense in context, not just on its own. The whole truth does not make some untenable notion of perfect the enemy of practicable good. There is more than one good diet, but it is adherence to the same, basic theme that makes any diet good. Solidarity is no substitute for sense or science. Organized religions provide all the proof anyone needs that large numbers of people can agree and still be wrong. It's all about practicing mastery. It's that muscle memory thing again. There's power in focused repetition. Repetition builds confidence.

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