Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Refusal to shut down

Rather than getting a generic message, a personalized version is received. The Finder may also use a teaching method that requires interaction. For example, some employ a method that digs deeply into your beliefs and ideologies. There could also be more to the story than this type of conscious interaction. My walks were making me happier. Now exercise is a daily feature of my life. The walks have continued -- Homer and I would be equally bereft if they stopped -- but I have also discovered the pleasures of other physical activities, notably swimming, cycling and Pilates. Now I go a little stir-crazy if I don't get out and move regularly. Today exercise is one of the daily strategies I use to manage my stress and think better. Some of my best ideas have come to me while walking along the beach or following that black line in the swimming pool. Exercise is the single most effective method to live, think and age well. The power of exercise Exercise keeps us fitter, healthier, thinking better and mentally well. Think of it as medicine to alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, protect your brain from the ageing process and help you stay cognitively sharp, make smarter decisions and manage your emotions more effectively. We all hurt and we all heal. It is what we were born to do. Resilience is intrinsic to all living organisms. We can look to the experience of physical exercise as a direct corollary. We exercise with the intention of getting stronger and more flexible, but exercise doesn't do either of those things--not directly. Working out actually injures you.

It creates tiny tears in your muscles. We strengthen in the rest and recovery after the workout. Thus, the intention behind a really good workout is to injure you manageably, just enough so that you'll emerge from your recovery stronger and more flexible than you were before. Same with life. For decades, researchers have been attempting to control for `experimenter effects' in human research. These are unintentional biases and influences that get introduced into academic research by the scientists designing and carrying it out. There are a bewildering number of variables that should be controlled in order to conduct a `valid' experiment. Even in a strictly controlled laboratory environment, information can be accidentally and unintentionally conveyed though actions, voice, and so forth. Much of this is not under conscious control. Influences extend to hidden and rarely considered mechanisms, such as chemical-level signaling. A good example is the exchange of pheromones between people. Given the high number of information transfer types and mechanisms across virtually all forms of human-to-human interaction, there has been no way for our research project to examine more than a handful in relation to Fundamental Wellbeing. Their degree of influence in producing a shift remains unknown. There could be any number of `hidden' influences that make it a good idea for someone who wants to transition to visit with a Finder. With so much going for exercise, surely we should be bottling it up and drinking it as the elixir of life? Except we aren't. Well, some are. As far as exercise goes, you can classify people into three general groups: Which category do you fit into? Is exercise and being physically active a joy or is the thought of wearing Lycra(R) enough to bring you out in a rash?

If you're a shoulda, coulda or woulda wondering how the heck to get started, or are seeking the motivation and inspiration to start back up again after falling off the exercise wagon when life or work took over, this article is for you. Roughly 44 per cent of Australians are sufficiently physically active. They have made exercise part of who they are and what they do. They get up in the morning and scoot off to the gym or cycle 50 kilometres before breakfast or row on the river for 40 minutes, and still get to work on time. Same with our hearts. Except we don't need to go looking for emotional workouts. They arrive at our doorstep without us even asking. We have endless opportunities to get bruised by life and then to strengthen in our recovery from it all. And from that kind of activity comes something most precious: confidence. As we repeatedly witness ourselves getting hurt and dealing with it skillfully--and thus consistently find ourselves stronger and more emotionally agile than before--our fear of life decreases. Our defensive parts start to get the message that we are stronger and more capable than we were in childhood--which is when our core defenses were conditioned and wired into us. We become indefatigable. Ever more courageous. Outrageously courageous, even. This is not to suggest that you need to go meet a Finder if you want to experience Fundamental Wellbeing. Many participants had no known connections to one prior to their shift. It's also important to consider that all Finders are not the same. If there is something to a personal connection, it is possible that you may need to locate a Finder that is the `right fit' for you in order to benefit from the interaction. Remember, most of these individuals seem to have no effect on their families and friends. And, there are plenty of people who have flocked to Finders but still don't experience Fundamental Wellbeing.

Meetings with Finders often appear synchronistic. In fact, increased feelings of synchronicity have been tied to the experience of Fundamental Wellbeing for nearly as long as it has been reported. In the next article, we look at the impact that being a Finder has on synchronicity and flow--and once again discover that many of the common beliefs about these topics are off the mark. Some religious and spiritual traditions suggest that experiencing Fundamental Wellbeing literally changes the way the world interacts with Finders. Fortunately, many employers supply showers and change facilities to reduce the incidence of stale sweat and smelly socks in the workplace. But according to the Australian Health Survey, 20 per cent of adult Australians fail to undertake any regular physical exercise and more than 30 per cent don't achieve the recommended minimum of 150 minutes per week. Across the Pacific, Americans fare even worse. Mayo Clinic Proceedings reports that less than 3 per cent of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a healthy lifestyle (oops, I think that reads `room for improvement') and only 20 per cent meet exercise guidelines. Globally, one in four adults and three in four adolescents (aged 11-17) fail to meet the minimum recommendation for exercise. It's not that we don't know how important exercise is to our health and wellbeing; If only I had more time Actually, you have all the time you need. If prioritising your own self-care is proving tricky, is it time to give yourself permission to make the time available? What can you shift, defer or delete to create the time required? And this is but a glimpse of what's possible for us all. Cultivating the factors of resilience I've listed above so very often boils down to the things we're saying yes to. Who we're in community with is up to us. How we speak to ourselves is often on autopilot--but we can choose to get off autopilot and harness the inner conversation. Cultivating an inner life, perhaps through things like meditation, contemplation, study, and therapy, may mean changing some of our habits and routines to make space for deeper things. In order to say yes to deepening our resources and quickening our capacity for bounce-back, we might need to do something that freaks many of us out more than failure does--say no.

No is golden. No is the kind of power the good witch wields. It's the way whole, healthy, emotionally evolved people manage to have relationships with jackasses while limiting the amount of jackass in their lives. Almost every well-intentioned person I know has difficulty discerning the line between this form of codependence and compassion. At the extreme, these traditions propose that the external world shifts to become harmonious, to ensure their perfect ongoing health, and even to fulfill whatever they desire. While these concepts are undoubtedly a form of `spiritual salesmanship,' this does not mean they are entirely without merit. Let's start with some simple facts and observations. There are Finders across every location on the continuum who are in failing health. Some of these health problems result from typical aging, but certainly not all. On a more basic level, many wear glasses, need or have needed dental work, and have other typical health issues. And, some have died since they were interviewed. In fact, some of the individuals who were regarded as among the most advanced from their religious or spiritual tradition reached out to participate in our research just prior to their death, knowing that they were going to die soon from a specific health condition. The idea that Fundamental Wellbeing transforms an individual into a perfect picture of health, makes them live forever, and so forth is not supported either overall, or for any location on the continuum that the project has researched thus far. A related idea is synchronistic support. I'm too tired This is a common problem. The question to ask is what's causing you to be so darn tired in the first place and how can you start fixing that? Are you working too many hours, doing too much for everyone else or not getting enough sleep? The paradox is that undertaking even a small amount of regular exercise is energising. So if you're home late and thinking you've already missed the first half of your yoga session so you won't bother going, what if you went anyway and got half a class done, or rescheduled for another time so as to not miss out?

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