Everyone who wants to live a peak performance life knows that there are myriad health trends washing over the world that seem to provide answers: The biohacking movement, intermittent fasting, wim hof, juicing, crossfit etc.
If you are anything like me, you have big ambition in life and want to live the healthiest life you can. To that end, you are eagerly pursuing, or at least experimenting with, many of these trends and movements.
And yet, perfect health seems more than a little elusive. In fact, navigating all of these different philosophies on health can be downright stressful.
And when I pause and reflect, it strikes me that all of these trends – while packed with wisdom and good advice – point to an uncomfortable truth: We are living profoundly maladjusted lives.
Take sleep as an example. I’m a light sleeper. If I use screens just before bedtime – or I entertain even one work-related thought prior to going to bed – I may spend *hours* tossing and turning.
Now, as my Reclaim your Inner Throne purpose work is taking off in the world, I’m determined to sort out my sleep patterns. And in my pursuit of that, I have discovered that the science of sleep has become much more advanced recently.
We’re learning *so* much about sleep these days, and there’s a great deal of agreement that sleep is the #1 key to health and vitality.
What have the sleep researchers found to be optimal for good sleep?
- Don’t focus on work just prior to bed (your brain will enter beta waves, which wake you up)
- Stop staring at all screens at least an hour prior to going to bed (to prevent blue light radiation from inhibiting the release of melatonin)
- Find a consistent and stable chrono-rhythm (rise the same time on weekends as in the week)
- Ensure that your bedroom is entirely dark (promotes release of melatonin)
- You must learn to time your sleep with sleep’s 90-minute cycles, so that you don’t wake in the midst of deep sleep (because your brain will be lethargic)
The list goes on (I will go into this in more detail in a future post).
Now, all of this is fantastic knowledge and very helpful.
But consider this for a moment: People who lead a more primitive, natural lifestyle do most, if not all, of these things by default.
In other words, human civilization with all of its myriad ways of stimulating the mind and body in ways which are unnatural, is the culprit.
You may have experienced it yourself: Go away to a mountain cabin without electric lights, Wi-Fi and television, and you probably start yawning at 8 or 9pm. In the absence of blue light radiation, melatonin kicks in when it is supposed to, and you go to sleep early. (and feel soooo refreshed when you rise in the morning)
It seems to me that somewhere along the way, humanity lost its innocence. We got so intellectually advanced that the mind took precedence over the body, which means essentially that we have made the human mind more important than nature.
Now I don’t romanticize nature in irrational ways. Nature is also a vicious killer and I’m glad that civilization provides protection against its harsh edge.
Yet, did we go too far?
It seems clear that in our fear of nature’s capacity to viciously kill us without remorse, we placed our trust in the mind, built civilization, and moved further and further away from the nature incarnate in our bodies.
And now we have become so used to ignoring our bodies in favor of our stimulated minds, that we hardly know what it means to live a natural lifestyle anymore.
All of these new trends are simply trying to help us listen to our bodies again.
The tragicomic truth though is that we had to wait for science – the pinnacle discipline of the mind – to realize that it’s important to be natural.
It seems we now have to trick our minds into listening to the natural truth that is ever-present by finally developing theories of the mind that support such otherwise “frivolous, infantile behavior”.
That is the state of things, isn’t it? It’s certainly true for me most of the time.
And as we are juggling all of the health-trends looking for something like our perfect bio-hacking recipe, perhaps the most important element is slowing down, turning off our screens, look up at the stars, and remember the nature from whence we came.
And while it is unavoidable in our “it’s so intelligent it’s idiotic” modern age that we need to justify natural behavior to our minds, I think the ultimate destination – in a a narrative similar to Paulo Coelho’s The Alchymist – is back where we started, in harmony with the natural way.
And that is what we’re about at Reclaim your Inner Throne – bringing back to harmony the seemingly disparate constituent elements of the human experience. We don’t shame the mind – I’m a pretty heady guy myself – but it’s not enough.
So let us now together decide to include the following in our recipe for better health: Turn off your screens, head into the great outdoors, dim your lights come eventide, and somewhere in that mysterious place so close to the naked edge of existence rediscover the wisdom of our incarnate selves.
If you’re interested in joining me on the journey for better health and all-over performance, let me know in the comments below.
And if you’re a man interested in a monthly membership brotherhood joining forces in the spirit of our unique philosophy, you can signal your interest by clicking this button (this is the same as last When our Wounds take the Wheel post, and it’s still about upgrading life in all dimensions of Mind, Body, People, Purpose).
Thank you :)
PS! In the coming weeks, I will share more about my experiments with sleep and getting my life back on track, in preparation for returning my sleep to the natural ways.
PPS! The ultimate intro to this lifestyle is Reclaim your Inner Throne, and round #10 starts March 25. We still have some seats left for the man who wants to uplevel his life. Book a free discovery call.