This picture was taken on a recent hike of mine on the mountain in my backyard, Mt. Diablo. I love exercise that takes me into the inspiring energy of the great outdoors. I gave up boring gym workouts long ago in favor of free, fun, and truly energizing outdoor exercises that require no special equipment.
Have you noticed the conversation about health and diet really ramping up these days? It’s been prevalent since the exercise revolution of the 70’s, but recently seems more and more people are getting sick. The side effects of living in our modern world are catching up with us. It seems people are either too busy (I don’t have enough time) or too depressed (I don’t care) to take care of themselves. Both of these conditions – too busy or too depressed – lead to sedentary lifestyles coupled with consumption of highly processed, convenience foods. You can get away with this for a while, but eventually it catches up with you.
The data and research are clearer today than ever before: proper diet and regular exercise are the keys to healthy living. Almost every disease in our modern world can be linked back to poor diet and lack of exercise (plus mental/emotional stress). These are factors in which YOU are in control, NOT your genes, destiny, or bad luck. I see it on PBS all the time: people reversing chronic health ailments like coronary artery disease, migraines, even cancer, through changes in diet and exercise. Not to mention just plain old feeling better with more optimism and energy!
In this issue of Major Good Mojo we look at one of the most important ingredients for creating your life’s dreams and desires: taking conscious, loving care of your physical body. This is Step 9 of the Major Good Mojo System: “Feel Good In Your Body – Look After It!”
Read on and enjoy!
The Two Most Abused Modern Miracles: Diet and Exercise
Step 9 of the 10 Step Major Good Mojo System is “Feel Good In Your Body – Look After It!” This step has multiple aspects to it, all of them about taking care of your physical self. Over the years I’ve learned just how important this is to a life of fulfillment. We have bodies for a reason, and that reason is to live and fulfill our destinies and to create and fully experience our lives. If our bodies are out of shape, worn down, or not given the proper fuel, sleep, or fresh air, just like any mechanical system, they will break down. They will not be able to serve their purpose.
Lots of people struggle with this in their lives. I think one of the reasons is because the body is for living, and if you don’t know what you are living for, then you’re not truly, or naturally, motivated to live. That makes taking care of your body, your key tool for living, an uphill battle and struggle. When you are connected to Spirit and your passions (accomplished through the first 8 steps of the Major Good Mojo System), taking care of your body becomes so much easier and more natural. You are excited about life, you are inspired by life, you have divine energy flowing through you and you want to live. It makes a lot more sense that you want to exercise and move your body, eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of refreshing water, breath lots of fresh air, let in the beautiful sunlight, connect with plants and animals, and get plenty of rest and sleep.
One of my original teachers and inspirations was Dan Millman, author of the best selling book “Way of the Peaceful Warrior.” He is often asked, “How can I become a Peaceful Warrior? What is the most important thing I should be doing?” His reply is, “Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise your body.” We’re so busy looking for the magical aspects of living a fulfilling life that we forget these basic things and the huge difference they make.
One of the most powerful practices I have discovered is called Integral Transformative Practice, or ITP for short. This is a long-term practice for transformation developed by human potential pioneers Michael Murphy and George Leonard. Michael Murphy is one of the founders of the Esalen Institute (the west coast center for the human potential movement, founded 50 years ago, located in beautiful Big Sur, California) and George Leonard was President of The Esalen Institute for a time. Over the years these two saw pretty much everything when it came to programs and processes for realizing our human potential.
On January 4, 1992 they embarked on a research study they called “Integral Transformative Practice” with 36 people that met every Saturday morning for 11 months. In 1993 a second group met for 10 consecutive months. They decided they would forgo the spectacular “gee-whiz” experiences they knew they could facilitate, feeling they only gave the illusion of significant change and could even interfere with lasting, long-term transformation. Rather, they held a strong belief in the “transformative power and sacredness of life’s quiet virtues, including intellectual curiosity and integrity, a sense of the spiritual, unconditional love, healthy exercise, and a devotion to practice.” They “were in it for the long run.” “The practice would be integral in that it would involve and seek to integrate body, mind, heart, and soul. It would be transformative in that it would aim toward positive, long-term personal change.”
While the practice certainly has its physical/body-based components, including proper diet and regular exercise, it goes beyond this and recognizes the INTEGRAL nature of ALL OUR COMPONENTS. This means focus and development in one area affect all the others. So, for TRUE physical health and vitality, we must also develop our other parts: mind, heart, and soul. And vice-versa for all the other areas of our being.
The standard affirmation that every ITP Practitioner makes is “My entire being is balanced, vital and healthy.” It’s important to affirm your preferred state of balance, vitality, and health, and ingrain this into yourself through repetition as a conscious and unconscious truth.
So, Step 9, taking care of our physical body, is in the Major Good Mojo System as a very important part of our daily practice for fulfillment and experiencing Major Good Mojo in our lives. To experience the power this can provide in your life, I invite you to engage the The Major Good Mojo Coaching System.
Your Major Good Mojo Assignment:
Take a look in your kitchen cupboards and pantry and see what you see. Are they filled with processed foods, crackers, cookies, pasta, chips, cereal, white rice, tortillas, bread, candy, etc.? Modern dietary research is indicating the average American diet is too high in these starchy, sugary, processed carbs. Just decreasing your intake of these things will make a big difference in your health. Replace them with things like fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
Take a look at your exercise habits. Is your habit NOT to exercise? Just notice. Modern research is showing that even a small amount of non-strenuous exercise (a short walk for example) can make a huge difference in health and well-being. It’s the consistency that matters most, not the intensity. See if there is an opportunity for you to increase the exercise you are getting in your life and notice the big difference it will make.
Congratulations – you are one step closer to Major Good Mojo!