I was lucky enough to attend the Ancestral Health Symposium in October with my mate Carl from Best Me Community.
One of the presentations was about being "A Healthy Deviant" which I found really interesting. The speaker was Pilar Gerasimo who is "a pioneering health journalist and social explorer intent on helping people cultivate what she calls “Healthy Deviance” — the ability to get and stay healthy in an unhealthy world".
What is a healthy deviant?
So... I still hear you asking hat the hell is a healthy deviant!
Pilar explained Healthy Deviance as "a willingness to defy unhealthy norms" and "inspired non-compliance". It's like going against the norms of society (ie, all the unhealthy crap we do) and being ok with being different. I'm always on about being in ya own lane so there ya go.
We've got a bit of an "evolutionary mismatch" Pilar explained - there has been too much too quick on us as humans for us to really have been able to adapt to all of this "stuff" that's going on - the agricultural revolution, closely followed by the industrial one, then the technological one (can you remember when we were moving to the year 2000 and the world was a-panic because of computers not being able to handle the dates?!).
Automatic behaviors and the impact on freedom
Today, we make a lot of automatic choices and behave in automatic ways just so we can cope with what's going on in the world. This might include making not the best choices because it's quicker, easier and requires less thought than having to modify that behaviors. I guess the counter argument to this is - that if we are actually putting more effort and thought into things, you usually get a better result and often, cope better with anything 'extra' that put pressure on us.
Why do we even care about this? Well, as our speaker pointed out - HEALTH IS THE FIRST HUMAN FREEDOM and we should be protecting this with everything we've got - even if we have to go against our current norms to do so.
Freedom is the first thing to evaporate when we are sick - health is the thing that drives our capacity to cope both individually and collectively.
The skills of a healthy person
So if we are being automated, making less than idea choices what is the impact?
Pilar invited us to ask ourselves "Are you breaking yourself?"
I also invite you to explore this concept - are you doing things that are impacting on your capacity to act individually or collectively? What can you change? Awareness, in my opinion, is one of the first chances for us to make change.
Where to start in making change - what should you do?
If we want to make change we kind of need to know where we are headed and lucky for us, Pilar also touched on the skills of healthy person. Believe it or not - it's not just diet or exercise!
Where to start? Pilar suggested looking to nature which is a series of waves and oscillations. What if we started viewing ourselves like that? We are of course designed to be in sync with nature - it's what we were born into and rely on for our food and survival at the end of the day.
Pilar made the following suggestions that sync us more with the world around us which I think is beneficial. I'd also like to suggest thinking of other ways that you can connect again to the natural way of things:
1) Try 3 Min Morning Minutes
Don't grab your phone - try a gradual awakening instead. Use this 3 minutes of waking to do a Beta Brain state visualization of how you want your day to go (note to self, plan day ahead so you know what to visualise)!
2) Learn about Ultradian Rhythms
WTF is an ultradian rhythm? Well, these are natural for humans and we are always trying to override them. The basic theory is that we should be having a break every now and again as we go with the flow of the day - we will always have periods where we are more energised than others and it's about recognising that and going with the flow to get more done. Check out "The 20 Minute Break" for more information.
3) Try a Night Time Wind Down
Dim the lights (yeah you - put your phone down... basically, I am talking to myself here hahaha). Do your evening ablutions, and putter around the kitchen. It's just that quiet puttering that is the signal to your mind and body that it's wind down time. Probably not a the best idea at this point to be watching some horror show on Netflix....
4) Change your mindset
One of the biggest challenges in a busy automated world is how to to change the world at all... Pilar left us with this final thought which I found quite thought provoking. I invite you to think about this one after you read this....
"What if most people were helping others most of the time?" What do you think the impact would be?