Sooner or later, I think the quest for good health removes us from mainstream society. Not all at once, but slowly.
Each individual needs to decide how far he or she wants to take this, of course, but my path seems to be moving me more and more toward the “fringe.”
I’ve said in the past that my goal was to be a “Fringe Wacko.” Apparently, that’s becoming more and more of a reality.
“One can be instructed in society, one is inspired in solitude.”
In my Paleo Lifestyle column for this most recent issue of Paleo Magazine (Feb/March 2013), I said:
“It takes time to build a life that’s different from the one you used to live and different from most of the people around you. Living in a way that’s contrary to the culture at large – and counter to a lifetime of conditioning – isn’t always easy.”
This is even more true for me now than it was when I wrote it a few months ago. Virtually nothing in my life is following any kind of “normal” path. But, isn’t that a good thing?
I mean, if you live like everyone else, you’ll have a life like everyone else. Beyond that, every single human being here on Earth has a different experience of life. What works for one person – or even many – won’t necessarily work for others.
Even within the Paleo community, there’s a wide variety of personality types, diets, training habits, depth of implementation, etc.
All of us are socially conditioned. It’s a fact of living in a modern marketing and media-dominated society. Some of us are more socially conditioned than others – and some of us in more negative ways – but there’s no denying that we’re all plugged into The Matrix to one degree or another.
I’ve struggled with this more than most I think – I was home schooled since second grade.
Because I missed out on a lot of social conditioning to begin with, I never really fit in. Difficult as a kid for sure, but now I see that I’m more comfortable than most living in my own reality and challenging social norms.
Where most people have a limit or a “set point” as far as how far outside of “normal” society they’ll go, I’m not really sure I do. If I do, I just haven’t found it yet.
Leaving the “Noise” Behind…
Maybe it’s just because I’m snowed in here in my little beach cottage in Connecticut after a blizzard, but I’m finding myself more and more happy alone, in silence and working.
“In the end, it didn’t matter. That year made me a pro. It gave me, for the first time in my life, an uninterrupted stretch of month after month that was mine alone, that nobody knew about but me, when I was truly productive, truly facing my demons and truly working my shit.”
I promised myself this would be the year for big training and health progress, big writing progress and a quieter, more stress-free life overall. This past year – 2012 – I wasted a lot of time on things that were important to someone else and not important to me. I can’t ever have that time back. I can’t ever know what I might have created in that time or what positive impact a different use of that time might have had on my health.
I won’t make that mistake again. 2013 is my year to make the progress that matters to me.
The more focused on this I get, the more the noisy, useless, fake people fall away. As the clutter clears from my life, I’m finding that I have more and more time to invest in the positive relationships and projects of my life.
I’ve always been creative and introverted. It’s quite appropriate that my Tarot Soul Card is “The Hermit.” The card represents, among other things, the seeking of wisdom from within. It’s the archetype of the “Wise Old Man” and the lantern represents illumination, insight or discovery.
Blame it on being home schooled since second grade, but I need solitude to write and create and be who I truly am.
Lots of it.
This isn’t always easy for people who get close to me to understand.
When I’m running around “doing stuff” I stop being a writer. Writers write and they tend to do it alone in a quiet, comfortable space. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never bumped in to Stephen King at Starbucks. I recently read his autobiography and, lo and behold, he has a quiet space in his house in Maine where he writes.
He didn’t say anything about Starbucks…
“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”
“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone – that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”
I think I’m in pretty good company on the solitude thing…
I can’t have it any other way. I thrive in solitude. I thrive when I have plenty of uninterrupted alone time to think and build and create. I thrive in silence and I thrive alone. I thrive when I run on my own internal rhythm and I completely “loose it” when I’m being run by someone else’s needs and demands and schedule.
I guess what I’m saying – and how this applies to Paleo eating and living – is that it might be good for you to stop giving a shit what other people think about you and your choices and your lifestyle. Unless you want a life just like theirs, you shouldn’t be taking the advice of others or yielding to their peer pressure.
If deep and abiding physical solitude isn’t quite your thing, at least find yourself some mental solitude to make sure the agenda you’re following is your own and not someone else’s.
I guarantee there are places in your life – right now – where you can do more of something, less of something, start something or stop something that will improve your life. Make the decision on your own and do it. Never mind what everyone else is doing…