This is podcast #7 in this series of gradually transforming yourself into a healthy, paleo lifestyle type of a person, step by step, and week by week.
We started by eliminating grains, in particular wheat, completely from our diet in week #1.
In week #2, we still kept away from grains, of course, and added in a full 8 hours sleep per night, at a minimum. Next, we added in 15- 20 minutes of visualized resistance exercise daily, and for #4 we added in a daily green paleo smoothie.
On week #5 we eliminated pure junk foods like soda pop, candy, pastries, cookies and cakes. And in week #6 we sought to find a good source of pastured, grass fed and finished beef, naturally raised pigs and chickens, and free range eggs.
You'll notice the pattern that, each time ask you to eliminate something, I balance that out by adding in something positive. This week on #7 I am again adding in something, something vital and enjoyable, but something that is not widely done- meditation!
Meditation is something that helps to ground you, make you "live in the moment", something that we should always be doing, but that is very, very hard to do consistently! By practicing a simple form of meditation, we can reinforce this way of living in the moment throughout our daily lives. It's not easy, but the rewards are great indeed.
Start in the early morning, as you awaken in bed. Start breathing in deeply, into your diaphragm below your belly, and strive to get in as much air as possible. Breathe in slowly, and very deeply- saying to yourself as you do "1-1-1", thinking only of the number 1. Take in as much air as you can- once your diaphragm is full, start filling up your chest, until your whole lung cavity is full of life-giving oxygen!
Then, gradually exhale, letting the air slowly go out of your lungs, and only thinking of "1-1-1-" again...
Then, repeat the cycle, never letting random thoughts to come into your mind- if they do, and they certainly will, especially at first, just gently push them aside and think calmly "1-1-1-" over and over again. The idea is to live entirely in the moment, just you lying comfortably, with your breathing your only concern.
This type of breathing, where you totally fill up and consciously use your lungs is called costal breathing, and is a very ancient way of breathing that energizes, and revitalizes the body. In conjunction with concentrating on living in the moment, with no "monkey mind" or left side of the brain chatter going on, this exercise will revitalize you, and gradually awaken you in a wonderful way, leaving you ready to start your day alive, not groggy, and actually is a wonderful ab exercise in and of itself!
5-10 minutes of this in the morning is plenty. I have done this for many years, and it is key to starting your day fresh and vital, and with a deep sense of gratitude and grounding. It is very much like prayer, in that you are opening yourself up to God and nature. Try it, and along with all of the much more down-to-earth types of more practical recommendations that we have made, like eliminating gluten, exercising, eliminating junk food-like substances, and consuming top quality, locally raised meats and a daily green paleo smoothie, and getting adequate sleep each night, you will begin to markedly improve the quality of your life, and the interrelations you have with other people in your "Tribe"!
Later in the day, try to find time for another 5-10 minutes, and do the same- this time seated in an armchair, or even on your car seat! Do the same thing, seated, and observe how revitalized you become by doing this one discipline for a brief time.
I know, this might seem a little "out there" for some of you, who probably have never even thought of trying that crazy meditation... but trust me! Like many things that our modern culture has thrown in the dustbin, this is one other thing that we should have never lost, but now, thankfully, can regain.