I will follow a similar pattern for 2013 although I may add the odd personal entry from time to time. This is one of those times.
I am not a fan of the years best and worst chronicles although if I find something of interest, I will pass it along. I am a New Year's eve resolution kind of guy and completed many of my 2012 resolutions.
This also serves as a personal accountability for me so here goes my resolutions for 2013.
- Continue with my usual exercise routines and paleo styled diet aiming for 80-20 for most of the year excluding holidays (the 80-20 rule meaning 80 % clean and 20% cheat is a good rule that helps people maintain healthy eating. Of course tied to the whole paleo diet is the whole and raw foods movement. I will post additional entries on the health benefits of green smoothies in a later entry. Look for more posts on this theme).
- Go to bed much earlier around 10 and wake earlier (getting plenty of sleep is good from both a mental health and physiological point of view).
- Meditate a half hour a day using the examan of St. Ignatius or Sacred Space (research from neuropsychiatrist Dr. Newberg finds a correlation between decreased addiction, depression and anxiety among those who regularly practice meditation. I will discuss and share that research this in a later entry).
- Complete academic goals applying for grants, my dissertation and teaching.
- Complete some research projects that I have in the fire at the moment.
- Increase my appreciation of jazz by exploring some new artists.
- Live slower.
A lot of this coheres with the "primal" living movement. I follow Mark Sisson's blog Mark's Daily Apple which I highly recommend. He had a particularly good entry entitled, Primal Actualization: Realizing Your Inner Potential.
In it he made some very good suggestion on "primal actualization" and had some interesting insights. Among his insights:
Actualization, in fact, encompasses a broad spectrum, influencing everything from one’s capacity to bond with other people to the ability to develop perspective on life and society, from pursuing a creative pursuit to witnessing the profound details in any given moment...
Too often we cast self-actualization as transcending beyond of our “lesser” or “baser” selves. In the traditional hierarchical view, actualization is a process not just higher but separate from the fulfilling of lower needs like eating, sex, and socialization. But what if we looked at self-actualization less as a rising above our humanity and more as a living the full measure of it?
Good thought and a definition of spirituality that I fully share. There is deep Christian anthropological schema which I am not sure that he realized he tapped into. I explored a similar kind of trajectory in my graduate work. In a nutshell, the point of the incarnation was a revelation intended to teach that being fully human is now to be fully divine. There is a potentiality or divine spark within our consciousness, according to Meister Eckhart, that is the same ground ("grunt") as the Divine. Consequently, the birthing of consciousness within ourselves, results in the birthing of a new creation "ex nihilo" (out of nothing). In this view, the world itself is the very sacrament of God or at least intended to be so. Thus, our sphere of awareness through consciousness compels us to create, to build, to give new life, to heal, to work for justice. Certainly, the mystery of suffering remains and natural philosophers and sages from Plato to the Buddha have attempted to explain or transcend it.
But I digress, the point of this post is to share that living a full measure of humanity means tapping in to life giving relationships, enjoying the created world of food, outdoors, sex, etc. as well as the Divine which, cannot be separated from the former. The extent of our "self-actualizaton" to use a term from humanist psychologists, depends on grace (or so I believe - hence meditation not as a means to increase my receptivity).