I have lived out my adult life thus far in search of a greater expansion of myself and the search for a stronger sense of "subjective well being" which is the fancy psych word for happiness.
This all began when, in my early twenties, I was dissatisfied with being simply a creature of circumstance like everyone else and sought out how I could consciously become more. There is a concept in existentialism (I'm not a philosophy person so I'm no expert) called "existential throwness." This means that we are who we are based on what context (family, culture, society, peers, historical circumstance) we are "thrown" into.
This has never been good enough for me. I wanted to make myself. To question every belief system I had taken in by osmosis of my peers, family, culture, and society.
I began by sucking up every self-help book I could get my hands on. I also began meditating... well just sitting there. For some reason I did not formally learn meditation for several years but I simply sat and watched how horribly out of place my subjective experience was.
Then, in 2007, I had a three day long peak experience. Something about all the work on myself I carried out for several years led me out of myself and into an expanded potential of myself. This experience led me to obsess over learning every meditation technique and learning from all of the contemplative paths I could find. I participated in several groups, most notably, Zen and the Gurdjieff Work.
These developments eventually led me into an interest in psychology and psychotherapy with a keen interest in the study in change in general. I have been fascinated by change. Not just disease or dysfunction like so many mental health practitioners are, I have obsessed about how disease and dysfunction can shift towards health and greater human functioning.
Now, I am a clinical social worker working out of a counseling office. My current career has become one of change and transformation.
Through all of this, I have learned many many ways of change, transformation and paths towards greater psycho-emotive functioning. I am geeked out over the interface between meditative work and psychological work.
I wouldn't call myself a spiritual person being as I approach what is called spiritual work or psychological work more as an engineer than a seeker. I tinker with methods and study the results, making connections and discovering practical value in what works. I tend to be adversed to overly cosmological or flowery spiritual teachers and paths and prefer a more grounded paradigm.
Following this, my other love has been health and fitness. Having suffered with what has probably been a chronic case of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) I stumbled upon the paleo diet and overall ancestral health movement. I also study much of the Weston A. Price ideas to attempt to learn a more global view of the potential of a whole foods lifestyle.
The paleo/primal approach has brought me greater subjective health and functioning than probably most of the psychological and meditative approaches I have obsessed over for years. There is a Taoist esoteric belief that the soul feeds off of chi/ or biomagnetic energy to evolve to higher states. This is why Taoists care more about the health and functioning of the organism than most spiritual traditions. I can see the wisdom in this with the paleo diet. I have sat in meditation groups hearing all kinds of IBS and IBD symptoms in other's guts, probably causing all kinds of anxiety and foggyness. Sabotaging their meditation results.
So, my point for making this blog is to bring out all these ways of transformation I have tinkered with. The ancestral health community does not tend to have many specifically mental health practitioners in its ranks and many of the knowledge about how paleo raises the level of subjective well-being is more along the lines of pop-psychology.
I have always felt a need for an emphasis on the psychological potential of this lifestyle written by those in the mental health field. The one main exception is Dr. Emily Deans, a psychiatrist who writes two excellent blogs on the interface between the evolutionary template and psychiatry:
I intend to integrate empirical science into this blog whenever possible, but integrated with my opinions and tinkering experiments in meditation and psychology, psychotherapy, and self-help.
I will post some simple tips and techniques and reference material that I find legitimate. You'll soon see that I don't go for cheezy "6 Steps Towards..." type of self-help, I tend to look deeply into methods based off of psychotherapies and not self-help gurus.
I hope that you'll join me in my exploration of the interfaces between health, the psychological sciences and higher human potential!