Strange Things I Do

Whatever you do, don’t do normal.

Me (doing some breathing exercises): I’ll bet you wonder what I’m doing, huh?GAHusband: Nah. You’re always doing strange things like that. I’ve learned to ignore it.

The next time you go out in public, look closely at the people around you. If you’re anything like me, especially with all the masking nonsense, you have spent as little time around strangers as possible, but go spend some time paying attention to your neighbors’ faces.

Do these people look happy? Do they look well? Are they confident and relaxed? You can’t see their whole faces anymore (unless they’re non-maskers), but look at their eyes. Are they bright and focused? What percentage of those people look to have a healthy BMI? How many are using store-provided motorized chairs because they’re too fat to walk the whole store? How many have a healthy tone to their skin instead of an inflamed, puffy face, or that acne-pitted, greyish pallor that I’ve come to call vegan-pox?

Maybe it’s the region I live in, or the fact that I don’t frequent the same places the presumably healthier upper classes do, but the people I see are, for the most part, pretty unhealthy looking. Even the young ones are, at best, borderline overweight, except for the occasional rail-thin child who looks like she’s starving. I live in a college town, so you’d think I’d see a lot of fit young specimens, but even that demographic (barring the athletes) has weak posture, loads of extra fat, and a sour-puss countenance. I see the walking dead all around me! When I see someone who looks happy, hale, and hearty, I take notice, because it is becoming increasingly rare.

Normality is, in this degenerate age, a horrible place to allow yourself to live. So, yes, I do strange things all day long. As I’ve mentioned ad nauseum, I only eat meat. That is pretty strange, though it’s catching on. But there’s so much more to health, y’all. It gets very strange around here.

I tape my mouth shut. My three year old recently told her grandfather “Mommy puts tape over her mouth when she exercises.” He laughed, and thought she was just being silly until I told him that it’s true. Then he really laughed. He’s been trying to get me to shut my mouth since I was a wee lass. I often tape my mouth shut when I’m sleeping, too. Breathing through your nose is a big deal, so I’m trying to mend my mouth-breathing ways. If I had any sense at all, I’d tape it shut 24/7 so as to not only keep air from coming in that way, but to keep ill-advised words from coming out.

I brush my teeth with dirt. OK, it’s not just dirt. It’s bentonite clay and baking soda, plus some essential oils. I buy tooth powder from a local business makes non-toxic personal care products, but you could probably put together your own just as easily. Fluoride is a neurotoxin. I can’t find a commercial toothpaste that doesn’t have either flouride, or some sweetener that I prefer to avoid. Do a web search and you’ll find plenty of alternatives that are better for you.

I do breathing/breath-holding exercises. I recommend this for anybody who wants to be stronger generally, or who has anxiety or breathing problems.

I stop eating for days at a time. I fast regularly both as a spiritual discipline and for health reasons. I won’t say everybody should fast (people with eating disorders, for instance, could run into trouble here), but most of us can certainly benefit from it, both materially and spiritually. The leaner I get, though, the shorter these fasts have become.

I work out on a regular basis. “Come on, now!” you’re thinking. “That isn’t strange!” Isn’t it, though? Of your closest acquaintances, how many even make a habit of taking a brisk walk every day, let alone working up a sweat and intentionally making things sore? Yes, this is a strange thing to do, at least in my social circle. People try, or claim to, but it never seems to stick.

I take freezing cold showers. We have well-water, and we live at a high elevation, so this is a pretty extreme thing to do. The water gets really stinking cold here. Cold showers have a two-fold benefit. The first of these is that you have to conquer your love of comfort to put yourself into a near-freezing stream or tub of water. The second is that getting your shiver on is good for you. Exposure to cold helps turn your dormant white fat into energy-burning brown fat, so it can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. I do it before bedtime, and I believe it helps me reach deep sleep quickly. It is also a quick way lower your blood glucose, should you need to do that. I wore a Nutrisense CGM for three months and consistently watched my sugar drop by 20-30 points every time I took a cold shower. I’m going to try to find a way to get colder water, like ice baths, come summer, but even a cool shower in the summer does a pretty good job.

I actively seek difficulty. I’m always looking for something hard to do–something at which I will likely experience failure. This might be the strangest thing of all. It seems counter-productive to embrace the possibility of failure, rather than success, doesn’t it? But I’ve found that I can’t grow at all if I’m not willing to bring myself to the point of abject failure in whatever I’m doing. Right now I’m taking piano lessons, for example. I feel like I’m failing at it just about every day, but as I fail, over and over, I become humble enough to get Self out of the way and learn. I fail UP. Hopefully, eventually, I’ll achieve some level of success. I’m never going to be a classical pianist, no matter how much my daydreaming self would like that to happen. But the fact that I can never be what I wish I was will not prevent me from becoming something better than I am currently.

I’m considering entering a race this year, as well. I am not going to win that race. At five feet tall, and 41 years old, I’m not going to find myself miraculously at the front of that pack. Not by a longshot. But I will beat my former self, who has never done such a thing, and I will do it in public, to add an interesting stressor that I’ve never experienced before.

Whether it’s taking up a new musical instrument far past an age where such things come easily, or starting a pie-in-the-sky business (I’ve got dreams there, too), or entering a competition of some kind, we should always be looking for the next thing that will kick our butts. We stagnate so easily, especially as we get older and start thinking of ourselves as settled, rather than growing. No matter how old you are, you should be getting unsettled frequently. “I might fail” should never be an excuse, but a goad to get you going.

So, yes. I am always doing strange things. As I told GAHusband not too long ago, I’m going from strength to strength, while everybody around me is getting weaker and weaker. It’s not because I am myself extraordinary, but because I’m willing to do extraordinary things in order to escape the gravitational pull of normalcy.

Weakness is normal. Be weird.

 

 

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