The Cultured Warrior Newsletter #007
Thought to Ponder:
Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose. ~ Yoda
Stoicism is often misinterpreted as apathy; or nihilism if you will. In contrast it’s anything but; it’s what drives the fancy buzzword “radical acceptance.” Some of the tenets of stoicism include “remember you will die” (memento mori) and “love your fate” (amor fati). I often joke about the juxtaposition between existentialism and stoicism, but the distinction between loving (and creating) versus succumbing to “fate” clarifies this. At any rate, fear serves many functions. It also tells us where we must go in order to grow. I don’t know if Yoda (or his screenwriter) got it “right” or not; but it certainly seems that freedom is moving towards our fears.
Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. ~ Camus
Indignation. What does that mean? It isn’t anger or frustration, it is a venomous, aggressive retaliation. What could be more indignant than being dehumanized (take that for what you will in our current political climate) coupled with the inevitable realization(s) above — that we are no longer children, we will die, and many things in life are unfair. So then, as fear gives us insight to ourselves; our individual (and collective) rebellions repeatably tell us something very clear about “humanism” and how it’s been violated; transcendent of generation, country, race, religion, or political alignment.
Things I’m Reading:
This is, at the same time, “nothing new” and very interesting. Steps-per-day was associated with improved social awareness, self-awareness, relationships skills, personal responsibilities, and optimistic thinking. It is almost as if we’re made to engage and develop our brains, bodies, and other people all together — shocker! Moderate physical activity was also positively correlated with relationship skills and optimistic thinking; so not just volume, but intensity of activity seem to matter. Also, of note “Time spent in light physical activity and sedentary time were not associated with social emotional functioning indicators.” This is not an interventional RCT so we’re not able to infer “cause”; but does the chicken-egg argument really matter here? Get your children (and you!) outside, active, and interacting with other people and good things happen.
“Our findings suggest that children with poor (health related quality of life) may not perceive parents to be supportive of their (physical activity). Interventions promoting parental (physical activity) support should emphasize (physical activity) enjoyment and benefits to attachment security for parents of boys and girls, respectively.” So, to piggy-back on the previous study; your children are always watching and learning from you whether you want them to or not — this goes for younger siblings and peers of any age as well. The models we set as parents, teachers, and peers matters greatly and, as it turns out, the model doesn’t work out in the long run.
This is a brilliant example of good science having a terrible interpretation (i.e. don’t just read the conclusion). “The results show that both groups displayed increased self-control and pro-social behaviour…” This sounds like a pretty positive outcome, except the remarks continue, “…however, MMA practitioners also reported increased aggressiveness, whereas BJJ practitioners experienced a decline in aggression.” Then, finally “… MMA may not be suitable for at-risk youth to practice, whereas traditional martial arts and sports with a healthy philosophical foundation may be effective in reducing antisocial behaviour while enhancing socially desirable behaviour among young people.” I call bollocks. It’s no secret that MMA attracts a certain crowd; one that many of us don’t want our children emulating. However, what’s washed over in this study is that the children they’re claiming became “more aggressive” already had a predisposition as being more aggressive to being exposed to martial art. Good instruction and good people produce a certain result. Poor instruction and poor modeling produce another. McDojo’s are a story for another day; and so is permissive / dismissive parenting for that matter.
See this previous post on Instagram for my thoughts.
Resources to Thrive:
- I am in the process of converting my blog over to Medium — shameless plug! The current domain (savagezen.co) will remain intact and serve as a landing page connecting my blog (Medium), podcast (Anchor), newsletters (Buttondown / Telegram) and referral links (LinkTree).
- With the tech overlords censoring more things for less and less clear reasons, many of you know you can find me on Telegram as well (@savagezen). You can also subscribe to my Medium feed on Telegram (@culturedwarriors) as well. This includes my blog and newsletter.
- The Healthy Rebellion Radio (Podcast): “The Healthy Rebellion Radio is a weekly show featuring listener Q and A on all things diet and health. We dig into metabolic flexibility, body recomposition, resilient aging, circadian biology, gut health, low carb/keto/paleo diets and much more.” If you don’t know who Robb is, you’ve been living under a rock — a pre-pleistocene rock! One of the OG’s in the ancestral health movement, and a fellow grappler. I highly recommend this podcast, even just to laugh at puns and dad-jokes!
- While CBD has helped my sleep tremendously, something I’ve had queued to work on is breathing. There are many, many studies detailing the benefits of various breathing protocols. I’ve mentioned Shift Adapt and Brian MacKenzie before, but if you’re curious about the protocol I’m implementing for the next three weeks, click here (Brian’s Instagram).