Transpersonal Growth

Back to Basics: diet, sleep, and other fundanentals for growth

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So, now that I’m deciding to take this whole personal growth thing to the next level: what exactly is that for me? I feel like I started at an odd point with my own journey, as if I was air-dropped in to the middle of nowhere, no map, no shoes, and told to work it out. If that seems to be the case for you too, then believe me, I feel you. So for me, what I might call the fundamentals – like dietary choices, routine, exercise, etc. – have been overlooked a bit. When I started this whole thing, I was thrust in to deep water and worrying about whether my bread was wholemeal or not was the last thing on my mind. Was I happy at work? Studying hard? I lost my job and failed all my exams. Did I make my bed in the morning? Hell, getting out of bed was a pressing issue back then, let alone making it.

So now, while it feels like starting from square one, this is really just the next step in my version of progress. See, progress isn’t linear; it comes to people in different ways, in different forms, and at different times. So the fact that I’m looking at these apparently mundane things, like getting a good 7 hour kip at night and having a hearty breakfast, until recently felt like a backwards step for me – until I reminded myself, progress is progress. I’ve a tendency to do most of my work in my head, so these ‘real-life’ everyday things often go under my radar. While I may have spent time observing and learning from my emotions, healing past traumas, honing my philosophy of life, and taking steps to lay out a future that I’m happy to step in to, to really be taking those steps I have to look at these fundamentals.

The thing with these is, they’re easy. Well, easy enough, with a little effort. Everyone knows the sort of stuff I’m talking about: did you get enough sleep? Have you been eating well, and often enough? Are you happy at work? Do you get enough exercise? For me, coming at all of this personal growth stuff from a philosophical perspective, then applying psychological knowledge and spiritual practice to my life, for a while these things seemed too ‘ordinary’ to be worth bothering about (it’s daft, I know; call it a case of spiritual pride). Yet while I’ve been so caught up working on my mind, my body has often been ignored, and believe me – the body can teach you just as much as the mind can.

These past few months I’ve really started to look at my diet, and have been assessing what things to chuck out, what to limit, and what I like to eat. I’ve not been particularly strict, I’m just being sensible (for the most part). I’ve started going to the gym every now and then, too, and getting stuck in to looking for more fulfilling work. Without paying attention to the things your body needs, your mind can only stretch so far, and it’s incredible how much of an influence the body has on our emotions, thoughts, and behaviour; these being things we typically attribute to being under the influence of the mind. As well I’ve started really looking at my financial position, and have set out to find better paid work that is more fulfilling and more aligned with my overall intentions.

I’m going to keep the deeper stuff – which I have a bad habit of getting a bit lost in – for later on in this blog, or at least keep it to a minimum; the more existential stuff can wait. Right now my focus is going to be on practical and sensible progress. So, on that note, I’m off to have some lunch – since I’m not quite a transcended being just yet, I still need three good meals a day.

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