Coming Out of the Closet

Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. ~ Albert Einstein

I watched the movie Kinsey last night, and was quite inspired. Have you seen it? It’s the story of a man (played by one with a dashing first name) who founded the then-groundbreaking field of human sexual studies in the 1940’s. It was groundbreaking because, at that time, one didn’t talk about the things Kinsey was suggesting people talk about.

His findings were (according to the Hollywood rendition, anyway): people are living very different lives than they say they are, than they appear to be. That’s the part that stuck with me, anyway, and is the relevant metaphor here.

As far as our health is concerned, there is no shortage of diet, exercise, and stress reduction programs out there. How many routines and rules do you have that you don’t actually follow? and if you do follow, that feel like a ticking time bomb waiting for a “lapse in willpower”? How much are you saying, at least to yourself — okay, this is what I should be doing … soon …

Exercise. Diet. Sleep patterns. Stress levels. Low-cholesterol foods. Rotator cuff rehabilitation.

And so the internal script often goes—it certainly did for me a lot in the past, less but still some now—I just need to try harder, I need more willpower for this to work. And yet, from what I can see of our health as a species, as certain aspects of our culture, our politics, our institutions … this script isn’t tending to work very well.

Shall we try something different? Come out of the closet … so to speak. Tell the absolute truth, and at least start there. Most importantly do this to and for yourself, about where you’re at, and what you actually want to do. What you actually feel drawn toward, and what feels like a dead script involving sets, reps and HDL points.

Of note: this is not about giving your inner child or anything like that an absolute free reign, absolved of responsibility. Willpower totally and absolutely has its place from what I can tell. It is about starting with what’s true, of lifting what may be a thick veil of suppression (a la Kinsey) about your relationship to your physical being, how it works, and what to do from there.

The mind can easily go into all sorts of nightmarish scenarios about this, no? Something like your health, much less the world, could slip into absolute chaos.

I bet it won’t.

(Also a great blog post to look at right now: Zenhabits’ infusing play into mundane tasks.)

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