…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World
The flu hit me for a day – I had to rough out a sore throat for twenty-four hours… I don’t wallow about these things, I know the routine by now (actually, not swallowing seems to be the best course of action, but I don’t want to gross you out with any of this). Once the sore throat passed I was left with a cold and a head that felt like it was stuck in a vice. It’s during these times that food and drink requirements naturally alter, I’m not one for medication – if you listen carefully your body tells you what it needs (although many of us have had some bad training and developed some bad habits so the voice can be hard to hear), and during times when we’re unwell we either crave what we need, or go off what we usually consume and then try and figure out what else to have. During this period of dietary confusion I did a quick search online for something I could eat/drink that might help clear my congestion and I found myself watching a guy on Youtube make smoothies. The video wasn’t much use to me since I don’t have a smoothie maker, but I watched anyway, while he fed lemons and cucumbers into his machine. He admitted that his concoction wouldn’t be too nice to drink, but was adamant it would do the trick – such things seem counter-intuitive to me: I’m not a fussy eater at all, so if something tastes bad then I’d be convinced it’s not what my body needs.
After watching this video I proceeded to the guy’s Youtube channel and found a plethora of videos he had uploaded over the course of four years or so. The next one I clicked on was somewhat different from smoothie making, but health was still at the forefront; in it he talked about so many things, a lot of which really clicked with me. Not only was he talking about what he considered to be healthy eating (his fruit and vegetable diet being the basis for this), but he talked about thoughts and feelings, like, really open and honestly from his perspective as a guy, and how he felt he had some sort of mission or duty in life to help others. I felt it to be quite positively moving.
He was clearly at a good point in his life and was seeing his path laid out ahead of him. Often I have spent my days stumbling around trying to find that path for myself – I’m convinced there have been times when I have been on it, and then there are days when I feel like I’ve gone astray and lost sight at some junction or bend in the path; I have tried to backtrack in my mind to take a few steps back through what I have been through recently to re-find my way. Sometimes I’ve just waited for a little light to come on somewhere; anything from a random conversation with a stranger to a book that stands out on the shelf at the library (or a combination of the two). In fact I have been compelled to write about this before.
These moments of synchronicity are the key; glitches in the Matrix perhaps, but I am convinced that if you keep your eyes open and maintain some flexibility, the path will find you – there is a path, I’m sure of it. Some people will label this as being guided by the hand of God (or other religious figure) but I think this is irrelevant (the label you give it).
It seems not everyone sees their world like this – to them the suggestion of such a path would seem to be either just delusional, down-right silly, or over-complicating a life where you are simply born and then die. To be honest I probably accept all of the above; seeing the silliness of it isn’t so bad really – smiles and laughter can emit wonderful energy.
Perhaps for some the belief that there is no path is the right path for them but I’ve tried to tease out of friends or family members what it is their purpose in life might be; what it is they should be doing with their time here; how they can better themselves (because there is room for improvement in all of us, right? – rather than accepting “this is me” and that “me” is fixed and unchangeable) – of course these questions are hard enough for ourselves to answer, but sometimes if you ask someone else in just the right manner (or someone asks you in the right way) a little spark can be lit and they can be helped on their way. I’m sure of it. Perhaps we are all growing but this needs no conscious effort, but to me it feels right, or there is a need for me to make a conscious effort; not necessarily because I everyone would stray from or lose sight of the path if they weren’t consciously focussed, but for some reason perhaps I feel I will run out of time to traverse as much of the path as I need to within this lifetime – why the hurry? – I don’t know.
Other times it seems there is no spark ignited in a friend or family member when I have tried, and when I leave that conversation I can be left feeling more saddened that I couldn’t help someone I care about find a glimmer of their potential calling, than I might feel frustrated with myself when I’m yearning to see the way for myself. I think the truest friendships are those where everyone involved is there to help, support and encourage everyone else to do their best and be their best – these are the truly beautiful and meaningful friendships, and relationships, and we certainly don’t need to bully or badger.
Sometimes this help can, on the face of it, be for the simplest of things, not necessarily specifically and directly about helping someone find that big path in life, but can help them along a little stretch, at a junction perhaps, such as providing impartial advice about work, or relationship worries when asked. There have been times when I’ve found myself called upon in this manner and somehow I’ve been in my ‘element’ when imparting my perspective and it often seems I learn too and I have become aware that sometimes advice can fail to be acted on, or lessons not learned and similar problems can keep arising; in these situations there is no benefit to anyone involved, especially to the advice-giver – there is something draining in this practice if one isn’t careful, and at worst times I’ve found myself hiding away from potential further situations for a time.
Now returning to the topic of the guy’s Youtube videos. While the first video (about smoothie making) hadn’t been my cup of… wheat-grass, and his second video about deep stuff had been more meaningful to me, his third video revealed to me that he had taken up bicycle touring which is more my thing also. However, his approach in this and then in further smoothie-making videos (and a little issue he alluded to in the first two videos) I felt he was somewhat ‘off the path’ – perhaps this was simply the impression I gleaned from picking these few videos at random and therefore I’m projecting onto them rather than reading accurately, so for fairness I will say my opinion/observation here is a general one, or more about myself (as these things can be) rather than him – it was just his videos that lead me to this point.
Anyway, the little issue I mentioned that he alluded to was that he acknowledged the negative approach some people have on Youtube and towards his videos and messages therein – the ability to leave comments quickly and easily is beneficial to those who have quick and less thoughtful things to say and is a problem not only on Youtube but other web services with a social networking element. While highlighting flaws in someone’s advice can be helpful, since some advice, especially on the grounds of health and well-being can be unintentionally harmful, this should be done constructively and politely – but sadly such voices, and the initial communication, can be drowned out by the masses. To even acknowledge such masses seems wrong to me and one should remain focussed on their own message.
It seemed to me the guy’s changing approach throughout his videos published over the years sadly lead him away from that earlier path, which felt more true. Specifically his focus on his chosen diet became too science-based and strangely unnatural and this culminated in his chosen food for undertaking bike touring. Essentially it seems he achieved this without consuming the typical carbohydrates and protein as I would expect, and as I consume when I do a lot of cycling. Instead he lead a life of smoothie making and consuming ‘stuff from packets’ it seemed. In a later video I watched, he was still sharing smoothie recipes but it seemed his focus was on singing the praises of certain brands (plugging) and reading off the scientifically worded so-called ‘benefits’ as spouted on the packaging. It was all wrong in my ears – this was unnatural, even if the contents of those packets were derived from natural substances, it wasn’t food to me, and stuff in packaging screams “Unhealthy!”. In the case of my bout of flu and following cold, my approach was, and is pretty much always, a natural one – no ‘medication’, just some dollops of honey in hot beverages, and answering my body’s call for soup, and (strangely) rice for breakfast (on one occasion).
Since living on my own for almost two years and being the master of my own grocery shopping I shied away from packaged food – I still have a way to go, but essentially any food wrapped in plastic feels wrong and harmful and I tell myself off for purchasing such things; not initially harmful towards me directly, but harmful to the planet in that such packaging tells me the food has been produced in an artificial environment and that the plastic packaging will end up in landfill and polluting our world (even if it can be recycled at first).
Then when I looked at the guy’s most recent videos I noticed that all of a sudden he had stopped uploading some months back – his voice went quiet. I often wonder “what happened?” when someone stops posting content, such as on blogs, or in this case Youtube. Perhaps he recognised that he had indeed lost sight of his path, as I suspected, or the voices of those masses he acknowledged became too loud in his head. Sometimes we need a change and we leave an online environment – I have done this myself. In some ways I didn’t want to point out his videos, or make specific mention of him – I didn’t think this wouldn’t be a positive thing to do, but it seems that in order to end on an upbeat note I feel I should end with his second video I watched which moved me and compelled me to return to the topics here that I have written about before (and add a little more), to hopefully show us all that there is a good path to follow – we’re not always on it, we may from time-to-time lose sight of it, but it is always there; we just need to look for the light.
Anyway, this video was posted by that guy almost four years ago, and its title will allude to the topics it is about, i.e. men’s health, but I watched it for (and it turns out) found it to be insightful on a different level, as he says in his video, any adult, male or female might – maybe it will shed for you a little light also.
My previous topics you may find interesting: