Focus on Balance

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Focus on Balance :  Where in your life do you feel a lack of Balance?  What makes you feel this way? Why do you think that is?  What could you do to deliberately improve this situation?

Answer this question in accordance with each of the Seven Lifetime Value Categories: Familial, Financial, Intellectual, Physical, Professional, Social, Spiritual

 

Week 11 Spark Insight: Balance

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ESSENTIAL ELEMENT:  Balance

Critical Concept:  The daily choices you make.
The key to finding balance in your life is tied to the choices that you make in the daily management of your limited resources. If you ask ten people to describe what would constitute a State of Wellness in regards to the Spark domain of their life, you’d probably get ten different answers. There is a high likelihood that a common theme in the responses would be experiencing a sense of balance.

There are a multitude of economies operating simultaneously in our lives.  We spend, save and invest our resources constantly as we navigate through our daily lives.

You have both Limited Resources and Unlimited Resources.  Your Limited Resources include your time, focus, energy and money.  There is a finite supply of each of these vital assets at any given moment.  The key to finding balance in your life is tied to the choices that you make in their daily management and investment.

We are all programmed with a set of Innate Values.  These values promote characteristics that conveyed some level of reproductive or survival advantage over the millennia.  They are hardwired into your genome.  Adherence to the behaviors that are congruent with these values produces emotions and feelings of happiness and fulfillment.  Behaviors that are at odds with these Innate Values produce stressful emotions like anxiety, apprehension and tension.  This internal GPS (Genetic Positioning System) is in place to act as an emotional compass to guide us through life’s decisions.

When you invest your Limited Resources of time, energy, focus and money in alignment with your Innate Values, you experience a sense of balance and peace of mind.  Conversely, if you spend or squander these resources in a way that defies your deepest values, you will inevitably experience uneasiness, worry and imbalance.  This disparity is often at the root of most emotional and psychological stress, which will undermine your health in countless ways.

This chronic state of stress in our lives creates hormonal changes in our bodies that affect every facet of our health.  The stress hormone cortisol will actually cause our body to store fat in our midsection (the dreaded belly fat).  This omentum fat can surround our organs and put compressive pressure on the kidneys, causing elevated high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a key agent in the plaqueing of the arteries leading to heart disease and heart attacks.

The world often places demands on our resources with seemingly no regard for our values.  This pull between worldly demands and our inner voice can create a tension that is overwhelming if we don’t recognize it.  Being mindful of this dynamic is the first step towards Mindset Mastery.

We must take control of the economy of our limited resources if we wish to experience a sense of balance in our lives.

A Bonfire best practice involves the identification of your Roles and Goals in each of your Life Time Value Accounts.  Being clear and specific for each of your lifestyle categories is critical.  Consider and identify exactly what is most important to you in each Life Time Value Account.  Now audit your spending.

How do you spend your time, energy, focus and money?
A Bonfire vital behavior is to align your schedule with your Innate Values.  Time is the ultimate equalizer.  Regardless of age, gender or income, we all have exactly the same amount of time to invest every day.  Create a schedule that accounts for the time that is regularly reserved for serving your roles and goals.  Do not over-commit or over-schedule yourself.  Do not over-spend and force yourself into a situation that requires you to work to earn a living at the expense of making a life.

In order to achieve the illusive state of balance in our lives, we must reconcile the discrepancy between what we value and how we spend our resources.

Keep an account of each of these four resources and check in habitually.  Imagine that you had a check registry for each of these categories and make it a habit to “balance your virtual checkbook” for each of them regularly.  Become deliberate in the allocation of each of these assets.  Do not leave it to chance or resort to living in response to the world’s beckon call.

Proactive management of these precious gifts is the surest way to enjoying a balanced life in an unbalanced world.

At this point in the program you should be….

  • Establishing your Peace of Mind Account (PMA) using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
  • Getting to bed earlier: working toward sleep before 11 p.m.
  • Getting up earlier: working toward 30 minute morning rituals
  • Remaining focused on creating the life that you want
  • Choosing to develop more influence in your life
  • Recognizing challenges as opportunities to grow
  • Seeking Alignment between behaviors and Innate Values
  • Choosing an attitude of Thankfulness and Gratitude
  • Seeking opportunities to get connected with supportive people
  • Choosing to extend Unconditional Love and Acceptance to others
  • Finding Balance by managing your Limited Resources (Time, Energy,Focus,Money)

Being Fit vs. Being Healthy: The 10 Facets of Physical Fitness

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Does this look natural to you?
(Okay, for many of you this is outright disgusting and for others, compared to the many American men sporting monster bellies, it’s a breath of fresh air.)

For sure this guy looks big and muscular; for sure he looks strong; but there are a couple of questions that begged to be asked: 

1.    Is he healthy? 

2.    Is he fit?

These are not only interesting questions, but important ones as well.  There are many ways to look big and strong, which can give the impression of being healthy and fit, but is big and strong healthy and fit?  A body builder or even an Olympic weight lifter is unquestionably strong; but … fit? … healthy?

Rule One:  To be healthy, you must be fit. BUT, a person can be fit, and not be healthy. For example, it’s highly probable that the man pictured above has taken steroids to get the way he is.  It’s hard to know whether he can run, jump, and do sustained exercise over time – a sign of being fit. We do know that steroids destroy one’s health over time in many ways.

Bodybuilding and fitness magazines are filled with pages that boast men and women with bulging muscular figures, super-tanned bodies, and not a trace of fat on them.  At first glance at a bodybuilder or fitness model, you might say “Wow, they look incredibly fit!” But, physical appearances can fool you. While bodybuilders and fitness models are certainly adept at sculpting their bodies by doing exercises that isolate particular muscle groups, they are often far from being healthy and fit; and they are often even far from being functionally fit. There can be benefits to isolation and machine exercises, but if your goal is to maximize your overall health and your ability to perform everyday tasks and challenges, there are a different set of skills on which you should focus.

At Bonfire we advocate exercise regimens that use what are called universal motor recruitment patterns – exercises that get your entire body moving in symphony…efficiently, effectively and quickly from one place to another with strength, balance and agility. These movements are universal in that they are found everywhere.  These basic movements are used in everything you do in daily life, from homemaking to physical labor to sports and recreation; they include:

  • Jumping
  • Lifting
  • Reaching
  • Pushing
  • Pulling
  • Throwing
  • Running
  • Climbing

These functional movements mimic what you do in life versus calf-raises, pec-flies or leg curls, which are non-functional, isolated and artificial movements that do not serve us in real life activities. Universal motor recruitment patterns are safe, in fact the safest kinds of movements you can do. Adduction/abduction machines, lateral raises and flies are not natural, and thus are not inherently safe movements.

Also, when doing universal recruitment type of exercises it’s very demanding on the cardiovascular system which makes your ‘workouts’ very time efficient – you get an awesome workout in a very short period of time.  For more on this subject, please read Short Interval High Intensity Exercise.

The 10 Elements Of Fitness
According to Crossfit.com, if your goal is optimum physical competence then there are 10 general physical components that need to be considered:

1. Endurance (Cardiovascular and Cardio-Respiratory): This is your body’s ability to use and deliver oxygen to your body.

2. Stamina (Muscular Endurance): This is your body’s ability to store, process, and use energy.

3. Strength: This is the ability of your muscles or a muscular unit to apply force.

4. Flexibility: The ability to maximize the range of motion of a joint.

5. Power: The ability of your muscles to maximize their force in a minimum amount of time.

6. Speed: The ability to minimize the amount of time it takes you to accomplish a task or movement.

7. Coordination: The ability to combine several different movement patterns in a single distinct movement.

8. Accuracy: The ability to control a movement in a given direction or intensity.

9. Agility: The ability to minimize the time going from one movement to another.

10. Balance: The ability to control the center of gravity of your body in relation to your supportive base.

The first four (Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility) are organic (natural) and are developed through exercise and training.  Science has shown that improvements in each one of these components can be confirmed biologically (actually under a microscope) as you improve your training.  The last four (Coordination, Accuracy, Agility, Balance) are neuromuscular and developed through practice and repetition. These are improvements that we see with specific challenges and tests.  Those that are a combination of both (Power, Speed) are improved when exercise and training are combined with practice and repetition over time.

The Bonfire Health exercise program has been designed to help you build all 10 of these fitness elements regardless of your age or current level of activity.  All of the workouts are tailored to any fitness level and are composed of movements that will help you build outstanding results in your health and fitness.

We were built to be healthy and successful; we were meant to move.  Follow the Bonfire program and unleash your potential to be strong, fit, functional, healthy and ready for life’s challenges!