For a lot of my life, I tried hard to pass for normal, to go along with what society told me would make me worthy, good, desirable.
That didn’t go so well.
I felt sad, sick, scared, heavy and slow — in both body and mind. I felt frazzled and anxious. I was stuck in all kinds of unhealthy ruts. I didn’t like who I was becoming.
So I decided to change things. I changed a lot of things, often just a little at a time.
Slowly, bit by bit, I let go of what the media and social norms proclaimed “right” and “normal.” I gave up fad diets and fitness crazes and counting calories and watching TV. I started studying and experimenting with smarter, better ways to live and be.
Basically, I embarked on my own Plan B. And then Plan C. And Plan D.
And as I experimented, my life got incrementally better. Dramatically better. I learned. I grew as a human. My life expanded in ways I could not possibly have predicted. I discovered that “normal” is overrated.
Much of my early experimentation was fun and wonderfully rewarding. But it wasn’t always easy. There were a lot of wrong turns, false starts and disappointments. There was confusion, self-doubt, self-recrimination, periodic hopelessness.
I wanted it to be easier and more rewarding — not just for me, but for others. And I still do. Because frankly, I really want to live in a world with more healthy, happy people. I want to be around them, and have them as friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, fellow citizens.
That, in essence, is what has inspired me to do a lot of what I’ve been doing for the past 15 years, including launching Experience Life magazine and RevolutionaryAct.com (along with its free companion mobile app, “101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy”).
All of these are non-conformist projects aimed at cultivating healthy discovery, experimentation and expansion.
The Living Experiment is the outgrowth of questions that both Dallas and I have been asking — and living into — for a long time. Questions like:
- How is it possible for a person to be healthy in the context of an unhealthy world?
- What actually works — and what is just a load of nonsense, outdated science, myth, and hype?
- What does it mean to be “different” by choice, and what are the costs and benefits of that?
- What are the engrained assumptions and patterns we need to actively question on a daily basis?
- How can we steer our way out of well-worn, unconscious ruts that don’t serve us?
- How can we overcome the obstacles inherent in rejecting unhealthy norms and creating healthier ones?
- How can we regularly replenish our energy, hope, focus and resilience in ways that empower us to keep moving forward, even in the face of inertia and resistance?
Ultimately, both Dallas and I have been wondering: How can a whole bunch of us make our lives progressively better in a society where, for decades, so many measures of health and happiness have been getting progressively worse?
We know it can be done, because we’ve done it ourselves, and we’ve already helped hundreds of thousands of other people do it, too.
But we also know that it requires ongoing support, courage, perspective and encouragement. It requires continuous tweaking and adjustment. In other words, it requires experimentation.
The philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti said: “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
That could not be more true. And yet, it must also be acknowledged that being perceived as maladjusted to one’s society carries an undeniable social and energetic cost.
You don’t fit in. The default choices don’t work for you. Nothing is simple or convenient. You have to maintain a kind of hyper vigilance just to avoid getting sucked into the machine.
Sigh. Bummer, I know. The good news is, together, we can make it better. And that’s where our new podcast comes in.
If you’re interested in beating those odds, outwitting the statistics, and finding your own way to sustainable health and happiness, I think you’ll like The Living Experiment. Dallas and I would love for you to give it a listen.
Our first season includes episodes on some fascinating topics, spanning physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing. From “Morning” and “Travel” to “Healthy vs. Hot,” “Pause,” “Fitspo,” and “Seasons.”
We even include our “Top 10 Biggies” — what we see as the fundamental keys to getting and staying healthy for the long haul.
If you’re interested, go to LivingExperiment.com to sign up for our e-newsletter. That way, we can keep you informed as each new episode comes out, hook you up with detailed show notes, links, resources, and more.
While you’re at the site, give the podcast a listen, and if you like it, please subscribe to it on iTunes or your favorite audio platform, give it a quick review, and tell your friends.
I’m still a bit new to the podcast world, but I’ve learned that subscriptions and reviews are a big deal, especially for brand new podcasts like ours, because they dictate the kind of ranking and reach we’ll have going forward.
And we really want this baby to reach a lot of healthy, happy experimenters. Starting with you.
Pilar Gerasimo is a health journalist and social explorer best known for her work as founding editor of Experience Life, a progressive, whole-person healthy living magazine that reaches more than 3 million people nationwide. Pilar is also the creative force behind the popular mobile app “101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy” and the author of an award-winning chapbook: Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Thriving in a Mixed-Up World. Pilar is currently working on a new book about healthy deviance. She lives on an organic family farm in Wisconsin with her pit-bull pal, Calvin. Learn more about her at PilarGerasimo.com and connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
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