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WolfDreamer

WolfDreamer Returns to the People

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As some of you recall, a little more than two years ago (wow, it doesn't seem that long ago) I created a challenge inspired by the James Cameron movie Avatar. This morning, I took my dogs on a barefoot walk in the morning rain and decided it was time to reboot this challenge. I'm going to modify it to include some of my recent goals and exclude goals that are either no longer relevant (can't visit grandfather b/c he passed away) or have become habits and no longer need to be considered "goals" (such as early wakeup). But I am keeping the same theme structure with a strong focus on primal fitness and nature, and of course there will be a lot of Avatar-related greatness and lots of other wild awesomeness to enjoy.

 

If you weren't around the last time I completed this challenge, zola‘u nìprrte’. I am glad you're here.

 

 

Connect With Environment: The Na'vi are deeply connected to the natural world around them, and they take care of it. When completing each of these challenges, engage all of your senses and stay mindful of the impact nature has on your body and your spirit.
  • At least 30 minutes outdoors/day in a natural setting
  • Go barefoot at least 30 minutes/day; wear minimalist shoes when necessary.
  • Explore an unfamiliar outdoor area, or explore a familiar one as if seeing it for the first time.
  • At least one wild swim/week
  • At least one tree climb/week
  • Give at least 5 minutes/day of your attention to a lifeform other than human (pets, wildlife, plants, etc.).
  • Download Joulebug and complete at least one challenge/day.
  • Do a litter cleanup in a natural area at least once/week.
  • Avoid using plastics of any kind (unless impossible).
  • 1 hike or trail run/week

Connect With Food: The Na'vi are omnivorous hunter-gatherers with a deep connection to the available provisions that surrounded them, both meat and plant. When completing these challenges, savor each bite, eat mindfully and pay close attention to how this affects your body and spirit.
  • Eat full vegetarian at least one day/week (Meatless Mondays)
  • Eat at least 1 vegetable/day
  • Eat fresh meat instead of processed/boxed/canned meat at least 3 days/week; this includes fish (BONUS: game meat when possible).
  • Forage at least once/week (dandelion, plantains, onion, etc.)
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Eat locally at least once/week (Farmer's market?) and seasonally when possible

 

Connect With Body: The Na'vi need their body to be in top shape in order to survive such a harsh environment. When completing this challenge, use a variety of "wild fitness"/primal/paleo natural movements and be mindful of how this impacts your body and spirit.
  • Wim Hof Method breathing and cold showers daily
  • Morning movements and stretches daily
  • At least 5 minutes deep squat/day
  • Drink at least 1/2 gallon of water/day.
  • Balance at least 10 yards on a narrow surface 3 days/week
  • Dead hang for at least 30 seconds 3 days/week.
  • Push-up progression daily
  • At least 2 minutes of planking/day at least 3 days/week.
  • Ride the direhorse (bike) at least 3 times/week.
  • Follow the Primal Blueprint Exercise Plan; below is the simplified version:

Monday – Sprint
Tuesday – Lift Heavy Things/Bodyweight Exercises
Wednesday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
Thursday – HIIT/WOW
Friday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
Saturday – Lift Heavy Things/Bodyweight Exercises
Sunday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest



Connect With Tribe: The Na'vi have a deep connection with members of their tribe, especially family but also tribal elders and leaders. For this challenge, be mindful of your relationships and how you strengthen them.

  • Spend every afternoon with your daughters ('ite); at least one technology-free playtime/week.
  • Use intimate physical touch with tribal members (for family: hugs, kisses, holding hands, snuggling; handshakes/hugs for friends).
  • At least one uninterrupted/technology free evening with wife (muntxate)
  • Call/visit your mother (sa'nok).
  • Continue to help and spend time with your mentor

Connect With Self: In spite of living in a savage environment, the Na'vi are very self-aware and practice a disciplined self-control and humble appreciation of all life, including their own.
  • Become toruk makto: tame the beast and take control of your temper by pausing and being mindful of your emotions.
  • Seek wisdom: read works written by great tribal leaders and elders who have come before you.
  • Choose your words: be mindful of when to speak and when to be silent; don't waste words, but choose them wisely.
  • Be grateful: keep a log each day of things for which you are grateful.

 

Connect With Eywa (God): The Na'vi believe in and commune with a being greater than themselves. This is the essence of their culture and it drives their actions and lifestyle. While completing these challenges, be mindful of where your heart and spirit rest on these issues.
  • Greet each morning with a grateful smile and a spoken "Thank you."
  • Pray/meditate in silence at least 10 minutes/day.
  • Read/listen to a devotional/contemplative prayer daily
  • Integrate prayer throughout the day.
  • Treat each person you meet as spiritually connected and as image-bearers of God; treat all lifeforms as God's creation.
  • Practice agape love (unconditional love).

Bonus Challenges:

Learn Na'vi language.
Spend at least one night outside (in a hammock, if possible).
Take a long hike deep into the woods (off trail, if possible).
Harvest spring water.
The Hallelujah Mountains: Go rock climbing (freestyle).

 

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Week 0 Day 1:

 

Connect With Environment:

  • walked around campus and watched squirrels and various birds
  • closely observed a tree that was in full bloom
  • took the dogs outside in the morning and afternoon while barefoot and shirtless; walked around the yard and the field without shoes
  • spent some time with my mentor's chickens, fed them, gave them fresh water, and collected their eggs
  • completed several activities on Joulebug
  • packed my lunch in a repurposed Cool Whip bowl and used a coffee mug rather than a disposable cup

Connect With Food:

  • no meat today
  • breakfast -- held off until 10:30am, then mixed a Purely Inspired organic plant protein shake
  • lunch -- a bowl of green beans, peas, and carrots topped with olive oil, salt, pepper, and diced onion
  • dinner -- local Asian place called Sakura; I ordered the vegetable tempura (zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, sweet potato), seaweed salad, and rice

Connect With Body:

  • morning stretches and movements while outside with the dogs
  • drank at least 1/2 gallon of water
  • held four sets of push-up plank for 20 seconds each
  • no Primal Blueprint workout today; that will officially start next week.
  • no deep squatting
  • rode my bike to my mentor's instead of driving

Connect With Tribe:

  • hugged and kissed wife and daughters before leaving for work
  • went out to eat with my wife and daughters; no phone use at dinner
  • wrestled with both younger daughters and talked to them about school
  • snuggled on the couch with my wife and watched a few of our favorite shows
  • called my mentor because he was not home; his wife is back in the hospital again due to an infection after surgery

Connect With Self:

  • lost my temper a bit in the morning because I was trying to leave for work, but my wife kept asking for help; I paused and saw it as an opportunity to spend more time with her and my daughters.
  • listened to a podcast interview with Father Richard Rohr in which he said, "You cannot think your way into a new way of living. You have to live your way into a new way of thinking."
  • spoke mindfully with my coworkers about some students who are struggling; the temptation was to complain, but I knew it would not do anything to help the students, and I would feel worse afterwards
  • I am grateful for: the courage to try new foods, wet grass between my toes, the opportunities and blessings I have had up to this point.

Connect With Eywa:

  • said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a prayer of gratitude
  • read a devotional that reflected on Proverbs 12:25: "Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up."
  • sat in quiet contemplation for 7 minutes (I'll build up to 10)
  • spoke to God a few times during my walk around campus; I also said a prayer for the people of France after learning of the Notre Dame fire
  • greeted a few people on campus as I passed them
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7 minutes ago, Ann of Vries said:

This is an amazing challenge. Here to see you connect!

 

Thank you Ann. It is always a pleasure to have you along.

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Week 0 Days 2 & 3 Update (T/W):

 

giphy.gif

 

Connect With Environment
  • Took the dogs outside while barefoot and shirtless and walked barefooted around the field and to the river (T/W)
  • Scavenged around the area near the river, noticing little things like goose feathers and paw prints from opossums and raccoons (T)
  • Put my bare feet in the river to cool off from the heat (T)
  • Spent time with, fed, gave fresh water to my mentor's chickens, ducks, and guineas (T/W)
  • Completed some challenges on Joulebug (T/W)
  • Packed my lunch in a Tupperware bowl and brought silverware from home
  • downloaded a new app called Lympo that gives points for walking/running; average steps both days: 18,981.

giphy.gif

Connect With Food:

  • fasted both days until 11:00 am
  • lunch: Wednesday I ate a pork bbq sandwich from a local bbq place across from campus with coleslaw and macaroni and cheese 
  • Tried something new: Odwalla Apples and Greens Smoobucha (yep, it's a real thing, I promise)

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  • snacked as healthy as I could both days: popcorn, dried mango, coconut bites, peanut butter
  • Tuesday I foraged some dandelion for tea and to munch on the greens

giphy.gif

Connect With Body:

  • WHM Breathing (T) and cold shower (T/W)
  • morning movements and stretches (T/W)
  • deep squatting (T/W); Tuesday I worked for my mentor, using a deep squat to pick up fallen branches and debris from his yard after a windstorm.
  • balanced on a curb while on my walks around campus (T/W)
  • drank plenty of water both days
  • hung from the beam above my porch for 30 seconds Tuesday
  • push-up progression (T)
  • rode my bike to my mentor's Tuesday
  • carried a five-gallon bucket of rocks down to the river (about 120 yards), did some burpees (2 sets of 10), rested for 2 minutes, then carried it back (T)
  • Wednesday I walked around campus a lot and also worked at the movie theater

giphy-downsized-large.gif

Connect With Tribe:

  • spent time outside with my youngest daughters; took my 15 year old to the driving range to practice driving; also took the littlest one on a bike ride to help her learn how to ride downhill without losing control. (T)
  • visited my mentor briefly (T); his wife is still in the hospital, and he was too upset to talk much.
  • I did not get to see my wife and daughters much Wednesday because I had to work, and they had a doctor's appointment. By the time I got home from work everyone was asleep. I woke my wife up when I got home (at her request) and gave her a foot rub.

giphy.gif

Connect With Self:

  • stayed mindful of my emotions after learning some frustrating news; a few times I was doing schoolwork, and my wife yelled for me to complete a task, and I could feel my frustration build, but I paused and took a deep breath and said to myself, "Don't get so offended. She just needs your help."
  • started listening to an audiobook version of Richard Rohr's The Divine Dance (T/W). It's quite beautiful, actually.
  • reading Lisa Gungor's book The Most Beautiful Thing I've Seen in the mornings while sitting on the porch of East Hall (T/W)
  • listened to an episode of the TED Radio Hour that talked about our brains and how/if they are hardwired for certain habits and behaviors (T)
  • Wednesday I met with a potential new student and her parents, and they were very stoic but polite. I was nervous the entire time, but I answered their questions about our program, spoke enthusiastically about the benefits of our program, and took them to meet with a few of our current students. Later, the parents emailed my supervisor and told him how delightful I was and that their daughter is definitely interested in the program.
  • I am grateful for: patience, sweet cream coffee creamer, when the sun shines just the right way to make something even more beautiful, my wife's laughter, people who understand more than I give them credit for, and apps that make me want to get up and do something.

giphy.gif

Connect With Eywa:

  • said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a prayer of gratitude (T/W)
  • listened to the Pray As You Go daily prayer (T/W)
  • sat in silence in my room while everyone else was away at appointments (T/W)
  • said a few silent prayers for people I passed who seemed irritated or upset about something; also said a few prayers of gratitude for little things, like the squirrel that crossed very close to me or the morning sunlight that shined through the trees and reflected off the window behind me, warming me up and giving me plenty of light to see my book. (T/W)
  • smiled and greeted a few people on campus; most of them responded with a smile and returned the greeting
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Excellent podcast interview for Mark Divine's Unbeatable Mind podcast of Erwan Le Corre, founder of MovNat:

 

 

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Week 1 Day 1 Update:

 

Connect With Environment:

  • At least 30 minutes outdoors/day in a natural setting -- Yep
  • Go barefoot at least 30 minutes/day; wear minimalist shoes when necessary. -- Yep
  • Explore an unfamiliar outdoor area, or explore a familiar one as if seeing it for the first time. -- Yep; walked across the field to the lake
  • Give at least 5 minutes/day of your attention to a lifeform other than human (pets, wildlife, plants, etc.). -- Yep; my three dogs, and I also watched a few squirrels chase each other.
  • Download Joulebug and complete at least one challenge/day. -- Yep; started the Earth Day Challenge, and I am in 10th place (last time I checked).

Connect With Food:

  • breakfast: fasted until 11:00am
  • lunch: leftover Fazoli's (Italian food); spaghetti with marinara and one meatball, lasagna, and fettuccini Alfredo
  • dinner: sushi with crab meat, tuna, avocado, and zucchini

Connect With Body:

  • Wim Hof Method breathing and cold showers daily -- Yep
  • Morning movements and stretches daily -- Yep
  • At least 5 minutes deep squat/day -- No
  • Drink at least 1/2 gallon of water/day -- No
  • took Princess Gracelynn to work with me because she did not have school, and we walked around campus; we also practiced balancing on a curb.
  • Push-up progression daily -- No
  • haven't been feeling great since Sunday, so I did not sprint; I'm going to count it as a rest day and hope to feel better later.

Connect With Tribe:

  • Spend every afternoon with your daughters ('ite); at least one technology-free playtime/week. -- Yep.
  • Use intimate physical touch with tribal members (for family: hugs, kisses, holding hands, snuggling; handshakes/hugs for friends). -- Yep.
  • Call/visit your mother (sa'nok). -- Stopped by Mom's yesterday; she was just getting home from work, but I talked to her for a bit.

Connect With Self:

  • Felt irritable because I had schoolwork due and a lot was going on in my house (the usual, nothing serious), but I was mindful of my irritation and kept my temper under control.
  • I got a copy of THIS (Michael Gungor's new book), so I've been reading that. @annyshay I'd say I recommend it, but I'm not sure what you'd think.
  • I spoke patiently to my 15 year old daughter (Princess Bianca) yesterday about a behavior outburst she had this past weekend and how she could have better solved the problem.
  • I am grateful for: leftovers, my brain, guilty pleasure music

Connect With Eywa:

  • Greet each morning with a grateful smile and a spoken "Thank you." -- Yep
  • Pray/meditate in silence at least 10 minutes/day. -- Yep
  • Read/listen to a devotional/contemplative prayer daily -- Yep; listened to the Pray As You Go prayer.
  • Integrate prayer throughout the day. -- Yep
  • Treat each person you meet as spiritually connected and as image-bearers of God; treat all lifeforms as God's creation. -- Yep
  • Practice agape love (unconditional love). -- Yep

I'm sorry this isn't more enthusiastic. I'm still feeling kind of bleh. Not a good way to start the first week.

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33 minutes ago, WolfDreamer said:

I got a copy of THIS (Michael Gungor's new book), so I've been reading that. @annyshay I'd say I recommend it, but I'm not sure what you'd think.

Well that just makes me really curious. Hehe. Glad you're enjoying it! Adding to the list.

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well, I think I will make one more attachment to the adventurer guild for personal inspiration.

you sir are quite the adventurer!  I remember looking at the movenat movement last year; really interesting ideas. and I felt inspired by the concept of looking to nature for athletic challenges.

 

I'm not sure I'm ready to so completely shatter HOW I interact with nature.

 

but I love the philosophy!  we are far too divorced from the functional fitness of being able to do things in a natural setting.

 

so I'll follow you around some to see how this philosophy holds together.

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On 4/23/2019 at 6:59 AM, WolfDreamer said:

I'm sorry this isn't more enthusiastic. I'm still feeling kind of bleh. Not a good way to start the first week.

 

You always have so many components to your challenge, it is doubly impressive when you hit all of your goals when you are feeling blah. As always, I am just a message away! 

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3 hours ago, TGP said:

 

but I love the philosophy!  we are far too divorced from the functional fitness of being able to do things in a natural setting.

 

 

I completely agree. I was just think about how useless traditional exercise feels. And part is because my current job doesn’t require anything physical at all. Which I hate about it. 

 

The homesteading theme for us is, in a large part, about getting back in touch with nature and getting our kids used to it instead of just playing computers all the time. (And I get it, the Cars 3 racing game I super fun but it isn’t healthy to play it all the time!).  

 

Functional fitness and practical, physical chores are really the source of “old man” and “farm” strength, which isn’t just about lifting heavy but about being able to work hard for a long time. I read an article about sports coaches lamenting this back in the 70s as fewer kids were working on the family farm and coaches we’re trying to figure out what to do with that. Our military has been struggling with it too. But the connection part is, I think, the most important part for our overall health. 

 

And I’ve been drawn to @WolfDreamer‘s challenges from the very beginning for that spiritual connection to it all (a Soulcon challenge in July 2017 was the first challenge I read and is what I used to begin understanding the whole challenge format). It’s really made me realize how much I miss being in nature, especially now that I can be outside more again.  

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School work is almost caught up. One more assignment and I'm done. Sorry for the lack of updates, but here's a quick rundown of my goals for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (TWRFSSu).

 

giphy.gif 

Connect With Environment:

  • At least 30 minutes outdoors/day in a natural setting: (TWRFSSu)
  • Go barefoot at least 30 minutes/day; wear minimalist shoes when necessary: (TWRFSSu)
  • Explore an unfamiliar outdoor area, or explore a familiar one as if seeing it for the first time (S)
  • No wild swim this week because recent storms made the river unsafe
  • At least one tree climb/week (S -- took a break during a trail run to climb a tree)
  • Give at least 5 minutes/day of your attention to a lifeform other than human (pets, wildlife, plants, etc.): (TWRFSSu)
  • Download Joulebug and complete at least one challenge/day: (TWRFSSu)
  • Do a litter cleanup in a natural area at least once/week: picked up some trash at the park where I run trails
  • 1 hike or trail run/week: (S) -- took my brother for a 4.3 mile trail run at the lake; found some mountain bike trails that were also perfect for running.

 

giphy.gif

Connect With Food:

  • Eat full vegetarian at least one day/week: (T)
  • Eat at least 1 vegetable/day: (TWRFSSu)
  • Eat fresh meat instead of processed/boxed/canned meat at least 3 days/week; this includes fish: (TWRFSSu)
  • Forage at least once/week (dandelion, plantains, onion, etc.): (W) -- foraged some dandelion tops for tea and munched on some wood sorrel.
  • Intermittent fasting: (TRF)
  • Eat locally at least once/week: (F)

 

giphy.gif

Connect With Body:

  • Wim Hof Method breathing and cold showers daily: (TWRF)
  • Morning movements and stretches daily: (TWRFSSu)
  • At least 5 minutes deep squat/day: (RFSSu)
  • Drink at least 1/2 gallon of water/day: (WRFSSu)
  • Balance at least 10 yards on a narrow surface 3 days/week: (TRS)
  • Dead hang for at least 30 seconds 3 days/week: (RFS)
  • Push-up progression daily: (TWFSSu)
  • At least 2 minutes of planking/day at least 3 days/week: (WFS)
  • Ride the direhorse (bike) at least 3 times/week: (RS -- weather has not been great)
  • Follow the Primal Blueprint Exercise Plan: (TWRFSSu)

 

giphy.gif

Connect With Tribe:

  • Spend every afternoon with your daughters ('ite); at least one technology-free playtime/week: (WTRFSSu)
  • Use intimate physical touch with tribal members (for family: hugs, kisses, holding hands, snuggling; handshakes/hugs for friends): (TWRFSSu)
  • At least one uninterrupted/technology free evening with wife (muntxate): (WR)
  • Call/visit your mother (sa'nok): (WRF)
  • Continue to help and spend time with your mentor: (TWR)

 

giphy.gif

Connect With Self:

  • Become toruk makto: tame the beast and take control of your temper by pausing and being mindful of your emotions: (S -- a disgruntled customer lit into me at the movie theater, called me rude and disrespectful and said I had a smart mouth and needed to shut it; I didn't lose my temper until after my manager sent me to the back and I took my anger out on some boxes).
  • Seek wisdom: read works written by great tribal leaders and elders who have come before you: (TWRFSSu -- reading THIS by Michael Gungor and listening to Fearless, the biography of SEAL Team Six member Adam Brown)
  • Choose your words: be mindful of when to speak and when to be silent; don't waste words, but choose them wisely: (S -- tried this with the angry customer without luck; had to realize later that this wasn't my fault because even after I walked away he continued to yell at my manager and other employees).
  • I am grateful for: Bang energy drinks, cold sunny mornings, drizzle, soft dirt trails, my wife's smile, perfect pillows, my brother, friends who offer a beer and company when you're upset, wet grass, boulders covered with moss

 

giphy.gif

Connect With Eywa:

  • Greet each morning with a grateful smile and a spoken "Thank you": (TWRFSSu)
  • Pray/meditate in silence at least 10 minutes/day: (TWRFSSu)
  • Read/listen to a devotional/contemplative prayer daily: (TWRFSSu)
  • Integrate prayer throughout the day: (TWRFSSu)
  • Treat each person you meet as spiritually connected and as image-bearers of God; treat all lifeforms as God's creation: (TWRFSSu -- although this was really, really difficult Saturday while that angry customer tried to belittle me; I mean he seriously didn't want a refund or passes, he just wanted to make me feel like shit).
  • Practice agape love (unconditional love): (TWRFSSu -- again... not easy Saturday night).
Edited by WolfDreamer
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All of my assignments for the semester are completed. I know for sure that I have an A in at least one course, and I am just about certain the other is an A, as well (although it's not yet official).

 

I'm just relieved to be finished for the semester. This was only the first semester, though, in a four year program. But at least I did well. And even though I love my current teaching position, I'm excited for a potential future once I finish this degree.

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I forgot to mention that last week I shot a bow. It was one of those practice bows, but I hit the target every time (no bullseye, though). That's a pretty Na'vi thing to do, right?

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So my grades are in for sure: two A's. Not a bad way to start a master's degree. Next semester I'll be taking Human Relations Skills for Leaders and Educational Technology for Administrators. But for now, I'm going to enjoy a much-needed break from schoolwork.

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18 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:

I forgot to mention that last week I shot a bow. It was one of those practice bows, but I hit the target every time (no bullseye, though). That's a pretty Na'vi thing to do, right?

Fo sho!

2 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:

So my grades are in for sure: two A's. Not a bad way to start a master's degree. Next semester I'll be taking Human Relations Skills for Leaders and Educational Technology for Administrators. But for now, I'm going to enjoy a much-needed break from schoolwork.

Congrats!

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