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Purpose, Power, and Physical Health

The path toward well-being

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At some point in our lives, we start to question what life’s about and why we’re here. But the search for purpose isn’t always a straight line, and there are plenty of distractions to throw you off track. Among other diversions, pain, fatigue, and excess weight clamour for attention and can pull you off your path. Minimizing these distractions will help you get the clarity you crave.

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The power of purpose

First of all, let’s eliminate any notion that seeking out your purpose and expressing it is frivolous. American psychologist Abraham Maslow, in his famous hierarchy of needs, proposed that self-actualization is the pinnacle of a life well lived. In other words, stretching to the edges of your abilities is important for your well-being. In fact, research suggests that finding purpose can add years to your life.

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Purpose and well-being

As you reflect on your purpose, remember that there is no single magic answer and that your purpose evolves over time. Consider each of the facets of well-being as a jumping-off point for finding your next purpose.

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Garbage in, garbage out

One of the easiest ways to minimize physical distractions is to limit the disease-promoting toxins you expose yourself to. This includes not only chemicals in foods, body care products, and home supplies but also relationships, environments, and spaces that feel poisonous.

Pay attention to how your habitual television viewing, video games, and nights out with the gang make you feel in your body. Are you light, happy, and excited or sad, depressed, and anxious? Eliminate the stress-inducing spaces and people.

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I think, therefore I am

Your brain is critical as you think about your connection to a higher purpose, so it’s wise to keep it pristine. The brain doesn’t benefit from the same lymphatic system that removes toxins and pathogens in the rest of your body. Instead, the brain’s “glymphatic” system rinses debris from the spaces between your brain cells. The caveat to this system is that it works 60 percent better when you’re sleeping than when you’re awake—which means sleep is a purposeful priority.

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Purpose and the pineal gland

Deep within your brain is a tiny pine cone-shaped gland that helps with the manufacture of melatonin (for sleep). Also known as the third eye, the pineal gland has long been considered the seat of the soul, so arguably, it’s important for uncovering your purpose.

Unfortunately, as we accumulate birthdays, the pineal gland is at risk of calcification, which is associated with neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s. Chronic inflammation, insufficient oxygen to the brain (sleep apnea, hypertension), and brain trauma may be factors in calcification. Research also suggests excess fluoride may play a role in calcification.

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You know it in your heart

While your brain helps you with your lists and your decisions, the heart has traditionally been seen as the hub of perception and awareness. It’s your heart, in fact, that responds to events and conveys information and instructions to your digestive tract, limbic (emotional) system, and hormone system.

Research has shown there is a two-way street between emotional and spiritual well-being and heart health. Nourish your heart connection with mindfulness activities such as yoga, time in nature, and meditation, as well as regular exercise and plenty of antioxidant-rich foods.

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Liver lovin’

Possibly the least considered yet most involved organ in your body is your liver. It plays a role in all your major life events, from digestion and elimination to circulation, detoxification, and hormone metabolism. It’s a factor in body shape, inflammation, energy levels, and mood. Signs of a sluggish liver may include fat gain around the abdomen, poor skin, and nausea.

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Purpose proviso

Don’t panic if you’re struggling to demystify your purpose. Often, the path is revealed only after we start walking. Until clarity comes, focus on removing the physical health distractions. It’s a win/win.

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Eat this, not that

To support your body’s phase I and II detoxification processes, eating the right foods is important.

Consume less of these:

·         non-organic foods

·         charbroiled meats

·         trans fats

·         low and incomplete proteins

·         alcohol

·         high amounts of caffeine

Enjoy more of these:

·         cruciferous and orange veggies

·         high protein sources (mostly from plants)

·         citrus

·         turmeric

·         foods high in

o   sulphur (onions)

o   folic acid (dried beans and lentils)

o   B vitamins (fish)

o   cysteine (yogurt)

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Chocolate!

Raw and organic dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that may help promote detoxification of the pineal gland.

This article was originally published in the April 2024 issue of alive magazine.

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