What is my purpose?
Where am I going?
What is the thing called life all about?
This is the modern day conundrum. The majority of our lives are spent of wanting to “attain” happiness, wanting to achieve our dreams and be successful. Yet, most often we start this journey without truly understanding what that even means to “be happy, “be successful” or what my “dream” is. Last night I spoke at an event for a very good friend, acclaimed musician, athlete and fellow philanthroprenuer; which was a fundraiser/ CD release party/ networking gig to connect the dots and meet other inspired people to ask each other “What is life all about?” Then as the evening came to a close he asked us “put up your hand if you – right now- are living your dream, if you can honestly say in four words or less – what life is all about.? Out of the 200 people I would say 50 of us put our hands up.
He continued to say… for those of you would didn’t put your hands up – your task is simple, you need to make a change and you need to do what you love.
The last several weeks articles have build upon this foundation of personal moral responsibility to create the life YOU want to lead. To establish a life full of abundance, does not mean suffering through dead end jobs, making ends meet or always hanging with the cool kids. This decision starts with “Choosing You.”
When my hand shot up into the sky, like a bat out of proverbial (compassionate) hell – my four words were this “Choosing You & Compassion.”
What we “value” in life and what we choose to do each day has to align with our greater purpose, if it doesn’t, or if we are unsure of what we actually value, then we cannot except to find what we are looking for. Values are fundamental. Health is one of those fundamental values. We need to be healthy, in order for our mind, body and spirit to be in a place of acceptance, to be balanced and be ready to take on life in every capacity.
This is the very reason why I have shamelessly plugged Cliff Harvey’s #PMA of awesomeness and made it my self appointed duty to bring his teachings toVancouver, for all of you out there who are walking your own journey towards your greatest selves.
Therefore, with out further adieu, I give you our final full length Interview from Cliff Harvey; man of many talents, do’er of world changing epiphanies, debunker of myths, record holder of everything heavy and performance based, and lastly, a champion of life….
Part 4: Interview with Cliff Harvey
Apart from Cliff’s mind-body and life coaching, his experience in Performance Nutrition looks to bridge the gap between Naturopathic/Holistic Nutrition and Sports Nutrition. Whether you are an athlete at the highest level, or someone simply wanting to function better in their daily life, the broad concepts of good nutrition remain the same.
Q: Choosing You and Time Rich Cash Optional is really about a journey of choosing to put yourself first and truly a cross pollination of a serious nutrition overall because of your battle with Crohns Disease, an exploration of mind and body optimal well being and all kinds of serious life advice, Can you offer some sound advice on where someone may start to re evaluate their current lifestyle or nutrition plan?
As an athlete, nutritionist and naturopath you are uniquely skilled in encouraging the greatest health, wellness AND performance through nutrition. Perhaps your lent challenge can pave the way?
You’re right, Choosing You! and TRCO are about putting yourself first to a large degree, but not is a selfish way. When we truly begin to realise what makes us most happy, we realise that it isn’t simply seeking transient states of ecstasy (although these may be fun from time to time!), and it certainly isn’t achieved via the material. Because we begin to see what is truly important (connection, charity, conservation etc – all of which are extensions and actions of a life lived for LOVE) we begin to treat those around us, and the world in general better!
It’s funny because Choosing You! began as a nutrition book…but as you know there is NO nutrition in it! I wrote a ‘chapter’ on belief and choice as it related to making changes in one’s life as an intro to the nutrition book, and that grew into Choosing You!. With any aspect of health, wellness (and happiness) there are 2 crucial steps in what I call ‘the discovery process’. These are 1) What is the dissatisfaction in life; and 2) What does your best case life look like.
When we have a context of what we don’t want in life we can begin to see how we would like it to be instead, and begin to chart a course towards making that a reality. When we also evaluate and imagine what would be our ‘best case’ life we can begin to also set goals and intentions within that context. On a neurophysiological level we begin to also make that existence safe and appropriate and can start the process of releasing resistance and the belief patterns that drive self sabotage.
The crucial FIRST step though is having that epiphanical moment when you truly, deeply understand that you CAN change your life, and you can start to do it right now…
The Lent Challenge is a bit of fun…
I often throw out a whole lot of ideas and sometimes they get a little traction. My simple reason for partaking in Lent yearly is that it is a great device for realising our attachment to vices, addictions and patterns of behaviour, some of which may not be serving our highest self. Challenges like this can be a great way for people to connect to what is really most important in their lives. (The Lent Challenge articles can be found here: http://cliffdog.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/Lent%20Challenge )
Q. What has been your greatest hurdle on your own journey? And do you see a common thread in obstacles in your clients?
A. The greatest hurdle on my journey was learning to actually be fully and totally engaged in my process. To fully live the s**t out of what I am doing at any given moment and to not be ‘rushing like a bull at a gate’ to the end goal.
Many people who know my story might be surprised at this answer. Having lost my Mum tragically, and many other people who were very close to me, being diagnosed with, and subsequently recovering from the worst effects of Crohn’s disease, depression and other calamities, the greatest challenge in retrospect has not been these in isolation as much as transcending some of the limiting aspects of ‘self’ on a deeper level. Of course these tendencies pplayed into other mainfestations (especially Crohn’s) and so there is always a tie in.
What I can say is that working with these proclivities of my personality, and confronting the challenges of loss, grief, trauma and illness has made me a better person, a better practitioner and has allowed me to learn the tools that I now apply with my patients and clients to help them to live happier, healthier lives. So each one of those challenges is a blessing I am grateful to have received…not withstanding that I would give anything to have one more hug from my Mum!
The commonality I see in my clients is that they too are almost always struggling to be here now. I think we are all seeking happiness, and the various things we do are threads that we are weaving into our best case life. One of the greatest gifts I can receive is when someone walks out of my office feeling more ‘now’.
Q. Lets talk performance! Optimal performance seems to have a lot of buzz these days, and for good reason. What are some of the “myths” you are faced with when coaching clients or your athletes?
Wow – there are a lot!
I have just been presenting a number of lectures on nutrition myths and key amongst these are:
1. You need to eat less to lose bodyfat
2. You need to eat less fat to lose bodyfat
3. Saturated fat is bad for you
4. Your diet should be carbohydrate based
5. You need to eat 6+ meals per day
This may be something I will do some workshops on when I am in North Americain May and August. Holistic .
In the mind-body realm I think the biggest mistake that athletes make is to believe that they will succeed and achieve their goals purely by doing the ‘work’ required to get there. The reality is that ‘the work’ is one crucial part of the picture, but if we don’t ‘believe’ that we are able we will subtly self-sabotage our efforts to achieve what we consciously desire. There are solid neurophysiological and bio-evolutionary reasons for this and these too are topics I will be evaluating in lectures in ‘Mind-Body Strategies for Optimal Performance’ inVancouver in May.
Q. What scientific studies are you engaged in at the moment that you are finding sets the bar for what we call the desired outcome of “optimal performance’ and “optimal wellbeing”?
A. I’m not actively involved in any research myself right now, but as a co-owner of several businesses involved in sports supplementation I’m working with some PhD researchers on the applications of several novel, natural products for increasing anaerobic performance. I can’t say too much at this stage though!
Q. Workshops, let’s talk workshops. What canVancouver expect in May and June? What does Cliff Harvey have in store for us Vancouverites?
A. There will be a few workshops offered inVancouver in late May.
I’m really excited to offer the first full weekend workshop of my ‘Choosing You!’ series. This is: ‘Connecting With Your Life of Passion and Purpose and Reaching the Goals that Really Matter!’
It’s a full weekend of value-setting exercises, goal setting, mindfulness and positivity! In many ways this workshop is a culmination of the exercises and tools from both of my books and my years in life and purposed coaching practice.
Mini-workshops will also be offered on:
– The Mind-Body Link in Creating Optimal Health
– Mind-Body Strategies for Optimal Performance
– Effective Conscious Communication
And also No BS Nutrition and Fight Nutrition (specific nutrition for fighters and combat sport athletes).
Stay tuned over April, as we will be rolling out Cliff’s May and June workshop schedule!
“”If you believe you can or if you believe you can’t – you’’re right.” ~ Henry Ford
Cliff’s Website: http://www.cliffharvey.com/
Cliff’s Books “Get em Here”: http://www.cliffharvey.com/#!__books
Mike Averill (Music, Philanthroprenuer, Traveller, Life of Abundance Seeker) : http://www.myspace.com/michaelaverill