So you have set out on the primal path, you want to be healthy and live as long as you can. You are reading all the books, listening to all the podcasts and keeping up on the latest research. Your reading blogs like this one trying to help you with new ideas, taking on as many useful tips as you can but still feel like there is something missing? A tribe of like minded people surrounding you could be the answer.
Now you may be thinking I have friends and family around me, infact with social media you probably have hundreds more friends than ancestral man would ever have met in their entire life. Most ancestral groups and contemporary hunter gatherers had and have approximately 30-40 members all knowing each other intimately throughout their lives.
Ask yourself how many of your friends on social media are really friends? Someone that you have actual face to face contact with? Now don't get me wrong social media does have it's benefits, something I will discuss later but how many people do you really connect with?
Hunter gathers had a close relationship with everyone in the tribe. Each member had there own part to play and specialty, the children would also have an important role to play in the success of the group. They worked together for the good of the tribe not keeping anything back for themselves, sharing the rewards of the day with others as they knew that the gesture would be reciprocated in their time of need. Could you say that about your social media friends or even some of your close friends?
Go back only 60 - 70 years and we had a closer connection with our neighbours, families would play games for entertainment and share produce they had grown in their yard, Then look at our hunter gatherer groups dancing around the campfire and telling stories. Now we sit in front of a screen of some kind and quite often in separate rooms .There is an ever increasing gap with our close community in the modern world, but how can we draw on ancestral life practises to help us in our lifestyle choices?
Get the family involved.
Your closest tribe members are usually your closest family, husband, wife, parents, grandparents and children.They are the people who will more than likely have the biggest influence on your lifestyle change than anyone else. Although it may be hard to do it is really worth while trying to slowly convince your close family to come along for the ride and adapt the primal lifestyle in the same way you do.
If the whole family is eating the same way then there is less chance of temptation being a factor as hopefully the foods that you are trying to avoid simply are not in the house, it also makes mealtimes more easy as you don't have to cook more than one kind of meal for you and another for your family. Sharing the same experience can bring your all closer as a family, sitting down at the dinner table and talking about your day, taking evening walks or going camping together.
If you can't convince the family to join you then at least let them know what you are doing and why. Getting their support is an important factor in keeping to your lifestyle change. Tell them about your goals and the reason for doing it, don't be embarrassed by it, after all your loved ones should understand you more than anyone else. Inforce the point that you will need their help in the things you are doing and that it will be harder without them, When they see your results and how happy and healthy you are becoming hopefully they will be inspired to make the transition too.
Get your friends involved
By friends I mean close friends that you see regularly. In a similar way than with family getting your friends involved will be a key factor in keeping to your primal path. Having people outside your immediate family helping you along can be just as important, perhaps you can open up to them about an issue that you don't really want to mention to your family yet and getting an outside viewpoint can be greatly beneficial.
It is equally important to let them know your choices and why, It will save the embarrassing moment when the pasta bake comes out at the dinner table and you are just eating side salad. Hopefully if they are truly friends they will respect your decision and will cater for your needs, and who knows you could inspire them to make the change as well.
Having a friend as an exercise partner can really help your motivation, making a date for a gym session, walk in the park or bike ride can help you stick to it as you don't want to let them down. An exercise partner can help keep training interesting whatever modality you choose, making it fun and competitive keeps you both focused on moving forward and pushing you just that little bit harder.
Cook for each other and show off your latest primal recipes, getting together shouldn't need an excuse but it's a good one, make it a regular thing and experiment. You can share your ups and downs of the week and how you got over them, hearing other people's perspective can help you realise it's not just you.
Use the internet
O.k so I have already mentioned that social media friends are not really friends and that we are slowly losing the face to face contact that we really need as a species, and I also see the irony in the fact that I am writing this on a computer to post to potentially thousands of people I will never meet, but the internet does have it merits.
Without the internet I don't think that the paleo, primal, ancestral health movement would be as big as it is now. The information is there for everyone to access and the word is spreading via blogs, forums and research papers that wouldn't be available without it.
It can be a valuable resource especially if you don't have the support of your family and friends. Social networks can link you up with people who are in the same mindset as you and can help you with new ideas and concepts that you may not have considered yet. You can ask questions and swap ideas with people all over the world so get searching.
To conclude, communicating with others is an important and innate feature of humans, it has played an important role in our evolution and has helped us become the people we are today. Without communication we would never have been able to lead a group of hunters and get a successful kill or pass on skills of tool making and shelter building. But there is a deeper need for contact with other humans that we all need on a biological and spiritual level, surround yourself with a tribe of people that support you and teach you things that help you grow. Hopefully your success will inspire others.
Keep it primal
The Primal Connection - Mark Sisson