Hormesis – Growing Stronger

I’ve talked a few times about Dynamic Equilibrium, our bodies’ ability to adjust and re-balance after it notices changes in environment or its own status. It’s a constant balancing act.

I recently learned a new word. I read a book called Antifragile, which equates the opposite of being fragile with hormesis. The opposite of fragile isn’t just unbreakable. The opposite of fragile is strengthening with each blow, breakdown or fall.

Hormesis (from Greek hórmēsis “rapid motion, eagerness,” from ancient Greek hormáein “to set in motion, impel, urge on”) is the term for generally favorable biological responses to low exposures to toxins and other stressors. A pollutant or toxin showing hormesis thus has the opposite effect in small doses as in large doses. A related concept is Mithridatism, which refers to the willful exposure to toxins in an attempt to develop immunity against them. Hormetics is the term proposed for the study and science of hormesis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis

In the book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb mentions how he observed a bodybuilder to learn from him the best way of building muscle. The body builder lifted weights to the extreme, but didn’t do it every day. He would push himself beyond tired, beyond his normal limits, because he knew that his body would rebuild. His body would become stronger than it was before.

This is how our brain learns new patterns. It’s also how our bones become stronger. Our bodies harden and strengthen from use. We have to use it or lose it as the old saying goes. So today, I’m going to go just a little longer on the run. Give myself a challenge that I probably can’t handle and even if I don’t reach the goal, I still will have gone farther than normal.

Check out Antifragile,Things That Gain From Disorder, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It’s an interesting read.

Here’s an inspiring story.

Wandering and Lost Souls

When I started my wandering it wasn’t just with doubts. I’ve always questioned Christianity being the only way. I’ve always been skeptical of their notion that the God that loved the world enough to send his only begotten son would send him for just the little group in my part of the world. The God who created the heavens and the earth, who breathed life into all creation, could only save the ones who believed the way my church believed. It seemed narrow-minded to me. And not just to me. The more exposure you get to others who are not like you, the more you see a lot of narrow thinking. At least, that’s how it started.

The pendulum swings

I believed in God, I believed in love, and I believed in Jesus because that was the color of religion that raised me. Had I been born in India, I’d most likely be a Hindu. I’d probably be in the same place of questioning my faith also. Most that speak to me about my loss of Christianity tell me it’s because I grew up in such a restricted upbringing, but I disagree. I believe it’s because I grew up in the dubbed, days of awakening, for lack of a better term. Born in the 1960’s and growing up with the massive explosion of information and exploration, suddenly the world around us widened with possibilities. We were on the moon. We didn’t have to wear dresses as women. We could earn our own money. I even felt forced at times into becoming more liberal. Not from anyone in particular, but from society’s expectations.

As pendulums do

Today I feel a bit different. I’m nowhere. As expected, I feel a bit befuddled. I nostalgically see the village I came from and its homey appeal, but I keep yanking the cords that try to draw me back in. I find the easy comfort has a strong pull. But I can’t honestly walk back into that. Yeah, it’s familiar. It’s also a little like making your bed and sitting down at your parents’ table again. I’ve been there and done that, and now I am so much more. I also didn’t lose my Christianity as some suggest. I walked away.

The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.
Carl Jung 

 

BIG


I am bigger than religion.
No creed or code can bind me.
I am more than opinions or thoughts of others.
I become.
I change.
I grow.
I breathe.
I live.
You may say I’m a liar. I say look closer. You may say I am honest. Look again. For every nuance that you think you see, there is a counter facet.
I am intelligent.
I am foolish.
I am kind.
I am cruel.
I am all things, but none at all.
I live in a limited world but my soul knows none.
It is boundless because I am.