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Connection

The good life, the Thinner This Year life, is a three legged stool. The three legs are: 1. EXERCISE, 2. NUTRITION AND, 3. (perhaps surprisingly) CONNECTION AND COMMITMENT.

One of the core points in the book is that us mammals (unlike the nasty reptiles) have a separate “limbic” or mammalian brain (one of our three separate brains) that lets us feel and convey emotion. That is all the limbic brain is for, and it was the mammals’ great, competitive gift, in the Darwinian crucible of survival. It let us spend longer, raising our young, and it let us cooperate to form herds and packs and… law firms. We are hard wired to be deeply connected to – and caring about – one another. We get isolated at our peril.
Our new, human or thinking brain – the three or four pounder that sits on top of the other two and seems to make all the decisions – is less emotional, but, don’t kid yourself: we are still profoundly, irreversibly mammalian creatures. The three brains are densely wired together. Every single thing we think, do, see or smell has a deep limbic or emotional marker on it. We were designed to be emotional creatures and, sure enough, we are. We were built to work and live in close connection. We are built to care deeply about one another. Get isolated and you will literally get sick. Not just unhappy… sick.

A guy who has a heart attack and goes home to an empty house is four times as likely to have a second heart attack and die, as a man who goes home to a family. The guy with a dog does twice as well. We are not built for being alone. You may think you are, but no. We are mammals, at the core.

There is a grave risk of isolation in America, where we value Individualism so highly. And it gets worse in retirement, when we step out of the “limbic stew” of the workplace. It makes a ton of sense to fight that risk tooth and nail. To make a hard, conscious effort to make new connections… to stay deeply connected with and caring about family and friends and others, all the way out. That critical business is going to be a central focus of this site. Staying in touch… caring… is hugely important. Think about it. Join us. Tell us your ideas and experiences. We care like crazy. We’d love to connect, and help you to do so. It is one of our basic commitments…one of the basic purposes of the site. Chris

 

Recent Blog Posts on Connection

  • CHRIS’ RADIO TALK ON THURSDAY (0) November 16, 2016 I will be on the Laura Redmond radio talk show at 1 p.m. (Eastern time) tomorrow on Thursday, the day after tomorrow! Give us a listen at Feel Good Naked Radio. Chris
  • GENDER CONFUSION (2) October 31, 2016 There’s not a lot of gender confusion in our household – which makes us feel old – but there is some. I do not refer to the fact that I do most of the shopping, cooking and cleaning up; that’s neither here nor there. I do refer to the fact that Hilary does all the ...
  • PORTRAIT: SITTING FOR HILLY (0) May 30, 2016 For my birthday, Hilary is painting my portrait. Great big, semi-traditional oil painting, suitable for hanging in the stupid Great Room. Or the Hall of Egos. Except for this: Hilly (Hilary Cooper) is a sensational portrait painter… one of the best in New York, if I do say so myself. And this portrait is alive. ...
  • GOOD KID IN NEW YEAR ICE (0) December 29, 2015 We are having a robust ice storm, up here in the Berkshires. And the whole point of this post is to say that I STILL slogged out to the stinking barn to work out (see handsome pic). Just finished a long Fortnightly (which those who registered on this site will soon get) about New Year’s Resolutions. ...
  • “REDNECK RIVIERA”…NOT! (0) November 24, 2015 Hilly and I live blessedly various lives. This weekend, for example, we spent three days in a town, Seaside in the Florida Panhandle, which I had never heard of and which may be the most interesting and important small town in America, the center and inspiration for a real revolution in urban planning and living.  Remarkably, Seaside is ...
  • YELLOWSTONE RANCH (0) July 23, 2015 A friend has a family ranch, just north of Yellowstone, in Wyoming. Her grandfather bought a chunk of land back in the 1920’s, and the family has been carefully adding modest structures and maintaining the place ever since. They have been perfect stewards of one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.   We drove ...
  • Wine Kedge (0) July 5, 2015 We’re just back from a terrific bike kedge in Burgundy. We signed up at the last minute because some wonderful deal emerged and we could almost afford it. Not quite but it was SO worth it. 35 pals, most of whom have been biking together, once a year, for over twenty years. One couple started it, ...
  • SUPERB PIECE, LIFE AND DEATH (5) February 19, 2015 PLEASE read the Oliver Sacks’ piece in today’s New York Times. One of the best pieces ever from one of the smartest and most interesting men in the country. (Hilary adds that he is not just smart… he is deeply empathetic which is rarer.) He just got a death sentence (at 81) and is contemplating how ...
  • AMAZING EXPERIENCE: “MAN FULLY ALIVE” (9) February 2, 2015 This morning we are up to our armpits in blinding snow and freezing wind. But yesterday was a little different. That’s m on the beach in Naples Florida, winding down after a high-energy talk to 500 CEO’s at the elegant Ritz hotel, a few minutes before. (I asked the bartender for a “silly drink” and ...
  • MY POOR NEIGHBOR (0) December 11, 2014 Our beloved, next-apartment neighbor – who figures prominently in Thinner This Year as a living example of the importance of the limbic life, even deep in your 80’s – lost her “new” husband a few weeks ago.  Awful damned sad; Hilly and I thought it would kill her. Not to worry: we saw her a minute ...

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