Aging is a fact that we make efforts to come to terms with. It may be exciting for the youth to whom it represents more self-determinism and independence, but aging is not fun once it means "getting old." Resources of energy become more precious and so we conserve. No matter how boundless the energy we reveled in as kids, as we age we do tend to think twice before leaping off swings. Joints stiffen and it takes all our best attitudes to not let our minds follow suit.
It is completely natural that we want to look younger. Mirrors can be so annoying. If we feel full of spit and fire, if we feel sexy, if our gusto has not particularly diminished, it's a drag to see as our physical calling card an image that belies how we feel "inside."
Of course we want to look and feel young. We associate with youth the existence of a future in which we have time to mess up and yet get it right. We associate with youth sexuality and the promise of future through procreation. We associate with youth a carefree attitude that can get buried under the burdens of maturity. Plus as women, we want to keep our men interested and we like to look and see a woman, not an old lady, in the mirror.
As youth looks forward, so does age look back. We wish to look forward but it may get harder to live this way. Can we do anything to step aside from these considerations and simply live with the attitudes of youth relatively unmitigated and intact?
Throughout my life, I've given this much thought, as I'm sure you have as well. As a child, I observed grown-ups and decided what sort of adult I would be and how I would treat kids.
As a youth, I searched for useful wisdom in hopes of expanding whatever elements of generosity I may have had; I had seen people, even young ones, harden to the concerns of others. I prayed I might retain what insouciance (lack of worry) did lighten my life. I intended never to lose a light, spontaneous, sincere heart which is the essence of youth.
As a person toting around an older body now, I have found my attention swerving toward this issue of how to keep a youthful appearance while not losing sight of the relative unimportance of this (as compared to character). If I have debated with myself over these issues, so may have you.
In the quest of looking younger, I had to be honest. It is not just a matter of face creams. These help, that I know, and I make an awesome youth cream which I want all of you to buy! :-) But there are really a few levels of causes that we are viewing when we see an aging face. One level is the body. I've been fortunate enough, working in the herbal healing field, to learn some great health data. This may help you maintain a more youthful look and get healthier.
The face reflects the health of the body. My favorite reference for this is Michio Kushi's Your Face Never Lies, which has the scoop on what those lines, spots, inflammations and what-not relate to in terms of the internal condition of the body. With this illuminating data, you can plan cleanse-and-nourish projects, much like cleaning, tuning/repairing and polishing your car. With good nutrition, just like good gas and oil for the car, the body can pretty much hum along with energy enough to do your will and it can sleep enough to clean out at night.
There are a few more things to say about nutrition here so as to provide you with the most useful and important help. A good start is to increase consumption of raw, whole foods, organic and plant-ripened when possible. Contact us, as we have some good references and tools.
Here's another health basic you already know, I'm sure - and the secret of models' flawless skin, along with the air-brushed make-up: drink lots of pure water. The water category does not include sodas, alcohol, not even juices (in place of the water, that is). We should drink at least 8 to 10 big glasses of water a day.
If you don't do this, many effects leading to poorer health occur, one of which is that the body cannot dump poisons. It then must whisk them off away from the main channels of the body's communication and away from the vital organs. Where does the body stow toxins? Usually in fat - stuffed nicely out of the way of important functionings.
Fat provides a vitally important solution here, but I sure don't like to see it, do you? When we eat good fats, our body fat releases toxins to be filtered out and evacuated plus if we have been drinking enough water, the toxins have a flow to follow out of the body. So eat those good fats and drink water and watch your body trim and the complexion improve as your innards clean up.
Exercise, massage, sunshine (yes, it is natural and important to health in many ways) and salt baths also contribute more than I think is commonly recognized to detoxification and to recreation of health. These are elements that have always been natural for us "hewman beans" and it's wise to incorporate them in our life routines as much as possible.
Regarding salt baths, I am not referring to the usual "sea salts" which are little more than bleached sodium chloride. Actual unrefined sea salt is a treasure trove of minerals including all the vital trace minerals in their naturally balanced state. You'll find these in Celtic Sea Salts, Dead Sea Salts and the ocean itself. (You might want to check out our Sea Baths... the real, revitalizing thing.)
Despite our resolve and good intentions, when we go to implement these good health ideas, convenience becomes an issue - time, availability of organic, fresh foods, cleansing herbs and such. Another challenge comes from our resistance to making dietary changes, which is a toughie for probably everyone.
As to changing your diet, I do have some well-earned advice for you (been there, done that).
For us imperfect mortals, change is often a drag. Literally, since we can mirror the inertia of the physical universe: a body in motion tends to remain in motion, a body at rest tends to remain at rest... remember that datum from Mrs. Priggleschnauser's elementary science class? The scary fact: inertia seems to be catchy... it can apply to us! We can start acting like just another piece of clod! Who hasn't experienced the need to downright force self to action? Sometimes, especially when there's a change, you've gotta kick start yourself, pump yourself up, just do it despite your own unreasonable resistance. Once you're in motion, it tends to become routine, easier and easier, pretty soon you're groovin' with it... it's the way you now live! Inertia, both kinds.
There are two other reasons that dietary change is a rough one. One is that the internal pH of the body, acid or alkaline, has much to do with one's taste preferences. The body should be slightly alkaline (you can test your pH on any day... write me and I can tell you how to find yours and track its changes). Eating refined foods, sugar, excessive animal proteins, processed foods/poisons, even physical stagnancy and other things can bring the pH to acid.
Time for Evan's Frightening and Astounding Facts! As usual, the body has a solution, but get this: if the blood goes the slightest bit more acid, we croak on the spot. So... to handle this, more calcium. Calcium counterbalances the pH of the blood, returns it to the one, only correct blood pH for us to stay alive (I think that pH is about 7.9), but I'm not positive. My body sure is positive, though, as is yours).
Well, where is calcium stored? In our organs and, you got it, in our bones is the only calcium that has been processed by the body and is now available to the blood for these emergencies. Our bones may end up like lace, but at least we're still alive. Knowing this, we can eat in a way that keeps our bodies just slightly alkaline, our organs and bones aren't invaded for their calcium and as the clock ticks on we might feel like sprightly old chicks (and roosters).
While we're on the subject, drinking regular milk (and cheese) as we know it in this homogenizing, pasteurizing, corporate-run world makes the internal pH more acid and so brings on osteoporosis rather than helping handle it.
Anyway, after that digression, here's what I wanted to say about acid-alkaline. With an internal acid pH, the palate (meaning here what tastes good) will lean you away from fresh foods and toward the garbage (I admit that on learning this years ago I had a teeny weeny naughty thought: "Oh, good! I can eat all the junk and really enjoy it!"). Anyway, the body takes its time to move from one direction to another. It's that fussy inertia again... the train is screaming down that track and it isn't going to easily slow down or turn around. Any changes in the palate happen gradually as the pH adjusts. When our internal pH turns to slightly alkaline, necessary for health, the palette is different. The fresh stuff tastes great; the garbage tastes just like... garbage!!
I experienced this when I began an intestinal cleanse a few years ago and started eating a lot of fresh juices and salads. Mostly it was the carrots; they were revolting to me... tasted sour, ewwww, nasty. I was so amazed to find that after a few days they began to taste less disgusting and day after day they tasted better and better... finally they were so yummy, I loved them. My internal pH had shifted. Sugary stuff was now revolting. I was stunned. So if it is hard at first, stick to it; it will get easier and become what you want.
The other reason that diets can be hard to change is something that is sickening to consider, but by now most people know about these true contenders for control of our bodies: parasites. I saw an article in the Smithsonian Magazine (great mag) a few years ago that blew my mind. There was a photo of an ant atop a long stem of grass. Explanation in caption: it was waiting and had been for a loooong time. Guess what it was waiting for? I turned to the text. It was waiting for a cow to come along and gobble it up.
Why? Because the ant carried a parasite inside its own body that was able to reproduce only inside the guts of a cow. The ant was complying to the point of suicide in order to grant its parasite's demand! Mind-boggling, eh?! The article gave more examples of people and other creatures satisfying parasite needs. Think of this the next time you want a dessert or candy bar... who or what is wanting it?? Another important and thoroughly disgusting fact brought to you as a public service from Evan's Garden! giggle!
Now consider this: not only is sugar what viruses and bacteria (parasites of sorts) live on, but it's high on the favorite foods list of intestinal parasites and molds. Candida albicans, the yeast or mold that holds us in its thrall and is at the source of so much debility and illness, thrives on sugar! When we eat sugar and other garbage like white flour, we feed them as if they were our little, unseen, pernicious pets. Then when that intestinal colony is too crowded, candida passes through the intestinal wall to migrate to where sugar resides (sort of the "land of plenty" for molds): mainly the liver, brain and of course bloodstream (blood sugar) from whence it can vacation to (settle in) any organ in the body. Imagine that... moldy brains!(Sounds like the makings of a good and silly horror movie! )
When I did a candida cleanse, I found surges of sharpening alertness as the molds were conquered. Evicting candida IS that important to health - it's vital to a sound night's sleep, to dealing with rashes, to regaining energy, to eradicating bad food and drink cravings, and, yes, to your complexion. (We carry cleanses, since our purpose is to help us all attain better health naturally).
There is a natural enemy to candida in your body. Let's hear it for your Intestinal Flora: hip, hip... hoooray!! Most people no longer have it or much of it, though, since chlorine, antibiotics (and other things we were not meant to be exposed to) kill these beneficial bacteria. You can replace them easily. (You got it... check on our site... how can we have beauty if not health?). You can do something about low energy, a bad complexion, and the resistance one feels to dietary change. It gets better; it gets easier.
Skin Care and Body Care Products
We can also do something positive by refusing to apply garbage to the body's outside. The facial and body products I make are devoid of bad stuff (cheap, of course). On the good side, they do contain whole plant, organic nutrients galore to deal topically with the skin's nutritional needs.
Ever notice that, whether a government or any such institution confers official approval, facts are still facts? One such fact that remains stubbornly unrecognized officially but is, well, still a fact is that, poison or food, what we apply on the skin is awfully likely to go inside. There it does something, good or bad, to the skin and to the rest of the organs, hormones, etc. So, of course, use unpoisonous, beneficial stuff on your body if you want to look good. I like the idea of it anyway, as it makes you feel better just to know that you're making this pro-survival choice.
Even with this information, I veer off in my pursuit of health often enough: I get detoured by "the fun factor. " I try to do what I can (in the food department, at any rate) to bring myself greater health without worrying too much about it and to have pleasures even though they may break the rules, you know? I believe (but admit that this may be just a convenient belief) that this fun factor generates more health than it erodes. But overall I stick to doing what makes my body healthier, since a creaky, slowing, bothersome, aging body can bring me down emotionally by ever reminding me that it only serves for so long.
Okay, that is the physical approach, tending to the body's needs. There is far more to dive into on this subject of physical health, but in my book those are some of the topmost points.
Beyond the Physical
The other causes for a healthy body and youthful complexion may be even more important. Not that we want a wrinkly face, goodness no! But to put this into perspective, have you ever known or seen someone who was so enlivened in attitude and expression that the wrinkles didn't even impose themselves on you? My tennis coach's wife was one such. Despite the tough, tanned, wrinkly skin, her countenance was so open, so promising of understanding and mirth, her eyes so full of affection and good humor, her smile so immediate and natural, and her hugs so available and warm, that she was youth itself and wisdom, both.
In my understanding, beyond the importance of what we do to take care of the body, more relevant even is what we do to keep our mental and spiritual "houses" clean and happy. No drugs can make you happy or eradicate memories or pain. They can only bury them. But... the truth is not as harsh as we make it. The truth is that life is literally we, us, in us, with us, it is we ourselves and right now. No matter what misdeeds we've committed or allowed to happen in the past, no matter how deeply we may have sunk, no matter how we wish we had known or chosen differently or taken another path or lent a hand or said something, or, or, or... we are NOW fully capable, fully alive, fully changeable, with the decision to be so and with the strength which does reside in us innately.
I have always had very little sympathy for people who coddle themselves and nurse old wounds continuously. I finally reached the conclusion that the person who bemoans his/her fate relentlessly is not intending it to improve. I'd prefer to uphold a standard of living that states that I can make things improve and so can you. This lets me just get busy... frees my attention to get on with the job at hand, see?
A sniffling misery is, most sadly of all, not based upon the truth of who we truly are and what we are capable of. Especially when you get a person alone, not in a group (groups can exert influences on him/her that are easy to succumb to), you will likely find that person to be of good intention. I'm sure you also have found that the great majority of people mean well, wish to help and will help. When people are put to the task, in sudden emergencies or when the volume of caring is turned up high, they're capable in ways they hadn't credited themselves with. And despite how socially unacceptable it may be to show delight over one's own abilities and creations, people are creative by nature and do take delight in sharing their inspirations and fun. I see that we have abilities we hide and let atrophy, but they are there if whistled into action.
Forgive me if I vary from your concept of man, but this view works for me - and we must speak and live by our own perceptions of truth.
Incidentally, be suspect of and hold at arm's length someone who preaches to you that you are working too hard or are too active or a "Type A" or whatever. So were Einstein, Beethoven, Edison, Galileo, da Vinci. Would it have been best to tell them to quit working so darned hard? What is life without purpose? How soon do people die after they give it up? What juices us up more than the hope of making it better? What makes us happier than seeing hopes materialize?
And, what does this have to do with the face and its complexion? A lot. You and I know that. Life is not an easy ride. Failures, worry over impending troubles or past ones, feelings of inadequacy, being hounded by the demands of life, employers, false "friends," and so on... these cause stress when not recognized, bravely confronted and handled by us. The stresses show up on our faces, distorting, marking and wrinkling, as, inside, our organs take the brunt of our woes. We can be left with less verve and looking it, too.
About failure: is there a less troubling way to deal with failure? What works for me is neither being easy to excuse it (that perpetuates the errors and seems to make us somehow more glorious for them) nor getting all hung up on the "failingness" of it, and then, God forbid, slandering my own image to myself. Blame is just more of the soggy, at times self-serving attitude I wish to avoid at all costs. Failures are a drag, let's not lie about that, but they are at least useful as material to study and learn from. We can leave the bummer of it behind best if we find what went wrong and now amend our policies and procedures of living, to do it better next time. A few apologies might be a relief to make, including to oneself. But we've got to let ourselves move on and this is what has worked for me.
As far as aging is concerned, if we can move on after loss and failure, with attention on the present and future, we retain that much youth. Future orientation to my understanding comprises youth. Guilt? Hey, who doesn't have a checkered past to some extent? I hate to say it, I believe no one has a perfectly gleaming past and if so, all right, you needn't read this section with us sullied (dirtied) homo saps. Sheez, who hasn't lost control, been mean, selfish, scheming, jealous, downright rotten? But what pertinence does this have to Right Now? None. Thank God we can change and be what we mean to be at any moment of our lives. It's a supreme ability. To me, contemplation of the ability to improve life beats at the heart of religion. This is the basis of ethics: there can be improvement and what I do matters. We can observe rather than look askance, we can choose to say plainly what we see, we can decide and make it so and we can change.
It's funny, the attitudes that feel so young - high interest, willingness to change as deemed necessary - can be as strong or stronger for all the experience confirming them in a truly mature personality. So what we are really looking at is what is ideal, not just youthful. Mark Twain remarked, "Youth is wasted on the young. "I didn't really start feeling grounded and mature in my attitudes until I was in my forties!Hard to admit that, but when I look back at my thirties and earlier, I was easier to sway, easier to hoodwink, and less aware, frankly. I was hungrier for "stuff" then than I am now. I let myself wallow more. I was less forgiving, more stuck. Life was paler. So what really happened to me is I grew up and got younger!
At the core of beauty, the place from which beauty comes upon our appearance, are qualities that no creams, beauty rituals or make-up can deliver: the likes of integrity, generosity of spirit and levity (I mean lightness, good humor that does not mean to belittle).
Acknowledge that the body presents limitations but as the souls of so many philosophers throughout all ages and cultures tell us: ignore them in the main, the constant limitations and reminders of limitations; defy those very limitations by cultivating spiritual life, which means cultivating you. No one is perfectly nonchalant to the reality of aging. The fact of it sits on this chair and types these words. I am not immune to the urge to keep my body young forever and I use my youth cream as avidly as anyone else. The challenge is not to buy the evidence.
What is aging? Aging in terms of moving toward death could be described as giving in. We've been born; we horsed around and wanted to learn everything; we've burned with desires as we developed into the adults of the species and we probably produced progeny; we've reared them; we've been busy as all heck being enterprising and earning wherewithal to keep these bodies-plus-souls maintaining and on the playing field; we've started to decrease in energy as it seems to be a losing proposition and we've become uncertain that we can create energy in ourselves and inspiration in life; we look to the past for any glimmer of vitality and power of sensation; we throw in the towel. This oversimplified rundown may or may not apply to you as bluntly or as harshly as I write it - or perhaps you feel it does not apply to you. Yet as I see it, the cycle of life experience does go something like this. And this is where philosophy and religion happily save the day, eh?
Okay, okay, I know we each die anyway, but in my viewpoint that is the body that we shed. We do not just vanish from the world of consciousnesses, whether you believe that we go to God or that we live on or whatever. Sure, I'd rather go on with a healthy body for far, far longer if not forever, making something of life and tracking all my connections and polishing those things I have acquired and finishing all the plans I've concocted, but since dying is a fact, I can differentiate that it is the body that dies and not me.
The complexion? If I get a wrinkle, I can get very busy getting rid of it; but after all, it is a wrinkle in this crust, this name tag, this puppet I am sometimes calling "me"... it has a mar... but this is not me ultimately or even at any time. It's been helpful to know this. So as we discuss keeping skin youthful, how can I suggest to you only what to do physically? For that, I send you to my website to read up on my skin care. It is the very best I can make it be. But skin care is just one of the ways to "youthen" your appearance and it's not the most profound. The best youth treatment is an unstudied laugh, an expression of admiration, attention extroverted along a magnanimous and self-chosen line of purpose.
It's actually true that the body reflects us, our mental and spiritual states, faithfully. When we're bummed out, stressed, holding onto resentment, listless, uncertain (you know the list), then do muscles slacken, the trash gets less efficiently taken out and our blood and organs left more toxic and sluggish. Recently, it was shown that with bad news, the immune system is instantly depressed. Yet, the body of a truly jovial person is likely to hum like awell-tuned car.
Back to handling the body. A basic part of achieving this state of mind is to set yourself up to be able to be calm and happy. It's almost impossible to feel good when attention is sucked into a tired, hungry or ill body. We've discussed food. Another point is, don't let your body run too short of sleep. I am so fussy and error-prone when I'm tired!
Eating too late in the evening counters digestion and the effort to digest distracts from sleep. It may be helpful to know that as the day progresses from noon to midnight, our digestive juices gradually diminish; by late evening there are almost no digestive juices to be had and so our food cannot be assimilated. To sleep deeply, as mentioned before, get rid of parasites - their activity blocks a good night's sleep. Replacing the intestinal flora is a big help, for, aside from chasing out parasites, they produce B-vitamins, the calming ones, right there in the intestines. Another help to achieving a good night's sleep is to walk or exercise enough during the day.
More ideas you may find helpful for a good night's sleep: Shut off or unplug electrical things to reduce the electromagnetic "noise." Our VCR emits a little green light which is bound to keep me up. Firmly shut curtains so lights outside do not shine in the room. I like a beautiful, natural environment - and sleep very well with some lovely essential oils (lavender and other calming ones) diffused into the room before hitting the sack. However you do it, make it a must to get a good night's sleep and good nutrition.
Permit me to slip in here that drugs lead to more dependencies and they don't deal with more than symptoms. Drugs leave the causes of illness to continue causing the illness, even if that now occurs below the level of our perceptions. Herbs and food are much kinder, more familiar approaches and more effective.
These basics give us a healthy body and allow us to operate less tethered to it. It's a great idea, as you may already do, to resolve to learn the basics so you can take your health and well-being into your own hands. And these you can learn about and with care, use yourself.
Writing this article has been helpful for me, for I have had to view the issue of aging in perspective and remind myself of the principles I try myself to adhere to. I hope you have enjoyed this and I would love to hear from you!
Visit Evan's Website: http://www.EvansGarden.com