“There is a fountain of youth; it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap into this source, you will truly have defied age.” -Sophia Loren
If you happen to be doing Deepak Chopra’s current 21 Day Meditation Experience, Energize Your Life, you too came across this quote on the day the meditation dealt with anti-aging being a skill you can master. That meditation inspired this blog, as I thought it would be an appropriate follow up to my previous blog, Aging or Ageless…What are You?
I’m a big advocate for quality of life. This from someone who used to be a workaholic. When we have experienced so many losses in life, some of them tragic and others long-lived, we tend to have an awakening of sorts and start to connect the dots. We come to realize that it’s not solely about the job, career, the big house, over consumption and consumerism, living life in the fast lane and money, money, money. What good are all of these things if we don’t have the quality of life and the energy to live life?
Who has the energy you may ask? Well, according to Deepak, it’s the people who are mastering the aging process that radiate life and energy. And how we do that? By the choices we make. He further went on to share that studies have shown that the most effective anti-aging results come from a holistic approach that minimizes toxic and unbalancing influences on our bodies, minds and emotions.
If we take a long, hard look at the people around us, those in our lives, and perhaps even complete strangers, we can pretty much tell by looking at them if they radiate life and energy. Further examine their eating habits, social habits, hobbies, outlook on life, social/familial interactions, listen to their tone and conversations, and we have a good indication if they are on the fast track to aging and whether or not they have any semblance of quality of life. Obviously, it’s just as important to take a good look at ourselves to see if there are any areas we can improve on.
Here are some questions that came to mind as I was writing:
- What are your energy levels like?
- Do you look at the glass half full, or half-empty?
- Do you feel you are taking life for granted?
- What are your talents?
- How do you express your creativity?
- How do you exercise your mind?
- Do you live to work, or work to live?
- What type of physical exercise do you get?
- Do you eat genetically modified foods, processed foods, foods out of a box or whole, organic, clean and green foods that are not genetically modified?
- How would you describe your relationships in general?
- What is the quality of your friendships?
- Do you partake in any self-destructive/self-sabotaging behaviors?
- Do you drink, smoke or do drugs?
- How do you minimize the stress in your life?
- Can you identify the stressors in your life?
- What mindfulness resources or tools do you employ to maintain the calm in the chaos?
- Do you drink plenty of water and get at least 8 hours of sleep?
- Can you identify the areas of your life which you feel aren’t being lived to the fullest?
Why so many questions? Well, because these types of questions help us identify areas that need further examining, cultivating and nurturing. It’s that simple! No hidden agendas or complicated formulas. And what is even simpler? The fact that people who age well have the following seven things in common:
- Wide social support system, friends, family and community groups
- Close emotional and familial ties
- Take multi-vitamins and mineral supplements daily
- Good sleep alternating with daily activity
- Life-long curiosity
- Willingness to undertake new challenges
As with all things, habits, attitudes, activities and practices in life, it primarily comes down to balance. And speaking of balance, I will leave you with something one of my nieces (and hopefully a future guest blogger) posted on Instagram a while back. It spoke to me so much that I had her print it on card stock, and I enclosed them in my birthday thank you cards. As you should know by now, I love anything motivational and inspirational!
Balance is key. In everything you do. Dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday night and walk barefoot on Sunday morning. Live high and low. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are. Be brave, bold, spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence, patience, modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and follow your own path and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.
Remember, my darlings: quality of life, quality of life, quality of life… and in the process, you will find yourself defying age!
Inhale Love & Light…Exhale Grace & Gratitude, JTC