YOUNGER FOR LIFE
By Kater Leatherman
In a perfect world, there would be a fountain of youth, the proverbial magic bullet, an easy answer to all our problems. We’ve come to expect instant gratification, especially when everything happens in a nano-second. Even though we want change at the flick of a switch, we realize that the solution can’t be found outside of ourselveYs.
Younger for life is an inside job. Take happiness, for example. We all want to be happy. But happiness feels like we have to do something, that it is somewhere out here. It’s fleeting because it comes moment to moment, depending on what is going on around us. But if you cultivate contentment, there’s a settling into yourself. You are working with what you already have and accepting yourself where you are. Notice how much more empowering that feels.
Maintaining a well-conditioned mind is another way to keep you younger for life. There are few things more aging than a poor attitude, sloppy thinking or being closed-minded. And how about the worry habit? If you suffer from this one, turn it into wonder and you have an instantaneous way to shift the energy from negative to positive.
Younger for life is not a quick fix. You can pop the most expensive supplements for your hair, skin and nails, but they will never give you the same glow that eating healthy, fresh food will. Diet pills may work for the short term, but they don’t compare to the lasting effects of daily exercise. And our laundry lists of ailments can be neutralized with prescription drugs, but how aging is the physical stress from their side effects?
Younger for life is not for the weak. Letting go of things that no longer serve us will certainly test our limits. Life happens in the present moment, but that seems to go against the grain and, with it, an ongoing challenge to live there. And it’s hard to take responsibility for our actions, to dwell on the solution rather than the problem, to say yes to less.
We all know people who seem young at heart in their eighties, people who won’t let their age define them. Could their secret be a childlike enthusiasm and passion for life? Giving up of old, outdated beliefs? Going with the flow? Mutual love? Laughter? If you want to feel younger at heart, what one change could you do?
Donna Curry, who teaches younger-for-life yoga classes in Annapolis, believes that the key is movement, not just the mind and body, but moving among a community of people. Connection to family and friends, to passion, to nature can be our lifeline, especially as we age. In her yoga classes, Curry focuses on poses that promote balance, as well as building flexibility and strength in the feet, legs and quads.
If you want to feel younger and more vibrant, remember to breathe deeply and often. Let go of control and channel your efforts into changing the only thing you can — you. Slow down and savor life. Then consider this: At the beginning of each year, if you were given 365 pages, how would you fill today’s page in the book of your life?
Living life from the inside out can be demanding, but we do come fully equipped. Everything you need is within. Everything.
Kater is a professional organizer, homestager, yoga teacher and public speaker. She is the author of two books, The Liberated Baby Boomer and Making Peace With Your Stuff. She can be reached at www.katerleatherman.com