NATURAL BEAUTY: THE ENERGY OF GRACEFUL AGING + BEING IN ONES OWN SKIN
In wake of the podcast release (SOON!) lets talk about what will be a big theme of the podcast. Aging.
FIRST: What comes up for you when you even think about aging? When we work with the mind we can have over 2000 thoughts IN A BLINK OF AN EYE ( 1000 positive / 1000 negative) but we can only hold one thought at a time, so what’s that one thought that comes forth when you hear the word aging or anti-aging?
I don't love the term anti-aging, as technically there is no such thing, we can’t reverse or stop the biological and physical process of growing older. It’s a miracle we’ve all been bestowed, and one that we must honour. The truth of the matter is - we all age, so anti anything isn't accurate, and we shouldn’t want to “anti” things, but embrace, nourish, hold energy for, and gracefully not only step into each year wiser, but better. This is the beauty of health, vitality, energy, grace - it doesn’t matter if your 80 or 18, it’s all energy, and we have the power to command this energy over ourselves, and our body. (This is why I’m so passionate about shifting this consciousness of “aging”)
Let’s not look to prevent aging from happening, but shifting our belief of what we are think we’re capable of achieving, and authentically living. All the while by putting our energy towards gracefully stepping forward into each year better, instead of dreading each coming birthday. We lose so much precious energy through fear, anxiety, dread, stress, despair, and worry… I promise you, nothing will age you more than those energies ( lower vibration states). So at the end of the day, we may as well embrace each birthday, while harnessing our own innate ability, and utilizing beautiful natural “tools” that exist in mother nature, and on this earth to authentically accept our age, because like we’ve said - it’s just a number. I know women in their 60’s that radiate more than girls in their twenties. Truthfully! Radiance, energy, authenticity, magnetism, courage, grace come when our inner selves are whole and aligned, and we feel like we’re living our purpose. Nothing glows more than that.
The thing is we possess the power of choice / power over our lives (for the most part - I won’t get into the technicalities here) in all capacity, even though it can feel like we're just a passer-by in the screenplay of our lives. Which is what we want to avoid, as this can filter into victim mentality, which doesn’t serve a soul - yourself, and those around you. Playing victim taps us out of our true innate healing power which we all possess. We can’t fall victim to feeling like we are out of control and that things happen just because we get to a certain age or because this is just “ how things are”. This is a form of apathy, and when we are stuck in this consciousness, we feel like we’re powerless. Therefore we do have to do the work to shift things, see our worth, and step into our own innate authenticity, and radiance. This is when your skin - on the outside - will glow like never before. No cream or oil will be able to match this energy.
This is huge when it comes to aging because most of us just succumb to what's meant to happen, and while yes cellularly and biologically we will all show signs of aging, I believe there is a slower and more graceful way to do this. And if you don't care, and just want to embrace everything that comes with aging and not do a thing - that's amazing too, and I firmly acknowledge your ownership to just ride the wave.
As I learn, grow, and become more in turn with who I am as a women, and a practitioner, I would be 100% lying if I said I didn't care about aging, or the signs of it, and that I'm just going to do nothing about it! On the other hand, and I want to be super clear here, I approach everything in the most holistic of manners, and won't ever elect to do anything invasive. I believe everyone has to do what feels right for them, but personally I'm not going this route, so anything that I speak of, and share will forever be geared towards natural, holistic and green approaches. So it’s not about the focusing on the external skin and it’s aging, but utilizing my power, energy, and innate abilities to heal to shift my inner and outer appearance as I age. Less focus on the external —> more on the internal, which is how I roll anyways!
Society as a whole extol's a youthful appearance, despite it being a fact of life. It's what we're met with in marketing, advertisements, and the whole world of anti-aging products and procedures. It's why the skincare and beauty world is a multi-billion dollar industry. I could delve deep into that world + conversation, but because I work more internally, I'm going to focus on that. I just wanted to highlight where the root of all this comes from…
Stay young forever, and thaT’S the definition of beauty. It's not, and I find this balance different for every soul.
I can only speak of myself, and what I see / experience in my practice, but for me it's just that, finding the balance. I want to support my body in all processes as I get older, as we're cellular beings, who need to be nourished on this level. Which is why eating processed foods (your cells don't recognize this) will only diminish and harm your health in the long time. As I support my bodies entire functioning, I also support my skin, and it's own cellular morphing, growth and break down. See the breakdown we can't prevent, but we can nourish, support, hydrate, target and heal the cells we do have, this is what I'm talking about when I approach graceful aging for myself, and my clients. I don't want to anti-anything, I want to embrace, while still being, looking, and feeling like my Best self, as it's something I value. I want to look and feel my best in my 30's and into my 80's.
I want the freedom to travel, move, laugh, play, sweat, have sex (!), into a V old age. This might not be everyones goal or journey, but it's how I'm navigating getting older, and quite simply what aging means for me.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look, and feel your best. Don't feel guilty for wanting this, it's our birthright, and it does not have to be attached to ego. When driven from ego, this is when it can take a dangerous and slipper slope down the wrong route...
Skin is the first element we see when we look at others, and the first thing others see about us. This is a fact, and will never not be that way. It's also a reflection of what's going on inside of us - this is why face mapping and healing the body as a holistic whole, and not just the skin is critical for deep healing. Quick fixes might work in the short term, but if you don't really get to the root and the core of the Why's, symptoms & issues can continue to surface, and re-surface for years. It's why I take such a deep approach to healing, as I don't want anything to be covered and hidden (I feel like a detective a lot of the time, and I love it).
I approach the healing of the skin (acne, rosacea, pigmentation, scarring, unevenness, etc...) the same way I do aging. In a gentle manner, delicately, holistically, internal, while looking at the mind / body connection - as stress is a massive pre-mature "ager". Any sort of tension or constriction triggers the sympathetic nervous system which allows for involuntary contraction of our muscles, which can lead to unwanted lines, wrinkles, sagging and texture / look / feel of skin (Note: I want to be clear - I'm not saying lines / wrinkles are bad - I'm more talking about preventative + pre-mature) as NO one, I don't care what someones says wants to look older than they are. Again, if you could care less about graceful aging, or again at all, this most likely isn't for you.
A few things to start us off. Skin and hair are subject to both intrinsic (genetic mechanisms), or what we can call physiological aging, and extrinsic (UV, smoking, poor diet, alcohol, lack of sleep, etc..), or premature aging due to external factors. The good news is that extrinsic again has the greatest influence over the aging of our skin - therefore it's what We have control over.
As little as 3% of the skins aging is caused by genetic factors (and really any and all disease for that matter - hello epigenetics), and the rest is all lifestyle based, which means it's up to us.
So forget about succumbing to just the pitfalls of life, and our bodies natural processes, we still play a massive part in this. Huge part. It's about getting into the drivers seat, instead of passively being driven. Your parents plant the seed, you are the one to nourish it. This should give you hope, massive hope.
our skin has 3 main layers of skin:
1. Epidermis - Outer
2. Dermis - Middle (collagen + elastin)
3. Hypodermis (subcutaneous) - Consists of adipose fat cells which support the connective tissues
I want to highlight the 3 layers as we can't just look at external fixes for skin. Products are wonderful enhancements, and help heal the epidermis, but when we're talking about deeper issues that show up on our skin, we're talking about the deeper layers. What lies beneath is what matters. Further what we don't realize is that a lot of the damage is happening underneath our epidermis for years, upon years, even decades before it comes to the surface which is why it's so important to nourish, prevent, heal, hydrate and love our skin no matter what it looks like on the outside. Our skin is our largest organ that must be fed from within.
I could write about this topic for years, as I'm hyper passionate about the skin, and work with it daily in my practice, but let's start digging into some foundational things you can do to take better care of your skin, gracefully age, and really at the end of the day take care of your largest organ. When we start to see it and treat it like an organ, I find it easier to nourish. It's just that it's a non-vital organ so we think we can get away with mis-treating it, or not treating it at all. Both aren't favourable. And nothing can be built upon a wobbly foundation, or no foundation at all.
Here are my foundational graceful aging steps / tips:
1. HYDRATION - You've heard it a million times before, but I can't stress how important it is on a moment to moment bases. Nothing will plump cells up like water
2. SUN CARE - This deserves a post on it's own, but I hate to burst anyones bubble but UV rays, and sun is the number one photo-ager around. It does the most oxidative stress ( promotion of free radicals, which we don't want!) so will wreak the most havoc on skin. This must embody whatever you think is best for You, and you only. Everyone has their style of sun exposure, I’m not a vampire, as I believe in heliotherapy and the sun being oh so magical in healing, but I’m definitely mindful of too much.
For me it looks like this - wearing SPF daily - 365 days a year, walking on the shady side of the street when it’s the dead of summer 10am-4pm, hats in the summer + on vacation, and just overall being mindful of sun exposure. Personally: I'm hyper sensitive to light, so being in the direct sun light is physically hard for me, and the heat makes me anxious, as I'm a pitta / scorpio. So by nature I’ve always craved and found solice in cooler temperatures. Even when I was little, I've always preferred the shade over the direct sun.
Mindful sun awareness is different for everyone, so find your balance.
3. ANTIOXIDANTS - Antioxidants are what "kill" free radicals, and free radicals are what cause everything from aging to cancer. So antioxidants are hyper important. Extremely. Foods rich in antioxidants, you got it - whole fruits and vegetables. Nothing can beat mother natures babies. Those deep dark colours that make up the array of berries, it's not by coincidence or for show, it's because they contain high amounts of Anthocyanins - which give them their pigmentation, and anthocyanins are one of the top forms of antioxidants you can consume. Along with chlorophyll in greens. There are so many more, but foundational, we must eat food that came before us (I.e wasn't made in a plant), BUT IS A PLANT! When we focus on deep nourishment, it makes a massive difference in how our bodies externally display this. Further, when I'm working with clients with deeper health issues - thyroid, severe acne, mental health, hormones, leaky gut, chron's, Arthritis, food is foundational - it won't be the only healer, but it sets the stage for the deepest of healing to take place. My favourite antioxidant - Vitamin C - hands down my true love.
4. A CONSISTENT SKIN CARE REGIME - This will defer for every soul, and it's something I guide my clients on, but only once we've tackled the internal (80% of the work). Ideally a more natural, green, holistic, yet effective approach is best. But I do know that some chemicals can be of assistance here. Again no judgement. I work with clients on finding their sweet spot, products, and a regime that they can do 365 days a year. There is no point doing a million steps, if consistency isn't there. If you're using more conventional products I would start out with trying to do 1/2 and 1/2 - and then work your way from there. Or even introducing one green / natural product at once. A complete overhaul might be too much at once, as with everything, patience and taking things slower will always win the race in the long run. If you want to continue using all conventional that's okay to, just be super educated and mindful as to what deeper issues (endocrine, hormonal, thyroid, inflammation) those could be causing if, when they are introduced into your blood stream. I'm a no-judgement soul, but I'm definitely speak truth, and simply ask you to deploy mindfulness as to what you're doing. If you're putting something in or on your body, you should know what it's doing + what's in it.
5. SWEAT - Try to sweat least 5 times a week, ideally once a day. Turning over skin cells is crucial for the health of our skin. As we get older the life cycle and the turnover of our cells decrease. When cells once used to turn every 27-28 days, that's now extended to 35 or so days. It doesn't seem like a lot, but externally this does make a difference. Sweating, the most natural form of detoxification aids in cellular turnover, as does any form of exfoliation (another big topic!). Both are critical for the health of our skin, especially our epidermal layer.
6. COLLAGEN SUPPORT - I know creams are marketed as containing collagen, and will plump on your skin with continued usage. This is rarely the case, as our collagen (and elastin) lives within our dermis layer, and no cream will penetrate that deep to really effect the collagen structure. Remember that 70% of our dry skin mass is made up of collagen, so it's vitally important to ingest. How do you do this? There are a few ways: Powdered collagen (unflavoured - Either Vital Proteins or Sports Research), Bone broth, sulphur rich foods (radishes, cruciferous veg), algae, seaweed, mushrooms, vitamin C rich foods, and some organic high quality animal proteins (If you consume them!). You have to find your comfort in navigating this realm, as I know if vegan / vegetarian it can be harder to get in more collagen.
7. DEEP LOVE OF SELF / MIND - Sometimes the hardest thing to cultivate, as beauty really is skin deep. It goes WAY beyond the layers of skin, and deep into your heart centre. To me beauty = a warm heart, kindness, warmth, hugs, elegance, grace, purpose driven, confidence, honesty, laughter, being in nature, nourishment, and having a connection to ones body, mind, and soul. That's beauty to me. I focus on those areas wayyyyy more than I focus on my skin, but the skin is the "matter" that this is all housed in, so I want it to reflect outwards, what I so feel internally, and like I said above! I don't want there to be a disconnect. I want life to be fluid, full of my definition of beauty, and while all of that is taken care of, and my love for myself runs deeper, a nice glow, radiance, that simply reflects the health of my inner cells, organs, blood flow, lymph movement, and hormone balance.
It says to me, you're talking wonderful care of us, so we shall reflect that externally.
I've dealt with really bad acne, scarring and pigmentation when healing from a multitude of dis-eases, and I know what a knock it took off my confidence ( aka non- existent), and just the overall sense of shame and guilt it made me feel as I was taking such good care of my internal garden, but it did not reflect one bit externally. I don't want to go back there. Which is why I want to help others on their journey with their skin, and ultimately their body, mind, and soul.
Everything is connected. What can't heal our story, journey, and body without looking at all parts.
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