Okay, so not to sound all full of myself, but the last several months I’ve had quite a few people tell me that they can’t believe I’m 47 years old and have kids who are 23 and 18. So it begs the question, if I’m not being all pompous and vain, then why am I telling you this? Because I am so weary of the stereotype of aging women morphing into some sort of old crone. Because I’m so over the notion that at some point women should quit striving for health and wither away. As women get older, there are certain “rules” the population at large tends to accept about aging, such as: gaining weight is inevitable, feeling stiff and achy will just happen, slowing down is unavoidable and fading away is what we do. This represents a paradigm that I will never buy into – and neither should you. Who decided this anyway? It’s really just a lot of silliness. Women get old while men get distinguished???? I don’t think so!
Also, my goal is not to look younger, be a certain number on the scale, or try to look like the ridiculous archetypes of women in the fashion magazines. My goal is to feel amazing. I don’t want to wake up with aches and pains. I want to move with grace and ease. I want to keep up with my kids and my (sometime in the future) grandkids. I’ve never been one to sit on the sidelines of life and I don’t plan to start taking a pass on adventure just because I’ve ridden around the sun almost fifty times. Our bodies are designed to thrive, move, glow and radiate for many, many years. If you’re feeling a bit draggy and like you’re slowing down too soon, read on for some practical steps you can take without having to make drastic changes all at once. Baby steps are the name of the game when you’re trying to alter old patterns.
- Begin a yoga practice. This is something you can start in your living room with a DVD from the library. The cost can be zero. I am an instructor of Kundalini yoga and I started my yoga journey with a DVD checked out from the local library. You can also view what Kundalini is all about on YouTube – or many other styles of yoga as well. You might see some YouTube Kundalini videos with instructors sporting turbans and white flowing robes. That’s not really my style of Kundalini. I’m more tie dye pants and tank tops. For more mainstream Kundalini yoga, check out Ana Brett & Ravi Singh’s videos. You can read more at raviana.com.
- Start adding Kale – or any kind of greens into your diet. Juicing greens represents a great way to get some extra energy and enzymes into your system. My favorite juice of late is called green lemonade (recipe courtesy of Natalia Rose) and it consists of a couple of apples, a head of romaine lettuce, around 5 – 6 stalks of kale, a lemon (not peeled) and a inch or so of ginger. It’s delicious. Really! Check out books by Natalia Rose (again, look in your local library if you don’t want to fork out the money for a book) for more information on the benefits of adding green juice into your diet.
- Start replacing your beauty products with simple, organic coconut oil. Most mainstream personal care products marketed to women are chock full of harmful chemicals that poison our bodies and crash our endocrine system, which can make your hormones go haywire. Coconut oil makes a fabulous alternative and you can use it for body lotion, face cream and makeup remover. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to make it into a really luxurious body care product. I clean my face with it every night. Just take around a teaspoon full of oil and warm it up in the palm of your hand. Then, massage it into your face for a minute or so; next take a warm washcloth and place it over your face for 30 seconds. Gently massage the cloth over your face. Repeat with washcloth two more times. It removes every trace of dirt and makeup and leaves your skin soft and glowing. If coconut oil doesn’t appeal to you, there are many good organic body care lines. Some of my favorites are Eminence, Dr. Hauschka and Little Barn Apothecary.
These are just a few suggestions to begin making positive changes in your life. You have to start somewhere or you’ll go nowhere. Most importantly, don’t let any parent, child, friend, brother, sister, spouse or doctor convince you that feeling less than ideal is “just the way it is.” That’s a big fat lie that we’ve been fed and most have bought into hook, line and sinker. There is another path. You can choose an alternative. In the words of Glinda the Good Witch, “You’ve always had the power my dear. You had it all along.” Remember your power. Make changes. Watch your body heal. Keep Shining. Peace Out!