Previously on JOYful Musings
Vibrant Health ~ Ageless LivingAugust 28, 2015
Over the last few years my husband and I have been witness to our parents as they travel the road of their "twilight" years, filled with health challenges, fluctuations and often struggle, frustration and necessary course corrections due to all they've had to endure. Watching them has been an eye opener and at times difficult to observe. It's been an adjustment for us and our siblings as well, as we have all noted the many changes which came about slowly at first, but are now occurring in rapid succession. Most of us don't relish the thought or dwell on the idea of our parents getting older, frail or sickly. Wouldn't we all like to live a long, healthy life that ends in passing on into whatever afterlife we subscribe to by peacefully going to sleep just before we transition?
This particular experience has motivated, inspired and driven me to do my own homework around health, longevity, well-being and fitness. Partially due to my parents experience but also because we all know or have heard of those who seem to escape the harsher trials that growing older may bring and pass away in serenity and good health.
I have been researching, reading, exploring and investigating all that I can find on the subject. There is an enormous body and a wealth of knowledge, research and information to be found that I am gathering which I intend to begin sharing in this month's Musings.
About 9 months ago, I began to feel rumblings within that I would be led in a new direction of interest that would fully capture my curiosity and attention. And this is definitively it! I've received several confirmations from the universe through various sources that this indeed is part of my new path. And I have to say, even without those encouraging endorsements, I don't think there would be any doubt in my mind that this my newest passion. As I continually tell my clients, "always follow the energy that uplifts, excites, thrills and delights you" and I am!
As I began thinking about sharing this with you, my mind almost exploded as I pondered where to begin. What information would I offer first for your consideration that seemed like the most important or logical place to begin? There is such an abundance of valuable and helpful material to choose from. I decided it made sense to follow the trail from the beginning which I pursued that started this journey for me.
I recall when the nudges first appeared, I began asking to be guided to exactly what I needed to know or learn each day for about a week and then let it go. I've learned to trust implicitly the urgings of my soul and I have utter faith that the universe will deliver to me all that I require to move forward in this exciting new chapter of my life. I've always felt like a bit of a rebel and drawn to things not always understood or accepted by the "norm", so I knew it would be an exhilarating and intriguing ride that would unravel and unfold naturally if I followed the promptings and the signs presented to me.
The very first thing that caught my attention was an interview I watched last April where Oprah spoke to Dr. Christiane Northrup about ageless living on one of her Super Soul Sunday episodes. The shows description stated they would be discussing health and wellness, trusting one's inner wisdom, following one's heart and flourishing at every age. This truly piqued my interest, but I'll pay attention to anything Dr. Northrup has to say as I've been a big fan of hers and the wisdom she has shared for decades. Plus this exact topic had been on my mind as I observed my own parents and their challenges with healthy living and growing older.
Dr. Northrup stated that we can be radiant, vibrant and full of vitality and well-being at any and every age. Well, sign me up for that! She shared that Dr. Mario Martinez explains in his book, The Mind-Body Code, how our individual cultures instill or program us how to move through time (grow older). Our view of how we experience our health is very much dependent upon the beliefs and opinions that are expounded and held in the environment of our culture. We co-author each other's biology. I'm sure you're familiar with the expectations that most in your culture or community believe about what to expect or what is likely to be your experience for specific milestones as we grow older.
Then there is the added concern that some hold about the family gene pool or our DNA. But research has shown that genes are merely a blueprint, not a fate written in stone. In her book, Goddesses Never Age, Dr. Northrup explains, "It's not the genes, but the expression of the genes that determines the vast majority of our experiences. Gene expression is strongly influenced by beliefs and emotions as well as lifestyle choices." What an important insight that is.
She further states, "It's counterproductive to worry about your genetics and whether you'll inherit the diseases and medical conditions that run in your family. It's not the genetics per se that are a problem but so much worrying about what terrible disease may befall you, along with the long-term stress caused by a fearful, pessimistic belief system." The gene you may have for a specific disease does not mean that it will express as that disease. It's been estimated that 80 percent of all illnesses begin within ... our minds and the beliefs we embrace are that powerful! And as Dr. Northrup likes to simply state, "Belief trumps genes".
Further evidence of this comes from an interesting study done by Ellen Langer, a psychology professor at Harvard, with a group of men in their eighties. At the beginning of the experiment she took pictures of the men and had their vitals and various tests taken (heart rate, blood pressure, vision, hearing, etc.) - all the functions believed to decrease with age. Then they were taken to a monastery and sequestered for a week where they were instructed to live AS IF they were in their prime. Not reminiscing, but engulfed in an environment where they were exposed to pictures of themselves while in their prime, music, TV programs, movies, etc. - all the things which represented that time of their lives to them.
There was also a control group who had their vitals taken and were told to just reminisce about the prime time of their life. When the week was up, both groups were all tested again. The group who lived as if in their prime ALL reversed (or improved) while the control group remained the same. As the improved group left to go home, they were all carrying their own luggage, shoulders back, heads held high with a spring in their step, feeling strong and vital. This experiment is a wonderful example of how changing our perception can change our biology!
You may enjoy this TEDTalk with Ellen Langer - Mindfulness And The Power Of Thought - How mental attitudes might reverse the effects of old age: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/442126888392557850
According to Dr. Northrup, getting older is inevitable. Aging is optional. And one of the best ways to feel younger is to surround yourself with people and activities that fill you with joy and make you feel alive. I'd like to leave you with the five secrets of centenarian consciousness (below) that she talks about in, Goddesses Never Age. She shares that thriving centenarians (those 100 years old or more) have similar traits. To begin, many are rebels. They walk to the beat of their own drum and have always done so. They also:
- Make rituals of pleasure a part of their day. For ex., a shot of whiskey, a fine cigar, a piece of good dark chocolate. They aren't addicted, but look forward to savoring the substance and the ritual.
- Are not co-dependent. They don't stay in relationships that are unhealthy or dysfunctional or live with people who have addictions.
- Live in communities where they are revered. They surround themselves with people and situations where they are respected for their contributions and wisdom.
- Don't go to doctors - partially because they've outlived their doctors. Because they aren't spending time at doctors, they aren't focused on their possible decline.
- Are future-oriented. They make long-term plans because they see themselves thriving in the future.
I have so much more I could share with you, but this is a great start to give you some food for thought to consider and contemplate. I am revved and ready, pumped and excited as I explore the longevity highway of vibrant health, well-being and living agelessly ... woo-hoo! Are you with me?
Vibrant Health ~ Ageless Living
Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
5:30 PM (Pacific)
8:30 PM (Eastern)
FREE one hour teleseminar
Let's get together with an informal evening of a short guided meditation and then on to mini-readings for those who wish to explore any blocks they may be holding in regard to vibrant health and ageless living!
You always have the option of stepping up and asking a question, sharing or just participating as an interested and supportive audience member. I hope you'll decide to join us on the call ... we always end up bringing in some wisdom for each of us and have a great time in the process!
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Quotes to Ponder
If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.
Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind, and spirit - the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being.
The secret to longevity, as I see it, has less to do with diet, or even exercise, and more to do with the environment in which a person lives: social and physical. What do I mean by this? They live rewardingly inconvenient lives.
We readily go to the health club when our doctor suggests we need more exercise, but we regularly neglect the 'mental health club' that our well-being more truly requires.
The incredible power that you possess to create and direct yourself down the path of vibrant health and ageless living!
Mark your calendar for my next teleseminar, Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 at 5:30 PM (PST) and join me for a JOYful evening filled with inspiration, information and more ... yippee!
May each day bring you more JOY, unexpected and happy surprises and...
...the next step for Livin' in the FUN Zone!