By India Leigh
We all recognize them when we see them: those rare but unmistakable people whose body, mind and spirit just seem to defy the passage of the years. Those ethereal individuals who, in the face of the relentless and unstoppable plodding of time, just keep shining more brightly and growing more beautiful.
The essence of their secret is simple, though it can seem difficult to achieve. They flow with the aging process rather than fight against it. They realize that aging is a game of let-go-or-be-dragged, and they choose every day to simply let go.
Sound impossibly elusive and unattainable? It’s not at all.
Here are four keys to aging more consciously and beautifully.
1. Listen to and trust your body.
It knows the way. Modern, Western culture has, over the years, migrated further and further away from the earth-connected wisdom that our bodies — just like our planet — hold within them an inherent higher knowing. We’ve been taught to override our bodies, medicating and micromanaging them into submission — drowning out anything they are trying to tell us about the balance and healing that is needed. The body knows far better than the mind what it needs. Those who age consciously have learned how to tune in and listen, responding compassionately and patiently to the needs and requests expressed by the body.
2. Be aware of what your mind is telling your body. Those who know the secrets to flowing through the aging process gracefully understand that the mind should actually come last in the chain of command of self. Soul/heart comes first, then
body, then mind. It’s important to see that when you’re allowing your mind to run rampant with negative, self-punishing or worried thoughts, your body is hearing that something is wrong, and it works to come into agreement with that energy. This is why everything from migraines to gut problems to skin conditions can often be traced back to stress and anxiety. The body is simply following the mind’s “orders” to have problems. If your thoughts say you are old, slowing down, falling apart or losing your looks, your body will mirror those thoughts perfectly.
3. Discover a new version of yourself every day.
Aging beautifully is not about holding on to an old version of yourself. Like Michelangelo uncovering statues within the stone, allow your soul to unveil the inimitable, brilliant, authentic you more and more each day. And just like those works of art, you are meant to be a spectacular one-of-a-kind creation, not a replica of anyone else’s template — no matter how enviably gorgeous it may be.
4. Be a kid — and be the loving guardian to that kid. Immersing yourself in joy daily in the smallest of details, playing without fear of being judged, connecting with your child self — these are all secrets of those who age consciously. But just as important is being a loving caretaker or inner parent to that child within. Creating an inner life that is unconditionally loving, supportive and nurturing in the full experience of life — especially during the painful and heavy parts — is crucial to staying forever joyful, free and youthful.