The secret to beautiful aging… it grows from the inside.
Have you seen that woman, the woman who radiates beauty? There is something about her, you can’t put your finger on it, but she is simply beautiful. It isn’t exactly her appearance, but it is an aura she casts. And much like a fine wine, over the years her beauty grows. That woman is aging from the inside, radiating out.
The old adage beauty is only skin deep states a person’s character is more important than how they look. However, we people are visual beings, so when something is appealing to the eye it’s hard not to notice. The focus shouldn’t be on the outward appearance, but we humans are slaves to our vanity. So a character flaw I admittedly struggle with is vanity, which for me stems from insecurities from my youth.
My new approach to aging is holistic and it works from my inside projecting out. I am learning to love myself and that is what instills confidence, which in turn is what radiates from my insides.
I am not vain just applying holistic aging to clean up my inside in recovery.
Over two years ago when I decided I needed to make changes to my life I started researching alcohol rehabilitation centers. What I found disturbed me. Most facilities are geared towards behavioral health treatment. Although my behavior was unbecoming during my alcohol use I have never worked with a mental health professional or taken prescription drugs. And I wasn’t about to stop one substance to take another. I needed a different approach.
Holistic rehabilitation is what appealed to me. The definition of holistic per Cambridge Dictionary dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part. I did not want to mask my problem or have another person (who doesn’t know me) attempt to diagnose me, but rather find a solution which is all encompassing.
Holistic rehabilitation is about maintaining not just my mental health, but my physical and spiritual health as well. Prior to recovery I was in peak physical shape and able to maintain my daily life activities. My spiritual health is what was lacking. My remaining days I wanted to live out my life aging from a healthy whole inside.
What is holistic aging?
My holistic recovery program sets the ground work for how I choose to live out my remaining days. Basically, it determines how I choose to age. The best way to describe holistic aging is using an acrostic. Each letter representing changes I am making which contribute to my overall wellbeing.
H is for Health
Health isn’t just about maintaining our physical bodies, but our mind and spiritual body as well. Yoga is an exercise discipline I implement into my weekly routine which takes care of mind, body, and soul all in one workout.
Prior to recovery I tried yoga and found it a bit sleepy. I didn’t realize there are many different types of yoga and found it can definitely challenge my body. Yoga has done wonders for my aging body, building a strong core, building strength from my inside out. The result a fit outside, toning each of my muscle groups. I thought I was in peak shape prior to recovery but nothing like I am now. The benefits to the aging body are endless and to think I won’t have a problem with leakage. I won’t be dependent on depends to keep me dry!
Although my healing has been Christian based, not all of my instructors are part of an organized religion. The messages they share in class applies the same principals as a Christian applies to their daily living. The instructors speak my language. Following a good workout I sweat out the bad, building strength, while stimulating my brain with positive energy and praising God for His many blessings.
O is for Openness
In recovery I learn to openly examine my life. I have to take an intense, honest inventory of what makes me tick. I established that within me is where I will find the root causes to all of my problems.
Not only am I to be open to myself but to something greater than myself. Over the years I am the one who failed myself. I was raised in a Christian home, letting my faith go by the wayside. Having an open receptive heart allowed Christ to enter when I needed Him most.
L is for Lifestyle
Each principal and practice I put into place isn’t once and done. Every day is a new day with a new set of challenges. The tools I collected in my recovery program are used on a daily basis or at least available to my disposal.
My prior lifestyle was quite fun, but was lacking. I still like to have a good time, but simply live a more sustainable lifestyle with purpose.
I is for Intentionally
Living intentionally is simply implementing your values and beliefs into your lifestyle. When I make decisions for myself I do so with intent.
I always have had an abundance of time and prior to recovery I wasted too much time. Now I strive to be a steward of my time, using it to help others and improve myself. Each moment is precious to me and I am learning to be present.
More information about living intentionally… https://psychcentral.com/health/intentional-living
S is for Surrender
Prior to recovery I had a big problem with control, wanting to control an environment that wasn’t mine to control. I have learned to surrender myself to something greater than myself, relinquishing control. I find it amazing how often my control trait rears its ugly head demanding me to continually surrender.
Although I am learning to surrender my control I have found sobriety has allowed me to regain control. During the time over indulging with alcohol I lost control. Now I can successfully have a glass of wine, not driven to drink further and controlling my alcohol intake. So while I am learning to surrender what I have no control over, I have learned I can control my personal choices and how I want to show up in certain situations.
T is for Trust
With surrendering control comes trust. I need to trust that God will meet all my needs with His provisions. I need to trust God’s plan for my life.
Trust is a gift I can give to others. I can be more dependable and assure my loved ones can count on me for their safety. Always placing family and friends before my guilty pleasures.
I is for Intoxicated
I choose to be intoxicated with the spirit, the Holy Spirit. The liquid spirit only masks my problems, so I can drown in my sorrow. Where the Holy Spirit helps me to bring everything to the surface, process each problem and then aging will happen from my healthy inside.
C is for Christ
When others ask what it is I do to appear much younger I either reply yoga or maintaining my sobriety, but the truth is allowing Christ to work in my life. Without seeking redemption for my shame-filled past I would not have been reborn. To be reborn has been so very freeing, which is what I believe people see.
Each day is a challenge and some days I will fall short. At least I have an ideal to work towards. I can attempt to be the woman God has intends for me to be.
Holistic aging is apparent on my outward appearance because I cleaned up my inside.
I am hesitant to share this blog because I don’t want others to see me as a vain individual, but my outward appearances hasn’t gone unnoticed. The other weekend I attended a wedding. I wore a beautiful orange dress, but it wasn’t all about the dress. I had men and women, young and old compliment my appearance. A man told me I am aging very well, while another man asked my husband how I did it, looked as good as I do. A couple women wanted to know exactly what I did while others mentioned my daughters and myself looked as if we are sisters.
While all of these compliments are appreciated, they do feed my unhealthy ego. My unhealthy ego is a product of my past. The wedding itself was a reminder of my past and where I came from. The couple who got married graduated from my alma mater and the young women were all very attractive. We develop most of our insecurities from our youth and it is taking me over a half of a century to clean up my past.
My advice to all of the young woman…
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”Proverbs 31:30 ESV
What does it mean to fear God? https://www.gotquestions.org/fear-God.html