Youthful Aging by Nourishing Body, Mind and Spirit

This article was previously published in the Aquarian newspaper and I have permission to use in through my own sources.

By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

In youth we learn;

 In age, we understand.

— Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach

How many times we have been around the sun does not have to define how youthful and vibrant we can be.

How many times we have been around the sun does not have to define how youthful and vibrant we can be.

 

Retirement is a foreign concept  because neither David nor I plan  to retire. We know that it is only “work” when the enjoyment in the task is not there. The rewards we have in the work we do as life coaches, communicators, seminar leaders and public speakers is so rewarding there is no desire to retire.         Over the years, we have presented course material to people in advanced years and they are a great example of how anyone can remain youthful as they age. We wrote and produced a variety of seminars for Creative Retirement Manitoba (CRM) for a number of years. Pariticpants there had a “youthiness’ energy and drive that was ageless and timeless.  Interactions with them inspired the name of our course on  “youthing versus aging.”  These “youthers” had an impact on how we are choosing intend to live as we march through time.

One of the outstanding examples was a group of seniors in their late sixties and early seventies who decided to take a course in Tai Chi. Initially felt intimidated at the thought of moving their stiff, sore bodies in new ways. However, as daunting as initial stages were, they valiantly carried on. I recall members of that core group sharing how they were amazed that seven years later they were in better shape than when they began. They continue to provide inspiration for new members by getting on buses in the middle of winter and traveling to rural areas to teach others remain strong and healthy.

Another inspiring woman  was a stylish woman gal we  assumed was in her late fifties or early sixties. She was physically active, an avid reader with an inquiring mind. She was studying quantum physics–and made heads turn with her flair and style.  As a fellow hat lover, I appreciate her collection of hats that she often combined with and pant boots with tasteful studs on her denim outfits. She did not give the impression of an older woman trying to look young, but rather she looked woman who had the confidence to choose clothes that made a statement.

Life is a constant series of choices. Those who youth with vitality and resiliency understand that and do not allow age to define them.

Life is a constant series of choices. Those who youth with vitality and resiliency understand that and do not allow age to define them.

It was a surprise to discover her true age during one of our classes.  She was saying how indignant about a heel spur her doctor found.  While expressing her frustration to participants in the class about how it was slowing her down, one of her friends responded by saying, “Well what do you expect at YOUR age of eighty-six.” In  a calm voice her reply was, “Part of why I am shocked and upset is because, unlike many of you, I refuse to accept that aches, pains and even bone spurs have to become a reality within my aging process. I intend to have the damn thing removed and keep on being active until I decide to check out of here. So there! It is that attitude that has a bearing on youthful aging versus “getting old.”

Throughout our shared path David and I know for sure that time does not have to be toxic.  We strive to maintain balance and moderation in all things and we’re stronger than in our youth. Granted, we are fortunate to come from a good gene pool and that according to research that helps. Having said that, I look back to my youth and earlier experiences and I marvel that my body is in as good a shape as it is.  being were a more worthwhile goal than being thin. As I began putting my energy into healing my inner world and making peace with my body, I noticed that concerns with aging and outer appearances faded in significance.  Through time, I began to see that who we are on the inside is far more important than any outer form. Once I wrapped my brain around that one, I was finally free to be me in ways that were not possible when I was younger. The choose not to buy into the bias of ageism and stereotypical thinking there is less emphasis on appearance and greater focus on how the body functions over outer appearances. Winkles and less than toned skin pale in comparison to illness and death.

There is another  perspective on youthing versus aging a self-responsible and self-reliant approach to healthy living. Eating  whole, natural foods, drinking purified water, supplementation, balancing personal and professional commitments, having time to rest, re-charge laughter, prayer and meditation are co-factors that support health and well-being. David and I strive to connect with like-minded others that enhance rather than drain energies. Trustworthy friends assist us in staying grounded through the difficulties in life.    Whenever anyone makes healing, strength, balance and resiliency their primary goals, they thrive. They do not allow age to define who they are, how they live and even dress. Age brings wisdom and the confidence to be whom we are whether others approve or not. The way David and I feel about aging is that it is the best thing that happens to any of us when we accept it as just a number not a death sentence. How many times we have been around the sun does not have to determine whether we will achieve many of our unexplored potentials…only we decide that. I remember my Mom querying her peers as she wound down her life at Riverview Health Centre, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” As I contemplate the answer to that question, I have made a firm commitment not to let my years according to the calendar become more important than the age we feel.

The quote below is an eloquent summation by an active centenarian in Health News and Review, “So-called age is simply the deterioration of enthusiasm, faith to live, and the will to progress.”

Believing in the power and beauty of dreams and hopes and striving to achieve them gives a purpose to life and keeps us young at heart. It is never too early or too late to look and feel great!

Believing in the power and beauty of dreams and hopes and striving to achieve them gives a purpose to life and keeps us young at heart. It is never too early or too late to look and feel great!

Enthusiasm, faith and will power can be a prescription for longevity if we are willing to implement them. How about you? Are your fifties going to be fabulous, sixties sensational? Seventies spectacular? Eighties expansive? I think you get the idea. State your intent then make passions happen at any age and stage of life and each decade can be exciting journey rights until the last breath.

Body Dynamics~Loving and Accepting our Bodies

Loving and accepting the body I have and feeling fit and fab as I age.

Loving and accepting the body I have and feeling fit and fab as I age.

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–By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

Whenever I observe magazines and entertainment programs showing images of women with altered images of their appearance, size and shape it reminds me to keep it real.  The average woman cannot morph into those skinny images. It is unhealthy to lock the mindset into limiting self-perceptions. Young and old alike often develop distortions that lead to eating disorders and faulty perceptions about body image.

In my youth, I took a modeling course and pursued a career in the fashion industry.  The constant exposure to unrealistic expectations about beauty led to discontent about the height, size and shape of my body. I am five feet two inches and in an attempt to compensate for what I perceived as an inadequate height I tried to compensate by starving my body to a low weight.

It took years for me to change the old conditioning.  Thankfully, those challenges are far behind me. These days I place greater emphasis on remaining healthy, strong and fit over skinniness. In the process of re-framing perceptions about the importance of size and shape, my husband and business partner, David Malloy and I developed the Body Dynamics System~Your Body is Your Buddy. Our model provides the tools to transform limiting beliefs about the scale, weight and size. It also assists clients in loving and accepting the bodies they have healthy weight management program that assists clients in reaching a place of acceptance about the body they have. The Body Dynamics System provides practical tools that assist clients from the ‘inside out’ over outwardly driven fixations and image management. Clients using the  Body Dynamics System stop chasing after an image that may not be right for them and move into a place of self-acceptance and confidence in the body they have.

The Body Dynamics System assists clients in discovering underlying attitudes and beliefs about their self-perception about weight, size and body-image concerns.

The Body Dynamics System assists clients in discovering underlying attitudes and beliefs about their self-perception about weight, size and body-image concerns.

For more information about the Body Dynamics System for healthy weight management check the page link on the Fresh Beginnings Personal Development Website for this course. http://www.fresh-beginnings.com/Body%20Dynamics.html

I was able to overcome my unhealthy and destructive coping mechanism and overcome two eating disorders by looking at the root causations. Within my pathway to discovery I came to the realization that the size, shape and appearance of the body has little to do with the essence of the person inside.

During my healing journey to health and wholeness I learned how to love and accept the body I was in. It is the starting point we all need to have. Accepting it does not translate to liking where we are but it is the needed start point to facilitate change. From that point I shifted my priorities and chose to focus on being healthy rather than pressuring myself to lose weight or measure my worth by the scale. That ephiphany was a milestone for me and set me on my current path of healthy, dynamic living.

This approach is the foundation of the Body Dynamics System. This format is the one we present in our private and group life coaching sessions. Once clients understand and accept that the outer is a mirror to their inner landscape they begin to take their power back. With consistency and perseverence they create positive, life affirming changes that last. Loving and accepting the body frees up a tremendous amount of energy.

Societal changes reveal a rapidly expanding population of baby-boomers. The fixation on image-management shows within a culture that pursues youth with some articial approaches and plastic surgery is one of the highest paying specialties in medicine. If one is clear about their reasons for having work done then it usually acheives the desired goal However, if the expectation is not realistic it can lead to further discontent.

With our healthy weight management program, we offer ways for clients to focus on the enhancement of the bodies they have. As they change and re-frame their expectations, it is easier to release the need to force the body to fit the unrealistic ideas within media hype and advertising ideals.  In my view, life is a journey of learning to love and accept ourselves. Once that is in place, it is easier to extend it to others.

Once we achieve that level of self-acceptance the mind is free from encumbering limited perceptions of worth based on appearance. After choosing to cease adhering to the limiting dictates of the media I develope my own “mojo.” Now I choose to wear what feels good on any given day. I am not a fashionesta and proud of it. Women who develop their own style are the ones I respect. Jumping on bandwagons to follow the crowd is of no interest to me.

Being true to oneself is liberating! The same principles apply to the needs of my body over know anything anyone else says. It has a voice with wisdom. When we listen and hear the body guides us to what it need to heal and restore balance. At this age and stage of life, I enjoy being fit. Exercise is not a chore…but a feel-good experience.  So much so that I have another Blog that presents ways to remain fit and fabulous as we age.The link is: http://feelingfitfabandageless.blogspot.ca/2012/12/perspectives-on-life-extension-and_11.html

Although the aging process continues we can remain strong and resiliant through balanced, healthy living. At one point, I did not want to accept the lines and wrinkles on my face and considered other options. I view them and my gray hair as reminders that I am feeling younger than my age and that is all that matters. With a strong, fit and fabulous body that supports me along the road of life, the external appearances are secondary to health and vitality from within.

Without our physical bodies, we are in another realm. After everything, I put my body through in my youth I am grateful that I am strong and healthy. Although David and I are not “young” in actual age, we are successfully “youthing as we age.” Our focus intentions involve the love, acceptabce and respect for the bodies we have. Consequently, we are thriving rather than surviving as we move into the advancing years. In our personal and professional experience we know for sure that age is just a number. One’s real age is determined by the quality of life they have, activity levels and attitude.

Everyone needs a starting point that begins with self-acceptance. The Body Dynamics System supports the "whole self" and assists clients in their transformational growth process from the inside out.

Everyone needs a starting point that begins with self-acceptance. The Body Dynamics System supports the “whole self” and assists clients in their transformational growth process from the inside out.

In our private and group facilitations, we consistently remind clients that good health is not a right. Rather, a responsibility requires mindfulness and balance within body, mind and spirit. I am always interested in how others feel about the bodies they have. Care to share your perceptions about yours? Are you locked into the dieting mentality?  Do you dislike parts of your body or do you love and accept your uniqueness?  Have you made peace with the body you have?  For now, I embrace and love my body temple…how about you?