Tag: Beauty

Self-Actualization….Really??

Self-Actualization….Really??

CherI was up later than usual last night. It was one of those sleepless nights. I don’t usually watch TV when I can’t sleep, but I had it on in the background for company while I worked on my laptop, and David Letterman came on. My curiosity peaked when he announced that Cher would be joining him, so I kept it on.

I have no idea whether or not the show was current or a re-run, as I rarely watch Letterman, but it was at the very least “recent”.  Cher, born in 1946, is 67. Cher, according to the blurb on Wikipedia is an “American singer and actress. Recognized for having brought the sense of female autonomy and self-actualization into the entertainment industry (the italics are mine).

Her entrance: Sitting high above the stage in a swing, wearing short shorts and fishnet stockings, properly posed with legs crossed, Cher was lowered to the stage with some sort of fanfare in the background. Letterman walked over to greet her and ushered her regally to a waiting chair. Her hair perfectly coiffed, her face frozen in place with something of a smile etched into it, she had not one visible wrinkle, blemish or expression mark.

I watched the interview for the next 20 minutes in utter shock, disbelief and profound sadness. Perhaps, not really shock, or even stepfordvdisbelief,  as there’s far too much of this going on in Hollywood to be surprised, but definitely sadness and very real disappointment. Cher is an icon for women of our generation. She has power and presence and incredible power at her fingertips. What is she doing with it? “Autonomy and self-actualization” are not words I would even put as close as down the street with Cher.

To my way of thinking, self-actualization is “real”; it’s truth, honesty, transparency, integration, transformation, evolution of body mind and spirit from a life time of living. Cher, self actualize? Not on your life. I don’t want to hear about show business or even business as being the reason, or the explanation behind the choices she made to show up on national television in some kind of senior citizen rendition of the Stepford Wives. Ironically, her new album is title “Closer to the Truth”. From where I’m sitting she couldn’t be further from the truth, as I see it.

We all evolve at our own rate and in our own way. As women in the 21st Century we each struggle with our relationship with our culture’s obsession with youth and it’s utter refusal to value, or even acknowledge, an aging population. And yet, every day I see women fighting and winning the battle; making inroads and broadening perspectives. Many are in the public eye and are wearing the battle publicly. I think of Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Tina Turner, Judi Dench, Betty White, Angela Lansbury, Valerie Harper; or Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Condolezza Rice; or Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Martha Beck, Byron Katie, Caroline Myss, Louise Hay, who are not so much in the public eye but having their impact.

We have a choice, each of us. We can choose to participate in self-actualization as I understand it, or we can choose a Stepford Wive’s version of aging.

Keeping Up Appearances

Rediscovering Your Gifts

Rediscovering Your Gifts

personal growthWe each carry within us a treasure. Living deep inside, it is a quiet place where we can go to find our untarnished heart and a soul that is still pure. We once knew this place, our place where there is peace and understanding, wisdom and strength, though it may have slipped from our memory.

The hours, days and years that we have struggled and pushed, yearned and stretched toward something more has powered us through our lives. It is “life yearning for itself”. Our desire for something more and incessant discontent led us down many a winding path and along the way we collected bits and pieces of life’s debris.  Instead of tossing the debris aside, we often instead as packaging material to insulate us from the world.

Sometimes we build a wall of anger, of fear, or of resentment, so thick and so profound that we forget our treasure ever existed. When we feel the sting of hurt and rejection we recoil inside of ourselves and do not remember the gifts of understanding and forgiveness we once knew so keenly. The longer we live the more likely we are to have lost our connection to our treasured self, as life’s rubble piles up upon us despite our best intentions.

We may begin to feel as though we might smother, or die without meaning or purpose for having lived. We fear we may wither away into nothingness. We might feel emptiness, an overwhelming sense of loss, or confusion or an aimless uncertainty.  It is precisely these uncomfortable stirrings that are our reminders. They are prompting us to return to the treasure that was born in us so many years ago, to dig down deep inside and uncover that precious someone who still lives and holds a pure and loving heart; who knows the value of trust and forgiveness. She understands the meaning of life and the purpose of her living.

The unearthing process can be approached alone or with the assistance of a friend, a mentor, a spiritual guide, a life coach, a therapist or any of a number of other guides.  There are as many methods of personal and spiritual growth as there are individuals. Here are some of the methods I have used and found helpful:

  1. Guided imagery meditation – A guided meditation by a trained practitioner using imagery and imagination to bypass thought and ego
  2. Solitary meditation – I recommend reading Full Catastrophe Living or any of a number of Wayne Dyer’s books and audios for more information on common meditation practices.
  3. Contemplation and mindfulness
  4. Journaling
  5. Reading or listening to the writings of spiritual teachers
  6. Work with a therapist or life coach to gather some movement if you are stuck
  7. Body work – massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, deep tissue massage, exercise
  8. Self-care – Learn listen to and follow the directives of your body, mind and spirit. If you feel tired, sleep. If you feel restless, go for a walk. If you feel stressed, meditate or make an appointment for a massage. Say no to demands that are being placed on you that cause your body to constrict.

Rediscover the treasure of your heart. It is waiting.

What Does Abundance Mean to You?

What Does Abundance Mean to You?

Lavender Treasure by Artist L. Diane Johnson, a painter, instructor, author and juror, serving art collectors and artists since 1981. She was the Founding Editor and designer of the of the award-winning monthly, Plein Air Magazine, and travels the U.S. and Europe to paint live on locaton. She has authored many art articles, artist training demonstrations, and books. Visit her website by clicking on the hphoto.

What signifies abundance is unique for each individual. It depends on circumstances, frame of mind, our history, our openness to receiving and so much more.  This was brought home to me last week when I participated in a guided imagery session. It was a very interesting meditation!

As we relaxed and breathed deeply, we were invited to close our eyes and imagine ourselves walking along a path beside an ocean. It was a beautiful, relaxing, and peaceful place. As we walked along the path breathing in the salt air and listening to the sea gulls overhead we came upon a cave, hidden away in the brush. It was inviting and our curiosity drew us in. As we explored the cave we turned a corner and there, hidden out of the way was a room filled with treasure. Suddenly, surrounded by incredible abundance, our guide invited us to really take in what was there; to pick things up, look at them, feel them, etc.

Initially I saw big, beautiful treasures, gold, jewels, sports cars, and quickly I moved on to adorable little puppies, fuzzy kittens, beautiful flowers and so much more. After a time of looking and exploring and enjoying what we had discovered, we were told that all of the treasure was ours. We could take whatever we wanted with us when we left. I searched to see what treasures I could carry with me and what I chose surprised me.

First, I chose a Cocker Spaniel puppy, a happy, joyful, energetic little creature that smiled at me. Next, I chose a cute pair of shoes. Then, a beautiful shawl, a big pot of blooming hydrangeas and a needlepoint kit. I was worried that I could’t carry everything until I realized I could put on the shoes and the shawl and the puppy would follow me, running along happily beside me. When the session was over and I reflected on these items I began to understand that what I had chosen made sense. At this particular point in my life these are the things that represent abundance to me.

Reflecting on how each item made me feel pointed the way. The Cocker Spaniel puppy loved me exuberantly and freely and accepted my love with out hesitation. He represented unconditional love, something we all need. The shawl  wrapped me in its arms and filled me with feelings of warmth, comfort and security. The cute shoes made me giggle and feel happy. They represent fun and enjoyment. The beautiful, huge hydrangea blossoms inspired me. They embody inspiration. The needlepoint is structured creativity. All of these things together are what abundance means to me.

When I allow these things in my life: love, warmth, comfort, security, fun, inspiration, beauty, and creativity, I need nothing more. I am full to the brim with everything I need and more. I have more than enough. I have abundance.

I expect that at some future time, the things I choose might be quite different and I plan to visit my treasure chest now and again to see what’s there waiting for me. I invite you to do this little mediation and see you what you find in your cave of wonder. It’s a magical place. I hope you’ll pay it a visit. You don’t necessarily need a guide, just close your eyes, breathe deeply and follow your imagination where it leads.

Chia Seeds Are Good for Damaged and Aging Skin

Chia Seeds Are Good for Damaged and Aging Skin

5 Easy Chia Seed Recipes For Fabulous Skin

by Lisa D Liguori

Chia Seeds are really good for your skin!

Do you want a simple tool in your diet that can help prevent free radical damage, inflammation, and premature aging of the skin? I thought so. 

The Teeny Tiny Powerhouse

If you open my fridge, you will see various jars of seeds; hemp, flax, and my new love, the teeny tiny chia seed.

Sprinkles

Initially, chia seeds intimidated me. You too? I had heard somewhere that  you used chia seeds differently than flax or hemp. Flax seeds you grind up and sprinkle on everything you can, or bake with them, or make raw crackers. Hemp seeds you also sprinkle over your food, or make hemp milk, or just eat em by the spoonful. But chia seeds? I just wasn’t sure.

So, I did what anyone would do with a bag of chia seeds in their fridge. I googled it. Wow! Who knew the chia seed, the very same seed we used to sprout on our chia pets in the 60’s (Yes, I had one. Did you?), had such a fan club.

And with good reason!

Nutrient Dense

Chia seeds apparently have: 

  • 3 times the anti-oxidant strength of blueberries
  • 5 times the calcium of milk, PLUS, magnesium and boron which aid in the absorption of calcium (key point)
  • 2 times the amount of potassium as a banana
  • 3 times more iron than spinach

Chia seeds are: 

  • Rich in healthy omega 3’s
  • A fabulous source of soluble fiber
  • Virtually tasteless, tasting like whatever you add them to
  • A plant based complete protein

What to do with chia seeds

1. Replace half the butter when baking, using chia gel.

2. Sprinkle chia seeds on your yogurt , salad or cereal, and add them to your smoothies.

And then, try these 5 Chia Seed Recipes: 

Chia Breakfast Bowl #1

Toss 2 to 3 T chia seeds, 1 T maca powder, 1 T protein powder, 1 t coconut oil, 1 T hemp seeds, 1 T goji berries, 1 T cacao nibs, add banana and blueberries. Place your chia seeds in the bowl first. Add 4 to 6 oz hot water, and wait for about 3 minutes. Your chia seeds will grow and turn into a thick porridge or sorts. Now add your other ingredients and enjoy. Thank you The Holy Kale for this superfood recipe.

Chia Breakfast Bowl #2

Toss about 2 T chia seeds into your bowl. Add a handful of raw nuts of your choice, a scoop of blueberries, 2 tsp. flax seed,  half of a sliced banana, cinnamon and fresh nut milk of choice. Let stand for about 5 minutes to thicken up and enjoy.  Thank you EcoDiva for the inspiration.

Chia Energy Bars

This one is from Vegetarian Times. 1 1/2 C pitted dates, 1/3 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/3 cup whole chia seeds, 1/2 t vanilla, 1/4 t almond extract, 1 C raw slivered almonds or pistacios. Place dates in food processor; puree utnil thick paste forms. Add cocoa powder, chia seeds and vanilla and almond extracts. 1. Pulse until all ingredients are combined. Add nuts; pulse until nuts are finely chopped and well distributed through date mixture. 2. Spread large sheet of wax paper on work surface. Transfer date mixture to wax paper, and use paper to press mixture into 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Wrap tightly, and chill overnight. 3. Unwrap block, cut into 8 bars and re-wrap. Enjoy.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

1 c non-dairy milk such as soy, or almond, 1 t vanilla, 2 t raw cocoa powder, sweetener of choice – to taste, 3 T chia seeds, 1/2 to 1 C berries of choice (or other fruit). 1. Place milk, vanilla, cocoa and sweetener of choice (I still love a good quality agave) in the blender. Blend well. 2. Pour milk mixture into a bowl and add chia seeds. 3. Mix well and stir every 15 minutes or so. It will take about an hour for it to thicken and absorb the liquid. 4. Refrigerate and add fruit just before serving. Thank you FatFreeVeganKitchen!

Cinnamon Chia Seed Granola

1 C oats, 2 T chia seeds, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t nutmeg, 2 T honey or maple syrup, 1 T coconut oil. 1. Preheat the oven to 300 and grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil. 2. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. 3. Slowly stir last two ingredients into the mixture till all is coated. 4. Spread granola onto prepared baking sheet and bake for approx. 15 minutes. Stir half way through. Let cool and enjoy. Thank you Shape Magazine.

I pretty much sprinkle chia, hemp or ground flax seeds on everything and everything to ensure I get my healthy fats, and essential fatty acids that are crucial to good health, and fabulous skin.

Have you tried chia seeds yet? Do you have a good recipe or suggestion as to how to use them? Do share!

Lisa D. Liguori, Founder of StyleEssentials.com

 

Lisa D Liguori is the founder of Style Essentials, a green healthy-beauty marketplace, featuring mineral makeup, botanically based organic skincare, and even a bit of handcrafted jewelry, all with a serious personal touch.

Visit StyleEssentials.com or join her on Facebook for green beauty and healthy lifestyle tips.

You can also download your FREE Report on The 10 Easy Steps To Detox Your Beauty Routine Here.

 

Are You Still Pretending to Be a Younger Version of Yourself?

Are You Still Pretending to Be a Younger Version of Yourself?

I know that’s a really loaded question! But, an important one. We live in a youth obsessed culture. We are enamored with being young, beautiful and physically fit. There’s so much more to life! I shared a few of my thoughts in a recent article on Huffington Post: Keeping Up Appearances, Who Would We Be if We Quit Talking About Aging?  I think this is an important conversation that it’s time to bring out in the open.

Why are we so afraid of getting old? Why are we horrified at the thought of wrinkles and a little extra adipose tissue? Why do we put our physical appearance at the top of our list in importance when we consider the things we value about ourselves? Wander into any retail store and you will see aisles of skincare products from Clinique, Mario Badescu, Hydroxatone, among many others. I’m sure we all agree that physical health and well-being are pretty basic to enjoying life but given the amount of conversation we have around this topic, I can’t help but think there’s something more motivating our intense interest. What might that “something more” be?

Perhaps it’s a fear of death, or a fear of losing our power in our relationships with the men in our lives, or a fear of losing relevancy if we’re no longer young and pretty. I’m sure the reason is different for everyone, but the common result is the same. We are living in fear of aging. Let’s figure out why so we can put it behind us and get on with life!

Laurie Schur ~ Director of “The Beauty of Aging”

Laurie Schur ~ Director of “The Beauty of Aging”

Laurie Schur Laurie Schur, spent her life helping others. For 25 years during her career as a psychotherapist, she used her education and knowledge to assist those looking for solutions to life’s problems.  The time arrived, however, when she began looking in earnest for answers for herself.  Intuitively aware that her own aging process would be unlike that of the previous generation’s, she was eager to find a role model that would reveal a different view of aging. Thus began her journey as the Director and Producer of “The Beauty of Aging” film project.

The goal of her project was to share the stories of active, extraordinary American women over eighty, but it has gone far beyond its original intent.  In fact, it has helped to explode the myths that were previously held by many that aging ushers in a period of steady decline and that aging individuals have little to offer the world or society.

“The extraordinary women in our film are so engaged in their activities, so filled with curiosity, and wisdom, that they are completely redefining old age,” Laurie tells us. “As part of the fastest growing population in American, these women are forging a new trail for other women.” Things are not at all as they seemed.

Greedy for Life is the first release from this important project. A 35-minute short featuring two of the women selected for The Beauty of Aging project, this film gives us a taste of things to come and leaves us eager for the next release. Shirley and Lavada tell their stories in a way that is not only uplifting but awe inspiring. We are introduced to two compelling women who embrace life with such energy and enthusiasm that it is contagious and one walks away with a new respect for the aging population and new role models for our own aging.

“Greedy for Life”, an official selection for Gero-Ed Film Festival,  is available for purchase and is being used by individuals, organizations, groups, colleges and universities, as an educational and inspirational film on aging. You won’t want to miss a chance to see it.

Keep up with Laurie and the production of The Beauty of Aging on Facebook.