“Gratitude is a nice touch of beauty added last of all to the countenance, giving a classic beauty, an angelic loveliness, to the character. ” Theodore Parker
I was a very young girl the first time I ever read this quote. I can still recall the feeing I had after I read these beautiful words. It was like a breath of fresh air, a sign from the universe or a ray of sunshine bursting through a cloudy day instilling a hopeful direction in which I chose to take. And in retrospect, I am so “grateful” that I did do just that. At the risk of sounding annoying, I never considered that I was pretty when I was growing up, especially in high school. That title belonged to my flawless sisters and my gorgeous blonde haired , blue eyed mother. In terms of physical appearance I favored my father, who was equally as gorgeous as mom, although I didn’t put “two & two” together, ( no pun intended) quite as well as they did. Not until much much later. I grew up in the time where blondes ruled the world. I was not blonde. I was dark. I was ethnic. I was 1/2 Italian…and I still am, thank goodness !!! 🙂
The purpose of what I am sharing with you today means a lot to me. It is about having a choice. When I was that very young girl, I made a strong conscious choice to make myself really pretty. And I did this in a way in which I felt I had the most control. That was, by being kind, thoughtful and grateful. By being respectful, responsible and loving. I made myself pretty on the inside. Little did I know at that time that I was building a strong foundation for later years in my life. And that foundation has got me through some extremely traumatic experiences. It has allowed me to bounce back rising out of my own ashes, just to reinvent myself once again. Just as the caterpillar becomes the butterfly.
I was 15 years old when I realized that I could not ingest caffeine or any type of stimulates. This awareness dawned by a very painful visit to the emergency room. I was diagnosed with a bladder infection. One that dropped me to my knees thrashing in agony just by indulging myself with a sip of Lipton tea. For those of you that are wondering of what extent I can not consume stimulates , yes, that includes chocolates. I know what you must be thinking, ” wow, a girl that can’t eat chocolate?” ” That is some bad Karma man. ” Indeed. 😉
This experience began my journey with health. I also became a vegetarian at this age. Yet through the years I have bounced between, vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan. Then I would implement some chicken and fish a few times a year. However, I would then see a film on the abuse of animals and stop eating it. Empathically I could not take the pain. Now, please understand that this is no judgement on whatever it is you choose to eat that works best for you. This is not the purpose of this blog. I am here only to share with you what worked and is still working for me to keep me, “pretty on the outside”, in addition to the inside. I was in my early twenties when I began juicing fresh vegetables. And other than drinking tons of water, to this day I do this. I also drink vitamin/mineral packed scrumptious green smoothies. My diet is whole foods. I don’t eat anything that has processed chemicals, or has strange names that I cannot pronounce on the labels. Everything is made as fresh, natural and organic as possible. Anytime I create a recipe, I do this with the mindful intention of love. I can probably count the times on both of my hands & feet that I have worn makeup in my life. I never wore sunscreen until I was in my forties and then I stopped because applying it resulted in a chemical burn. So now I use coconut oil, nothing at all, or homemade sunscreen if I am going to be out in the sun for hours at a time. I sleep at least 7 to 8 hours a night and I don’t drink alcohol. Truth be told, that does not mean I don’t wish to drink occasionally. I have fantasies of sitting across the table with my sister drinking margarita’s and eating chips and salsa, laughing till we cannot breathe. Yet alas, it just does not work for me. It never has. So speaking of the truth, when people approach me in shock when I tell them my age, I want to tell them that in addition to having amazing genetics, a lifetime of eating well , a strict practice of being grateful, compassionate, and kind, another main factor to anti aging is having the courage to speak my truth. To be authentic at the risk of looking like a fool. To retain the ability to laugh at oneself can and will leave us with the feeling of being as wild and free as the day we were born. Which by the way, is an automatic wrinkle eliminator. 🙂
So now I am going to take you on a little photo journey in the years of my life. Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you have any questions for me, or care to share, feel free to comment.
Live as Love !
In my 20’s. BiG HAIR, ha! Spent everyday in the sun at the pool. for. hours! The pout? Completely annoyed by my boyfriend ( at the time) who is insisting on taking my photograph. Of course now I am eternally grateful for him. 🙂
In my 30’s. Coming off a really bad sugar addiction. Feeling great. Skin is happy and so I am. 🙂
In my 40’s. Bonus: Body in a bikini shot ! Other than loving to dance every chance I had, I never worked out a day in my life until I reached my 40’s. This is the result of 3 days a week of weight training, rollerblading 4 days a week, 2 hours a day, walking 2 miles a day and yoga. Also, a close up face shot of me and my little baby niece Bella. ❤
In my 50’s . So here I am in the here and now…56 to be exact. And it’s great. Because 5 +6 = 11. And 11 has always been one of my most favorite numbers. Its been longer than I care to remember of the last time that I worked out. But that’s all good too, because I am bound and determined to get myself back into it. And I am adding the wondrous Qi gong to my routine. So it just goes to show us how powerful the results can be with the choices we make when we set a healthy foundation for our lives. Our health is our treasure. As essential as exercise is , I truly believe that we must add gratitude, love, laughter, kindness, and of course a nice big beautiful daily glass of freshly made veggie juice, in addition to eating whole foods to ensure our inner and outer glow ! Shine on ! 🙂