At the time when I was working through this 21 Day Meditation, if someone would say “anti-aging” I immediately would think of serums and injections to keep myself looking youthful. But Deepak is talking about anti-aging as a skill. A skill we can master. He calls it the “formula for your life!” Yes, please, tell me more!
The seven things people who age well have in common are:
2 wide social circle
3 close relationships/friends
5 sleep and activity
7 new challenges
Some of these areas I was already working on, like, meditation and sleep, and I had activity covered, but I had work to do (and still do!) on the others. First, I needed to widen my social circle. At this time, I hadn’t jumped into much volunteering yet or started working part-time. But knowing I needed to widen my social circle prompted me, along with many other reasons, to get out and meet more people. And my volunteering and new job definitely did that for me. When I was a full time stay at home mom, I had a supportive social circle of other young moms. Period the end. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that because I needed those more experienced moms in my life to help me through motherhood. Those relationships were super important. But, I would have been better off if I would have kept my friendships from work or other areas in my life as well. I had a tendency to let relationships fade if they weren’t right in front of me. I don’t do that now, but I see for many, many years this was the norm. When we moved from California to Virginia I hardly kept in touch with my old friends other than Christmas cards and an occasional phone call. Facebook certainly makes this so much easier now.
Having close relationships and friendships is something I’ve talked about before and is always something I’m working towards. That’s not an overnight thing. You need to find your tribe and then make the effort to want to be a good friend and vice versa. And that second part is out of your control. I’m so thankful for the good friends I do have. I don’t take them for granted anymore.
Vitamins! This should have been on my New Year’s resolution list! I have yet to take any supplements and that is mostly because what I’ve read of them has me confused. I’m not a fan of the fact that they aren’t regulated in any way. And because of that, when they are tested things show up that are not listed in the ingredients and other things that are listed aren’t in them at all. So much fraud and honestly, I find that a bit dangerous. On the other hand, if I knew they were clean, there are some I would take. This is an upcoming project for me!
Curiosity falls under my Happiness Project theme of “Saying Yes”. I consider “saying yes” part of continuous learning and trying new things. I’ve tried more new things in the past two or three years than I could count. I never in a million years thought I’d be a class exercise type person, a yogi, a hiker, a blogger, an activist, a writer, a library aide, or a notary public. If I wouldn’t have tried those things my life wouldn’t be nearly as happy or rich as it is today.
New Challenges is similar to curiosity but I look at this through the lens of fear. Without fear, I can challenge myself to actually write this book. Without fear, I can go for those yoga poses that I NEVER would have considered before. Without fear, I can walk long distances without pain. Without fear I can learn how to nature sketch. Without fear I can go back to work and learn a new skill set and meet new people. Without fear I can set a REAL budget and work on it EVERY SINGLE DAY. All of these things were challenges for me but if it doesn’t make you a little nervous then it’s not a big enough challenge!
The key is really to continue working ALL seven of these areas for the rest of your life. THAT is anti-aging. At the time, I wrote in my notebook “Live by this!!” That makes me smile today.
How many of the seven areas do you feel you are working in your life? Do you see areas where you could improve? Use this list as a guide. Place post its in your bathroom or in your car. Or make a vision board using these areas as a guide for how you want to live.