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Unlocking the Secret to Health and Vitality
By Karen Lyric
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Karen Lyric
All rights reserved.
LIVING IN BALANCE
The key to staying young and vibrant is to allow the time and space necessary to recharge and refresh yourself. Many people are too distracted by outside influences and lose sight of themselves. In order to keep looking and feeling great, you need to make time to get in touch with who you really are. Living in balance means living a life that is right for you. It is not giving away too much of yourself or taking too much from others. It is having the awareness to know when to go out and be with others and when it is time to be alone with yourself.
Many people are not comfortable with being alone and may try to avoid it altogether. But this only leads to a lack of awareness of self and a lack of balance in your life. In order to discover what your specific needs are you must first learn what they are not. Many people realize their true selves simply by the process of elimination. In other words, we learn who we are by first learning what we are not. I am sure we have all had the experience of trying to be someone other than ourselves. Remember how much effort that took? Pretending to be someone or something we are not can add years to our physical appearance.
Stress is the number one cause of aging in the world today. It is everywhere and difficult to avoid entirely. However, there is a lot that we are capable of and much we can do to decrease the amount of stress in our daily lives.
One of the main things we can control is ourselves and that will be the focus of this book. Learning to know yourself will allow you to create a life that is balanced, open, and flowing. By living in this space most of the time you can create an image that is youthful, vibrant, and healthy.
Have you ever been told by someone that you look tired? Looking tired is more than just merely lack of sleep. How many times have you actually had your seven or eight hours of sleep yet woke up exhausted and looking as though you hadn't slept at all? How does this happen? The answer is stress. When you are experiencing stress in your life or a lack of balance, your entire being struggles to correct yourself. If your waking mind doesn't make it happen, then your unconscious sleeping mind will. Unfortunately, when you are asleep you do not have the full awareness needed in order to make the corrections and bring yourself back to your centre. It is much more efficient to do this consciously, and the results will be much quicker.
So how does an individual maintain a balanced and virtually stress-free existence? It is not easy, but it is most definitely achievable. It takes time and effort to be balanced and whole; no magic potion or pill will make it so. Praying will not make it happen either. Only action can bring about the required changes. You can achieve this in as little as ten minutes a day. But those ten minutes must be devoted entirely to you alone. There can be no distractions or outside influences. It has to be only you.
So now you are probably wondering what it is that you are supposed to be doing in those ten minutes. Do you meditate, stretch, breathe, or think? Do you turn on your favorite relaxing music or try to figure out the innermost workings of your mind? The answer is none of these.
What you need to do with those ten minutes is simply be with yourself, completely and entirely. I know this probably sounds too simple but hardly anyone actually does this. You may think you have, but most likely you have not. Being with yourself in the manner that I am describing here means being with yourself fully. It's not about selecting the part that you want to be with and screening out what you don't want. It is about fully accepting yourself, the positive and the negative, and allowing yourself to experience that.
For example, pretend that you had a bad day—you became very upset and angry. Later, you directed that negative attitude towards someone that you loved or cared for. In an instant you felt guilty about doing this but then quickly buried that feeling because you did not want to feel that way. You said nothing and did nothing to remedy your actions.
If you were to do this ten-minute exercise you would re-experience that moment again. It would rise to the surface of your consciousness wanting to be looked at. The reason it would find its way back to you is because you need to accept that part of you that treated another individual in a way that was less than desirable. You need to accept responsibility and then release your feelings of guilt or regret for having done that. If you do not, that experience will stay with you and continue to struggle within you, even if it is buried in your unconscious mind.
The point I am trying to make here is that we have all said or done things that we regretted or that we considered to be negative, yet how many of us took the time to resolve this experience within ourselves? I would guess practically none. Just because we are able to sweep these experiences under the rug, so to speak, does not mean that we should. Every time we do this to ourselves we are unknowingly causing more stress in our inner state. Eventually, this stress becomes more noticeable in our outward appearance. In other words, we age at a more rapid pace.
Now, I have not done any scientific experiments in this regard but I have been watching people throughout my whole life. It is obvious to me that those people who age quicker than others certainly had their fair share of stress. There is an expression that when a person looks older than their years that they have led a hard life. What does that mean? Obviously we have some understanding that stress and aging are related. But there is no real evidence about how much they are related. I believe that these two concepts are very closely related, so much so that if you are able to bring yourself into balance and eliminate the unnecessary stress in your life it will be like uncovering your own secret fountain of youth.
Could it really be that simple? I say it is. If you take the time to know yourself and bring your life into balance your body will reflect that. In later chapters, I will discuss how to balance yourself and your life in a way that will create in you a more youthful appearance.
But for now, I want you to take some time to discover ways that you can do this. Before you read the next chapter I want you to take ten minutes and simply do nothing other than to stay awake and observe your inner state. Do just that; then we will talk about the significance of this exercise in the next chapter.CHAPTER 2
REMEMBERING WHO YOU ARE
We are all living in a very fast paced and distracting world. We are over stimulated and do not have enough quiet time for ourselves. Sometimes we are so busy doing things for other people that we literally forget who we are. When we allow ourselves to be so distracted by outer things, we lose sight of our own needs and desires. Many of us struggle to maintain this balance between others and ourselves. It is time to realize the importance of not doing this.
Being out of balance leads to many different outcomes. For example, if we do not have an inner awareness of our self and our state of being it is quite easy to run ourselves into the ground and over work our bodies. Not leaving enough time to rest and refresh ourselves takes a toll on both our physical and mental bodies. The end result can be premature aging.
Many researchers have found evidence to support that sleep is the number one form of relaxation we have in our lives. Sleep repairs and refreshes our bodies. Yet many of us continue to ignore this and try to function on as little sleep as possible. If you are tired, then rest. It is as simple as that. Everything else can wait. You are the most important person in your life. If you do not take care of yourself properly, you will age before your time.
Getting a good night sleep is a simple way to keep ourselves young, healthy, and refreshed. But this is only one of many things that we can do. In the previous chapter we discussed a technique in which you sit with yourself for ten minutes and allow time for connection and awareness of your inner state. Remember what that felt like.
If you have not done anything like this before, it may not have been easy. After only a few seconds you probably became distracted by outside influences. It is not easy to sit with yourself and only focus within. Many variables (including our own minds) will intervene to cause us to look away.
During this exercise it is important to keep re-focusing back to the task at hand. If you find that you are distracted, that is okay. Whenever you notice this happening, just start over and keep trying. The more you practice, the better you will get at it. It is like any new activity that you try for the first time. You cannot expect yourself to be an expert right away. You need to build up to it. If you can do even one minute of this exercise, you will feel much better about yourself.
So by now many of you may be wondering what the point of this ten-minute exercise is. Why should you take precious minutes out of your busy day to simply sit with yourself? It is simply to teach you to realize that the center of your existence is within you. You do not exist outside of yourself. The main focus of who you are is on the inside. Many people may be disturbed by this thought because they have spent so much of their lives looking outwards to define who they are. Just because you have lived your whole life this way until now does not mean you cannot change the way you look at things. All of the accomplishments and relationships you have had throughout your lifetime are important, but they do not define who you really are. The definition of who you are lies within; if you do not take the time to look inward, you will never really understand yourself. So you see, those ten minutes are very important: they are the gateway to your unconscious. Giving yourself the time and space to look inwards will unlock the key to your real identity.
Many people tend to mistake their personality for their identity. I think there is a relationship between the two, but one does not completely define the other. Our personality is something that we create from the time we are born until we die. It is a work in progress and can be changed to suit whatever situation we are in. Our personality is an aspect of our total being but does not completely represent our true self.
So how do we discover our true self? We begin by working at it. We take the time to sit with ourselves and go within to see what is really happening under the surface of our being. When we cut out all of the distractions and outside stimuli of our world and are left with ourselves, only then are we given the opportunity to find the truth. Looking for this truth is the best way to unlock the real you. Sadly, many people do not take the time to do this. They walk around day to day not knowing what is really going on within themselves.
Also, many people purposely ignore their inner state because they are afraid to know themselves. They are afraid that they will not like what they see. It is normal to have these fears but you should not let it deter you from finding out who you really are.
We live in a world of polarity meaning both positive and negative aspects exist. All humans on this earth have experienced or expressed both of these. However, society has set a standard that positive aspects of individuals are sought after and considered better than the negative ones. Naturally this leads to a belief that having negative aspects are less than desirable. As a result, people will reject or hide these aspects. The end result is having an imbalance where only positive aspects are allowed expression.
But what happens to these negative aspects? If we do not allow them to be seen where do they go? The truth is they do not go anywhere. They are alive and well living within you. The reason why you do not pay attention to them is because you have trained your mind and consciousness to ignore them. This is neither healthy nor functional.
I believe people age more quickly than they need to because they do not take the time to allow these negative aspects of themselves to come forward. When we do not like or accept parts of ourselves, we live in a constant state of imbalance and tension—we are stressed out. As we all know, stress can cause a variety of problems: sickness, fatigue, and mental anguish. That is why it is so important to do this exercise. By allowing yourself ten minutes a day to go within and experience whatever you see, you give yourself the opportunity to become aware of who you really are inside.
Once you do this exercise and become more acquainted with your true self, there may be some aspects—most likely the negative ones—that you do not want to face or do not know what to do with. In later chapters we will look at strategies that you can use to help you deal with this dilemma.
For now, continue doing this exercise and practice keeping your focus on your inner state for as long as possible. Once you are able to hold your focus inwardly you will be on the right path to discovering who you really are.CHAPTER 3
FINDING YOUTHFULNESS FROM WITHIN
Remember a moment in time when you were very young and go back to it in your mind. Bring up as much detail as possible and the surroundings you lived in. Feel who you were in that moment. Pay particular attention to your sense of youthfulness and your energy level. Young people have a natural abundance of energy; they feel vibrant and almost glow. Most people attribute this state to chronological age. I do not believe this to be completely true. Certainly your age is a factor, but it is only one of many that contribute to the overall sense of youthfulness.
Youthfulness can be created naturally and from within yourself. It exists not only on the outside, but on the inside. It is a state of mind as well as a state of physical being. When you tapped into the remembrance of who you were at a younger point in your life were you able to catch the feeling or the essence of that youthfulness? If you were able to remember that feeling, what is to stop you from creating this for yourself in this moment? Remembering a point in your life is another form of bringing the past into the now. If an individual has this capacity—and all of us do—it is possible to stay young forever. Wouldn't you agree?
You may say that sure, it's great to remember but I still look old and tired. However, this exercise of remembrance is only the beginning. It is only to show that you have the power to create your inner state. If you choose to be youthful on the inside, this will eventually radiate outwards and you will reclaim that youthful glow you once had.
Aging is partially in your mind and your mind is what creates your reality. If you have a choice to think and feel old or young, which would you choose? So many people just accept the fact that getting old is the natural progression for humans to take. Who says you need to agree with this philosophy?
Personally, I do not want to get old. It does not look like much fun. I have been able to retain my sense of youthfulness, both inwardly and outwardly, simply because I choose this for myself.
I can remember being five years old and thinking to myself that I never wanted to grow old. It disturbed me to see older people, tired and spent and looking as if their very life force was being sucked out of them. In that moment I told myself that I did not want to ever become that way. I decided that as long as I was alive on this earth I wanted to stay young and healthy. There was no other option as far as I was concerned. I simply chose to stay young.
Now, obviously there have been some physical changes and certainly I look older than five, but overall, I have kept the same appearance throughout my adulthood. I have a few fine lines but nothing to indicate my true biological age. If I were to compare myself to others of similar age, there is a remarkable difference. You, too, can do this naturally and simply by believing you can be young, and it will be so.
Excerpted from Eternal Youth by Karen Lyric. Copyright © 2014 Karen Lyric. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Living in Balance, 1,
Chapter 2 - Remembering Who You Are, 5,
Chapter 3 - Finding Youthfulness from Within, 9,
Chapter 4 - Releasing Negativity from Your Life, 13,
Chapter 5 - Forgiving Yourself and Others, 18,
Chapter 6 - Living in the Moment, 22,
Chapter 7 - Finding Peace, 25,
Chapter 8 - Having No Regrets, 29,
Chapter 9 - Loving Yourself, 35,
Chapter 10 - Being Prepared, 41,
Chapter 11 - Taking Time for Yourself, 45,
Chapter 12 - Going with the Flow, 49,
Chapter 13 - Aging and Your Mind, 55,
Chapter 14 - Living Your Dream, 60,
About the Author, 69,