Trust your body: the intuitive path to a healthy weight

How many diets have you done in your lifetime? Be honest… And how much thinner are you now as a result, having kept the weight off? Every year there’s buzz around yet another weight loss ‘breakthrough’, the latest celebrity approved miracle “diet to end all diets”. Whether it’s cutting down drastically on carbs, sugar or fats, going for intermittent fasting or consuming low-calorie meal replacement products, we’re told that a few months down the line, we’ll have achieved our ideal weight and will live thinly ever after…

Except that studies tell us that dieting rarely works in the long term. Sure, we can rapidly lose weight on a diet, but more often than not the pounds creep back again. One 2007 study reported that up to two-thirds of people who’d been on a diet, went on to gain even more weight than they’d initially lost.

What are we to do then if we want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight? If dieting doesn’t work, what does?

1. The real cause of weight gain?

On the surface, the cause of weight gain seems simple enough – we pile on the pounds if we consistently eat more calories than we burn through exercise. However, that doesn’t explain why we do it…
Chronic stress has been flagged in many studies as one reason behind overeating. Heightened levels of stress hormones increase our appetite and make us crave sugary and fatty foods in particular. Sleep deprivation and suppressed emotions can likewise lead us to eat more.
According to Eckhart Tolle, overeating is often a response to our ego’s feelings of not having or being enough. As a result, going on a strict diet may temporarily ‘fix’ things, but without solving the underlying causes, we can easily fall into a never-ending cycle of deprivation and binging…
  1. What the naturally slim people do

Interestingly, when the Global Healthy Weight Registry interviewed people who’ve always maintained a healthy weight, they discovered that naturally slim people generally eschew ‘dieting’ or depriving themselves. Rather, they’re conscious about what they eat but don’t stress about indulging in the occasional treat. Most of them eat plenty of fruit and veg and favour home-cooked meals over processed food and exercise on a regular basis. Perhaps most importantly though, they tend to be in tune with their body: eating when they feel hungry and being mindful about the inner cues that tell them when to stop. And that can be learned.

  1. Intuitive eating

The basis of intuitive eating is trusting our body’s innate intelligence and ability to regulate its weight. The body is an ally that knows how much it needs. And we can learn to listen to its signals by eating more mindfully.

If you feel an emotional urge to binge and find yourself reaching for the biscuits, try these steps…

  1. Stop and tell yourself that you can have a biscuit in 30 minutes, if you still want it. Then tune into what you’re feeling in the moment. Acknowledge and accept the emotion you’re experiencing. Stay with it without trying to push it away. Observe how much you desire that biscuit 30 minutes later.
  2. Ask yourself what you really need and want. Perhaps it’s rest? Or support from your loved ones? The biscuit may be just a ‘stand-in’ for something else we long for. Is there a way to meet that need?

Whenever possible, eat your food mindfully (especially when it’s biscuits). Present your food in a way that looks appealing and sit down to eat your meal without distractions (try not to eat while standing or watching the TV). Take a moment to [Read more…]

The wisdom within: are you ‘listening’ to your dreams?

We’ve all experienced it… that particularly strange or intensely emotional dream that made us ask ourselves ‘what on earth was that all about?’. But how often do we leave it at that and get on with our day without further reflection? As nonsensical and peculiar as they seem, dreams can help us access genuine insights, inspiration and valuable new perspectives. Many times, all we need to do is start listening to the messages with curiosity and an open mind to gain access to this more intuitive part of ourselves.

  1. The guide within

Perhaps you have extremely vivid dreams, or perhaps you hardly ever remember them. But whichever camp you fall in, there’s potentially a lot to gain from tuning into what you do remember.


The value of dreams lies in their ‘uncensored’ nature – stripped from all conscious thoughts, our dreams provide a more complete picture of what is going with us internally than we may perceive in our waking state. Sometimes this means illuminating unprocessed experiences and suppressed emotions that we may have been ignoring to our detriment. In these instances, working with our dreams can be the first step in either making our peace with what is or seeing what we need to change.


But the power of dreams goes beyond flagging up ‘problems’. Dreams can also become a steady source of inspiration and provide new perspectives and powerful insights that can help us think outside the box.


  1. Recalling your dreams

Some dreams have such a powerful effect on us that we’ll remember them for a long time afterwards. Most of the time though, it’s only too easy to forget a dream as soon as we’re up and focussing on the new day.

To get the most out of your dreams, keep a notepad next to your bed and jot down what you can remember as soon as you wake up in the morning. Don’t worry about remembering everything, simply write down any bits and pieces you can recall, even if it’s just the general feeling of the dream. You may find that the more often you record your dreams, the more you’ll be able to remember.

  1. Working with your dreams

So you’ve recorded some of your dreams… now what? The analytical parts of our brain might want to rush in and thoroughly dissect our dreams to tease out their meaning, but a far simpler and possibly more effective method is to simply meditate or reflect quietly on any emotions and images that have appeared in [Read more…]

Get laughing to boost your health and happiness

When did you last have a proper giggle? Or a hearty belly laugh? Chances are you chuckled at a funny photo or a video at some point today… We enjoy laughing so much that a lot of the time we spend on various social media channels is spent on sharing funny content. But did you know that laughing doesn’t only feel good in the moment, but can actually have many long-lasting benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing alike?


Learn more about the many ways laughing is great for you and how to consciously cultivate laughter in your life…


  1. The benefits of laughter


You’ve heard the saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’, but how much can it really do for us? A lot, it turns out!

Mental wellbeing

Stressed out? Having a giggle (and even just anticipating one) has been shown to lower the amount of stress hormones circulating in our bodies. Anxiety and tension can similarly melt away after a good guffaw, while moments of mirth may also boost our brain function and ability to perform mentally demanding tasks.

In addition to improving one’s mood, laughing also has the power to reduce interpersonal conflicts and enhance our relationships: couples who laugh a lot together are likely to form the most satisfying and long-lasting partnerships.

Physical wellbeing

Pain is no laughing matter, but if you can find the humorous side of things while in you’re in pain, laughing can actually cause a release of natural painkillers in the body as well as easing muscular tension. Laughing – especially deep belly laughs – is also a mini-workout and can boost circulation and lower blood pressure, reducing our risk of heart disease. Finally, chuckling away can also help us avoid getting sick by giving our immune system a boost.


  1. How to laugh more


Who wouldn’t like to laugh more? Life can get tough though, and we certainly don’t laugh as readily when we’re feeling low or stressed out. Yet, we may get the greatest benefit from laughing in the most challenging times, if we can find a way to have a giggle more often.


Turn to the (laughing) professionals


If laughs have been in short supply recently, inject some more comedy into your day: watch a sitcom or a stand-up show, pick up a funny book to read or tune into a comedy podcast… Make a note of who (or what) makes you laugh the hardest – it will be a brilliant resource to turn to whenever you need an uplifting laughter boost.



Try laughter yoga


When life is particularly challenging or difficult, nothing seems particularly funny, and we may feel that we have no choice but to miss out on the wellness-boosting powers of laughter until we feel better.  But we may actually get the same benefits from laughing whether it’s genuine or faked.


Laughter yoga is based on the belief that we can harness the power of laughter even when we’re feeling low. Better still, a lot of people who go to a laughter yoga class find that as the session progresses, their laughter actually becomes genuine and before they know it they’re laughing their heads off. Laughter yoga is most effective in company, but if you’d like to give it a go right now (or to see what it’s like), check out this online laughter yoga session with Bianca Spears (video here).



Discover the beautifying powers of serum

We’d hazard a guess that you’ve probably got a fairly good idea why using a cleanser and a moisturiser is great for your complexion – these familiar skincare essentials have been around the beauty block for quite some time after all. But what about that so-called serum stuff? Is it really necessary? Read on to find out how it will take your skincare routine to the next level…


  1. What makes serum a beauty hero?


Why should you include serum in your daily beauty routine? What exactly does it do? Serum is a hydrating powerhouse, but unlike a moisturiser that nourishes the top layer of the skin, serum works its magic in the deeper layers of the skin’s epidermis due to the smaller size of its molecules.


Serum is rejuvenating for all skin types, but it’s particularly beneficial for dry and mature skin types thanks to the high concentration of deeply hydrating active ingredients. A key component in any high quality serum is hyluaronic acid, which boosts hydration levels in the skin by attracting and retaining water, effectively filling in fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother and healthier-looking skin.


  1. Experience the AEOS Multi-Award Winning Realive Serum


Ready to discover the potent power of serum? Our multi-award winning Realive Serum harnesses nature’s hydrating powers to plump and revitalise. Our formulation includes pure, botanically-derived hyaluronic acid, complemented by our ultra-nourishing organic and biodynamic spelt oil as well as other beneficial plant oils and extracts.


  1. How to use the AEOS Realive Serum


Our Realive Serum is highly concentrated and super potent, so you’ll need to apply only a tiny amount each time. Include it in your morning and evening skincare rituals, taking care to apply after cleansing and before applying a moisturiser. For greatest benefits, the optimal way to use our serum is to apply it after our multi-award winning Refreshing Hydrating Mist as part of the ‘Replenish’ step of our three-phase system.


Look after yourself and the planet – one plant-based meal at a time

You’ve probably noticed that plant-based eating has been getting a lot of media attention recently. The interest in vegetarian, vegan and ‘flexitarian’ or low-meat diets has skyrocketed in the past few years. As a consequence, foregoing or limiting meat and other animal products is no longer considered outlandish or thought of as just another passing food fad.

But what is plant-based eating exactly? Simply put, it’s a diet composed either exclusively or primarily of foods of plant origin, including veggies, grains, nuts, seeds, beans and fruits. Animal products, such as meat, fish, milk and eggs, feature in small amounts if at all.

If you’ve ever been curious about plant-based eating, there’s never been a better time to give it a go –the availability of plant-based products is at an all-time high as global brands and new start-ups alike are catering for this new growing demographic.

1. The benefits of eating a plant-based diet

So why are people switching to plant-based eating, and why might you want to give it a dabble? The most common reasons to favour veggie fare include the following:

 Compassion for animals

Animals are the most obvious beneficiaries of the plant-based eating trend. It’s estimated that collectively we munch our way through more than 56 billion farmed animals every year. And this number doesn’t include fish (consumption of seafood is measured in tonnes) or animals like the majority of male calves and chicks that are disposed of shortly after birth because they can’t produce milk and eggs. And even dairy cows and hens live only a fraction of their natural lifespan because they’re only kept alive while their productivity is at its highest. By changing the way we consume animal products and therefore vote with our wallets, we can join the ever-growing collective message that animals deserve better.

Treading lightly on our planet

For many, the environmental impact of animal agriculture is the main reason why they choose to reduce their meat and dairy consumption. Growing plant crops is a more effective way to feed the world than raising animals for food: it takes up far less space and uses less water as well as producing less waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Eating for health and beauty

Finally, lots of people decide to switch from a diet heavy in animal products to a more plant-based lifestyle to look after their health. Many studies show that adopting a plant-based diet can help prevent or even reverse many of the more common health conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Other benefits of incorporating more veggie meals may include higher energy levels, a healthier weight, better sleep and improved mental health.

And if you’re interested in eating for beauty, making space for more fruit and veg on your plate ups your intake of vitamins, healthy fats, fibre plus many micronutrients and can lead to a clearer and brighter complexion.

2. How to transition towards a plant-based way of eating

Do it at your pace


Do you find the idea of plant-based eating appealing… but completely daunting at the same time?

If going ‘pure plants’ feels too extreme right now, why not commit to one plant-based meal a day for a month and see how it goes? Every healthy veggie meal you eat will benefit you, the animals and the planet, whether you eventually decide to go fully plant-based or perhaps choose a flexitarian approach.


Retrain your taste buds


What if you just aren’t too keen on eating veggies? Or don’t want to give up your favourite (animal-based) foods? Put the focus first on sampling new plant-based foods and trying out different recipes instead of eliminating foods you love from your diet. With the staggering amount of blogs featuring plant-based recipes from around the globe, you’re bound to discover dishes that will please your taste buds (and might even become new favourites). Research suggests that our palates can adjust to dietary changes over time: the more we eat certain things, the more likely we are to enjoy them too.


Speaking of recipes, here are two simple-to-make but oh-so-satisfying plant-based dishes for you to try out. Featured on the Minimalist Baker (where blogger Dana shares her passion for healthy, simple meals that not only taste incredible but come together fast), they might just convince you that you’re not going to miss meat and dairy that much after all…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding (A recipe by the Minimalist Baker)

Chock-full of healthy fats and whole-food goodness, this dessert (or breakfast… why not?) tastes much naughtier than it is… And all you need to whip it up is a handful of ingredients and a couple of minutes – the steps are pretty much just blend and chill before you dive in.

Ingredients (6 portions)

  • 1 1/2 ripe avocados
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/2 salted peanut butter + more for topping
  • ~ 1/2 cup sweetener of choice (e.g. maple syrup, agave or date paste)
  • ~ 1/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk


  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until creamy and smooth.
  2. Divide between 6 small serving glasses, cover with plastic wrap (pressing the plastic wrap down on the pudding to prevent a skin from forming and chill for a few hours, or overnight.
  3. Top with a drizzle of salted peanut butter.


30-minute Coconut Curry (A recipe by the Minimalist Baker)

We’ve got your dinner sorted, too. Rich yet healthy and lightly spiced (though you can always add more spices to get your desired level of heat and flavour), this colourful Indian-inspired curry can be adapted by substituting your favourite vegetables or whatever you happen to have. Pair the curry with quinoa for an extra protein kick and you’ve got yourself a meal that covers most of your nutritional bases.

Ingredients (4 portions):

  • 1 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground)
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets (or green bell pepper), diced
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/3 cup snow peas (loosely cut)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • optional: Pinch cayenne or 1 dried red chili, diced (for heat)
  • 2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk (sub full-fat for richer texture)
  • 1 cup veggie stock
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • For serving (optional): fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs, red pepper flakes


  1. Heat a large saucepan or pot to medium heat and add 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, broccoli and a pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add curry powder, cayenne (or chili pepper), veggie stock, coconut milk, another healthy pinch of salt and stir. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat slightly and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the snow peas and tomatoes in the last 5 minutes so they don’t overcook.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added another pinch or two of salt.
  5. Serve over quinoa, rice or millet and garnish with fresh lemon juice and herbs.


How to get a beautiful night’s sleep…and rejuvenate skin, body and mind

Know that feeling of dragging yourself through the day after another turbulent night’s sleep? If so, you won’t need us to tell you that sleep deprivation can make everything a lot harder – and how you look and feel not so peachy either. Concentrating at work becomes difficult as our focus falters, and the little things are more likely to get on our nerves. We may also be more tempted by sugary snacks or rely heavily on glugging caffeine to keep us going…

Sleeping poorly on a regular basis can affect more than our attention span and stress levels. Various medical problems from obesity and diabetes to cancer and immune deficiency have been associated with chronic sleep deprivation. And skimping on nightly slumber (the time when our bodies get busy healing, repairing and renewing) spells disaster for our complexions too. One study showed a significant increase in blemishes, brown spots, redness and bacteria on the skin after just five days of reduced sleep, while another study demonstrated that long-term sleep deprivation accelerates skin aging (causing more fine lines and wrinkles) as well as slowing down healing from sunburn.

On the bright-eyed side though, when we do get into a healthy sleeping rhythm, we’re likely to feel brighter and less stressed and have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight and remembering things, to name a few benefits. In other words, sleep is worth prioritising and will make our waking hours count more to boot.

But what if you find it difficult to nod off at night? Or struggle to stay asleep? Try our three steps below to increase your chances of getting your beauty sleep tonight.

  1. Create an optimal environment for sleep

One of the more common things that hinders our attempts to drift easily at night is exposure to bright lights late in the evening. How easily we fall asleep – as well as the quality and quantity of sleep – is to a large extent linked to our levels of melatonin, aka the ‘sleep hormone’: darkness ramps up the production and bright lights suppress it. To keep things melatonin-friendly, avoid watching the telly or using your computer late in the evening, and aim to switch your phone off well ahead of bedtime. If possible, dim the lights in your home or switch to softer, amber coloured lights, such as Himalayan salt lamps, in the evenings, and use black-out curtains or blinds in the bedroom to create complete darkness at night.

Falling asleep is also partly cued by a natural fall in our body temperature, and keeping the bedroom cool can help us sleep better. The optimal room temperature for sleep is thought to be 15.5 – 19.5°C (60 – 67°F).

  1. Follow a sleep-friendly bedtime routine

A soothing bedtime routine is another good way to let our bodies know it’s time to wind down for sleep. Avoid caffeine after 3pm as well and skip exercising and eating a couple of hours before bedtime.

Instead, take time for a soothing evening ritual: gentle stretching, reading and a warm bath infused with lavender essential oil or our Blue (Serenity) Bath Salts are good ways to calm the mind and body alike. To maximise the complexion-boosting powers of sleep, treat your skin to a cleanse, tone and moisturise routine before hitting the pillow – for guaranteed glowing skin by morning try our three-phase system.

If an overactive mind is keeping you from falling asleep, try this: write a list of the things that are on your mind and leave it outside your room (or visualise the same if you have no pen and paper at hand). And if you’re getting frustrated and anxious about not being able to fall sleep, stop trying and pick up a book or meditate for ten minutes instead.

  1. Go for a sleep-boosting lifestyle

What we do in the last few hours before bedtime may have the biggest impact on the quality of our sleep, but what we get up to earlier in the day and matters too.

It’s easier to sleep well when we maintain a regular daily pattern: waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day as far as possible, including the weekends. Aim for at least [Read more…]

Discover the stress-busting benefits of books (and our top three picks for you)

Some of us learn to love books from a young age, some of us discover the pleasure of reading later on, while some of us may still not be convinced that books are worth their while… If you consider yourself a book worm, we’ve got some great news for you – and if you don’t, you may be willing to give reading another shot soon after you’ve read what we’ve got to tell you…
The many benefits of reading books
Can you guess what reduces stress more efficiently than taking a walk, listening to music or sitting down for a cuppa? Of course, we’ve already given that away… But you may still be surprised that according to research a mere six minutes spent reading a book can reduce our stress levels by a whopping 68%. And the benefits of reading books don’t stop there. As well as reducing our heart rates and easing muscle tension, regular reading is believed to stimulate imagination, develop critical thinking, sharpen memory, increase empathy, have protective effects against mental decline and even help us live longer.
How to fit books into your life
We hope the above has convinced you to make books a part of your daily life (if they weren’t already). But what if you just can’t find the time? These days (thank you, technology), books are more accessible than ever. We can download e-books and audiobooks to a device of our choice at home (sometimes even free if we make full use of library services) and have them at our fingertips (or headphones) whenever we can find a few minutes to spare. And if having hit a reading rut is your challenge, reading communities like the Goodreads will quickly guide you to your new favourite reads.
Inspired? Check out our favourite reads…
Our top three picks 

 1. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
This little gem of a book has sold millions of copies, and for a good reason: it’s the ultimate guide to achieving mental freedom from the past or future mindset. In simple words, Eckhart Tolle demonstrates how to live a healthier and happier life by living in the present moment. And if you’ve already read the Power of Now, then try his next, equally life-enhancing book: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
Why we love it…
-It leads us to greater awareness of how our thinking habits influence our life experience.
-It empowers us to be in charge of our own happiness and wellbeing.
-It teaches us ways to surrender to the present moment that we can put into practice immediately.

2. Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed’s memoir is a powerful story of how one woman pieced herself back together – literally one step at a time – after the trauma of losing her mother, a painful divorce and a string of self-destructive coping mechanisms left her feeling utterly lost. She portrays her journey on foot alone from the Mojave Desert to Washington State with honesty, humour and warmth, and by the time you finish the book, you’ll feel like you too have been on a hope-renewing journey.
Why we love it…
-It shows us that there’s an endless reserve of courage within us, ready to be accessed when we most need it.
-It demonstrates that we can heal and find our way again even if we feel completely lost.
-It gives us a taste of what hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is like – without the blisters…

3. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
If all you want is to be completely absorbed in a story, Sue Monk Kidd’s novel has it all and more. This multi-layered tale of a motherless girl who runs away from home and is taken in by three beekeeping sisters keeps you emotionally engaged and intrigued to the very end.
Why we love it…
-Lily’s story is beautiful, moving and totally addictive – a book to get lost in.
-It’s both funny and heart-aching.
-It’s deeply spun with the magic and mysteries of honeybees symbolising the ups and downs of life.


Time to switch up our seasonal skincare again!

We love the changing of seasons and how the cycles we see in nature keep life feeling interesting and fresh. Our northern hemisphere friends will be noticing the nights getting chillier and will be starting to look forward to getting wrapped up in cosy jumpers and scarves, while our friends down under, on the other hand, have the glorious spring sunshine and warmer days to enjoy. While you make some seasonal changes to your wardrobe, take some time to update your skincare routine too – be it soaring mercury or wind and snow, our skin always appreciates a little extra care when there’s a major shift in weather conditions.

Built around multi-award winning formulations, our Three Phase System is your seasonal go-to simple cleanse, tone and moisturise routine that can be adapted to reflect the changing needs of your skin– read more to find out how to adjust it with optimal formulations as well as a few other tips to keep your complexion happy.

Autumn glow
Outdoor temperatures in autumn can drop dramatically without warning, meaning sudden exposure to cold weather can come as a shock to the skin. And repeatedly coming in from the cold to a centrally heated indoor space can further sensitise our skin and make it prone to dryness and irritation.
We can help our skin adjust by upping our hydration levels: make sure you’re drinking lots of water (herbal teas count) and make the air less drying in a room by putting a bowl of water on a radiator. Be sure to also give your skin extra nourishment and protection by making the switch to more hydrating skincare formulations. Our multi-award winning Cleansing Oil Dé-Maq and Enriching Moisturiser are our top picks for autumn and winter.

Spring radiance
In spring we’re often keen to spend as much time as we can outside, making most of the brighter and warmer weather after a long winter. But our complexion can react to the increasing temperatures by producing extra sebum, resulting in congested, inflamed and irritated skin.
Regular cleansing is a must as summer approaches. Make sure your routine includes a good cleanser and a gentle exfoliator to remove all traces of pore-clogging oils and dead skin cells. Formulations that are more refreshing are the best for spring and summer: try including our award-winning Dew Facial Wash and our multi-award winning Gentle Exfoliant in your skincare routine to brighten your complexion and to boost cell renewal.


Do you really want the things you think you want?

Goals: from big to small, we all have them and probably spend a lot of time and energy in working towards them – the end result is sure to be worth all our troubles, right? But how often are we running on auto-pilot, not really pausing to evaluate our goals and never asking ourselves if they’re really what we want? And how much stress are we willing to endure in the process, and what do we have to sacrifice to get there?
For Ric Elias (check out his wonderful TED Talk here), the moment he thought he was about to die in a plane crash was when he began to evaluate his entire life. His realisation? Up until that moment he had been wasting a lot of time on things that didn’t truly matter to him, and he promptly decided to change that. Thankfully for the rest of us, a near death experience is not necessary to start aligning with what feels right for us, but it does begin with some reflection…
1. The importance of setting the right goals
With so much external pressure to succeed and prove ourselves in life, it’s easy to live our lives striving to meet other people’s expectations. But how fulfilling can a life like that be? Alan Watts – British philosopher and author – spoke repeatedly about the importance of asking ourselves what we truly desire lest we end up spending our entire lives doing things we don’t really want to do. ‘What would you like to do if money were no object?’ is a question he’d often ask of his students. And while forgetting about money completely is not realistic for most, Watts has a point when it comes to making sure that we make space for the things we love. Would you rather spend all your time making money now so that one day in the future you can finally devote time to the people and pursuits you love… or would you rather invest more time in what matters the most today so that one day in the future you can look back at a life you’ve loved? Listen to the man himself speak here.
2. Our deepest desires – an exercise
Most of us would list very similar things when asked what we want in life, such as a great career, financial success, love and happiness… But we need to dig deeper than that to find out what desires are really driving our goal-related behaviour – and whether we need to change our strategy when it comes to fulfilling them.
Try this exercise by Phillip C. McGraw, and ask yourself these four questions:
-What do I want?
-What must I do to have it?
-How would I feel when I have it?
So what I really want is to feel ________(fill in the blank and start again at question 2).
In the process of answering these questions we may find that the reason we want, say a successful career, is not about the success itself but the feeling of being appreciated and accepted… Discovering these underlying desires – and going back to answer question 2 again – helps us adjust our goals so that we have the best chance of getting what we truly want in life. Perhaps feeling accepted is best achieved by learning to accept ourselves first rather than trying hard to prove our worthiness to others. And we may well find that accepting and loving ourselves first is also what ends up propelling us to greater career success…
3. Your real-life action plan
Knowing what we truly want is half the battle, but we still need to put that knowledge into action. Some things will be simple to incorporate into our lives, but what if your true desire is so out of sync with your current reality that pretty much everything needs to change? Few of us can suddenly quit our job so that we can dedicate our time to pursuing a passion. But most of us can adjust things enough to move closer towards a life that’s more in tune to what matters to us. Maybe we can make more space in our schedule for artistic exploration by cutting down on other commitments, even if we end up disappointing people. Maybe we can prioritise our spiritual practice over a perfectly clean home. Maybe we can strike a deal with our boss and work less some weeks to spend more time with our kids while they’re still little.
From baby steps to giant leaps of faith, there’s a whole range of approaches to moving towards a more authentic life. If a goal feels so big that even the thought of going for it paralyses you with fear and stops you from doing anything – maybe you want to change careers and become an artist – break it down into smaller goals, such as committing to ten minutes of sketching every day – you might just find that’s enough!
4. Live in the present moment
While we discover our true desires and adjust our goals accordingly, there’s one final piece of the puzzle that will bring it all together… How often are we so focused on tomorrow that we miss out on today? Our old friend Eckhart Tolle teaches us that future – including everything we’re working for and looking forward to – will only ever come to us in the present moment. To live fully, we need to remember to tune back in to what is here, right now, as often as we can.

Embrace the beauty of aging

Yes, yes we know – Western culture has a major problem with aging. But knowing it and not letting it get to us are two different things. Everywhere we look – the big screen, TV adverts and magazines – we’re bombarded with messages that growing old is bad news, especially for women. From cosmetics and hair dye to botox and plastic surgery —we’re becoming time-terrified and programmed to keep aging at bay for as long as possible…

And while obsession with youth is not the norm around the world (elders are highly respected in Korea and India, for example), in the Western world we face a very real challenge of accepting ourselves in an environment that would have us believe that we’re ‘not enough’ once wrinkles appear and our hair begins to turn grey. We cannot stop the clock, and by fuelling our obsession with youth we just feed fear rather than embrace the new… so here’s how to reclaim your beauty and self-confidence, beginning with our own attitudes to aging.

  1. Focus on wellbeing

Cameron Diaz is best known for her glamourous acting career, but she’s also a bit of a science buff and our latest pro-age guru…Take a leaf out of her new book The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time‘ (or better yet, read it!) for her uplifting and empowering view on aging.

We love her two main messages…

Adopt a positive attitude

Aging is inevitable, but how we feel about it is ultimately for us to decide – and Cameron encourages us to embrace the process as natural and normal instead of trying to resist it. Adopting a positive attitude towards our changing bodies is a key to looking and feeling our most radiant at any age – being happy in our own skin beats botox every time…

Healthy, happy, beautiful

For Cameron, aging goes beautifully hand–in-hand with living well and taking great care of ourselves, and she’s all for shifting the focus from measuring ourselves against some unrealistic beauty standards to prioritising our health and wellbeing. Healthy habits don’t only prolong and improve quality of life, they also have a huge impact on how we age and feel in the process. Her top wellbeing tips? Eat a nutritious diet, minimise stress, keep fit and try to get those vital seven hours of sleep every night. And finally, enjoy life because that’s what we’re here for…

  1. What’s beautiful to you?

We may not be able to convince the mass media to rethink beauty (not overnight, anyway), but we don’t need to personally subscribe to the narrow definition we see. There are so many different ways to be beautiful regardless of age, shape or size, and we can be advocates of diverse beauty by actively looking for and appreciating it in others as well as ourselves. And beauty is not all about physical features either – qualities like courage, wisdom, and kindness can be very attractive.

  1. Turn to positive role models

Paradoxically, while we’re supposed to be at our prettiest in our early 20s, this is also often when we feel our most insecure. Some women find that it’s not until they’re much older that they blossom and find the confidence to be proudly who they are. And all these women who never got the memo that we’re supposed to stop being attractive as we get older make for fab role models for the rest of us still learning to love our changing looks. Take for example the vivacious models featured in the work of the photographer Ari Seth Cohen whose project Advanced Style celebrates the beauty and style of people over 60. These people are living proof that there’s no expiry date for expressing yourself and being gorgeous.

We leave you with the words of Joyce, 79, featured on Ari’s blog:

“I don’t want to look younger, I want to look as great as I can at any age.”

  1. Meditate, be present

Feel as great as you can with a bit of omming… a growing body of evidence suggests we can slow down the ageing process at a cellular level with regular meditation, by extending our telemores (part of human cells that affect how we age).

  1. Look after what you’ve got

While there’s no need to strive look and feel younger than you are, it’s absolutely great to look and feel as good as you can at every age! So skip the chemical-laden anti-aging creams, skin-stressing peels and botulism face-freeze and nourish and cherish what you have by harnessing active gentle products for your skin.