My story about aging gracefully

My story about aging gracefully

My story about aging gracefully

by styleabille , June 21, 2020

Stories

My self-care wakeup call came during my management consulting tenure. I had noticed a surprising pattern among colleagues: oftentimes, management consultants solve others’ problems while failing to solve their own. Hello, credibility!

This year, I turn 35 and this is a list of 20 things I regularly do in my quest to aging gracefully.

Body

Fasting: I fast one month every year during the Catholic Easter period. I eliminate the consumption of all animal products. I also fast every day for 12 to 14 hours; with that, I eat two or three meals during the remaining 10 to 12 hours of the day. Fasting cleans my body up and speeds its metabolism.

Eating: For about 24 months, I was vegan. Nevertheless, I used to travel every single week for work purposes. As such, I was unable to maintain a healthy variety in my diet. I gave up veganism back in 2018. But, I still adopt an overall healthy diet (it works for me!): I make sure to eat in moderation and in small portions. I have at least two meals and I do not eat in between meals. I reduce my intake of sugar as much as possible. Dark chocolate is my only sweet sin!

In a nutshell, I follow this Tibetan saying quite literally as it unveils the secret to living well: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure.

Alcohol: During teenage (well, it lasted until I was 25!), I was definitely the girl who drank the most in every party. With time, things have changed. The change did not solely impact the quantity; it touched upon my taste that I refined since 2010 when I went to Edinburgh and I was initiated to Single Malt. Over the past few years, I drink quite moderately (up to three glasses per week) and Single Malt is my choice. Additionally, I recommend some tasty Lebanese wines being inspired by the wine poet of the Middle East, Abu Nawwas. He said: So antique is the wine that were she to have, the gift of an eloquent tongue, she would sit like an elder among the people, upright, and regale them with tales of ancient nations.

My choice of Lebanese wines: Perseides, Red, Chateau Khoury; Altitudes, Rose, Ixsir; and Obeidy, White, Saint Thomas.

Exercise: I started yoga in 2015. I practice Hatha yoga regularly since then. In 2019, I began running: three times per week. As for yoga: it is every day. Working out has helped me give up on anti-anxiety drugs. Furthermore, It regulates my sleep patterns and improves body strength.

Skin care: My close golden circle of women knows how obsessed I am with my skin (face and body). My morning and evening routines are so essential for my feel-good state! I dedicate, on top, two hours per week for my skin care; massage, pedicure, and acupuncture – it does wonders.

Floss: I am quite fanatic when it comes to flossing to a point that if a man does not floss… It is a turn off! Flossing leads to healthy teeth and gum, clean mouth, clear breath, and more. My mother is always surprised as I visit my dentist every three months.

Shower: Not any shower. Cold showers, every day, and not less than once a day. I have been taking cold showers since 2018. Cold showers have been beneficial when I am feeling down. I then learned about the Wim Hof method. More information about the iceman. Just like meditation, it takes daily practice, patience, and commitment to see the results.

Water: I love to swim, I take cold showers, and I drink a lot of water – does it tell you anything about my personality? I recommend you count your water intake every day. I drink not less than two litters per day.

Smoking: I do not smoke. Do not smoke: it smells too bad!

Mind, Soul, and Heart

Sleep: I once read how Ariana Huffington recommends that one sleeps her way to the top. It is true! I want to reach 60 healthily; and sleeping makes me rest, turn off my brain, and recharge for the next day.

Rest: My management consulting time has been truly painful when it comes to health. I wrote once about how work could become an illness. At this stage of my life, I make sure to have enough rest

  • Every day: enough sleep, one hour workout, one fun activity
  • Every week: digital detox, hobbies (piano, blogging, beach, etc.)
  • Every month: decluttering, outing (opera, theatre, concert, outdoor activity, etc.)
  • Every year: the highlight of 2019 was my stay at LiPhe in Lebanon. Check how Bill Gate does his think week

Meditation: A while after yoga grew on me, meditation found its way into my daily rituals. Initially, it was through my preferred meditation App (Calm) and then I took classes. More recently, I completed a 50-hour teaching meditation program with the international yoga alliance. With time, meditation has become an intrinsic part to the way I live: focusing on the task at hand (I believe multi-tasking is a myth, even for women), spending time alone as much as possible, contemplating nature, and more!

Minimalism: I am fond of minimalism. One of the things reading about minimalism taught me was learning to fix things instead of throwing them. I try to live as much as possible by minimalist standards in my purchasing patterns, in the way I live, etc. One of the best documentaries on Netflix is Minimalism. I hope it inspires you to do more with less.

Nature: During my childhood, it was not easy to be in nature for very specific circumstances. I grew up without necessarily being comfortable in nature; I did not understand its value. Until, in 2016, a close friend of mine took me on a full weekend in the depth of the Lebanese nature: a hike in the Chouf, a dive in Batroun, a climb in the Cedars, and more. A weekend that taught me how nature is the medicine. Nature gives mind and heart clarity when I am longing for it the most.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished – Lao Tzu

Sun, her majesty: I do not know how humans are able to live in cities that are not sunny. It is a wealth humans under-estimate. The famous French singer, Aznavour, said in one of my favorite French songs “emmenez-moi” that all miseries are less hurtful under the sun. Nowadays, I get exposed more moderately and more responsibly.

Therapy: I am a big advocate of therapy. I started this journey in 2003. I tried many types: CBT, psycho-analysis, coaching, energy healing, etc. In 2019, I was introduced to re-birthing. I will not dwell on how wonderful the experience has been as it is a controversial practice. However, I invite each and every one to discover what form of therapy works best for them (it changes over the course of one’s life!). I find pleasure and wealth in sharing my challenges and my aspirations with professionals. I happen to have fallen on outstanding ones.

Learn: I oftentimes present myself as a “growth junkie”. I learn from training, from others (for good and for worse!), from my own mistakes, from books, from podcasts, from movies, and more. I find pleasure in honing my skills and acquiring new ones. My most recent and brilliant discovery is MasterClass: plenty of lessons one would never learn in school.

Connection: If you meet me, you would immediately notice how introverted I am. It took me really long to realize the importance of connecting with others. I have learned – the hard way – how to declutter my friendships, how to exit a relationship early on, and how to get closer to my family. In 2006, Tony Robbins gave a talk on “why we do the things we do”. It looks into the six human needs and one of them is connection and love; the primary source for long lasting fulfillment.

Music: I play the piano since I was five. I still practice without necessarily advancing since I stopped classes in 2000. I cannot wait for the summer to be back. Summer festivals in Lebanon are quite breathtaking. My go-to is Beiteddine Festival. In 2012, I have found a concert-companion. My friend Anna is always in for a show. One of the milestones of 2019, was a concert we watched together for Ludovic Enaudi at the Dubai Opera.

Eventually, what truly helped me age gracefully are two values I live by: gratefulness and forgiveness. Many correlate these two values to modern coaching techniques or to Eastern philosophies and practices. I personally learned these two values from the Bible.

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses – Mark 11:25

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