Thursday 2 July 2015

Age in Motion No 10

1 July 2015

Age in Motion refers to an unending journey of youthfulness and mobility. It also refers to you, holding on to your dreams and goals and reaching them, as the years go by!

That’s why I have to talk about your belief system. It probably is the most important part of you ageing well and wonderful, and YOUTHFULLY.  Try not be to opinionated now. Try not to ‘lock on’ to former limitations, even if your reasons are extremely true in your own eyes. Rather look forward with me, and discover that there are more effective ways to lock onto your happy and successful future and reach that blissful ‘place’ where you live your dreams.

A belief can be defined as repeated thoughts that become accepted by us, as the truth for us. This belief then, determines how we act and how we feel we can live. Other experts have said that a belief is an intellectual and emotional acceptance of an idea, a set of ideas, propositions and even a doctrine.

What I have experienced in my own life, is that nothing, absolutely nothing changes, until I change my belief about the matter at hand. Here is an everyday example: If I believe that it is normal to have a sore back at the end of a rather difficult day, then it will be difficult for me not to have a sore back, because THAT is exactly what I believe! And we all know it, we have to change our belief systems regularly, as we experience new breakthroughs. Influences around us, are strong and mostly negative. Check your own belief system!

An optimist talks about the reality as he and she believes it. An optimist doesn’t talk about the current situations as they are – he and she talks about the success, the health, the goodness and wonderfulness of life, as if it is real.

Our belief systems affect the energy we are emanating into our world, and yes, right there where we make a living.  So I really want to make a strong point of writing something about energy. Our own HUMAN energy.

When we go through stages of not feeling so good, we send out low-frequency vibrations. Low frequency vibrations are every bit as powerful as high frequencies and they will attract unpleasant stuff back to us. Because we live in a world with predominantly low frequency fields of energy, and billions of people who are vibrating more stress and anxiety than you might want to know of, we involuntarily absorb these vibrations and react to them. Especially when we are not vibrating our own high levels of energy.

So I have learned to nurture my own energy and guard it against negative energy, as far as is possible! Verified research on human energy is fascinating. Energy is and will always be part of us, wherever we go. Energy! Energy! Energy!

It moves. It has to move. It is part of the nature of what energy is: It has to move and it moves because it has to create. Relating this to our belief system, it is good advice to ask you to do the following:  Stay in the presence of an angry, resentful and negative person for a while. See how long and to what degree it affects you. And then – accept the fact that you have to get rid of the energy if you find yourself struggling with constructive and creative ideas and beliefs to stay youthful, happy and young in heart!

Here are some suggestions:

  • Stop doing what you are busy with and do sit-ups, push-ups and/or any other kind of indoor activity for a few minutes. While you’re doing this, visualize how the negative energy surrounding you, is leaving you. It’s not difficult, it simply asks for childlike imagination and physical action;
  • Once again, stop doing what you are busy with and listen to music. (CD, MP3, I-pod) As you are listening to the music, actively take your focus off your current moment and project yourself into a quiet space where you are free of the negative energy. Mental pictures are part of creative imaging techniques and are very beneficial in your journey – a journey into the future, staying young in mind, in heart and keeping a flexible body that will take you to wherever you want to be!

Louis and I enjoying exercises together every day. (Just need a little tan, roll on Summer!)

Sunday 14 June 2015

Age in Motion No 9

14 June 2015

Globally, Pro-Ageing has progressed dramatically in the past 20 years.
The reality of birth-age (your ID age) as opposed to real-age (your lifestyle age) has become a scientific, sophisticated, solid and philosophical truth, with challenging practical foundations. It has become one of the most profound choices we can make: To age more youthfully – and therefore remain useful and creative in our society. This is possible because of the brain’s ability to create and release the right chemicals in your body when you know how to think and feel about growing older. Thinking and feeling and flowing optimistically with the years as they move forward, create positive physical changes in the body on cellular level!

I have learned that my body is my greatest friend when things go tough. It talks to me and I know that what it tells me is a pure reflection of what is happening to me and how I manage my life.  Mindful stretching – either by way of practicing YOGA or Pilates is a wondrous way of engaging in bodywork. When I am in this personal space of quiet mindful stretching, I know why I am exhausted, emotionally empty, unhappy, or simply living without any creative energy. And then I can fix it!  So, exercising is not just about getting our body in shape, it also makes us more aware of what is going on between our heads and our bodies. Mindful stretching and the deep breathing that accompanies every exercise, have enabled me to transform myself, my body and my soul.

Doing YOGA and Pilates is not as easy as it appears to be, but its benefits go far beyond strengthening the center of your body and giving you a longer, leaner look. These exercises become an ongoing education in body awareness and you becoming a much smarter person with yourself!

The body’s connection to the mind is astonishing. Whenever we are in serious stressful times, our brain triggers particular body movements to help us cope. It instructs certain organs to produce the chemicals necessary to survive. These chemicals are pumped into the muscles of the body to provide the necessary protection.  Because the muscles contract every time we are exposed to stressful events, it is extremely important to ask ourselves:

“What happens to the stress that has gone into our muscles?

Where do the chemicals go to?

How long do they stay there?

And HOW does it impact on the way we age?’

These questions led me to empowering answers!  I’m totally honest when I suggest that mindful stretching is the very best way of releasing those chemicals out of your muscles, and out of your body. It’s a natural way for the body to get rid of at least some of the chemicals that stress has left in your body. 

When we stretch mindfully, knowing about the body’s wisdom to release tension from our muscles, we are helping ourselves to cope and eventually flourish through otherwise unbearable times.
I believe that fighting ageing is making you older, faster than flowing with the years and embracing a brighter future. Let’s become more aware of our inborn abilities to use our brain more effectively, also in the ageing journey!

Don’t even start to think it is too hard and so impossible. Create your own space in your home, once you have learned the basics of these exercises and swing your world around!  Believe for a change!  Believe that there are ways to younger looking skin and a more toned body, once the connection between mind and body senses peace and tranquility. Mindful stretching demands from you to live in the moment, and when you do, you may be amazed at what you may discover about yourself and your body.

 Don't forget to take it SLOW!

Monday 8 June 2015

Age in Motion No 8

8 June 2015

A while ago, just before I was walking into the room for an interview with a panel of judges who interviewed women on the value of their work in the Community and Country, one of the make-up artists turned to me and said, ‘Your face is a bit thin. Let me try and widen your jaw’.

For a moment it threw me! If I was twenty or even thirty, I might have run to the mirror and helped her to CHANGE my face! But luckily, with age comes confidence and calmness. With age, we also become more effective and at peace with ourselves, in a quieter way.

I mentioned in previous blogs that I’m going to refer to experts on Ageing Well and this morning, once again, I was enthralled with Doctor Oz.  AMERICA… do you KNOW who you have there!? I am learning so much from him and his team and bit by bit I will share – just enough at a time, so that you and I can embrace it and make it a part of our life!

Since April this year, I have added Yoga exercises to my fitness program. I got started by my friend, Yolanda and was inspired by her dedication and focus. So I got the textbook with explanations, the pictures, and watched a number of You Tubes to help me. Slowly but surely I am beginning to feel more supple. It is helping me with my breathing too, which is a KEY to good health as well. My daily programs with training and presentations don’t allow me to attend regular classes at a specific place – but believe me, the dvd’s are excellent and the instructor/s explain very well as they do the exercises with you. Just get the mat, beginners’ dvd’s, put on some comfortable clothing, and begin your stretches! Part of the excitement is that you will be able to measure your suppleness. You will walk more confidently and certainly more steadily.

Any exercise program has to do with your BODY and your MIND. So for today, I would like to add some wisdom about the ageing body from Doctor Eric Braverman. He refers to us as being ‘as YOUNG as our OLDEST part’. Now we can never deny the reality that as we age, our bodies somehow deteriorate. We used to think that this weakening was due to illness, but now Science believes that it is just a factor of age. Yet the outcome is the same: Any illness that is caused by aged, weakened organs and systems in the body, subtracts from overall health and eventually leads to death. Think of the ‘times’ when you don’t feel good because something, somewhere in your body aches, as ‘times’ when the failing organ, becomes older than the rest of your body. However, because we are so wonderfully and magnificently created, this organ’s associated hormone levels drop, and send a signal to the rest of the body, whose purpose is, (YES!) to broadcast to the whole body that the system is failing. I still think we are marvelously created. There is a message here!

All this sounds very negative. But in the journey of growing older in MOTION it serves no purpose if I never enlighten you with some truths that can assist you in staying young for longer!
Although this signal that is being sent to the whole body is not a good one, it is a way of telling you that something must be done! Your body’s signal of a weak, damaged or sick organ, may in essence be a signal to the mind whereby the whole body can begin to shut down.

I injured my left knee in 2005 during a 42 km race, which I couldn’t complete. At the 28 km mark, my knee was swollen and highly inflamed. I was taken to the end of the race by ambulance. For me, it was a sign and a warning: my knee has been damaged – but my mind started to help me and said, ‘Have a rest. Use the right medication. Do the necessary Bio- Kinetics Exercises and STAY positive’. And so I did.

My knee never needed an operation. However – I stopped doing the long races and go slower down steep hills, simply because that’s the way I keep my knee in good condition to last longer!

Think of a consistent way whereby you can keep your body in a supple and flexible condition and try to discover what YOUR body loves doing – this may be walking, dancing or aerobics, or playing sport. Make it your duty to discover something about YOUR body and what may be the ideal for you – TODAY. 

Golf with my girlfriends, Hazel and Sandy at Kimiad. I have discovered that my body and mind love playing golf.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Age in Motion No 7

2 June 2015
Interesting thoughts go through my mind these days. I looked at a number of other blogs on Ageing and found several with the word ‘MOTION’ in it – but all of them referred to either exercise only, or growing older in general, and very little to the processes in our minds and hearts (guts) that I believe, are the most important 'moving' parts of growing older well and wonderfully.

So I will strengthen my input on the role and value of how we think and how we feel about ageing. Today I am emphasizing the power of the subconscious mind. It is really important to understand how our subconscious mind works.

Basically there are two levels of your mind: the rational (conscious) and the irrational (subconscious). We THINK with our conscious mind, and whatever we habitually think, sinks into the subconscious mind (or sub- level). This then' creates' according to the nature of your thoughts. Maybe you also know that the subconscious mind is the seat of your emotions and is very creative. Therefore, if you think wonderful thoughts about your body (for example), wonderful things will happen in your body. The same is true when you think sick thoughts about your body: SICK things will follow! I have witnessed this so many times with older folks.

And then, don’t forget the media’s influence! Winter is hardly around us, and the most colourful posters about ‘The BIG Flu’ are visible in many pharmacies. You may also have friends who influence your subconscious mind. They might not believe what you believe, and voice words and phrases that don’t ‘sit’ with what you believe!
So, here are some practical tips on how to improve the power of your subconscious mind about ageing.
Simple is the name of the game!

  • You have the power to choose your thoughts. Choose to think good and healthy and wonderful and wise, about AGEING. Choose to believe that you can be different than all the ‘others’ you know!
  • Protect your subconscious from false impressions. When a certain friend of mine has visited and said things like, ‘But it’s only normal to feel weak at our age’, I have the habit of erasing her words from my mind, the moment she leaves the gate! There are wonderful creative ways to delete negative input! More about that in later blogs!
  • Believe that it is God’s will for you to age well. Believe that you are mainly a spiritual being, and that your subconscious mind can initiate miracles (IN your BODY) that are beyond the logic of Physics.
  • Embrace CHANGE in your life and know, it’s never too late to start or begin a new hobby of habit!
Believe that EVERY day is a NEW day for You!

Friday 29 May 2015

Age in Motion No 6

29 May 2015
Apart from still adapting to the load shedding here in South Africa, and seriously creating new lifestyle habits, I have come across another little ‘jewel’ about Age in Motion and doing it wonderfully!
I re-discovered some information about Constantin Stanislavski in the early 1900’s. Fascinating. It holds value for us who want to AGE in MOTION and keep our bodies healthy and mobile! Stanislavski was an early 20th Century Russian Actor, Director and TEACHER of actors. Apart from belonging to the prestigious Moscow Arts Theatre during the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, He was a superb actor himself – but his legacy came from his creation of a system of acting, referred to as Method Acting. Stanislavski was years ahead of his time of understanding of the mind-and-body connection, yet he explored on the value of teaching actors to feel what they act. He taught his students to evoke believable emotions when they act, to such a degree that their bodies actually experience that they act! A ‘villain’ will for example really feel vile and villainous, and a ‘hero’ will completely feel every emotion of heart-warming power.
What can we learn from this? Clearly and simply that the body ‘takes’ the thoughts and feelings as REAL and it manifests these by the way it ACTS.
So, how about acting younger than your years?  How about acting as if you are amazing? You can add to these lines and say to yourself, ‘What about…!?’
During my years of studying longevity and wellness I came across hundreds and hundreds of life-changing studies. My study on passion relates well to what I have mentioned about Stanislavski. There IS certainly magic in passion! So what is passion?
It is scientifically accurate that your brain’s natural opiates are set off by stimuli as diverse as pain, exercise, music, meditation, dancing and dinner – and a host of emotional and mental experiences. What’s in your head can at times be 20 to 50 times stronger than drugs, such as morphine. Believe me, it’s enough to take your breath away!
We have receptor sites for opium in the brain cell. Doesn’t it make you ‘stand still’ and breathe this astonishing truth in to your very being, as you are reading this!?
Yes, some serious brain chemistry happen between our ears. It is our responsibility to use this chemistry to our own advancement and also to the advancement of others in our life.
In a nutshell, passion is a combination of energy and enthusiasm, mixed with delight and wholehearted participation in whatever you are doing, or choose to do! There is a sense of purpose in what you’re doing and a super-strong vibe coming from your inner being, making you feel alive and alert. The drive that you get from experiencing passion, also provides you with courage and confidence.
Let’s do anything we feel like today with passion and see how it adds motion and FEEL-good substances to our bodies and soul!

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Age in Motion No 5

20 May 2015
I am beginning to enjoy my blogging about Age in Motion more and more. I hope you enjoy it too. I even get ideas and sentences in my head when I’m busy with mundane tasks, such as grocery shopping, or cleaning my kitchen!
While I was writing the 1st edition of my book, ‘I THINK, I FEEL – I AM’ I spent a lot of time with Neuro Surgeons, as well as Heart Surgeons. I attended open-brain and open heart surgeries to learn more about the physical ‘look’ of these organs, while quietly listening to the surgeons, when they were telling and showing me something.
Since then, I know I will always be fascinated with the BRAIN and the HEART as two of our most important parts of our body. Trust me, functioning in the field of Total Wellness, I have and will continue to study our others organs as well, but what I do know for sure, is that our brain and heart – what we think and what we feel, play un-describable roles in the way we age! How we think about the process of aging and how we feel about it, can add or detract youthfulness and beauty in words I cannot describe at the moment!
Bit by bit I will share even more of the technical information I know about the brain and the heart, and why the Mind-Heart-and BODY Connection is becoming one of the ‘biggest concepts in the Health and Wellness World!'
What I have to tell today, is that every thought we think, is definitely a form of energy. It is electro-magnetic-energy, and is the same as MOVEMENT, and movement is always looking for manifestation in the REAL world! And I’m now talking about our body! So – what are you thinking about your body, your legs, your stomach, your face…  ALL your other parts! This simple (yet scientifically and medically accurate) fact is a life-changer. You might also want to take a moment and think about this and start talking nicely to yourself.
I want you to feel worthy of good thoughts about your ageing journey.  I desire for you to THINK of yourself and your body, as a magnificent ‘vehicle’ taking you through all life’s journeys, with strength and power!
Think new good thoughts about your health, your relationships, your life style and many other facets! Let that body do some NEW talking!
Enjoy MOTION. Enjoy not getting stiff and tight. Make stretching and a fabulous posture part of your everyday YOU!

Monday 18 May 2015

Age in Motion No 4

15 May 2015                                                     

I write from my heart, and every time I write, I have at least five different books or articles on ‘ageing well’ around me. I’m sure I was born to be a researcher! Some of the authors on ageing well, believe that the art of living was to survive for as many years as possible. I don’t agree with that. It sounds too much like a struggle. I would like to find the peace factor in growing older.
As a child, I can remember, both my grandmothers always wore black. They were not very talkative and my dad’s mom especially, was very somber. Times have changed. Knowledge has become our tools for better ageing and studies on longevity show us there are more effective ways to grow older. To tell you the truth, I have come across studies where people many years older than myself, are actively busy with something they enjoy – AND they don’t look as if they are doing this to prove something! They are simply living a good life! They have friends and they have hobbies – and the best is, they have created this life for themselves!
Hope you read that line again! They didn’t wait for the children or grandchildren to do this for them! They thought, they pondered, and they made it happen!
Most of us want the same thing: To enjoy our lives at our peak performance day by day. This can mean something different for each of us. Some search for true happiness, some strive for physical beautiful faces and bodies, while others may be working hard toward athletic prowess or business success. Whatever the case, most of what I see in people, can be summed up in one word: Youthfulness.
We can reason around it as much as we like, but a ‘younger you’ is more powerful, quicker, healthier, and definitely more achievable.  Bit by bit, I intend to leave short suggestions that are do-able. With this, I also want to mention that I have tried and am trying the same suggestions, so that I can also feel part of all my writing!
Today I would like to answer a self-regulated question:  ‘IS there something that can delay the LOOK of old?’ You know what I mean! That LOOK that says, I don’t look so young anymore!
‘Is there perhaps something that can just ‘take off’ a few years on the outside?’  Some bodies and faces DO age better and there has to be something apart from expensive treatments and creams to look better! 
So, I have embraced a new life style of regular and MINDFUL stretching. When I say ‘mindful’ I refer to totally being in my own presence and deep breathing, while visualizing health and goodness flowing through my body. Obviously, I do this in my own home and office, and at times that I know I can. I still need the guidance of a dvd, you tubes and and even pictures of some stretches, but I’m getting so good that I even do some of these when I am in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil! While stretching I see goodness (sometimes this goodness has colour!) flowing through my veins and in my head I say good things to myself!
When you relax all your muscles in your body AND face, and yes, I do follow a ‘procedure’ of relaxation from head to toes, it is more effective for brain messages to flow freely. So, you can create your own messages of feeling good and pretty, healthy and fit, strong and wonderful. The response from your body is much better when you are relaxed!
So, let’s forget our age and accept that growing older is part of living. Let’s choose to think younger than our birth years, and embrace moments of bliss when we quietly and mindfully breathe and stretch. Your body will do the talking, with less frowns, less loose skin and less worry-lines!

Picture of Rose Botha at her 80th birthday – and what a celebration it was!  Rose believed that she will live and work until the day she died. And so it was. Rose died 15 months ago, early one night, peacefully in her sleep.