A Personal Journey

I guess I'm either blessed or my daily routine is helping me look, feel, and act younger. So, spend a few minutes with me while I explain the highlights of my daily body, mind, and spirit improvers. Improvers? Yes, because we can all improve, but never really reach perfection in any of these: after all, what does it mean to be perfect in body, mind, and spirit? Perfection is also subjective, and oftentimes temporary. Is that car you pine for a perfection of engineering? Maybe, at that time and moment, and in your eyes only, but even you will see the small little flaws as you buy that expensive car and begin to drive it daily. Perfection is a nice concept, something elusive and tantalizingly out of reach. But hey, no harm in trying to aim for it.

So, improvers. I believe that there are some things that I do that improve my body, mind, and spirit. Note, I didn't say the soul. Because, for me, I think of myself as being spiritual not religious. Let me just note the difference between the two:

"Religion usually entails adhering to a certain dogma or belief system. Spirituality places little importance on intellectual beliefs, but is concerned with growing into and experiencing the Divine consciousness."

In other words, I respect all religions but do not adhere to any one. And that is all I'm going to say about that.

So, before I digress and feel like I'm preaching, here are some things that I think are improvers. Don't laugh too hard about some of them, as I believe they really help.

Morning Improvers

I'll just assume that you floss and brush your teeth with a good electric toothbrush, as that seems so necessary. But, do you use Toms toothpaste, or the regular Colgate? I like Toms, as it seems to have more natural ingredients. Do you exercise in the morning? I don't have time to go to the gym any more, so I exercise at home with a nice video program called RushFit. No P90X for me (way too much jumping up and down, weights, and cardio). For anyone older than 50 or with any back or other injuries, RushFit is way better and very effective. After all, it's hosted by MMA champion Georges St-Pierre and his trainer. 

How about a nice cold shower after your morning exercise? Are you shivering already? Do you live in a cold climate and need a hot shower in the morning? Why a cold shower? Cold showers help to burn a little fat. And I'm sure we can all benefit from that. Read the 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss to find out all the reasons why a cold shower is recommended in the morning. If you can't handle this, then try alternating between hot and cold or turning down the heat to luke warm. Let the cold water spray on the back of your neck until you get used to it.

What do you use as a shampoo? Is it one of those fancy, expensive shampoos? Well, read the label carefully next time. I use something that is safe enough for babies, i.e. Johnson's Baby Shampoo. Funny? Not really, as I've used this for countless years, every morning. I'm thinking of switching to a coconut based shampoo.

Speaking of coconut, ever heard of people using coconut oil in their hair? This is very common in the Indian culture. Italians use some sort of grease. I buy a bottle of coconut oil from the local Indian grocery store for about $5, which lasts me about 6 months. Every morning, after a shower, I pour about a tablespoon of coconut oil into the palm of my hand and then rub it into the scalp and hair. My hair is still black. People at my age can't believe it. My cousin is about 3 months older, and his hair has a lot of white. I know some of you may say this is genetics, but Google "coconut oil black hair." You may be surprised at what you find. And, how about using Udderly Smooth skin cream on your face and hands to keep them soft and hydrated? Pick up a jar at your local Walmart for a few dollars...some people swear by it.

Have you ever taken a calcium/magnesium liquid supplement? I drink a tablespoonful about 20 minutes before breakfast (before I jump in the shower). What do you eat for breakfast? You don't eat breakfast? Shame on you if you don't. Breakfast is like putting gasoline in your car when it's low. My breakfast is pan-fried (with grape seed oil) mixed baby green vegetables, egg whites, one whole egg, and black beans. Plus, one freshly squeezed grapefruit (another fat burner). I also like my fine loose-leaf black chai tea, so I make enough (in a small open pot) to fill my portable mug, and like to sip it driving to work.

Ever listen to podcasts? If you don't know what they are, Google the word podcasts. I like to update my list of interesting podcasts on my iPhone (there are literally thousands to choose from) before I leave my place, plug-in the iPhone into my car stereo system, and enjoy. I avoid the daily dose of bad news on the radio, or the sex and drugs related pop songs piped in from local radio stations. Listening to these podcasts not only educates but also entertains me. Some of favorites include: Smart Passive Income, Your Do Over, Eat Exercise Live, Car Talk, The Bugle, The Totally Rad Show, and Deep Astronomy. You get the idea: use the dead time of driving to work and back to entertain and educate yourself. It helps to pass the time, and improves your mood.

Afternoon Improvers

So, do you work at a desk? Are you sitting down most of the day? I am. I like to go for a nice 30 minute walk during lunchtime. I plug-in some headphones into my iPhone, and listen to some more of my podcasts, as I go for a nice walk, and end it with a healthy lunch at a local eatery. With both lunch and dinner, I take horsetail and nettle drops, as well as milk thistle. These help maintain good skin, hair, bones, kidneys and liver function.

Be sure to take a short 5 minute break every few hours at work, and get up and walk outside or in your building. The break helps you refocus. Work is work, but try to avoid negative personalities or being drawn into arguments. There is nothing worse than being mislabeled by these people when they need to improve themselves. Focus on yourself, you can't change other people.

Evening Improvers

So, how do you spend your free time? With family? Friends? A girlfriend, boyfriend? Your favorite hobby or passion? The gym? A local interest group? Or do you sit in front of the TV? There is really nothing wrong with any of these, as long as you don't sit in front of the TV every evening; I think that would be mind numbing after a while. Do something that makes you happy; this is your down time after a long day at work.

I like to write, usually sitting at the local coffee shop where there are people (I like being around people). Sometimes, I re-watch an episode of "Grace and Favor" or my niece's new TV series (Google "Stella UK"). Or, meet up with a good friend. I enjoy a healthy dinner and try to get 7-8 hours of sleep. But, before I sleep, and oftentimes just as part of falling asleep while lying in bed, I like to meditate for 20-30 minutes (by putting on some meditation music on my iPhone, timed to shut off after 30 minutes), which really helps to calm the mind. Focus on the positive things in your life, learn to accept and empty out the angry, limiting beliefs.

Finally, try to fall asleep with happy thoughts on your mind, and a smile on your face.

Your Improvers

So, what helps YOU look, feel, and act young and healthy?