"One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken" Leo Tolstoy
We are living in an environment where everything happens fast. We demand and are being demanded of quick results, quick answers and solutions. We are rapidly changing homes, countries, jobs, goods and even relationships. Our new habits and personalities are shaped by modern conditions where we get what we want fast and if not, we become impatient and frustrated.
These new habits of speedy turnover of material goods and relationships lead us further and further away from nature, where things have their order and pace. How did it happen that humans not only became out of synch with nature but are also nature's worst enemy (think climate change, excessive consumerism and mass extinction), and how can we move forward to a sustainable future?
Beauty is not an exception in this highly technological age. Many of us would do anything out there to achieve youthfulness. We use technology and scientific innovation to stop ageing while slowly moving away from nature. Nature gives us solutions, but these require time and patience that we don't have.
Ageing is a natural process that happens to all living organisms and unfortunately is inevitable. Striving for that glow and that eternal agelessness, we choose beauty products and skin treatments that may offer great results fast, but usually at a high price for the environment, the "pocket" and one's own health. The result is often short-lived and does not solve the problem at the core – whether its an insecurity, dissatisfaction or image obsession. It also affects nature in one way or another.
The natural and holistic approach to beauty suggests that at the core of looking good, stands feeling good. Having a good perception of self often radiates outwardly.
Looking at and breathing in the stillness of nature, deep in the Swedish woods, surrounded by evergreen trees, I observe the nature cycle passing by. The law of nature makes so much sense and ignoring it has proven to be tragic. The natural cycle of the quite early morning turning into lively daily chores of the forest's inhabitants, then blending into a mysterious night. Nothing can be rushed, everything happens for a reason – if a predator rushes for its victim, there is a high chance he will be left without food. Seasons have their timeline, trees have their life span.
My personal existence in nature changes too. After just a couple of days I slow down, I hear my voice to become softer and my movements slower. I talk less but my words are more meaningful. There is no rush, no force, no faking. Things can be so much more simple and uncomplicated. Nature has a positive impact on me, but doesn't it on everyone?
Unfortunately, simplicity and city are two antagonists and some people can rarely apply simplicity and stillness into their daily lives. However, there are small steps that can lead us to more meaningful, long term changes within ourselves and hence the planet.
These simple steps will hopefully point you towards a more meaningful life and a beautiful natural self:
Train Your Patience
In a culture of achievements and achievers, it's hard not to rush and push. We think that we can achieve a lot by actively doing. However, mastering stillness is an enormous achievement in itself.
Integrate Mindfulness Daily
Being busy has almost become a status. It is more easy to find an excuse to avoid stopping than being still. For some, stillness is seen as laziness. For others, stillness means "checking in" with our true selves.
Are we keeping busy because it is easier to disconnect and numb ourselves from our feelings? And if so, is busyness just another type of "ism" (escapism)? Sitting quietly with yourself can be agitating or scary, but also powerful. Conscious stillness is a remedy for unhealthy patterns, behaviour and relationships that no longer serve us. Paying attention to how we breathe, how we think, react, respond and the way we talk to ourselves and others is at the core of mindfulness. The magic happens in stillness.
The Art of Self-Care
Ask yourself, "what are the things that make me happy on physical, emotional and spiritual levels?" "What things that improve my quality of life?" Remember, when you love yourself, you can love others.
Example: I practice yoga because it makes me calmer and my body stronger. When I am calmer, my quality of life improves and I feel happier.
Sustainability as a Lifestyle
Sustainability is not just a buzz word but the ability to exist. The choices that every individual makes, support and form the global market. If everyone starts making responsible choices, whether it's recycling, cutting down meat consumption, travelling less, buying locally-produced food, or going for ethical and natural skincare, will make an enormous impact on the planet and will lead to a healthier, greener future.
What is Ageing?
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw
The ageing starts when You decide it. Some people see themselves ageing at the age of 24, some at the age of 64. No one else tells us when we age, apart of selves. If one decides that he/she has aged, no aesthetic beauty treatment can fix that.
Do we rush into the idea of getting old without actually being old? Why don't we take small steps towards preservation instead of jumping into the restoration?
Whilst there are no quick fixes to sustain youthfulness, there are ways to slow it down: through essential physical nourishment (exercise, food and rest) and inner nourishment (hobbies, mindfulness, religion or simply a good conversation- the options are vast!).
As opposed to denying ageing and taking radical steps to conceal it, how about exploring the idea of ageing gracefully, i.e. taking mindful steps to care and nurture yourself and your skin, and to age with pride and not with a disguise.
"Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself" L. Wolfe Gilbert