You know her. She’s an “older” lady. (Why do we think older sounds younger than old?) The kind who breathes sweetness, gratitude, joy. Her presence is delightful. She is never without a genuine smile and she is pleasant to look at. She isn’t flawless. Certainly not wrinkle-free. Yet she stands out among other “old” people. She wears none of those furrowed brows and pursed lips formed from anger, disapproval, resentment. She may be sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety or more. But at any of these chronological ages, she’ll stand out from those sadder, more tragically carved faces in the background. Question: When you reach her chronological age, which face would you like to present?
Look at the next dozen “over 40” faces you see. You can read stories from faces, and we all, indeed, do so all the time. A person’s face often announces immediately what mood or personality trait has dominated most of his or her life, whether it be nagging and negative or blissful and positive.
Attitudes, of course, are chosen. So, too, are the facial expressions we wear in response to the attitudes and emotions we may feel inside. Even though it may sometimes feel as if the looks we wear on our faces have been chosen for us, in fact it is you, and you alone, making the decision. For many of us, it takes a conscious, deliberate effort to choose our thoughts and not to fall prey, by default, to frumpy, grumpy, fearful thinking.
Your facial features will be etched deeply on your face by the expressions you choose to wear most constantly, and those expressions come from what you are thinking and feeling within. We all can do ourselves a favor by choosing a grateful, happy heart, and by focusing on what’s positive in our lives. This, in turn, leads to a softer, more radiant countenance.
Sad heart…sad face. We can all see that causal connection. But this causality works just as well in the other direction. You’ve heard it said before. But it’s true: Wear a smile, and it will help you make your heart glad. Go ahead—paste that smile up there. If you have to, “fake it till you make it.” If you can manage only half a smile, then give us that much. Smile at the next person you see. Make your grudging, perfunctory ‘Good morning!’ a brighter, cheerier one today. Gradually, from within, you’ll feel your own emotions changing for the better.
These more positive feelings create health inducing chemical reactions in the body on a cellular level. It is entirely possible to cultivate this feeling every day. When you’ve learned to do so regularly, you’ll feel in love with life itself, and your cells will vibrate with gratitude for everything. It’s the easiest way to instantly look ten years younger, and it doesn’t cost a dime, not even your time. It costs only your willingness, your belief, and your mental tenacity.
When your body, mind and bloodstream are cleansed and free on the raw food diet, you become clearer mentally, and more satisfied emotionally. This in turn makes gratitude for simple pleasures almost automatic. It is enough just to be, to enjoy what is, when you feel and look your best. Truly, the best facelift in the world is a warm, genuine smile, and with gratitude in your heart it’s a cinch.
The holiday season is an appropriate time to focus on radiating gratitude from the inside out. But don’t let it stop there. Make it a daily practice from now on. A smile can override many imperfections. Practice. Perfect. And carry on. So later, in a crowded room, your face will be the one that stands out as an oasis of beauty, even next to someone half your age.