Steve and Jennifer Waller

How to Rekindle the Romance with Your Spouse

Rekindling Romance with a Couples Photo Session

Rekindling Romance with a Couples Photo Session

Being an entrepreneur is stressful enough, but when both spouses are entrepreneurs, it can really be stressful!

Mr. Celtic Complexion and I work together, live together and play together. That’s a LOT of together.

Thankfully, we get along swell 95% of the time, but that 5% is very passionate “persuasion” time. When it comes to the marriage partnership, it’s pretty smooth sailing, but when I have my CEO hat on, and he has his COO hat on, lets just say, sparks can fly.

When this happens, the last thing we want to do is look soulfully into each other’s eyes and dance around the kitchen making dinner together. Entrepreneurs rarely turn off. There is always a “great idea” to discuss, and you must be an inherent “creative financier”.

To balance the time we spend working, we have a standing weekly date night, where we dress up and romance each other. No shop talk allowed.

Jennifer Waller Celtic Complexion CEO

After the initial awkwardness wore off, we had fun with it!

The past two weeks we’ve had to postpone date night for very valid reasons, namely I am launching another complimentary business to Celtic Complexion, and it’s taking up a lot of time. I noticed when we don’t have that designated time, we both become cranky and we feel disconnected, so last week I decided to plan something out of the ordinary for date night (and hoped he would be up for it).

I found a very creative local photographer whose style I greatly admired, and booked her “romance special”; meet in a gorgeous local park at sunset for a half hour of canoodling, and she would document the special moments. Her images are dreamy confections of love and romance – so I signed up right away.

Most couples only have portraits done for their engagement and/or wedding, and that time can be very stressful for couples, so the images may not capture the true essence of the couple. Contrast that with a lovely stroll through the park, holding hands with not a care in the world.

Harlequin Romance novel

Is this too much to ask?

I’d like to tell you that my surprise was met with welcome enthusiasm. I mean, what man wouldn’t want to get dressed up and play Rhett Butler to my Scarlett O’Hara? Mr. Celtic Complexion is probably like most men, not really comfortable in front of the camera and would rather be anywhere than trying to channel his inner Harlequin romance novel cover.

In fact, earlier that day, we were having one of those “passionate discussions”, and the last thing we wanted to do is get dressed up and be lovey-dovey with each other, but after the initial ten minutes of awkwardness, we really got into it. We were laughing about private jokes, and soon forgot that Andrea was even following us.

The time went by quickly, and when the sun melted over the horizon, our session was over. The flirting and laughing continued the rest of the night through dinner.

Receiving the actual pictures was almost a bonus. They arrived a few short days later, and we sat on the couch looking through them like giddy teenagers flipping through a yearbook.  I see in these pictures two best friends who have weathered a lot of storms, who are still madly in love with each other. I see a comfort level that wasn’t there when we got married, that can only come from the passage of time.

Steve&JenniferFEB2017-6

Our version of the Harlequin Romance novel cover

Steve and Jennifer Waller

Best friends

Unlike the distraction of a movie, this date rekindled our romance, and affirmed why we got married in the first place. It’s so important to rekindle that fire regularly, in some small way because at the end of the day, LOVE is what’s most important, everything else is just background noise.

Photography by: Andrea Dawn

 

 

 

Beauty CEO Reveals That Raw Juicing Does More for the Skin Than Skincare

21 Day Juice Fast Results

Juicing results, before/during/after

I get the same question from just about all of my customers (who are mostly Gen-X and Baby Boomers), and that is “What is the best product to improve my skin?”

The truth, as I am about to reveal, has more to do with what you are putting in your body, rather than what you are putting on your body. I do share this with everyone, but the advice seems to be glazed over in hopes that there is a quick-fix miracle I can sell them.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that great skincare can vastly improve one’s complexion, however it can only do so much. It’s kind of like working out with a personal trainer, but still eating fast food every day…there is only so much progress you can hope to achieve.

I decided to put my own advice to the test, and follow every single thing I recommend to my own customers, to prove that you have the ability (in a relatively short period of time) to change your skin’s tone, texture and evenness. So I cleared my schedule to embark on a three week journey through the mountains, with my best friend in tow, to see how much my skin could change. We did this all in a little vintage travel trailer, who I affectionately call Alexis Carrington.

We reluctantly took “before” pictures and measurements of ourselves, and set off into the summer heat for a glamping adventure.

I went into the woods expecting to report back on how to make certain juices (recipes) and how great my complexion looked (and it did!), but what I discovered was something so life-changing and cathartic, that is has completely changed me at a cellular level, and I feel compelled to move in a different direction with my life (more on that later). I could have called this the “Ten Years Younger Road Trip” because that’s exactly what happened.

In case you missed it, my previous blog entry explains why I chose raw juicing for this experiment. I have done raw juice fasts in the past, but it was more of a struggle for me, and I was never able to sustain long-term changes in my behavior. I did continue to juice after my fasts, but I also did other things (alcohol, processed foods, etc). All of this lead to puffiness, inflammation and rosacea flare-ups (as you can see from my before picture above, in the top left photo).

What I believe was the missing component to make long term changes was a mind/body/spirit connection. I viewed the fast as a punishment – as in “I can’t wait to get off this fast and then I can enjoy real food again”. I even joined a few raw juice Facebook support groups, but although they provided great recipes, most newbies in the groups seemed scared, depressed and defeated (especially if they could not keep it going after a few days), and the emphasis is always on juice recipes. That’s great, but in my opinion, it’s one small piece of the puzzle.

This time, I prepared much differently for the fast, and yes I use the word prepare, because just like you  wouldn’t run a marathon without training first, you can’t just jump into a raw juice fast without some preparation. I now believe this is why so many people attempt and fail at juicing, because they didn’t train properly first.

I created a plan-of-action…The Glamper’s Guide to Juicing, and not only did it enable me to go through the 21 day raw juice fast with ease, I came home and decided to continue my juice fast for a total of 60 days!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         By the way, if you aren’t familiar with the term glamper/glamping, it means glamorous

My 1972 Shasta Compact, Alexis Carrington

My 1972 Shasta Compact, Alexis Carrington

camper/camping. It brings five star ambiance to nature (complete with Egyptian cotton sheets and chandeliers!). It takes the “roughing it” out of camping.

To be successful at this, you need to have the right mind set going in.

The first thing we did was to make a date to disappear, and then made no apologies for it to anyone. It may seem selfish. It is, but you have to be selfish in order to take care of yourself first so that you can be healthy for your family. This proved to be the hardest step, because we had to rely on others to help us with kids, animals, work, etc.

If you think you can’t get away for three weeks, then take a week, or a weekend. The point is, you have to remove yourself from distractions so you can focus on yourself 100%. You can make the time if it’s important enough for you. Look at it this way, if your doctor told you that you have something wrong with you, and he is putting you in the hospital to figure it out, you would probably go, no questions asked because they are “doctor’s orders”. Nobody would even question it, they would figure out a way to get things done in your household.

Why wait until you are sick before you do something so life-changing that it could prevent you from getting sick?

If I was not doing this for the benefit of my customers, I wouldn’t have told anyone about my decision to do a 21 day juice fast (except of course my husband) because all of the sudden you will get everyone coming out of the woodwork giving you health advice and opinions, most of them negative. I believe this is because they don’t  understand how juicing works (it’s been done safely for centuries, and all religions observe some kind of fasting rituals), or they read sensationalized headlines about juicing designed to scare people.

Nobody can make the decision to change your health; not your spouse, friends, family or doctor. Only you can. It’s up to you to educate yourself about your health, and what it means to be truly healthy.

Before we left, we both watched three documentaries about juicing (which explain the science behind it): Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Hungry for Change, and Super Juice Me. We also downloaded them so we could watch them during our trip. That really kept us motivated.

If you are experiencing a disease (as opposed to just wanting to look better or lose a few pounds), I encourage you to also watch The Beautiful Truth. The way food is poisoned (with pesticides), genetically modified, and processed (with additives and chemicals), it’s no wonder we are a nation of obese and sick people. It effects your weight, the way you age, and your health.

There are chemicals in food that make us crave it, in fact there is an entire industry of food engineers whose sole purpose it is to make you crave it more, so you will buy it more. It’s all about profit. Then when you get sick, you go to the doctor who prescribes medication (which cause all sorts of side effects). Then you get strange diseases (which were unheard of fifty years ago) and you get depressed, so you eat to numb yourself, or to cope with the depression and the cycle continues.

When you are able to break that food addiction (and lose the cravings for sugar, salt, processed foods), you lose the brain fog (which you may not even realize you have), and have more energy that you could possibly imagine. It feels like you are a child again.

I eliminated alcohol, processed foods, and refined carbs (sweets) and added a juice or two (daily) for the two weeks prior to leaving. This made it MUCH easier to transition into just juice. The last time I did this, I partied like a rock star up until the day I started the fast (to be fair, it was the month of my birthday and Thanksgiving, so there was a lot of celebrating going on), and it was a big mistake. I had detox symptoms (feeling sick) for the first four days and it I felt awful. I believe it happens to a lot of people who don’t properly prepare, and that’s why a lot of people give up after a few days.

We chose our route based on the weather. While it was summer, it was much cooler in the Blue Ridge mountains than in the rest of the country. We chose to camp because it would get us off the grid (we rarely had cell phone or internet service), and the campgrounds were off the beaten path and away from temptation, i.e. restaurants. We also wanted to be as active as possible, and it doesn’t get more active than camping, where most conveniences are gone and you have to move around a lot. The walk to the bathrooms alone were far.

As far as the cost, we camped for three weeks at different campgrounds, and the total for lodging was about $650 total. Add to that gas, activities (such as zip lining, water water rafting, a movie on rainy days, etc), food purchased at local produce stands, and the whole trip was about $1,000 each.

Something remarkable happened as a result of being off the grid, and I also believe this helped us succeed. We were not exposed to any negativity or fear from the media. When you expose yourself (even peripherally) to the news, it will make you anxious, angry, even fearful. This causes your body to be in  “flight-or-fight” mode, which releases the hormone cortisol. Add that “out there” stress to the everyday stress of commuting, picking up kids, dealing with work, arguments with your spouse, preparing meals, etc. and it all adds up to a lot of cortisol being released. This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods.

Imagine three weeks without hearing about shootings, Isis, the presidential race or the Kardashians?! Imagine not being able to have any internet or cell service. Then imagine no dogs in your bed, no alarm clock ringing at 7 a.m. or no kids to get off to school. It was Pure Silent Bliss! It was almost too quiet at first – but soon we found our body’s responding to the natural circadian rhythms of nature and we slept more soundly and deeply than at any time in our lives.

Good sleep is essential for cellular repair. We woke up just about every day looking refreshed (not like we had to go back to bed for a couple of more hours).

Our physical exercise plan was simple. Make it fun! I brought along a weighted hula hoop (purchased at Target), and Sandy brought her exercise bands, but the majority of our exercise came from walking (we walked just about every morning and again when the sun went down), hiking trails in the parks, cleaning our campsite, and preparing our juices.

Our mental exercises comprised of journaling, EFT (also known as tapping), vision boarding, reading books from authors that inspire me.

The recipes we chose were simple. We made four different recipes which we got from the Reboot with Joe website.We did the Low Sugar Green Juice, The Original Mean Green Juice, Hot V6 Juice (this was our favorite!), and Beet the Heat Juice. We read all the testimonials from that website too, which are all very inspirational.

On week one, we drank 4-5 juices per day, one every 3 hours and lots of water! It seemed like we were in the bathroom all the time in the beginning. One week two, we lost our urges to eat (this happens on day 4-7, it varies by person), so we only drank 3 juices and more water. By week three, we had one juice in the morning and one at night.

For three weeks, we maintained a can-do attitude. We didn’t sit around whining about what we couldn’t have, or count the days till we could. Our spirits were high, and each day brought us to new heights. This is hard to put into words, but as we got healthier, and our cells became nourished with real nutrients, we became happier! I consider myself a very happy person anyway, but when you add the nutrition element to it, it is simply incomprehensible at how GOOD you feel. It’s euphoric! I felt reborn!

“Ah, so THIS is how we are supposed to feel!”

It was at this point in our fast (week 3) that we both decided to extend our fast to 60 days when we got back home. It’s also the same time I decided to make some real big changes in my life. I made a decision to be 100% happy every single day, to do things that make me happy, to be around people that make me laugh. When you take care of yourself first (the body), everything else falls into place.

Look, I know we aren’t going to live forever, but if I get to choose how to live out the remainder of my life, it will be to live with love, integrity, intention and perfect health. I had been doing pretty good with the first three parts of that equation, but hadn’t realized how much the health influenced the other areas. I guess that’s what they mean when they say mind/body/soul connection.

In the silence of the woods, I heard my true calling…which is to inspire and enlighten others on their own journeys. To help show them the way by example.

Up until now, I have done that, by making clean skincare. Since I founded Celtic Complexion in 2011, I have received hundreds of testimonials from women who thank me for changing their skin, but I want to make an even bigger impact and reach greater amount of women. I don’t want to just change skin, I want to change lives!

Celtic Complexion isn’t going anywhere, I am just expanding to create something bigger. I combined everything I’ve learned about natural health, applied it, tweaked it, and saw incredible results for myself.  In just three short weeks, I lost 21 lbs, 10 (over all) inches, lost 3 dress sizes, and my blood pressure (which had always been elevated) was normal. I also lost 3% body fat and my BMI went down 2.71%. IN THREE WEEKS.

I had a blood lipid panel done two days before I left (to establish a benchmark), and I will have them done again at the three month mark and share my before and after results.

As I begin the second phase of my fast, I am going to do something I have always wanted to do, but never had the time or will power to do, and that is a full body cleanse that was highly recommended to me a few years ago. For maximum results, they recommend you fast. Now that I have that down, it will be easy. It’s by Blessed Herbs and it’s a 21 day internal cleansing kit that cleanses your colon, liver, kidneys, gallbladder, lungs, blood, skin and lymphatic system. That link will give you 20% off, so you can save a little (and they will in turn give me a 20% coupon for referring you for my next cleanse).

This raw juice fast turned out to be much, much more than seeing superficial skin condition changes (rosacea). It also went beyond weight loss (in fact, we didn’t take a scale with us because we didn’t want the focus to be on weight loss). Instead it focused on creating a new way of living, a road map of how to age and feel great (from the inside out). We found how to create joy around these changes so it was actually fun to do. Raw juicing was only one component of the much bigger picture. There were so many subtle nuances that were drawn upon to achieve this monumental change in our lives.

When we were out there, we met lots of very nice people. They were mostly retirees who were 70+ years old. A few stuck out in my mind. Annie would walk by our set up every night and wave and smile. It happened to be her birthday during the week we were there, and she was smiling and almost glowing. I never ask a lady her age, but she volunteered that she was 84. If I had to guess, I would have thought she was at least a decade earlier. I asked her what her secret was, and she said “I eat very modestly and kept moving every single day!”

At another camp, we met Ralph and Darlene, who we later found out had been married for 63 years. They were hiking the same (strenuous) trail we were up the mountain. When we arrived at the top and sat for a rest, they came up beside us and we ended up chatting for a while. Feeling a bit homesick for our husbands about now, we asked them to tell us the secret to a long marriage, and Ralph said “being healthy enough to enjoy ourselves.” Talk about an ah-ha moment.

In this youth-obsessed society we live, we are being force-fed images (unrealistic images I might add) of women barely out of their teens as the standard of beauty. Honestly, how much of a challenge is it to look young when you are young?! It’s almost inescapable too – magazines, tv, internet. How often do you see real healthy women in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond? Those are the women we should be looking to for advice, but in order to do so, you have to seek them out because they won’t be found in the mainstream media.

I don’t believe we have to throw our hands up and say “it’s too late, I can’t change”. I now believe that not only can you be healthy as you age, but you can get better with age too. One of the women who inspires me the most is Ernestine Sheperd, she is proof that you can change at any age, as long as you have the desire to do so.

We need many tools in our toolbox to help us navigate, and I’m building a brand new tool box. Instead of searching for my tribe, I am creating my tribe…stay tuned!

 

Chief Executive Glamper

Chief Executive Glamper

Happy trails,

Jennifer

Celtic Complexion Keys to Good Living

Juicing is the Best (and Quickest) Way to Improve Your Your Skin

10897958_1013361822013502_4800328254079535606_nThe question I get asked most is “what is the best way to improve my skin?” and invariably, they are expecting a product recommendation…after all, we are a skincare company. I can certainly understand why someone would assume that. Each month, every beauty magazine has a new “miracle cure”, but the truth is, what you eat and drink has a much greater impact on your complexion than anything you can apply topically.  When you are juicing AND using great skincare, the sky’s the limit!

I first began raw juicing fasts about three years ago, when I attended the Reboot Camp with Joe Cross. He took his own raw juice journey and turned it into a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He was suffering from a chronic inflammatory disease, and he cured himself of it (and got off all of the medication). He also lost about 100 lbs.

He calls a juice fast a “reboot” because it reboots your system, and gives your body a break from having to deal with toxins (sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, etc).  It sounded very extreme to me at the time, but I still watched the movie a half dozen times and eventually, when I was ready, the knowledge sunk in.

It’s human nature to want the path of least resistance, so when I recommend to people seeking anti-aging advice to change their diet, they seem to glaze over. It was time to walk the line and follow the ver12316365_10153772732548658_1746394979607487946_ny advice I was dispensing.

I began searching for other “rebooters” on Youtube, and thousands have gratefully shared their journeys for everyone to follow. Most of the people (in the movie and on Youtube) were either overweight or sick. It was amazing to see the transformations.

I wasn’t sick, and although I could stand to lose a few pounds, my main curiosity was how fast could the skin change (rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, acne, wrinkles, etc). When the chance to attend one of his boot camps came up (at the beautiful Omega Institute in NY), I signed up, in the name of “research”.

Off I went.

One week later, I was simply amazed at how different the people at boot camp looked. Their complexions GLOWED. I know it’s because inflammation and puffiness were significantly reduced. This was achieved by the micro nutrients of the juices, and the increased water intake. I felt like I looked years younger (and that was only with 5 days of juice fasting!).

When I got back from the retreat, I shared my new found knowledge with any friends or family that would listen, but unfortunately, they weren’t as excited as I was. I have since come to realize that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I quit preaching to my family, and tried to incorporate as much raw green juice into my diet as possible.

A few months later that year, one of my childhood friends asked me about juicing. Up until she asked, it was pretty much cricket bombs in my inbox.  I was so excitIMG_10133446877621ed to share my knowledge with her, because she suffers from multiple sclerosis. She was looking to improve her health with dietary changes, and I was sure juicing could help (it certainly couldn’t hurt).

We made an aggressive plan to forgo the traditional holiday time traditions, and do a thirty day juice fast in December. No parties, no cookies, no egg nog. What seemed like a punishment on December 1, was a gift on December 31. We also incorporated colonics, ionic foot baths, massages and whole body vibration sessions. It was the only time in my entire life that I gave 10% focus to my body, and it showed.

I can’t explain how good we felt, because it’s indescribable. The sense of accomplishment, combined with the unbounded energy was pure euphoria. My thoughts were clearer, I slept better and I was happier. Oh, and my skin was “juicy”! It looked airbrushed.

I was convinced thaCeltic Complexion Keys to Good Livingt juicing is nature’s anti-aging secret.

At the time, it didn’t occur to me that I should document our journey because to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could do it.

This summer we are doing it again, and I am going to document everything. I will take close up pictures so you can see the daily changes in my skin, and I will post the recipes I juice. I will be blogging and shooting youtube videos too, so you get a front seat to our experience.

Rather than doing our juice fast at home, this time we are taking the show on the road. We will be glamping (glamorous camping) in my vintage 1972 Shasta Compact trailer, along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Juicing and the great outdoors, there couldn’t be a better combination.

In the weeks leading up to the fast, I will be eliminating certain things in my diet to make the transition to juices easier, such as wine, sugar and all processed foods.

I hope you will follow along with me during my juicing journey.  Leave your questions or comments on our Facebook page (under this post) and I’ll be sure to answer them.

Happy trails,

 

Jennifer

 

 

 

Operation Love Bomb

operation lovebomb

It always amuses me when the desires in my life change…that something that had burned with such desire could simply vanish, cease to be, only a few years later.

These days, my main desire is to make a difference in people’s lives, whether that be with a bespoke skincare product, or a kind word.

I think a lot of that has to do with growing up, maturing and realizing what is truly important in life; the things that can’t be bought. Health, love, friendship.

As I get older, I see my friends and family deal with inevitable life changes; death of a loved one, divorce, business failures, heath challenges, financial strains, etc. and I can’t help to wonder, “How I can help?”

A jar of cream or a tube of lipstick can only go so far…and I don’t posses carpentry skills. My skill set lies in creating beauty and ambiance, not exactly the number one thing on anyone’s list when asking for help with a major life crises. Or maybe it is, and they just don’t know it.

Beauty takes many forms; in art, in the written word, in unconditional love from a stranger.

I remember once watching an Oprah show episode, where she said the one thing humans crave is to be acknowledged, to be seen. To know that they are not alone in their struggles.

When you stop and look around at your circle of friends, family, co-workers, and customers, you will see (and feel) their struggles, it will be etched on their faces and heard in their voices.

I want to be a light to these people and let them know they have been seen. I decided to create Operation Love Bomb, where I would ask the help of my friends to shower a person in need with postcards and letters of inspiration. Sometimes, all we need is a little love in our mailbox.

I imagined these letters being infused with love and intention – and them arriving in the mailbox of the recipient, where they would uplift the person and help them shift into a higher vibration.   The person could carry them around (unlike email) and re-read them whenever they needed a boost.

The best part about this, is that it costs only a couple of dollars and a little time.

There is so much power in words. Your ability to positively impact someone’s life with your words would delight you, and the ability to shift someone’s perspective by having a few dozen hand written letters show up unexpectedly would amaze you.

If you see someone in need of uplifting, simply put the call out to friends and family to write a note of encouragement to the person, and share their address (but not publicly!). You can do this anytime you see someone in need with any kind of life challenge.

As they say, “it takes a village!”. I for one, take pride in being a villager :)

 

Warmly,

Jennifer

 

 

Be someone's angel...

How to Create Your Own Angel Network

I am stepping out of my comfort zone here to write about something I am not particularly qualified to write about, but I am hoping that love will lead the direction.

Yesterday I was stopped dead in my tracks when a letter arrived in my mailbox.

It was a thank you card. A deeply personal and profound thank you card that carried more raw emotion and honesty than I have ever been witness to. This woman is a friend, but not a particularly close friend, so I felt privileged that she felt close enough to me to let her heart pour out, and to be heard.

Last year her sister was diagnosed with cancer. It came very suddenly and out of the blue. Without missing a beat, my friend sprung into action, and was by her side. She coordinated fundraising campaigns, doctor visits and provided her sister with a crash course in mind/body healing.

From afar, I was impressed with her unwavering ability to get things done. Her strength, both mentally and physically would put Superman to shame. Rather than illicit pity, her Facebook page was a daily dose of  inspiration. Stories of love and healing prevailed.

I sent her sister a years’ worth of my best creme to soothe her skin, and kept tabs on them both via Facebook and texts. The thing is, she made care taking look so easy. So when her thank you note arrived, it took my by surprise.

Your Christmas card was the only one I received in two years. When you are caring for someone with cancer, you are invisible. Your life, your comforts, needs and desires are forgotten completely. The attention is always placed on the patient, as it should be, but it becomes very difficult to survive exhaustion, loneliness, and sorrow. No one wraps their arms around you, no one says I see you in this moment of darkness, your pain is dismissed and the last thing you want to do is complain. You find out very quickly who your friends are, relationships fracture, friends disappear not knowing what to say, even within your immediate family, and sometimes that includes the patient. Nerves are frayed, tempers flare, and not enough gratitude is expressed. I was away from home for almost six out of twelve months during which I had to find and leave two jobs. I willing gave up my dreams I had for myself in 2015, depleted my finances, and lived out of a box with a zipper, slept on a sofa or chair more nights than I can count. My body is sore, my mind is numb, and I don’t know how I will come back from this, but I would gladly do it all over again. I am so grateful to have my sister for as much time as her soul and body will allow. She feels every bit of kindness directed towards her and dare I say I do too. During these times of uncertainty, kindness is brilliantly highlighted.”

I sat there and began to cry. I had no idea. But, I was so happy that my handwritten words provided her with a little bit of comfort.

This made me want to do more for her. I know that fundraising campaigns are important, but I also believe that care packages and letters can provide love in a way that cash cannot. A letter can be held, cried upon, saved, and pulled out when you need to hear those words again.

I sent a letter to all of my friends asking them to send her a letter, a post card, draw a picture..really anything that would lift her spirits. It would only cost some time and the price of a stamp and it would mean so much to her. I envision all of that love energy surrounding her when she opens her mailbox, and that makes me very, very happy.

It got me thinking, how many caregivers are there that need this expression of love too? This is an idea that you can implement in your own life. Ask your circle of friends and family to support someone that needs it, and if you are called upon to send a love letter, consider it the best way to pay-it-forward.

Here are some other unique ways to support care givers:

  1. Send a gift certificate for a massage
  2. Arrange to have (or make) meals or raw juices delivered for a weekend
  3. Send a Himalayan salt lamp
  4. Make an aromatherapy hand lotion or massage oil
  5. Send a coloring book. My favorite is Enjoy the Journey by Mike Dooley
  6. Send a handkerchief to dry her tears
  7. Send an aromatherapy diffuser

From this day forward, I am cultivating my angel network, to call upon to do good deeds for those in need, and I will become someone’s angel too.

Thank you, my friend for opening my eyes, you will Always be seen…

 

In gratitude,

Jennifer

 

 

The 5 Best Anti-Aging Tips for Living in a Youth Obsessed World

Gather around ladies, these aren't your mother's anti-aging tips

Gather around ladies, these aren’t your mother’s anti-aging tips

If I had a nickel for every woman who has asked me the best/easiest/quickest/painless way to look younger/better, I could finance a year-long sabbatical to the destination of my dreams. After all, when you spend your life in the beauty industry, surrounded by a culture celebrating youth, you do learn a tip or two. In fact, I do write (and recommend) the virtues of sunscreen, green juice and yoga, but those are only external factors.

Navigating age is an inside job.

I know, it’s hard not imagine a universe where youth is not synonymous with beautiful, and the entire goal of advertising is to make women feel less than. As I get older, I look around at the mainstream media, and can’t help but feel left out that I can’t see my own reflection mirrored back to me. This is especially true of social media, where at times, I feel as though I see nothing but twenty-somethings.

I don’t know about you, but I want to reflect confidence, health and contentment to the world, qualities which I was hard pressed to find in my 20’s, probably because those qualities develop as we mature.

I recently became a huge fan of Carrie Fisher when she stood up to her age-shaming critics, judging her for her appearance in the latest Star Wars film. She tweeted,  “Please stop debating whether or not I aged well. Youth and beauty are not accomplishments, they’re the temporary and  happy by-products of time and/or DNA. Don’t hold your breath for either.”

Aging is a privilege not granted to all, so it’s important to appreciate it and be thankful for the experience, wisdom and lessons we’ve accumulated along the way.

Here are my best, most valuable pieces of advice for embracing your age, and thriving in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond

Find Role Models/Find Your Tribe Find women who are Owning it, and their journey will reflect back to you as an example of how powerful a woman can be. Last year while watching the Grammy Awards, the usual display of T&A was displayed by the pop-tarts of the day, each one vying for the camera’s attention. About midway through the show, 61 year-old Annie Lennox came out, and dressed in a modest pant suit, BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN. Her two song set with Hozier was positively powerful. You can watch it here (she comes on at the 2 minute mark).

While scrolling through Netflix one evening, an original series caught my eye, Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. It had some great reviews, so I thought I would give it a watch. The first episode was so-so.. but I’m so glad I kept watching. It kept getting better and better, and it made me imagine what life would be like with my best friend in our 70’s. These ladies are having FUN, and they are gorgeous and witty and navigating life with a great sense of humor.

Did you know that Julia Child did not learn to cook until she was in her forties, and she didn’t publish her first book, The Art of French Cooking until she was 50. For her inspirational story, rent Julie & Julia. It proves that your greatest accomplishments can arrive in act three of your life.

My final example of a powerful woman who is embracing her age is Ernestine Sheperd, the oldest female body builder. Her story is such an inspiration to women who feel they are too old to have the body of their dreams. She didn’t start her fitness journey until she was in her 50’s, and today, at 79, she has the body of a 30 year old. You can learn more about her story here.

If these ladies can express their gifts at any age, so can you.

Use Your Words Carefully Think about how you talk about yourself. What adjectives do you use to describe yourself? Are they kind and loving, or self-deprecating? Whatever follows the words “I am” are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those words are defining to the world who you are and what you are capable of. Language is one of the most powerful tools you can use to transform yourself (think Affirmations). Make a conscious effort to permanently delete negative self-talk from your vocabulary.

Repeat these words (at least) daily:

I am strong. I am healthy. I am beautiful.

Soon, your outer appearance will reflect these verbal attributes. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others This happens almost unconsciously. The marketing industry is built on making you feel inadequate in some way… after all, it’s their job. But nothing will make you age faster than chasing youth. I’m not saying to denounce the tools that can help us feel better about ourselves, if it makes you feel good about yourself, I’m all for it. But, if you are constantly searching for a magic bullet to make you look like an Allure cover girl, you are wasting precious time.

I quit reading beauty magazines years ago, they only made me feel insecure because I never felt like I measured up. Embrace your imperfections, they are what makes you YOU.

Don’t Apologize for Being Who You Want to Be One of the best things about getting older, is that you know yourself better. You are able to embrace your individuality without apologizing to those who don’t “get” you.

As you get older, you will realize that you don’t have to conform. If something makes you feel beautiful when you wear it (whether that be a red lipstick, or a gypsy skirt), then by all means WEAR IT!

Iris Apfel comes to mind. At 94, she is an American icon, and has created an empire for her eclectic style. Google her name, or watch the documentary made about her life, and you can’t help falling in love with her. She validates my desire to wear statement necklaces to breakfast. She is a breath of fresh air, and it’s her unique individuality that makes people attracted to her.

Remain in Gratitude and Pay-It-Forward Nothing will make you feel more empowered than empowering others. One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

One of the greatest gifts you can share with the world, is your intention; a kind word, a good deed, a hug. It all goes out into the world, and returns to you tenfold. That universal light reflecting back at you is the best beauty potion in the world, and it can’t be bought or sold.

If you want great skincare, visit my website, if you want to remain ageless, go inside.

 

Grateful for you!

Jennifer

Holiday Gift Guide

Celtic Complexion Christmas Tree

Celtic Complexion Christmas Tree

The holidays are the perfect time of year to show gratitude to those you love with small tokens of appreciation. I don’t know about you, but as I get older, my desire for material things is replaced with a desire for moments…laughter…health…friendships and family.

While I was getting my home in holiday mode, pulling out decorations,  I came across a few dusty boxes in my garage. Those boxes contained the most precious gifts I have ever received.

They were letters that I have kept since childhood, from grandparents, parents and long-lost friends. Rich letters that seemed to take on a life of their own, with the ability to transport me back to an earlier time.

I could faintly still smell my grandmother’s perfume on the letters she had sent to me since I was a child. Others were sent to me by my dad, after my parents divorce, when he moved to California, which to a child seemed like a world apart from my hometown of Miami. There were yellowed cards marking every occasion, and notes from high school friends.

My grandmother is long gone, as is my father, but with a real letter in my hands, I can, for a brief moment, touch their handwriting and feel their presence, and it brings such great comfort.

The art of letter writing is fading, which is why it’s so important (even if just once a year) to put pen to paper and write a good old-fashioned love letter to your kids, your parents, your friends, anyone who has touched your life, because your words will live on long after a material gift has found it’s way into a landfill. Never under estimate the power of your words, and the positive influence they can have on someone you love.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite ways to express gratitude this holiday season, and I hope it inspires you to give in a unique way.

  • Mini Paper Sculptures – I love these beautiful hand made colorful cards, and receiving one in the mail would make anyone on your list smile. It’s a perfect vessel for your love letters. $10
  • Operation Gratitude – This program delivers letters and care packages to veterans. When filling out your cards to family and friends, why not send one (or several) to show your appreciation for their service, it will surely make their day. FREE (Cost of a stamp)
  • Make an In-Kind Donation to a Homeless Shelter Most of us have an abundance of excess clothing and household items. Why not donate your excess to people in need. Just Google a homeless shelter in your area, most of them have a page for “how to donate”, with a list of the most requested items. FREE
  • Help a Dog in Need Our friends at The Blissful Dog  will donate a .15 oz tube of NOSE BUTTER, PAW BUTTER, ELBOW BUTTER or BOO BOO BUTTER to a dog rescue group or shelter (in your name) for every sale made until December 20th. From $5
  • Enjoy the Journey Coloring Book – Mike Dooley is one of my favorite authors. I have seen him in person and own all of his books. Coloring books act as a form of meditation, and the messages in the book are so inspirational and uplifting. $10
  • One Line a Day 5 Year Gratitude Journal – I love to write, and I understand the concept of how important journaling is, but sometimes all those blank pages intimidate me. I came across this journal on a weekend getaway with Mr. Celtic Complexion. It gives you a few lines to jot down what you are grateful for each day. It sits on my desk, and has now become a nightly ritual for me. $10
  • Turn Your Child’s Art Into a Toy – Bring your children’s imagination to life. This is truly a one-of-a-kind gift that will be cherished for years to come. Budsies (featured on Shark Tank) can turn any drawing or picture into a plush toy. $89
  • Create a Family Cookbook – Making my dad’s signature dish of stuffed shells, or my mom’s famous orange cake really connects me to them. Food is one of the best ways to bond with your family and friends. Why not create a cookbook, complete with your own recipes, with pictures and stories about the dishes? It will become a family heirloom someday.  $30
  • Make a Joy Jar – This is one of my favorite things to give, and it teaches us to be grateful for the little things, and over the course of a year, this can add up. It also has the potential to shift your attitude into a more positive way of being. I came across this wonderful blog post explaining how it works. FREE
  • A Little Luxury – I am amazed at how a  fifteen minute hot shower can bring me so much joy. It seems to wash all of my stress away, especially when I use a bar of hand-crafted soap. This year,  I discovered an artisan soap maker on Etsy and her soaps have become my favorite! I buy them by the loaf and give them as gifts too. They are beautiful all-natural golden yellow luxury bath & shower bars formulated using high quality oils and mango butter. It is scented with lemongrass and orange valencia and just a touch of patchouli essential oils. Use the coupon code “celtic” at checkout for a 20% discount. $5
  • Chemical Free Cleaning – A clean house is something you give to yourself and family. I have never been excited about cleaning my home (but I love a clean house!), so when a friend introduced me to a way I could clean my house without chemicals, I jumped at it. The idea seemed to defy logic, but these microfibers are now a staple in my home. I also keep them in my car, and I travel with them. They turned me into a neat freak (and I’m not complaining!). From $17

There you have it, my 11 favorite ways to gift! I’ll be sharing the Celtic Complexion gift in the December newsletter, so be sure to sign up for it to get details.

If you have unique ways to gift, I would love to hear them :)

In gratitude,

Jennifer

The Birth of a New Product; My Process

Eye Elixir

Eye Elixir

Every time I create a new product (which isn’t often), I wonder if I will fall in love with it as much as my existing products. Is it possible to love some products more than others, or are they loved equally?

Well, the short answer is, I love my products equally, but all for different reasons.  I love some products for the results they bring my customers. It’s a humbling experience to have helped a stranger, sometimes a world away, with a skin problem they have suffered with for a lifetime (Calming Serum). I love some products for the media attention they bring (Youth Infusion High Potency Serum), and some products I love because they are a top seller (Coconut Creme Cleanser).

I am a ferocious reader, and one of my favorite things to read about are ingredients. I relish learning about the vast history of a particular ingredient and the results they deliver. I have a notebook that I jot down notes in to do further research when something really grabs my intention.

I love rich, luxurious textures. Maybe it’s my age (47), or maybe because I love the way my skin looks without makeup when it seems to be glowing from within.  Whatever the reason, I seek out these “miracles of nature” and then begin the process of creating a recipe to best highlight their strengths.

New products and formulas usually come to me when I am meditating. The “idea” will stay in my mind and if I can’t stop thinking about it…that’s when I know I have to create it, even if it’s just something that stays in my private collection.

However, a lot of my products start off as requests from friends, “Please help me with ________________!” If I get repeated requests, or hear similar complaints, I tuck the requests away in my mind, and when I discover specific ingredients that will help those conditions, I proceed with a prototype of a product.

Once I am happy with a prototype, I give out samples and I sit back and wait. If a product is ok (meaning: good, but nothing to get excited about), it doesn’t make the cut. “Good enough” or “nice” products never make it to the Celtic Complexion line.

However, if I get a phone call within one or two days asking “What is in this?!” or “Is this available now?”, I know I have a hit on my hands and it goes into production.

Eye Elixir 2.0 is one such product.

As I mentioned in my newsletter last summer, I wanted to revise Eye Elixir. As much as I have used and loved that product for the last three years, I knew I could improve the formula, but rather than change the original formula, I decided to start from scratch.

The delicate skin around the eye area is one of the fastest areas to show age, so I wanted to combine very regenerative oils to address that area. Oils that are rich in vitamins, anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids. I chose argan oil, squalene oil, avocado oil, rosehip seed oil, sea buckthorn berry oil just to name a few. Some of the world’s most expensive beauty oils contain a few of these oils, but this product contains them all.

Because of the richness of this product, all you need is one drop (two at most). This oil will stay on the skin, and you will feel it even hours after application.

It is available now, and I hope you’ll love my new “child” as much as I do! To read more about Eye Elixir, visit our visit our website

Secrets of a Beauty Entrepreneur; 5 Lessons Learned from an Indie Beauty Journey

CelticComplexion FounderJenniferWaller

I’m a happy entrepreneur!

It’s a few weeks before Thanksgiving Day and we are busy preparing for our BOGO sale, November 24th. It takes us about six full weeks to prepare the packaging, marketing materials, social media posts, blogger outreach programs, and of course making the actual products…but this post isn’t about products, or ingredients or methods. It’s about the actual journey of becoming an entrepreneur.

Today, as I write this, we just mailed out our new color catalogs. It took five years before we could actually produce them the way I wanted them. Five Years. Most new businesses don’t survive three years in business, so this was a huge milestone for me.

I experienced a lot of emotions when I was looking at them sitting there in the bins…I thought of all the moments of struggle and strife, of the times this dream of mine seemed so far away, of all the jobs I had working for other cosmetic companies, of all my friends and family that supported me (and those that didn’t)….it was a sublime moment and one that I will definitely cherish. Often the greatest victories for an entrepreneur are simple moments in time.

Looking back, I can clearly see how all of my so-called failures (both personally and professionally) allowed me to become stronger and appreciate success when it arrived. But when I was going through it, I would cry myself to sleep many nights, just shaking my head wondering if I had what it took to really create my dream.

For an entrepreneur, there are no rule books. Sure, you can get an education on business specifics, but each entrepreneur has their own imprint to make on the world, so it’s virtually impossible to learn how to become one by simply following another.

Take the word entrepreneur. It can be so intimidating. When I see that word, I think of Richard Branson. Steve Jobs. Julia Child. C.J. Walker. But Jennifer Waller? Um, not so much. But when you break down the essence of what an entrepreneur is – a visionary, then I kind of perk up.

My seventeen year old self had big dreams. She was idealistic, enthusiastic and would try anything once. She had a strong work ethic, and wanted to see the world. Her definition of success was defined by materialistic acquisitions (remember, this was in the 80’s “Greed is Good” heyday).

For a very long time, those goals were what motivated me. Being submerged in the high-end retail environment, I was subjected to daily doses of Madison Avenue marketing; If only I had the perfect shade of lipstick, the perfect bag or the perfect pair of shoes, I too would be perfect. To an extent, I was also peddling that dream on behalf of the companies I worked for.

From 1985 to 2004, I worked for more than a dozen cosmetic and skincare companies. I worked for big cosmetic conglomerates, and independent start ups. I logged thousands of airline miles, crossed the coast, and met thousands of women who shared with me their secrets, insecurities and high expectations of whatever miracle creme or lipstick I was selling at the time.  More often than not, they just wanted to be heard, if only for the brief minutes we were together.

From the start of my career, I felt the best when I was “connecting” with other women. I saw them as real people, not an “average unit sale”. My reward was their happiness, not the size of their purchase. I really felt humbled by their trust in me, and I worked hard not to ever take it for granted. Compassion was the first core value I was able to identify with.

Lesson #1: Determine from the start what your core personal values are, and use them as a blueprint to build your own company. Never waiver. They will become what you are known for, and will speak louder than any advertisement ever will.

When you are surrounded by like-minded people, it’s easy to work. You love your job, you love your co workers and everything comes up roses. I would say that for the first part of my career, it was exactly like a sorority. Beauty advisors working behind the counter, wearing the same uniform, working for one cause, and enjoying the perks and comradery.

Life was simple then.

As soon as I determined I was ready to break out of the pack, and move up the corporate ladder is when things changed. That’s when my true education began.

When you leave the familiarity of an insular work space (in my case, a beauty counter) and spread your wings, you are met with a lot of different personalities and agendas. It’s not for the faint-of-heart.

As a “road warrior” (a regional makeup artist that travels for events), part of my job was dealing with many, many people. The Account Executive in a given territory, the other road warriors, the cosmetic department manager, the beauty advisors and of course, the customers. In some cases, the owner of the cosmetic company. Each of these people had a different agenda, and it was my job to meet all those needs, and do it in heels, faux lashes and spanx.

Over the course of a decade of being a road warrior, I learned how to be a diplomat. I learned how to be on time (actually 15 minutes early for everything). I learned how to be a therapist. I learned how to be a visual display manager. And I learned how to take care of my feet (the stilettos came out of rotation in year three after another (older) road warrior showed me her bunions from wearing them for almost twenty years on the road).

Lesson #2: Become a sponge – to the good, the bad and the ugly. Every single thing you observe will serve you once you become your own boss.

I never took a job just for the sake of working. Even when I was young, I wanted to be happy working, so before I signed on the dotted line to rep for a company, I always did a little due diligence to try and determine if I shared the same values.

All I have to say about this is: you never truly know someone until you live with them or travel with them. Long before social media, and before transparency became the norm, the only thing you could find out about a company or owner of a company was the PR spin they provided for public consumption.

Lets just say, all that glitters is not gold.

What looks good on paper (or glossy company brochure) doesn’t always translate to the personality of the actual person you are working for. This can catch you off guard sometimes.

On more than one occasion, I have been singled out for my idealistic views of how things “should” run, or how people “should” be treated. After all, my personal motto is to treat others the way you want to be treated.

“Jen, you don’t really make a good employee. Quit questioning everything.”

“Jen, you aren’t the Norma Rae for the company, just do your job.”

“Are you an only child?”

Ouch.

At the time, those comments really, really hurt. Why couldn’t they see I only wanted to make things better? In fact, they more than hurt, if I was being 100% honest. I felt very unappreciated for my hard work.

However, if you put those comments together now, it all adds up to this: if I wanted to make things better, I had to create my own company and have it embody all the principals I value so dearly.

And I did.

If I was a “perfect” employee, Celtic Complexion might have never been created.

Lesson #3: The way others view you is their business. Don’t let it shape the way you view yourself or take it personally. Ever. Be your truly amazing authentic self. One day, you will be rewarded for it, but probably not in the way you envision.

When I was a little girl, my paternal grandmother advised me to “be free, see the world and live your life.” As a young girl, I didn’t understand her advice at all, in fact, I didn’t fully understand her words until I was well into my forties. She was a strong woman who lived her life with the expectations of her generation. She did her duty by marrying (although she was 32 when she did so, which was practically spinster territory at the time) and having three kids.

I think she yearned to live free and independently, and as her granddaughter, she wanted me to get that message loud and clear. As a result, that message was embedded into me, and has served my wanderlust desires since childhood. After all, what is it to be an entrepreneur than to hitch a wagon to your dreams and follow them to the end?

That advice has made me try things – everything in fact. The very nature of an entrepreneur is to try a lot of things, determine what works, tweak it, make it your own and then share it with the world.

It also made me courageous. To leave jobs, relationships, places and situations that no longer served my best interest. I’ve never regretted anything I’ve done, nor have I ever regretted letting it go. To me, it’s all experience, and it has all gave me perspective to grow. I don’t cry over spilled milk. Ever.

Lesson #4: Be unapologetically selfish in your quest for happiness. Your resulting happiness will be able to help more people in the long run. The vibration of happiness will touch everything you create.

I recently opened boxes in my garage from my last move to North Carolina (two years ago). I discovered journals I had been keeping for years, some even decades old. They were filled with pictures, affirmations, and personal mementos from my travels. I was amazed at how much of what I wrote had come true. I had forgotten some of the things I put to paper.

During my road warrior days, I would write in my journals when I was flying, or in a hotel room at night. I would sketch out what would become the Celtic Complexion logo. I would write product descriptions and website layouts.

I remember thinking “How the heck am I ever going to get from point A to point B?!” When you are struggling financially, or emotionally, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But that’s when you need to do this exercise more!

I also kept every single thank you letter I ever received from a customer. I was also lucky enough to have some incredible mentors that saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. At times, those letters were the only dimly lit light to guide me to where I am now.

Those journals actually have versions of the recipes I use today.

Even with just a dream, I always did something every day to inch towards that dream. Whether it be creating file folders of pretty images, studying fonts, honing my writing, or reading about ingredients. It would all some day serve me.

Once I learned the art of manifesting (getting out of my own way, eliminating baggage, truly believing I was worthy of achieving my dreams, persisting when no evidence of success was visible) everything came very easy.

Here is an affirmation from my journal (authored by Mike Dooley)

  So what if it takes a long time, Jennifer? So what if it’s already taken longer than you thought? So what if it will still take longer? The day will nevertheless arrive, as it always does, when all your prior efforts, determination, and persistence will seem a paltry price indeed as you are lifted irrevocably higher, as if by chariots of fire, into realms previously un-imagined, and then you’ll think to yourself, “Wow, that was fast!”

Lesson #5: Never be concerned about How you will become successful. Place 100% of your attention on the end result. Put your blinders on and have faith. Everything else is just noise. With belief, everything else falls into place. I promise. 

My journey has taken many twists and turns, but it has also had a lot of laughter. The goals of my seventeen year old self have, for the most part, been accomplished. However, they didn’t feel like I thought they would. As a matter of fact, I distinctly remember wondering why the things I had coveted for most of my life didn’t bring me the happiness I thought they would. Damn you Madison Avenue for making me think they would!

My definition of success has changed as I age. To me, it’s being content, doing what I love, being healthy, being surrounded by love. By the way, I think those are also the same things that make you look vibrant and youthful :)

Here’s looking at you kid!

Jennifer

Celtic Complexion Graceful Aging Blog

Not Your Mother’s Anti Aging Advice…

What kind of images appear in your mind when you think of the word “aging”? How about “getting older”? Do you fear getting older, or look forward to it?

Being in the beauty business, I can’t help but to be inundated with questions about aging; How to turn back the hands of time, erase the life experience from your skin?

Beyond eating good, exercising, managing stress and using great products, our attitude towards aging is extremely important.  Your thoughts, words and feelings towards your body and health play a vital roll in how you will age. What is the internal dialog you have with yourself about aging?

Your body is a mirror of your consciousness.

Aging makes you wiser, more mature and stronger. Maintain your physical prowess, agility and strength by all the means you know how, and you will find the more you do, the more you will be able to do.

One of the reasons I believe we are not allowed to grow old gracefully, is because we live in a youth obsessed culture and are constantly subjected to images of youth. It seems to be celebrated and rewarded, and sure it’s easy to accept that as truth.

But, if you dig a little deeper (and in the right places), you will find women in their 70’s, 80’s and beyond who can inspire you to expect more.

I recently saw images of Christie Brinkley, who at 61 years old, can still rock at white bikini. Jane Fonda, at 77, walked the red carpet this season and would give any new starlet a run for her money. As lovely as these two women are, I’m sure their affluence enables them a team to cook and train and maybe nip and tuck them.

So, I sought out non celebrity women who have embraced their years and after seeing these powerful women celebrate their ages, it made me look forward to aging.

The youngest of the group is Mimi Kirk. She is 77 years old and is an author, lecturer and founder of RawOnYoungFood.com

She was voted Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 by PETA. She travels the world lecturing on raw food and healthy living. She reports that she has the energy of someone in their 20’s, and judging by her picture, I have no doubt that is true.

Ernestine Shepard is 80 years old.

In her youth Ernestine is said to have been a “prissy” girl with little interest in athletics or exercise of any kind. As a 56-year-old she was a sedentary, well-padded school secretary and “slug” who had never worked out a day in her life. The obvious question is: What happened to transform Ernestine into a role model for the rest of us, and senior women in particular?

What happened was that the 56-year-old version of Ernestine went bathing suit shopping with her sister, Velvet. While trying on the suits, they found themselves laughing at each other. Then and there they knew it was time to get in better shape. Ernestine and her sister joined a gym and started working out together. A short time later, Velvet died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. Devastated, Ernestine stopped going to the gym. After some months of mourning the loss of her sister and on the advice of a friend that her sister would have wanted her to continue what they had started, Ernestine returned to the gym with a reignited determination to get fit.

Starting slowly and building her body step by little step, Ernestine over time completely transformed not only her body, but her life, too. She has never been happier. She trains mostly senior women five days a week and “live(s) to inspire senior women to reach their physical potential.” Read more about her on her website (and be sure to watch the videos) here

When Tao Porchon Lynch’s beautiful image appeared in my FB feed, I was in awe of her grace (and in complete disbelief of her age, 96!)

Tao teaches discipline and control of the body and mind through Yoga. As she elevates and balances her body in classic poses, she demonstrates how to tap into the primal spark of energy that all of us
receive from the universe. Whatever our religious beliefs, the spark makes us one with our fellow human beings and all forms of life on our planet.

Tao is a living advertisement for how to tap into our human potential. She is unique in her ability to overcome the effects of aging to control her body and mind in harmony with Yoga’s principles. Tao’s philosophy is “There is nothing we cannot do if we harness the power within us.” Her yoga principles and practices will be appreciated by current and future generations. Her current passion, in addition to yoga, is ballroom dancing and she is an award winning world-class dancer. Visit her website to read more here.

The fountain of youth is a state of being, not so much a state of doing. Begin to view your body as a magical form, a versatile machine that is capable of doing whatever you want, without pain or limitation. That is the best anti-aging advice I can ever share with you :)

 

Warmly,

Jennifer