In those special moments when you’ve found yourself overlooking a breathtaking landscape, what do you feel? Does the magnitude of the sun shining across the green hills make you marvel at its beauty? Do the rainbow purples, oranges, and reds of that setting sun ignite in your soul an awe of nature?

Do you forget yourself and become wholly immersed in the beauty of nature?

Well, what happens when you look into the mirror every morning? Are you taken in by the perfection of each line? Do you wonder at the beauty staring you in the face? I hope so!

It seems like a far stretch, I know. But we’re actually a part of nature, designed by nature. And natural beauty begins with recognizing the beauty of nature within ourselves.

So how can we best nurture our natural beauty?

Well, Mother Earth requires some extra care to blossom. She needs water, sun, oxygen, and nutrients. We also need some support as we seek to age gracefully.

 

The Myth of Anti-Aging

I highly doubt any of us gaze upon a mountain and think, “Ugh, that thing must be so old! I wonder how many cracks are on it. It would be a lot prettier if it was perfectly smooth!” We appreciate its beauty because we see it as a part of nature.

Aging can be a naturally beautiful process. With this realization, the whole anti-aging narrative falls apart. The bajillion dollar industry that tells us “if you drop mad cash on our product, you can defy nature” becomes worthless. Natural beauty is priceless.

There is no such thing as anti-aging! Say it with me now. We all age. So why not age well?

The fear we have of aging actually has nothing to do with age. It has everything to do with poor health. When we think of the ugly side of aging, we think about wrinkles, thinning hair, weight gain, stiff tissues, loss of vitality, lack of energy, and even disease. But these have more to do with improper nutrition, lack of movement, and the big one - stress! According to natural medicine, these are all symptoms of poor circulation and stagnation of life-force energy (Qi, ki, prana, mana, etc).

Youth is not a measure of age, but a measure of that life-force energy. What we covet about youthfulness – smooth skin, full hair, mobility, vitality, that sparkling glow in our eyes – are really just signs of the health we're able to cultivate and support.

So rather than ‘anti-aging,’ let’s shift the conversation to ‘pro-health.’

 

Nurturing Our Nature

In pioneering a new pro-age culture, we can start to think about natural beauty as a matter of nurturing health. To nurture our nature!

Are you with me now? We don’t want to “not age.” Because we want to live! We just want to age gracefully. With ease and elegance as we flow with our true selves.

There are many ways to foster our natural health. When we do, then that youthful appearance, a relaxed smile, that magnetic je ne sais quoi within you come as natural results. When we feel good, we look good!

Aging gracefully takes consistent, self-loving practice. It’s a little less sexy than treating yourself to that manicure (although I’m not discouraging you from doing that!). It looks more like daily routines and regular practice. With the work, the results are a whole lot sexier!

We here at Botanical Trader believe life is about leaning into joy. Taking time to curate the intentional act of savouring the ordinary, leaning into joy and letting life love us in return can even bring immense joy to our lives! As we share some of our tips to “nurture your nature,” here are some points to keep in heart:

Incorporate conscious ritual. Take dedicated time to give your full presence to your routines and every day chores. For more guidance on the art of ritual, check out our Sacred Ritual page.

Set an intention. Let it be one of self-love. We’re all working through societal programs that teach women (and men too!) that our worth is tied up in our appearance. Release fear and amplify your practice by setting one of the following intentions:

  • To feel good in my skin, body, heart, and soul
  • To fully honour, accept, and love myself
  • To release self-doubt and negative self-talk
  • To simply be present to what is

Come back to that notion of cultivating life-force energy. Every principle of natural health and beauty relates to restoring and maintaining Qi.

Skincare

Let’s be honest, no single cream is going to radically rain the fountain of youth upon your head. But we at Botanical Trader know the power of proper skincare to restore health and vitality to our largest organ – our skin.

So here’s what to look for when self-caring for your skin!

Green Beauty

  • Make sure that you’re choosing clean (organic, natural, fair-trade) skincare products made in small batches by expert formulators who know their trade
  • You don’t need a whole shelf of products. Investing in a few good quality products will serve you very well (and reduces unnecessary consumption)
  • For our expertly-crafted hair, skin, and body products, check out our most popular Botanical Trader Clean + Green Beauty products


Application

  • Apply products to clean skin. Start with the lightest weight products and work your way to the thicker products (mist → serum → cream → oil)
  • Pat your mist into your skin to allow your pores to absorb the moisture
  • Massage serums, lotions, and oils into your skin in a way that increases circulation of LFE (life-force energy!)
  • And in a way that promotes LOVE! Let each touch carry your loving intention. Feed your cells THIS medicine.


Nutrition

Beauty is not only skin-deep. Natural beauty is just as much about what we put inside our bodies.

Food should be delicious and nutritious! While each body-type is unique and has different needs, we recommend a few basic principles:

  • Shift into food positivity. Self-care looks like preparing a meal with the intention that you deserve nourishment, joy, and healing in your relationship with food.
  • Eat organic, local, fair-trade food. It’s usually more expensive, but in the long-run it cultivates a much happier gut and much greater health!
  • Avoid processed foods like refined sugars, saturated fats, and artificial flavorings.
  • Treat eating like a meditation. This not only brings great joy and gratitude to the process, but it also helps us pay more attention to our satiation level.
  • Give gratitude to all the farmers and friends, hearts and hands through which this abundant food has passed to get to your table. Delicious food is a gift!

 

Movement

Let your body be a vessel for joy, expression, and that life-force energy to pump through your spirit.

Let’s move away from “exercise” and move toward “movement”....literally! If you’re like me, you hate going to the gym and timing yourself on the treadmill. If that works for you, great!

But movement is not about putting the hours in. It’s about circulating Qi through your body and even expressing your love of life.

  • Take dance breaks often! Or try that dance class you’ve been too afraid to venture into.
  • Enjoy long walks. Nature is an ideal place, but feel free to cruise through your neighborhood or through bustling city streets.
  • Yoga asana is like meditation for the body. It works with breath, calmness of the mind, flexibility, and strength to awaken the soul. If you’re really looking to halt the aging process, the passage of time becomes totally irrelevant in deep Yoga practice!
  • In whatever way, be sure to move for at least 30 minutes every day!


Mind-Heart Health

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

This means that beauty is actually in your mind! And in your heart. In Chinese Medicine, a disturbance of Shen (the spirit of the heart) can greatly impact our mental wellbeing. Grief, pain, and stress are unavoidable parts of modern life. When we can give compassion, rather than worry, to these aspects of our existence, our hearts soften, our minds relax, and we can more easily access our natural beauty.

Accept wherever you’re at.

Through acceptance lies the portal to Love. A healthy self-love is vital to vitality. Make friends between the heart and the mind:

  • Write a list of the things for which you’re grateful. Include yourself in that list!
  • Allow yourself a no-phone hour every day to just connect with yourself
  • Meditate daily. Whether 10 minutes or 100 minutes, give yourself the gift of pausing everything to calm your mind. We suggest in the morning and/or before bed (with your phone off). For further guidance, check out our Guide to Meditation
  • Affirmations – the words you tell yourself matter! With your hand on your heart, here are some pro-age affirmations you may try:

My soul is eternal
My body is a perfect vessel through which to carry out my life
I am a beautiful part of nature
I love, honor, and accept myself the way I am

When asked by John Isaacs, a photographer for National Geographic, if he should photoshop her wrinkles, Audrey Hepburn replied, “Don’t you dare touch any one of those wrinkles. I earned every single one of them.”

With each wrinkle and gray hair comes a wealth of knowledge. With age comes a wealth of wisdom. You’ve earned this wisdom. It’s your gift. Nurture it.

Let us know your favourite natural beauty tips! How do you relate to a pro-health attitude as you embrace your natural aging process?

 

WRITTEN BY ELIZABETH GOODMAN
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