The New Anti-Wrinkle Treatment
by Mary Desaulniers
We are bombarded on all fronts with new anti-wrinkle treatments and new sophisticated skin regimen that are supposed to take years off the face—microdermabrasion, botox injections, face lifts and laser resurfacing. More than ever, we are harnessing the powers of technology to create a Brave New World of ageless boomers. And while I have no objections to wanting to look young (who doesn’t), I do think that being young is more a state of mind than a state of “looks.” Looks can be artificially manipulated; a state of mind can only be cultivated.
Even the word “cultivation” tells us that the process of staying young takes time. And time is something our society seems intent on making dispensable. Yet the best things in life take time. Think of your children through the lenses of the family album; it is the changes tabulated in those pictures that make them so rich in character and experience now. Time deepens the experience; time ages the moment by filling it with layers made accessible through memories. Without time, we are like ants—filled only with a pale and surface instant. Living the moment is a call for cultivating the layers of time within the moment.
And so with the face; the layers of time that wrinkle a face are tributes to its resilience. It has weathered the helter-skelter twenties and it has survived the frantic pace of the thirties (when most of us had full time jobs and children). The marks of having lived a life rich in love, struggles, failures and successes are written all over our faces and it is these we need to embrace because they are not signs that we need anti-wrinkle treatments, but signs that we have struggled, we have loved and we have lived. They are the marks of a life that is extraordinary in its ordinariness.
These marks on our faces are not the things we need to fear; they are not the signs of age. The signs of age that we need fear are those that speak of a life unlived—a terrified urgency to keep everything as is, a fear of learning new ways of thinking, new ways of doing things, a fear of going beyond right and wrong, or more specifically, a fear of understanding the world and its events from the heart without the prescriptive lens of right and wrong, a fear of change, of investing heart, mind and soul into someone or something lest it goes “wrong,” a fear of making mistakes, of having to start all over again because those mistakes showed you a new and different path, a fear of pitting yourself against the wisdom of the ages because you have a need, a passion to find out for yourself what is right for you.
I have seen age in twenty-something eyes and endless youthfulness in people over 70.
So what are my anti-wrinkle treatments?
1.Find something you love and pursue it to the end. Ignore all nay-sayers; just follow your heart.
2. Begin each morning and end each day with exercising your mind; a half hour or twenty minutes of meditation on all that is right in your world and what you have to be thankful for.
3. Cultivate the long-term vision; see the layers of possibilities within each moment in time; with such long-term vision you will never be unsettled by an individual event because you are open to what it will bring in its wake.
4. Eat healthy foods and exercise; a strong body will empower your sense of self so that you can sustain the courage to do what is right for you.
5. Honor yourself and honor the world and all that lives, breathes, moves in it (including rocks, trees and skies).
6. Honor your desire which is a calling for change. Most people dread change and end up on the sidelines wishing wistfully for something better. They have not learned to honor their desire. Desire as Dr. Lee Pulos states in “The Biology of Empowerment,” ”is the purest of potential seeking manifestation or change.” Be open to change.
Last but not least, know in your heart that you will have no regrets because being young is knowing that you can start all over again.
A runner for over 30 years, Mary is interested in the relationship between physical exercise and the creative self.