This week I got to know a colleague of mine.  She is gorgeous, fit, and very sociable.  When she shared that her two children were in their early- to mid-40s, I nearly passed out in disbelief!  She only looks about 38 or 40 herself, and I would have never guessed that she was older.  I joked that she would have to share her beauty secrets with me, and she said, “Stay young at heart; always be around young people.  Always be open to new things.”  I was afraid to ask her age, but based on her children being in their forties, she is at least in her mid- to late-60s.  I was amazed, and still am, at how vibrant she is.

She was not what I see a lot of time among older people (if I can say this) when they are attempting to look younger.  She did not have on heavy makeup, trendy clothes, or seem to be “trying to hard” to hold on to any semblance of youth.  She was who she is and she was radiant without excessively investing in external approximations of youthfulness.

Whenever I ask youthful or healthy looking people their “beauty secrets” I do so because I want to amass as much knowledge as I can about what they are doing to stay healthy and vibrant.  As a person who loves research and people, I revel in the opportunity to soak up this knowledge.  Every single time I have asked someone, their responses have been very simple.  One woman, for instance, with beautifully smooth and even chocolaty skin, only uses plain African black soap, olive oil, and shea butter for her skin care.   She was so gorgeous.

A man who I’d met was in his 70s and looked no more than 50.  He attributed his youthfulness to his spiritual outlook, and not to any aspect of his lifestyle.  Of course things like genetics, lifestyle, exercise, and outlook play into how we look or appear to age, but what has struck me is that never have I had a conversation in which a person relayed a complicated facial regimen, or a tedious process for staying healthy and vibrant.  It has always been simple, and even deceptively so, to the point where I wondered if they were telling me the whole truth.  I do believe that they were, however, and these kinds of encounters have made me reflect on if there is really a need for complicated routines and regimens.  How much more would we benefit if we simplified our lives and focused on what is important?

While I love all of the works of art that artisans create out of love and care, and the wonderful concoctions I make myself, I have to question the increasing complicated nature of our lives, and the great lengths that individuals go to, spending fortunes on creams, treatments, and procedures to look young and beautiful.  Beauty is simple, radiant, and it does not come from the outside.  What is inside seeps through and saturates our outer shells.

So, almost everyday I am asking myself, how can I express beauty simply, and express that beauty through intangible things such as the way I treat people and deal with life challenges on a daily basis?  This is the source of enduring, genuine beauty that is not manufactured or engineered, but it simply is.

Please stay tuned for monthly posts in this Beauty Without Boundaries Series, which will include tips to simplify our lives and our routines for maximum benefits.