Are You Old or Young?

Are You Old or Young?

  • Deepak Chopra

The typical American way of handling the polarity of old and young is to fixate on being young forever. But the image of America as the land of eternal youth is grossly at odds with reality.

If we look beyond the false duality of “old” and “young,” what we find is a different reality: The body is a network of messages constantly being transmitted and received. Some of these messages nourish and sustain us, while others lead to disorder and breakdown.

Life-nourishing experiences go far beyond cell biology. The tenderness of a mother watching her toddler walk for the first time feeds the baby’s body (witness how a baby languishes when motherly love is withdrawn, even for a day). To a growing child, the sensitive encouragement of a teacher is as important as a hot lunch. What makes for a straighter spine, vitamin-D milk or self-esteem?

Once we reach adulthood, gaining the wholehearted respect of co-workers wards off heart disease as effectively (and much more naturally) as counting milligrams of cholesterol. Respect makes the heart feel trusting and confident, two ingredients that belong inside any healthy body. The decisions we make in terms of our basic happiness and fulfillment are therefore exactly the ones that determine how we age.

It has dawned on medicine that nurturing is immensely valuable physiologically. If newborns are touched and caressed, their levels of growth hormones increase, and the protective coating of the motor nerves, myelin, becomes thicker. A mother’s loving urge to cuddle her baby translates directly into life-sustaining biochemical reactions.

Babies deprived of loving attention can become emotionally stunted or dysfunctional. The instinct for emotional nourishment proves more powerful than does that for physical nourishment.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

The Daily Motivator for Feb. 17th – Stop putting it off

Stop putting it off

If there’s something that must be done, go ahead and get it finished. Get busy, get it done, and feel the freedom of no longer having it hanging over your head.

Sure, it will take some focused, concentrated effort. Yes, it may be annoying and inconvenient. However, those are not reasons to avoid it. Those are great reasons to go ahead and get it behind you.

Instead of filling your day with worry and dread and resentment and guilt, fill it with effective, productive effort. Instead of making excuses and ending up getting nowhere, make some real progress and get the task behind you.

The energy you spend putting it off is one hundred percent wasted energy. The energy you spend getting it done is what will make a real, discernable, positive difference in your world.

So get yourself going and get it done. Now is the time and this is the place from which you can move confidently forward.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator