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Living Simply: True Beauty Lies Within

True Beauty Lies Within

“Every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit” (Mt 7:17–18). Matthew was on to something. In these days of fast fixes, our society jumps at any lotion or potion that promises smoother skin and shinier hair in an instant.

But those quick cures are just that—temporary. The long-lasting glow you’re going for isn’t found in any bottle; it lies inside of you.

Your body is a mirror to your mind and soul: what you’re feeling on the inside is reflected externally. We all know the effects lack of sleep, stress, or anxiety can have on our bodies. Studies routinely link high levels of stress to dullness and dryness of skin and hair, wrinkles, and lethargy. But the opposite is also true. A calm and peaceful mind and spirit radiate outward in the form of dewy skin, sparkling eyes, and higher levels of energy.

Who we are is an intricate system of mind, body, and spirit. When all are rooted firmly in faith and nurtured with care, the tangible results are bound to be good.

Find sources of inspiration throughout the day. Let a sunset, meaningful quote, or random act of kindness remind you of the earth’s inherent goodness.

Exercise. No matter what fitness program you choose, strengthening your body helps clear your mind and naturally boosts your mood.

Make time for prayer. Praying isn’t limited to Mass or bedtime. Standing for a minute of silence in the elevator, sitting in your car at a red light, or walking to your next appointment are all opportunities for you to spend a moment with God.

Detox. Don’t focus only on what you eat—for one week, shy away from the negative and unhealthy items you ingest physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Keep a gratitude journal. At the end of each day write down three to five events, thoughts, or feelings you are thankful happened. Each week look back at all the good in your life and give thanks for all your blessings.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Essential oils have been used for centuries to help exert specific effects on the mind and body. Most can easily be found in any health-food store.

LAVENDER helps promote balance and relaxation and relieves stress. Add 10–15 drops of pure lavender essential oil to 1 ounce of any base oil such as jojoba, almond, or sunflower oil. Use after a shower instead of lotion.

CHAMOMILE promotes calmness and relaxation and helps reduce inflammation. Blend with lavender to promote relaxation.

TEA TREE is good to have on hand to treat bites, stings, burns, and wounds. Mix three drops with three drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water and breathe in for an inhalation remedy during sinus infections.

SANDALWOOD calms nerves and relieves stress-related headaches and insomnia; it is also helpful in treating eczema and psoriasis. Mix 1 ounce of jojoba oil with 15 drops of sandalwood and use as a skin moisturizer.

ROSEMARY provides relief from arthritis or pain, as well as helps prevent signs of aging. For sore muscles, mix 2 ounces of sesame oil with one drop each of rosemary, juniper, lavender, marjoram, and lemon essential oil.

BERGAMOT quiets anxiety, depression, and emotional imbalances. Mix 3 ounces of sunflower oil with one drop each of bergamot, geranium, chamomile, and sweet orange. Use blend to rub on temples or over the body.