Making Peace with Our Appearance: Being Mindful of Self-Talk Around Aging

One of my core values is to allow myself to age gracefully without the knife or the fillers or any of that, but I’ve noticed myself coming into conflict with this recently. I notice myself smoothing my skin up or back in the mirror to see what I’d look like if I could just lift those wrinkles away.

I’ve also been seeing a lot of myself on video since I’ve been doing these cool, content-rich Zoom interviews with experts. I see the lines on my face and the skin under my chin, and my first thought is, “Oh! I’ve got to do something about that!” But you know what? I don’t want to do something about it!

I want to make peace with my aging face.

I want to make peace with my aging body. I want to live in a space of gratitude that I am not sick.

I end up telling myself, “Hey, your face looks like shit, but you’ve got good content.”

Wait a minute! Yeah, I’ve got good content, but NO, I don’t want to be telling myself my face looks like shit. I want to say, “Hey, you look pretty good for a 57 year old!”

I’m grappling with this. That’s why I’m writing this blog, and why I did a recent Car Talk vlog on this topic. I want to come right out with it, and I want to invite others who are feeling similarly to do the same. We’re in this together!

When we reach for age-altering options, at some level, what we’re really saying is that we’re not comfortable with who we are. We don’t feel loved.

We feel like we need to fix ourselves.

Can this unsettling emotional need to be “fixed” really be solved by altering our outsides, though? Doesn’t it really just make us look and feel worse half the time (especially if you end up looking like Jessica Rabbit)?

My solution is to work on this “out loud,” to be honest and open about this all-too-common struggle in hopes that it can help others.

We owe it to ourselves to be mindful of our self-talk around aging, and to give ourselves the gift of making peace with the aging process.

May you be healthy.
May you be happy.
May you know that you are loved.

Please share your thoughts. . .
By |2018-11-20T14:03:40+00:00January 1st, 2019|Mindful Methods|

About the Author:

Julie Potiker
Author and mindfulness expert Julie Potiker is an attorney who began her serious study and investigation of mindfulness after graduating from the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program at the University of California, San Diego. She was trained by Kristin Neff, Christopher Germer and UCSD as a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher. She went on to study with Rick Hanson, becoming a graduate of his Positive Neuroplasticity Training Professional Course. Potiker also completed Brené Brown’s Living Brave Semester. Now, she shares these and other mindfulness techniques with the world through her Mindful Methods for Life trainings and her new book: “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos.” She holds a B.G.S. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from George Washington University.

One Comment

  1. susan Rosenberg January 1, 2019 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Bravo Julie!

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