Skin Deep: Take the Animal Test

Tonight it was yoga or groceries. I chose groceries. I swear there were four hundred people in the Loblaws at Queen and Portland in downtown Toronto at 8pm tonight. Monday and Tuesday evenings are big in the summer for groceries and laundry – on the weekends people have better things to do.

It was a diverse crowd at Loblaws. And the walk home was an adventure, like usual. I thought of the people who don’t live in big cities, some whose grocery stores are even closed at that time. I thought of how we humans are evolving at what feels like an unmanageable pace. Well, in some parts.

I recently read an article about pace, which asserted that our culture values speed. You can see take a look for yourself by clicking here. When I visit my aunt and uncle on their cattle farm outside of Orangeville though, they don’t value speed. There, we value good food and conversation, and we sit among my aunt’s paintings and gradually unknot the day’s hours, like working on a nice little puzzle. We have a lingering lunch and then harvest their plentiful rhubarb with kitchen knives. In other words, life on the farm points to clear healthy, skin and a big smile. Really, it’s our URBAN culture that values speed – all two thirds of us Canadians, plus the global (and plentiful) urbanites outside our borders.

So, what if we slowed down?

One way to do it would be to move out of an urban area. Penelope Trunk did that after she studied happiness research. Now she runs her empire including this great blog from a farm in Wisconsin while homeschooling her children. I think I can understand that.

Meanwhile, back in the heart of Toronto, I’ve been reading the book my naturopath recommended for skin health. It’s about the link between psychological patterns and skin problems. Of course I’m on board to at least consider it, as a loyal fan of Louise Hay and her work.

So far it’s been an interesting journey. We covered a powerful and simple animal test – which three do you most want to be and which three do you least want to be? Any why? The answers reveal themes. For example, I want to be an eagle and I don’t want to be an amoeba. My themes: I want the freedom of flight and the fearlessness of a predator. As a disclaimer, that example is part of my real answer and interpretation, who knows what Dr. Grossbart would say about it?

The book also covers stress levels associated with life events. For example, death of a spouse is 100 stress points, moving to a new house might be 20. Major life events can have a cumulative effect on the body, and in this case, potentially the skin.

Today I was thinking about another part of the book: the timeline. Dr. Grossbart asks readers to set out their personal timelines from the moment they were literally conceived to the present, including major life events, and of course skin issues along the way. He says sexual and relationship events are particularly insightful, as are major accomplishments and setbacks. Then came the micro timeline: the fact that (if studied), you may find that your skin acts up in a completely predictable way, by lagging the same stressful trigger events occuring over and over again in your life.It is amazing to me that most people would never track their patterns and the toll they are taking on their physical and mental health.

This morning my skin looked clear but tonight, not so much. What micro event occurred during the last 24 or 48 hours could have caused this step backwards? I can see that such thinking could easily bypass the road to helpful and land on the road to insanity.

So I am slowing down the pace and focusing on thinking positive thoughts, and practicing good skin care and a healthy skin diet. I may not be on a farm right now, but today the art college across the street is my barn and I will gaze up over it at the gaping, starless, urban night sky. And I will feel both free and fearless.

If you’re interested in the free e-book Skin Deep by Dr. Grossbart, you can find it here.


About Allison

Inspiring radical evolution in work and life.

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