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The Fountain of Youth: staying healthy & wholesome

Mar 11, 2011, 12:11 PM

The Fountain of Youth, a phrase used frequently today in relation to anything (perhaps a beauty product) that promotes or potentially increases longevity is one that has been around for quite a bit of time. In the 16th century, the story of the Fountain of Youth became attached to the biography of the conquistador Juan Ponce De Leon (Reader's Digest).
According to the story, Ponce De Leon heard of the land of Bemini from the people of Puerto Rico (Latin America nation) when he conquered the island. Growing dissatisfied with his material wealth, He launched an expedition to locate it and in the process discovered the state of Florida. Though he was one of the first Europeans to set foot on the mainland, he never found the Fountain of Youth.
It is also said that that anyone who drinks from the fountain would have their youth restored. Weirdly enough, Ponce de Leon did not mention the fountain in his writings throughout the course of his expedition. While he may well have heard of the fountain and believed in it, his name was not associated in writing to the legend until after his death.
Though there is no evidence of this fountain having ever really existed, the city of St. Augustine, Florida is home to The Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park which is a tribute to Juan Ponce De Leon. It is quite amazing the number of people who believe in this myth and actually drink the water from the fountain in the belief that they will benefit from its restorative powers.
Youthfulness is something that legions crave, especially after it has been lost, whilst others spend a lifetime trying to remain young at whatever cost. The market for plastic surgery with procedures such as botox, liposuction, skin grafting, skin tone change and partial or full body lift being quite popular. This is the thriving business of milking human being's inherent insecurities when it comes to physical appearance. But staying young does not necessarily have to come via a bottled product or the surgeon’s table. There are other ways of achieving such.
Healthy eating habits are a must, limiting our consumption of sugary foods or sweets. Exercise is also essential to our wellbeing as it not only keeps us physically fit but keeps us mentally on our toes. Studies have shown that most people who exercise regularly end up being more successful as the determination needed in doing strenuous workouts is replicated in other areas of their lives. There are many so called anti-aging remedies available on the market presently, but with healthy eating and regular exercise you can't go wrong.
Also, a stable mental frame is quite essential to maintaining that youthful perception. I know a lot of elderly people who exude twice the energy and spunk of half a dozen teenagers put together. They certainly achieve a lot more. Having convinced themselves of their youthfulness, there is no bringing them down out of that euphoric zone. Amazing really!
Now so far, we have talked about maintaining ourselves. However, being too pre-occupied with self can be very unhealthy sometimes. By this, I do not mean to contradict myself, merely justify. We do need to dedicate some time to ourselves. However sometimes, contributing to the community around us in any capacity we can will bring us immense satisfaction too and if it is physical, so much the better as everyone gains.
Experiencing life, whilst maintaining youth is about reaching outside our comfort zones and making a difference in the lives of others. Someone gifted with great wisdom once said that the greatest joy in life is not in receiving/taking but in giving. True joy is not found in self-gratification but rather in unselfish living. Staying physically young does not guarantee anyone long life or anything really.
Alright, I concede to the fact that you will have lots of compliments thrown at you and be the recipient of quite a bit of positive attention. But what guarantees do we really have that we will live a longer and healthier life?
There is no such guarantee which is why we must seize the amount of time we have been blessed with to do the most good we can. There is a difference between living and existing and it is only when we can distinguish that difference that we truly begin to grow.
There may not be a mythical spring or fountain whose waters have the healing and restorative components necessary to bring about youth, but one thing that has yet to be taken into consideration is that youth is not merely physical. Being young at heart exudes a lot of confidence in a person and if you feel good about yourself, that is all that truly, matters.
So take care of yourselves and your loved ones and by 'loved ones' I mean everyone around you, not just relatives and friends be happy and be yourself. That to me is the secret to inner peace, joy and ultimately youthfulness that lasts forever.