oldest living people

9 Lessons We Learn from the Oldest Living People

There are people all over the world living to ages well beyond 100 years. The oldest are pressing further and further beyond this age.

What is interesting to note are those places that contain the highest concentration of these individuals.

What is it about those people, their environment and lifestyle that help them to achieve a longer life.

That is exactly the research that has been done by Dan Buettner and National geographic, yielding our knowledge of the world’s ‘Blue Zones’ where the most long-lived people dwell.

The world’s Blue Zones are as follows:

Ikaria, Greece

Okinawa, Japan

the Ogliastra region of Sardinia

Loma Linda, California;

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

So what accounts for the high percentage of centurions in these places? They are scattered across the globe and encompass many different cultures and socio-economic situations. What Buettner and his team discovered was that there were indeed lifestyle choices shared by members of each community. Some were surprising.

1. Move Naturally

Office chairs, driving, stiff=soled shoes and a general state of sedentary lethargy has left western human bodies twisted and out of balance. Those who live in the Blue Zones tend to move as nature intended and often. The combination of regular exercise and correct posture and body alignment leads to healthy and longer lives.

2. Know your Purpose

Having a clear directive when you awaken in the morning is said to add seven years to your life when compared to those who do not. This does not mean waking up resigned to work that makes you miserable. Cultivate your talents and passions and share them with the world in a powerful and intentional way.

3. Down Shift

Stress and diet yields chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation yields a treasure trove of illness, disease and pain. One of the greatest ways to prevent chronic inflammation, besides diet, is to get plenty of sleep, take naps and lots of space to meditate, pray, or otherwise quiet your mind.

4. 80% Rule

I like to eat. I learned in my family that the slow eater doesn’t get seconds. This, however leads to overfilling the stomach and overloading our digestive system. This results in poor assimilation of nutrients and poor elimination of wastes. When we eat slow we give our body time to register fullness. However across the blue zones there is another piece. While eating slowly and chewing food completely we eat, on average, 20% less food. We gain more nutrition with less waste to process. Long lived people tend to eat a large breakfast and a small dinner, maximizing their sleep without the extra need for heavy digestion.

5. Plant Slant

Sustainably speaking we can only afford to eat about 2oz of meat a week, per person. Luckily that is just the amount that is eaten (or less) by the longest lived people on the planet. A diet of fruit, nuts and leafy greens makes up most of their food intake..

6. Wine at 5

Drinkers live longer than non-drinkers? Research would tend to agree that this is true. This does not mean getting wasted every day, or ever, really. The benefit is present only in small quantities.Two glasses of wine, preferably eaten during a meal of veggies, will serve you best. I recommend local metheglin (herbal) mead as a powerful alternative that delivers medicine and nutrition to boot.

7. Family First

Family is our greatest teacher and, according to this research, a powerful component of our longevity. Cultivating close ties with relatives, healthy relationships with kids and spouse is a sure way to live a longer, healthier life.

8. Belong

A personal spiritual practice is a wonderful thing and will certainly lead to a happier healthier life. The blue zone people also belong to a spiritual community. Whether a Buddhist center, Christian, Jewish, Islam, or any other community dedicated to celebrating the mysteries and the magic, having a spiritual community is a crucial part of the blue zone alchemy.

9. Right Tribe

I once heard an old saying that you could look at the ten people closest to you and see a clearer reflection of yourself than your own personal idea of who you are. This adage has stuck with me and helped me to cultivate a life where I am surrounded by people who inspire me. Loyalty to people who bring you down only hinders your ability to be effectual and happy. Create space from those who spread dis-ease and find the tribe of people who inspire you most. These people will keep you active, healthy and inspired.

In Conclusion

The Blue Zone research gives us an interesting perspective into the lives of those who live the longest on this planet. Studying the places where the highest concentrations of these people live has yielded a simple strategy similar to the one I have outlined in my book ‘Unleash Your Creative Genius’. In the book, however I do not focus on longevity in terms of how many years you live. To me it seems like more years is a natural consequence of opening to creativity and physical vitality. What stands out about these practices is that they increase the quality of the moments you have, right now. They create more unique and memorable experiences which translate to a greater number of unique memories in any given moment. Relative to memory you literally experience more time in one day than someone who is caught in a behavior loop that repeats every day and blends together.

So while Blue Zone research confirms many of the practices I outline in my book, I am still going to search for the longevity of this moment right now through the unique experiences I can create. Extra years will be a welcome bonus, not the goal.

Rob panther Beach Rock

Where Did the Magic Go?

It has never left.

It has been trammeled, beaten, clear cut, dammed and slaughtered.

And yet it still lives. In certain oasis’s it thrives.

Where water runs free and ancient trees still live.

And yet, even in the most destitute and compromised corners of this planet it lives.

Magic is resilient. Magic is not some auxiliary force, it is a way of describing life itself.

It is the state of things when we silent our neurotic minds and place our bare feet on the earth.

When we begin to hear the whispering of the breeze and the lament of the trees.

When we feel the water rushing over our bodies and feel the interruptions of that flow hundreds of miles downstream.

When we know that each being is vitally important, and a part of ourselves.

Greed and exploitation are sad realities. They do not anger me.

For anyone who can trade the biodiversity of this beautiful world for something as shallow as money is sick, lost.

I weep for these tortured souls. Every bit of life they take in the name of greed is further killing their wild spirit.

Their power and vitality becomes buried deeper and deeper by the psychopathic warden of their minds.

And they exploit more. Feverishly they strive for power. And they find a form of it. However it is power corrupted and incapable of satisfying even their most basic needs. And so look at those who exploit, the ‘rich and powerful’. Their skin sags upon their frames. The light in their eyes is buried so deep as to appear nonexistent. Their faces do not naturally conform to smiles, to the physical expressions of light and joy. I do not feel anger towards these beings. I feel a grief, an immense sadness.

My friends, I make a request of you. From the depth of my heart and for the love of this planet, sitting on the knife edge of life and death, I urge you to take a radical and courageous step out your day to day lives.

Go into the wild. Take off your shoes. Drop low to the Earth, move silently. Open your ears, open your eyes and most important of all, open your imagination. It is the key to our true sanity. It is the key to unlocking the sickness of unchecked pragmatism, a cage to the wild spirit. Invoke your hunter/stalker. Millions of years of hunting/stalking has not been lost on you.

Drop low, open your eyes and silent your mind. Listen and feel, let the sensations speak to your body. Ignore the mind at first, it will strive to put each experience into that cage, it will strive to keep you there. Let your imagination run wild. You need do nothing else. Bring warm things, place yourself in the wild woods alone for a night. Feel the vulnerability. Within it lies a strength you may have never known you had. This strength is your true power. It is the power that can truly cancel out the madness that has prevailed for so many generations. This, my friends, is the gateway to magic. To worlds within worlds that remain untapped by most people today.

If you feel the call to take such a step and need support ask me. I am here to help guide those who are ready into a deeper expression of their true power. I also recommend Bill Plotkin’s Animas Valley Institute for those who want a different avenue to this experience. I also recommend his books.

One final question, for those who resonate with this message.

If not now, when? There will always be more work to be done, more responsibilities to keep us distracted. Until we connect to our true power, our spiritual adulthood and our true potential, all that work we are doing is only a fraction of the potency it can be. For true leverage as a force of something inspiring and powerful on this planet we must drop what we are doing long enough to give ourselves the gift of ourselves, fully present and empowered.