My Father’s Beauty Secret

Do you want firm, young skin, especially around the face and neck?  Today, I’m going to share with you my father’s BEAUTY SECRET!  I’m not guaranteeing anything, but the results are amazing, so I recommend you try it.   

Every morning, my father exercised in our yard, visible to anyone.  He practiced tai qi.  But before he practiced tai qi, he exercised his entire face.  

  • If you’re ready to begin, stand still and begin moving all of your facial muscles  – your mouth, cheeks, forehead and jaw – to the right, to the left, up and down and basically all around.  Don’t hold back.  Remember, the whole point is to exercise every single muscle in your face.  
  • Simultaneously, begin blinking your eyes.  
  • Once you have a good rhythm going, your lips should be moving in and out (imagine a fish) but with the entire jaw moving around (mine moves to the right, clockwise).  It’s ok if the mouth movements are a bit jerky.  Your nose should also naturally scrunch up and down.  The jaw movement will also exercise the muscles in your neck.
  • Continue doing this for several minutes.  
  • To end the exercise, clack your teeth together (but gently) at least 20 times with your entire face still in motion.  This will have the effect of you looking like you’re smiling and then not smiling, smiling, not smiling, with all teeth bared when smiling.  (When I asked my father why he had to do this, he said this part had the added plus of making your teeth stronger.) 

Now, I admit, this looks a bit odd, and for those of you who have children or pets, you may want to remove them from the premises so as not to scare them.  But forget about how you look for about 5 minutes a day, and you’ll end up looking great. Honestly, my father’s skin is still nice and tight, and he’s in his eighties.  It’s true he also has very strong teeth, and they’re all his own.  

Ladies, if you practice this regularly, you can forget about many of your expensive facial creams.  All jokes aside, you’ll not only look great, you’ll also end up saving a ton of money. 


Speed painting of Roger Federer!

I have watched this video so many times over the years, and it never ceases to amaze me.  

The spontaneity and freedom as a joyous process is so apparent, as well as the the process of having learned to pare down to the essential.  The seemingly effortlessness and simplicity with which the artist creates the piece brings up in my mind the essence of Taoism or “going with the flow.”   (Well, I think it takes a lot of work for most people to get to this point.)  

Three other things come to mind:  1) How do we perceive? (Blanchard is painting a large canvass where he cannot see the whole picture),  2) the process of creating and being, and 3) I bet this keeps the “old” man healthy in mind, body and spirit.  


Off the Beaten Track

Today, I am happy because I would like to share something beautiful.  I love writing because every time I write, I use something of the little I know and discover new things.  But the sum of who I am is not one thing.  I am more than Chinese and American and more than just my writing.  Everything that I come across is a part of me for a little or longer while.  I try to spit out what I don’t want.  If I find myself feeling negatively about something, I try to examine what bothers in front of me, as if I am holding an object, for a little time.  I try to see it for what it is and accept it so that I can let it go. I am very often unsuccessful at this, which can be quite funny, and I have often made a fool of myself, but I want to keep trying.

I have been through a rather dark period in my life, and for more than a year, I have been more or less a hermit.  I have been afraid and felt much pain and did not do much of anything.  I did not see my friends often.  I did not go to the museums or for many walks in the parks or even through many streets of New York City.  But my time away, in a sense, perhaps, gave me rest.  Perhaps it was a bit like sleep, which helps restore the mind and body.  I now prefer to think of this period as one of being in a cocoon.  Just very recently, I have been able to do more of the things I like.  

In working on this blog, I want to say thank you to all that have shared with me, whether you know this or not.  I have had the opportunity to experience wonderful worlds through others’ lives, writing, photographs, and art.  Even if it is just one piece or thing that I like, it makes me smile.  I see that a piece of conversation or art is a sum of other’s experiences.  Many are made out of careful thought, but, more than that, out of a desire to share, learn, enjoy and, really, out of spirit and love.  (The word in Chinese that comes to mind right now is  shen, which means “spirit.”)  The world can be a chaotic and messy place.  Still, we manage to find the courage to give of ourselves and to receive from others.  And nature always seems to give.  (Right now, there is beautiful light in my kitchen where I am standing and writing.)

The thought I have for today is, Thank you for sharing.  I would like to begin to share more with you also and with those around me.  And although I am not religious, I feel thankful to God for giving me the chance to grow older and, hopefully, a bit stronger, wiser and kinder.

Finally, I would like to share a few sites that I came across recently that I find beautiful.  I would like to recommend more sites in the future.  (There are so many to choose from!)   I hope you enjoy them.