Deepak Chopra, MD and Kimberly Snyder, CN co-authored the new book, out on September 20th, Radical Beauty: How to Transform Yourself From the Inside Out.
Here’s an interview with the two authors:
What inspired the two of you to come together for your new book Radical Beauty?
DC: Kimberly Snyder is a very successful and accomplished author and expert on beauty. She has also studied my work on wellbeing and how inner well being is reflected in outer beauty so we thought it would be a good collaboration.
KS: I love Deepak’s work and I noticed in studying his vast material that much of his wellness work could also be applied specifically to a “true beauty” context and combined with my own work, around the philosophy that a lifestyle of vitality, health, joyfulness and balance is truly beautiful. We also wanted our partnership to empower women to have a positive perception of their own beauty.
Why a focus around beauty and why Radical Beauty?
DC: I have been inspired all my life by the great wisdom traditions of the East which say “when we see beauty we experience it as truth.” Radical Beauty takes the approach that your connection with your spiritual self is reflected as the glow and sparkle in your eyes and also the expression of joy in your face that would be a true transformation from the inside out.
KS: We’re redefining beauty to be an empowering, attainable concept for all women and people, versus the limited, shallow concept that is often circulated. Radical Beauty has nothing to do with trendy makeup, fleeting fads, or insecure comparisons with other women. Instead, Radical Beauty extends beyond the physical, encompassing all parts of your inner and outer being, including your overall health, confidence, vitality and connection to your true self. You achieve Radical Beauty when you reach the highest and most authentic potential of your natural true beauty, which is a birthright for each and every one of us.
What are the six pillars of Radical Beauty and why?
Radical Beauty is in essence a modern how-to beauty guide covering all the lifestyle components to achieve your highest potential of inner and outer beauty.
The six pillars of beautiful living principles include: Internal Nourishment/Diet, External Nourishment/Skincare, Beauty Sleep, Primal Beauty/Connecting with Nature, Movement, and Spiritual Beauty.
Each pillar is packed with beauty enhancing tips and takeaways, smart and effective tools, innovative daily routines, DIY skincare masks and delicious food ideas. Our goal was to create a groundbreaking and uplifting book that offers cutting edge information on metabolic health, beauty-boosting circulation methods and anti-aging skincare regimes – and offers tools to let go of comparing ones’ beauty with others, meditate and find peace with oneself, which ultimately allows us all to claim our own natural beauty’s highest potential.
You talk about Radical Beauty being a shift in your personal reality. Can you elaborate?
When your personal reality is a reflection of your ego self, it reflects as anxiety and stress in your outer appearance. On the other-hand, when your inner identity comes from the core of your being of what spiritual traditions call “the soul”, the outer expressions of that are love, compassion, empathy, joy, and equanimity. What could be more beautiful than that?
Many of us tend to view the different aspects of our wellness as separate (nutrition in one compartment, fitness in another, beauty in another, etc…we even forget about our emotions and spiritual well-being in our quest to healthy living and only tend to focus on the external). How are they all connected and why is it important to look at everything holistically?
Your body is a unified wholeness that reflects every experience that you have in consciousness. To divide experience and what nourishes separate aspects of yourself is a very fragmented approach. The wisdom traditions say that focusing on externals alone is like polishing a flower instead of watering the root.
Instead, Radical Beauty focuses on all the pillars that work together to create your highest potential beauty, including dietary shifts that optimize digestion and create nutritional balance, daily routines such as how to practice abhyanga oil massage, which can soothe your nervous system and reduce stress that contributes to wrinkles, optimal sleep methods to enhance your body’s creation of growth hormones, which keep skin firm and resilient, ways to reduce toxic chemicals, radiation, and pollution in your personal space, which will reduce their negative impact on your hormones and biorhythms, breathing techniques and specific yoga positions to promote oxygenation and detoxification, which help to revitalize your body and meditation practices that can reduce chronic anger, worry, and fear, conditions which are just as acidic and inflammatory to your body as junk food.
How do our thoughts play a role in our health and wellness?
Our thoughts can create the experience of joy or stress. Stress results in the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that result in weakened immune system and inflammation in the body that has consequences in every part of our biology, including the microbiome (our second genome) and our skin, which is the largest organ in the body.
What are some of your top beauty practices for fall and winter?
We are all impacted by the larger energy influences of nature, and in Radical Beauty we go into detail on seasonal beauty and lifestyle shifts to help you align with the various energies of each season to elevate your health, energy, and beauty.
In Fall, Vata, or the air-based element, dominates. Here are a few Radical Beauty tips for the fall:
• It’s the natural time of year to start eating more grounding, warm cooked meals again, if you ate a lot of raw food in the summer, so be sure to adjust your dietary rotation accordingly.
• Brussels sprouts, turnips, daikon radish, cauliflower, and mushrooms are some of the vegetables you’ll find in season in the fall, so be sure to take advantage and find creative and simple ways to cook and enjoy these fortifying foods.
• Quinoa, brown rice, and amaranth are great gluten-free grains to incorporate this time of year, especially if eaten with lots of vegetables.
• Sip on lemon balm, chamomile, valerian root, ashwagandha or holy basil/tulsi teas, which are fantastic for helping you destress and unwind.
• Since Vata, or the air element, is so prevalent in the fall, you may experience some constipation. It is a symptom of Vata being out of balance. Be sure to eat lots of fibrous foods, take some magnesium- oxygen supplements (such as Detoxy +) as needed to help keep things moving, and eat mindfully and slowly, always chewing well.
• Since you might have gotten your fair share (or more!) of sun, salt water, and chlorine over the summer, your skin might feel a bit taxed. Try going back to a gentle sugar scrub (instructions in RB on page 189) and adding more coconut oil if you feel that your skin needs extra lubrication.
• Avoid using stripping soaps on your skin in the shower. Choose all-natural, mild, and simple cleansers with essential oils instead of potentially irritating artificial fragrances.
• With the cooler temperatures and chilly wind, it’s time to switch back to thicker moisturizers with an oil base, which can feel more hydrating and protective.
• After the leisure of summer, you may feel an increased swirl of activities. Be sure to balance the stress. Make it a priority to cultivate nurturing, grounding activities such as meditation, massages, spending time at home reading, or whatever makes you feel soothed.
What do you want readers to walk away with most from Radical Beauty?
Radical Beauty is YOURS and does not come from a skin product with artificial ingredients. No one can take it away from you.
This is our Less is More issue. How can we focus on quality over quantity when it comes to our beauty and overall wellness?
There is elegance in simplicity which is reflected as authenticity, integrity, vulnerability, loveliness, and beauty.
How do you personally apply the mantra “less is more” in your life?
DC: Every day I make a commitment for a joyful energetic body, a loving compassionate heart, a reflective alert mind, and a lightness of Being.
KS: I create more simplicity by saying no to extra commitments, things I don’t feel passionate about. Instead of fancy, involved recipes I mostly stick to organic whole foods and prepare them in very simple ways, especially one- pot soups or stews and throw-in-everything salads. My skincare routine is also very simple, and movement for me is either yoga or walking- no fancy or expensive fitness classes necessarily needed (unless you enjoy them of course!).
How do you live thoughtfully?
You do not need to live thoughtfully, you need to only be mindfully aware of your thoughts, emotions, speech, and actions. To observe yourself without judgment is the highest intelligence.
Anything else you’d like to add?
DC: Yes, Take it easy.
KS: There’s nothing more beautiful than you being you, rather than trying to emulate or copy someone else’s expression of beauty. Relax and just be you!