We humans cannot truly soar until we’ve first cultivated deep, healthy roots. We all want to enjoy the highs of life-including romantic love, professional success, and other forms of excitement and personal achievement-but unless our highs are equal to our depths, our highs will set us up for terrible falls. Chasing after highs without any grounding knowledge is a hollow pursuit indeed.

Yes, I can understand the temptation to escape and hide from yourself when you are suffering from constant stress, illness, and disappointment. And yes, I know that digging deep to the root causes of your suffering and cultivating a more life-generating perspective requires effort, but the rewards of such work are beyond measure. If you want to radiate true health and beauty in this lifetime, there is no other way.

I encourage you to spread your wings and take flight, but just be sure you are not merely trying to escape from your norms. The greatest highs in life come from both internal and external pursuits. There are thrills of the body, the heart, the spirit, and the mind-and when these all come together in harmony, it’s nirvana! Do not neglect the beauty and richness of your inner life for solely external pursuits.

What Is Beauty, Really?

Our culture is obsessed with beauty. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be beautiful and sexy and desirable? Everywhere we turn, there are glossy advertisements for products appealing to this desire to be beautiful, and there are throngs of people who are buying into their promises. We are socially conditioned from a very young age to want the perfect body, the perfect face, the perfect skin, and perfect clothes-and all the trappings of vanity that come with them: sex, money, and power. But if we look closer, what is this obsession with beauty all about, really? Is it just superficial, or does it indicate some deeper biological imperative at work in our lives?

Many people come to Natalia Rose Institute seeking weight loss, rejuvenation, clearer skin, and the other hallmarks of surface beauty. But those who undertake the detox lifestyle discover that they really want so much more. The desire to be beautiful, deep down, is the desire to be given a chance to love and be loved. It is a desire to conduct joy and vitality-to be free to be oneself, not to hide behind expensive fashion trends and status symbols. When you cleanse your heart and your body, you naturally begin to shed the commonly held ideals of external beauty and awaken to the only beauty that matters: the kind that shines from within, emitting a fresh, natural, authentic glow. Any good art designer or plastic surgeon can produce a picture-perfect image based on the current marketing and fashion trends. Real beauty, however, makes you feel good through and through. Beauty is synonymous with clarity, love, and light-and no designer clothing or cosmetic product, no matter how ingeniously engineered, can deliver or even simulate these things for you.

When you release old patterns, aggressions, and fears; when you are pure of purpose and of spirit; when you have laid deep, healthy roots that can freely absorb and conduct clean energy from the soil, air, water, sunlight, and the life circulating all around you, you cannot help but radiate beauty-physically and spiritually. When you are beautiful within, you no longer have anything to hide or cover up. You become lighter and freer and more joyful in your own skin. You open yourself up to light and love and naturally connect with the inner beauty of others. You can finally stop obsessing about your looks because you actually embody and radiate beauty with every breath you take. True beauty, therefore, is the not vanity at all, but the natural expression of a deep and expansive love of life!

Plant Flowers, Don’t Cut Them

There’s a popular dermatologist with a new book out, and on the cover he appears standing with a bunch of freshly cut long-stem strawberries. The title of the book promises youth in no uncertain terms. What is the problem with this picture? Here’s a big hint: It’s why I taught my children never to pick flowers, and why those who know me well don’t bring me cut flowers.

Life cut off from its source is unsustainable. Think of it. The whole concept of this cover image is a lie, but the giveaway of the misguided consciousness underpinning the project is the cut fruit. Most people will see the promise of freshness and beauty in the fruit when those strawberries are in fact an example of life cut being tragically short in the service of instant, short-term gratification! Those strawberries, cut away from the vine of life, will be old and moldy in less than two days!

To put it most simply, life that is firmly rooted to its source will flourish-living long and well. Life that is cut off from its source will draw its last breath from its energy reserves, then wilt until all the energy has been drained away and decay takes over. The same is true for our bodies, for our whole beings.

We humans walk around in our bodies, seemingly unconnected to anything, believing all we need are some calories, vitamins, and omega fatty acids. That’s the herd mentality at work. The fact is, despite our lack of visible roots, we get our energy from the same sources that other living creatures do-from the sun and earth, unseen fibers of living energy that connect all life on this planet and reach across the solar system, and from other plant life and organisms that pass along nutrients to us through the food chain. As long as we fail to recognize our true roots, our true sources of life force, and our interconnectedness, we will never summon enough energy to soar, much less stand tall and proud within our own bodies.

So remember, first plant your roots firmly, and then spread your wings wide. There is no greater high-no greater expression of beauty-than growing and evolving as nature intended!