Sunday, 29 March 2015

Book Review - The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner

I love to read books related to health, healing, well being and nutrition so when I was recommended The Blue zones recently I thought that I would give it a try. Here is a small taster of what it's all about.

Dan Buettner (author and National Geographic explorer) together with some of the top scientist in the field of longevity traveled around and studied why people tended to live longer in certain geographical areas in the world.... these ares have been labelled as the "Blue Zones". The areas they researched were Okinawa Japan, Sardinia, Loma Linda California, Costa Rica and Ikaria Greece. For some reason each of these regions has a higher than normal density of individuals who have lived to be centenarians. Dan and his fellow researchers purpose was to find out why this is the case and to see if they could discover any common factors.

The Blue Zone centenarians did seem to have some commonality between them, regardless of which country they lived in. Most seemed to live with, or be cared for by family.  One of the centenarians who was 112 years old, lived with, and was care for by her 91 year old daughter. Wow! (That takes caring to the highest level in my estimations).
Another one of the commonalities seemed to be having a purpose in life and a sense of being needed and loved. The Japanese call it ikigai and in Costa Rica it was called the Plan De Vida.
uploaded to Pinterest by Honeybeehouse

Do you ever wonder what your purpose is?  Some of you may know it, some of you may not know it ....and some of you may have even lost sight of it. I have found that recently I have been wondering what my Ikigai or purpose in life is too. It's strange in a way, because I have a good sense and knowledge of who I am, where I came from and where I will ultimately end up  when I die... but right now I am wondering what my ikigai is. It's a common reality for a lot of people....

I'm a wife, mother, carer, and avid self directed learner...but my life's dreams and ambitions have taken the "back seat" to the first three of those and I have felt like I'm at a very different place to where I imagined. Does any of this sound familiar to you? However, through all of these experiences, I have grown and learnt a lot. Perhaps at this point in time, my Ikigai may be to share some of what I have gleaned (here on Henibean) from all of those experiences?

What about you? If you don't know what your ikigai is, why not fill out the visual above and answer the questions in each of the circles? It may take some time and a bit of thought but eventually the area in the middle will give you your answer.

I loved how the characters of the centenarians shone though in the book.
I guess a hundred years is a long time to work on forming it! Each one seemed to have a "feistyness" to them that had been forged in adversity and hard work, after which they had emerged victorious and at peace with life.  It made me hopeful for the rest of us... and that I too can come though my trials and become content with the simple pleasures of life. 

There are 9 lessons that Dan shares in the book...I won't tell you them all...I'll let you read the book for yourself to find out....I hope that you come away after reading it (like I did) with a greater appreciation for a life well lived, and a renewed resolve to grow a little closer to nature and those loved ones you hold dear. It's an interesting read and I would be curious to know what you gained from it too...why not drop me a line on Henibeans Facebook page and let me know.

Until next time  
Happy reading


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