Helen never aged. Not in my mind anyway. She was at least ninety years old, wearing long, wavy hair; sporting popular teen fashion; and generally facing life with attitude. Her attitude was positive, upbeat, cheerful, sweet, and most important: youthful. If you asked how she was doing, her answer was always the same, “Great!”

I never saw Helen down or discouraged. She never spoke of her aches or pains if she had them. Her daily exercise and healthy eating may have eliminated them, but she must have had some. I know this because when she fell or bumped herself she would say, “I must have needed acupuncture there!” What an amazing woman she was. If she went to the doctor, she never spoke of it, and just listened to others talk, never complaining once about any condition except the fact that other people did not laugh nearly enough or have enough fun with life.

I want to be Helen when I grow up! So I've incorporated everything I know about how she faced life, no embroidered life with every fiber of her being. Her spiritual life was the most important thing of all to her and she never stopped serving all life with love (and a bit of rebelliousness, too!) Here are her secrets and some of my own:

1. Keep your attention on the goal, not the roadblock. For example, if you want to catch the ball, you keep your eye on the ball, right? In this case, keep your eye on the feeling and attitude of youth. Each time you catch yourself feeling old, ask yourself what a kid would do in any situation. You may find you can do way more than you thought you could!

2. Observe and change your language , to yourself as well as others. I'm tempted to use the word old, but instead, replace it with the word 'experienced' or some other creative phrase. an attitude about you.

3. Think Young. Every single day, anytime you think about how you look or feel, imagine yourself as you were when you were your ideal age. That might be different for everyone. I like to hold my image of myself as thirty-five and when I have birthdays, they are each “my annual thirty-fifth birthday” for anyone who asks!

4. Smile as much as possible – not only do you look younger, but you'll feel youger too. Try it right now!

5. Relax and fill your heart with love – that's the real secret to staying young. When you trust and focus on your spiritual life it will energize you.