The natural world around us is in a constant state of rhythmic change and progression. And just as the seasons demonstrate the cycle of nature, so our bodies are continuously in a regular rhythm of change. As every seven year cycle is complete, our body cells are renewed themselves and every seven years our consciousness has the opportunity to develop profoundly.
Anthroposophy shows how different aspects of our humanity can be seen to emerge as we develop through them. In the first three seven-year periods (aged 0 to 21), the body develops from babyhood to adulthood. Once this physical phase is complete comes three seven-year periods (age 21 to 42) when our spirit or soul is developing. During this time we ask ourselves questions – who am I? How do I want to live? Between the ages of 42 and 63 years, the mind and the so-called ‘higher self’ gradually develop. During this life phase we are more and more in the service of other people and in a position to share our knowledge to support and guide others.
Sometimes it takes upheavals and crises to promote personal development. The good news? If we embrace these changes consciously, we have a great chance to actively give our lives new direction.
21-28 years - a life between extremes
Young adults are in the most colourful phase of their lives, oscillating between the excitement of discovery and the desire for security. Such constant change is often reflected in the skin, which can be dry and delicate, but also prone to inflammation. The iris plant has a natural talent for balancing extremes. The stem regulates moisture so well that the plant feels comfortable growing in a swamp, but it can also bridge extremely dry periods effortlessly.
28-42 years - life in bloom
As we reach the age of 30, we find that life has a deeper meaning. It’s not just about experiencing as much as possible, but rather about the quality and impact of our experiences. Work, family, leisure, friendships - we juggle many demands at the same time in this phase of life. Emotionally we often move between youthful exuberance and adult serenity. Our skin feels similar changes – it is still young and elastic, but it has also developed the first expression lines and doesn’t adapt to stress as quickly as it used to. In this life stage, the beautiful wild rose offers much-needed harmony and regeneration.
42-56 years - life in all its facets
As we grow older, we become richer in experience. We are established in life, we stand firmly with both feet on the ground, we are in the full flow of things and we develop personal charisma – what we might call ‘character’. While earlier in life we looked mainly to the future, we now become more aware of the importance of our past. But this phase of life is not a point of standstill, more a pivotal point where new directions can once again emerge. The pomegranate is the plant that mirrors this state of balance perfectly. Its stages of development do not proceed in succession, as they do in other plants, but they are interleaved and overlapping. This is when the skin begins to hold less moisture, becoming dry more quickly and losing strength and elasticity.
Beyond 56 - re-orientation
After being fully engaged in everyday life for decades, finding fulfilment organising a family and work commitments, many of us now seek a new cerebral-spiritual dimension to life. Now that we finally have more time for ourselves, we can shift focus from ‘I must’ to ‘I can’ or ‘I want’. We put trust in our intuition to lead a new kind of life as an individual of unique character. The golden-bloomed evening primrose has also emancipated itself from the usual rhythm of the plant world, by blossoming as it becomes night. It promotes the mature person’s new sense of self, supporting skin health and helping to develop a new kind of radiance.
LEARN: Visit weleda.co.uk for info on skincare for all ages