Five Things I've Learned About Living from Christie Brinkley

Five Things I've Learned About Living from Christie Brinkley
Christie Brinkley and daughters Sailor Lee Brinkley-Cook and Alexa Ray Joel

"The sky 's the limit but not for your dreams, your imagination, or LOVE ! Thank you all for dropping by to spread joy! Thats so beautiful!"

From Christie Brinkley's Twitter feed, Feb 2, 2014

February 2, 2014. Groundhog Day for all, but also Christie Brinkley's 60th birthday. How is that possible? She doesn't 'look' 60.  If I were 30, I'd want to look like her.

Somehow, despite four marriages, three pregnancies, a couple of really bad boyfriends, and probably the worst for her...the death of her beloved parents.... her famous smile is brighter than ever, her eyes sparkle, and her hair still bounces with vitality. And that Sports Illustrated body is solid...check out this week's edition of People Magazine if you don't believe me!

This is what 60 looks least on Christie Brinkley!

This week's cover of People Magazine...this is what 60 looks least on Christie Brinkley!

I've followed Christie for at least 30 years.   Though I've never met her in person, I owe her a debt of gratitude for all that she's taught me about living.

Part of the fascination with Christie, I think,  is that modeling and being a famous person seems to be the last thing she cares about. Her looks don't define her. My impression is that she looks at the big picture of life, and embraces it with a roaring passion, eager to live each new day, whatever it may bring.

That's a very good way to look at life. Here are a few lessons for all of us. Thank you, Christie! Here's to many happy birthdays to come!

1) She knows the value of a positive attitude  W. Clement Stone, who co-wrote wrote Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, defines positive mental attitude as "The right mental attitude... comprised of the 'plus' characteristics, symbolized by such words as faith, integrity, hope, optimism, courage, initiative, generosity, tolerance, tact, kindliness and good common sense."

No matter what happens to Brinkley, she remains upbeat and willing to believe the best. Here's what she said to Ladies Home Journal about miscarrying after in vitro treatments, prior to conceiving her youngest, Sailor, at 44:

"I tried to take the attitude that it was my body's way of telling me that this pregnancy wasn't meant to be."

If you can find a positive in losing a baby, you can find joy in pretty much everything, I think. When a person is mentally healthy. they are equipped to deal with reality and adapt to changes in a positive way. With good mental health comes good emotional as well as intellectual health, which aides in the problem solving of life events (Health the Basics, Pearson, 10th ed. pg29).

2) She helps others and makes the world a better place  Brinkley is active in many organizations helping others, and is politically active, having served as a delegate on the 2000 Democratic National Convention. She supports animal rights, most notably through the organization PETA. She has also been involved in anti-nuclear activities and campaigned against the restarting of the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) located at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.  She’s also traveled with the USO to visit troops in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia.  She founded the Christie Brinkley Scholarship, an allotment that allows students interested in art or the environment to get four free years at the The Ross School in EasthamptonLong Island, New York.  She uses her modeling to good cause, being photographed in red gowns to support women's heart health for the he American Heart Association, and has been honored by the March of Dimes and many other organizations for charitable work.


3) She uses her creativity every day.  "I loved being pregnant, because each day, I was creating something," she told Lifetime Television in its Intimate Portrait series. Each day to Brinkley is a new day, with discoveries galore. I remember reading a Ladies Home Journal article when her youngest children, Jack and Sailor, were little.  They smashed a china cup. Christie shrugged and said "here's another piece for our mosaic!" As an actor, she's  starred in two National Lampoon's Vacation movies and the musical Chicago on Broadway and Los Angeles, illustrator, television personality, photographer, writer, and designer.

4)  Character comes from how you handle adversity.  No one escapes challenge, even if you're blonde and beautiful. Over the past four decades, she's survived a near-fatal helicopter crash, the death of a cherished boyfriend, four failed marriages, the last one, to an abusive narcissist.  Her best friend, NBC's Jill Rappaport, said at the time of her fourth divorce, "Christie has had all these terrible things happen to her. Yet, she's managed to have a wonderful life." This makes her  upbeat attitude even more admirable.

5) Real beauty comes from within  Instead of dieting, Brinkley values healthy living and making healthy choices. As she told Prevention Magazine, although she gravitates toward veggies and whole grains, she's no stranger to indulging her sweet tooth. Her advice? "Go ahead and have the Kit Kat at the movies. If you don't satisfy an urge sometimes, you often substitute less-satisfying things and end up eating more."   When times get tough, she turns to her circle of friends for advice and a good laugh. And she’s onto something: Research shows that strong friendships yield in a whole host of health benefits, from a longer life to better immunity. Being active and athletic is another key to staying young.


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