JUDITH LIGHT ON…LIVING AUTHENTICALLY
THE SECRET TO HER TIMELESS BEAUTY DOESN’T COME IN A JAR
For the actress, beauty goes beyond what you can buy
Isn’t it true that everybody says in order to stay fit you have to sleep more, drink water, exercise, and make sure you’re getting regular checkups? We all know what to do. But that’s content inside a larger framework, and for me, that’s what’s important to talk about. There’s a resonance within us that, when we’re listening, makes us become our authentic selves. It’s about getting quiet enough inside and listening—not with your intellect so much but with your heart. When the HIV/AIDS crisis happened in the early ’80s, there was a resonance for me. People I loved, whom I considered my family, were being treated badly and dying. I knew I wanted to speak out. So I did. There have also been roles that I’ve turned down because they didn’t resonate with me. But in 1999 I was offered a part in a play called Wit for which I had to shave my head. I hadn’t been onstage in 22 years. I didn’t want to do it. Then I went, “Wait a minute, if I’m on my deathbed and I don’t do this because I’m too afraid, am I going to regret it?” The answer underneath it all was yes. Yes, I would regret it.
Everybody can feel off-balance sometimes. We get caught up in things that feel so important. What I do is take time every morning to meditate. I have different mantras, like the Reiki ideals: “Just for today, do not anger. Do not worry, and be filled with gratitude. Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.” There’s no regimen—you say it as many times as works for you. And you can say it throughout the day if you want. There’s also a yoga breathing exercise that is really helpful. The idea is to slow your breathing down. Breathe in for 20 seconds, hold it for 20 seconds, let it out for 20 seconds, and do that for five minutes. It will change your brain state. I’ll also take a walk or sit in a park; those are things that help get me outside myself.
Life is uncertain, and that’s scary. We seek to control things so that we feel more certain. But when we stand outside ourselves and observe something and ask, “Am I doing what resonates for me? Am I being the person I want to be?” then there’s a knowing. Looking at that is what will bring you beauty. Because I can give you every beauty tip I have, but that is what will bring you no regrets.
—AS TOLD TO DIANNA MAZZONE
Light can be seen in Transparent, returning to Amazon this fall.
One Life to Live Wit Transparent