Blending new with old

Theatre of Dionysus 4th century BC w/ present day Athens in the background

European Inspiration: Incorporating the New with the Old

In cities like Rome and Athens, while you’re hopping between new 21st century additions like chic bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, it’s fully possible that you may stumble over ruins that are thousands of years old. New apartments are built against old city walls that were both built and torn down centuries ago. Certain streets are still cobblestone. In some countries, old mother tongues are still widely spoken—ancient Greek, Welsh, and Gaelic, for instance.

Certain European countries have not only managed incorporate the new with the old, but they have done so flawlessly. Even now, the past and the present are not separate—in many places, the past is still very much alive and very much a part of people’s day-to-day lives.

How the New and the Old Can Work Together

We can learn a lot from this willingness to incorporate the new with the old. Even though you and I probably don’t have to worry about restructuring historical monuments or, there are still plenty of way we  can apply these principals in our daily lives.

Consider these tips for using old solutions for new successes:

Embrace old medicine. Before aspirin tablets, there was willow bark. Instead of DayQuil, how about using Echinacea to fight that cold? Or ginger for arthritis pain? Natural remedies fell out of fashion for a while, but they are still around and still as effective as ever.

Choose natural over man-made. Today, cleaning products like Windex are staples in most homes. But why surround yourself with all those harsh chemicals when you can make your own with just some water, vinegar, and alcohol? And instead of laundry detergent, how about reusable soap nuts? (I’ve used them—they really work!)

Grow your own. Instead of relying on grocery stores, why not start your own little garden right in your own backyard? (Or even on your windowsill, or in your refrigerator door!) Sure, supermarkets made everything a lot easier and more convenient, but what’s better and more fulfilling than stepping outside for your own fresh produce?

The past and present do not have to exist in opposition—they can work together.

Luckily, there are ways to embrace the past while still being modern. Embracing old methods doesn’t mean doing to live by yourself in a cabin in the woods. (Though we’re not knocking the idea!) It’s just about living as mindfully, productively, and creatively as possible.


ALO Blends by Krista Jean are all about embracing the pure benefits of natural substances. These methods are not old or outdated, they’re tried-and-true. They work. It’s like building a new apartment up against a wall that is centuries old—using the past to support the present.

Originally posted March 3, 2015. Updated December 15, 2017