How often do you feel grateful?
More and more of us are starting to understand the importance of having more gratitude in our lives.
Like anything, it takes practice to develop new habits. And for many, feeling gratitude more often is a new habit.
But what about the way you feel about YOU ? Are you grateful for your body?
Yes, that body.
The one that you’re in right now.
Not the one when you weighed 110 lbs back in Grade 11.
Not the one that you were so proud of for a fleeting moment after the most restrictive diet of your life.
Not the one from your wedding day.
The one you have now.
With sags, wrinkles, rolls and whiskers.
Dictionary.com defines being grateful as “warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful.”
Has your body done anything nice for you lately? Worthy of being thankful?
Have you received any benefits from the physical structure that houses your organs, bones and skin?
When you think about your unique blob of cells this way, as something that gives to you, it’s easier to see that there’s some work to do.
I bet all is quiet on the grateful front.
I don’t know about you, but I spend much more time hating my body than being grateful for it. It seems to go hand in hand with aging and midlife. In fact, I’ve only recently become aware of some of the negative thoughts I have about my body. I thought I knew all of them…but there were a few more sneaky ones in there without my permission.
Our thoughts need supervision.
When left unsupervised, we can be downright mean.
And your body is innocent.
Your thinking…..not so much.
Thoughts are what create our feelings.
Just imagine the feelings you have because of the thought, “I hate my body.”
When I think that thought, I feel:
How many days a year do you think that? How many times a day?
And that’s just getting started. This thought usually has a partner question that goes something like this: “Why am I so fat?” or “Why am I so out of shape?”
I remember one time I really hurt my foot. I was about 15 years old. I stepped on a razor while standing on the side of the bathtub to see into the bathroom mirror, to see if I looked fat (of course).
I had never broken bones or been in the hospital; it was the first time I had gotten hurt and needed an accommodation like crutches.
I was floored at how much I couldn’t do as a result of this injury. That really woke me up to how lucky I was to have healthy feet most of the time.
Just imagine how different you would feel if you thought, “I am so grateful for my body and how it helps me do what I do.” instead of the mean thoughts about our bodies. After all, our bodies are quite remarkable. They allow us to:
- have babies
- walk the dog
- hug your kids
- earn a living
- play sports
- play instruments
- have sex…and the list goes on!
You can be thankful for your body without loving the way your body looks in a bathing suit.
Do you think you need to have a perfect body for you to start to experience the feelings of being grateful for you body?
News Flash: You don’t.
You can feel gratitude right now.
Why? Because your thoughts create your feelings.
The important question is, what would you have to think to feel grateful for your physical structure? Your personal blob of cells? Awareness that you’re not currently thinking something that creates feeling gratitude is the first step.
When you’re living in the present moment, you have let go of judgement.
This is one of the reasons many of us find it so difficult to love our bodies…we find it difficult to let go of self-judgement.
In The Practicing Mind, Tom Sterner points out that a flower is perfect at each stage of its life. Nature doesn’t judge the flower when it only has buds. Nature doesn’t voice disapproval when the flowering part of the plant has died. It’s not hard to think that the flower is perfect.
But thinking that our bodies are perfect can be more challenging.
It’s a thought that’s available though.
What if you thought that your imperfect body was perfect? How would you feel?
What would your life be like with all of these new positive thoughts creating new positive feelings?
When you feel good, you act differently. You create different results. Everything we do is a result of our thoughts and feelings. It’s hard not to appreciate the profound difference this kind of a change in your thinking would make.
We are so mean to our bodies. Which means we are mean to ourselves.
Changing the way you thinking about your body can bring a wave of non-judgemental positivity into your life; in other words, it can change your life. You can change your life.
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