A Body of Gratitude

I was on a vacation recently, delighting in the heat of the sun poolside and was struck by a surprising awareness. I was enjoying myself! I was completely relaxed and present, dipping in and out of the pool, enjoying the company I was with, appreciating the sun and the breeze and the relaxed atmosphere. Such a contrast to nearly every poolside experience I have had for more than two decades where I would give myself over to worrying about how the cellulite on my thighs was appearing, what others were thinking or else would be distracted by  mental comparisons with the bodies of the other women walking around me. My walk in presence through taking the Deeper Cravings journey has allowed me to harness deep gratitude for how my body serves me daily and this changes my relationship with my body from one of shame to one of gratitude.

We each carry with us many stories from our past that give rise to feelings of shame about our body; whether it be a story of illness, rejection, weight gain, teasing, aging, trauma, athletic disappointment etc. We disconnect from the beauty and power of our body because of what we believe about these stories. When our view is colored in this way, we fail to see is the thousands of tiny daily stories we live in our bodies that offer oceans of gratitude when we choose to remember them. Every day our body offers us stories of the brilliance of color we take in with our eyes, the wonderful feeling of movement and stretching, the delight of laughter, the bursting of flavor in our mouth as we taste the sweetness of life’s bounty, the exhilaration of running or jumping and the incredible feeling of connecting to your breath and noticing that you have been granted yet another moment. As you become awake through practicing presence you begin to notice the many stories that your body will tell you when you choose to listen.

It is amazingly freeing to realize that enjoying our life and appreciating our body can be achieved by practicing showing up in the moment and witnessing the beauty before us. When we practice presence by mindfulness, mindful eating, meditation, yoga etc. there can be a calm joy in even the simplest of life’s experiences; we come to understand the gifts the body offers us by choosing simply to participate in it. In Women, Food and God Geneen Roth asks us to contemplate if the thousands of people who have died this day would care about the size of our thighs if given the chance to trade places with us. Celebrate your life and practice gratitude for your blessed being today.

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