Severe pain was my wake up call to pay attention to my body. Once I made the shift, I discovered endless gifts.
We sometimes only pay attention to the body when it's giving us trouble. What if we could realize it's gifts every day? Start by taking the time to thank your body.
Thanksgiving is around the corner. Historically, we give thanks for the harvest on this holiday. What if we look deeper: What allows us to produce the harvest? In part, our body. And what allows us to enjoy the harvest? Here, for example, is a photo of the gastric tissue that will help digest your Thanksgiving meal. Wow, isn't that beautiful!
Try out these tips and see how your body thanks you:
Start with question: "Have I taken the time to thank my body today?"
Use a mantra: "My body is love."
Share the reading below during your Thanksgiving celebration (or another time of year).
Thank your body
"Have you taken the time to thank your body today?
Look at those strong, powerful legs. How many miles have they carried you since you learned how to use them? Thank them.
And those arms as strong as tree boughs that have carried, hugged, held and [high-fived]? Thank them.
What about those shoulders? They’ve held the weight of the world, and possibly still do. Thank them." (Lovejoy 2014)
Have you taken the time to thank your body's dynamic support system today?
Your body gets support from the surfaces it contacts - the floor, the chair, perhaps an armrest or something else. Thank them.
Your body connects through those surfaces with the earth. Consider how the earth's gravity keeps you grounded, and how its counter force - which passes back up through your body - keeps you buoyant. Gravity and ground reaction force (Rodiger 2017) support you. Thank them.
Your body is made up of layers of connective tissue, a design quite different than the building you are in. Your elegant tissues create a network that distributes gravity reaction force into every inch and every cell of your body - toes and heels, ankles and legs, pelvis and rib cage, stomach and lungs, shoulders and arms, wrists and finger tips, spine and head, and everywhere in between. The elegant layers of your body's connective tissues include your tendons, ligaments, skin, bone, blood and so much more. Thank them.
Your body is also in contact with the air molecules around it which connect you to others in this room, others in your neighborhood or city, others in your state or country, and others in the world. All of you supported by the chair, the floor, gravity and it's counter force, and your elegant bodies. Thank them too.
Now that you've taken the time today to thank your body and its dynamic support, make a commitment to take this with you - thank your body every day. Your body will thank you back!
Read more on my blog post "Our Body Concept Matters."
References: (1) Lovejoy, Jessica. 2014. "Thank Your Body." Huffington Post The Blog. (2) Rodiger, Ann, Boggs, Carol, Tuthall, Laura. 2017. Webinar for Alexander Technique Teachers: Joint Hypermobility, Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders.
Photo credits: (Cell on black background) By IP184.108.40.206 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8093704; (Turkey) www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=56846&; (Pink gastric tissue) By Nephron - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10890698; (Thanksgiving high five) https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2010/11/24/raw-video-obama-family-volunteers-martha-s-table; (Gravity and counter force) http://diysolarpanelsv.com/gravity-force-clipart.html#gal_post_16361_gravity-force-clipart-48.png; (Cream adipose tissue) CC By-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=600755.