Gratitude for the body
Updated: Aug 3, 2019
Our body is the focus of interest for many industries. Emphasis is strategically placed on lingering self doubts that inevitably lead to fulfilling the interested entity's commercial, moral or status driven agendas.
As very young children, our perceptions of our bodies was generally uncomplicated and straightforward. Our understanding of our body's value was intrinsically connected to its function. If we were lucky our legs could run, our hands could hold, our voice could be heard. Things changed quickly, however, as we began to inherit the values of our family, our communities and the culture at large. Our bodies became a billboard of information, our size, culture, language, skin color, texture of our hair, gender preference, our inherent abilities and/or disabilities, were all up for interpretation and judgment. Each condition seem to be tallied on an attraction and desirability grid, using standards and assigning benefits that many of us felt infinitely far from reach.
For some of us, our bodies became a source of shame, something to hide or handle without much care. Any awareness and acceptance of our bodies we could stumble on, was often masked by our insecurities and negative self judgement of ourselves. Years of negative self judgement creates the illusion of truth and it continued, so we believed it.
Fortunately for us, life's experiences forces us to question and assess the value of these patterns and the manipulated adherence to these negative beliefs. Slowly we begin to see and feel the mastery and uniqueness of our bodies. Slowly, we begin to notice the beauty of our health, the resilience of our breath that continues regardless of the lack of awareness, and the courage of our skin, to rebuild again and again, despite the wounds.
Gratitude for our body is a practice, it can be experienced one thought, word and action at a time. It can be done in the subtlest of ways, simply noticing the ability of your eyes that read this or the way your back holds you upright can lead to this awareness of gratitude. Gratitude for our body can be communicated with words, whispering into your hands how grateful you are for your body or stating it loudly so as to ensure that the body has heard. Touching your body in the same way you'd touch a loved one when waking them from sleep can create this awareness of gratitude as well as walking and moving with the awareness that you're carrying precious cargo around. Acknowledging that you have lived inside this body throughout your life so far can be helpful. Perhaps remembering how you interacted with your body as a child, the parts of you that offered nurturance and feelings of safety when needed can increase feelings of gratitude and maybe a memory of how your body has helped you accomplish difficult tasks.
Old programs and habits about our bodies can be challenging to eradicate, but you can begin to notice their distancing and dullness growing as you begin to engage in gratitude practices for your body. Any time you notice that you're circling in a negative loop, remember to tell your body how grateful you are for seeing you through, for holding you together and clothing you in the most adaptive weave. So, go ahead, let's do it together, lean into yourself and whisper sweetly to yourself....I love you body, thank you, i love every part of you.