It’s easy to consider the people, places, and the things that you love most and give them gratitude. It’s what we’re socially encouraged to do. It’s what we know.
What is harder, by far, is to have gratitude for ourselves. And, even harder, is to have gratitude for our bodies. I’ll be honest: for all the exercise that I do, I don’t naturally love my body.
Sure, it’s a fine body.
But it could be better.
I’m sure you get that. And, right about now, you may have trailed off thinking of the ways yours could be better.
That’s not what this post is about.
This post is about acknowledging the work that your body does every day. EVERY DAY it works to get you from one place to another. EVERY DAY it holds, pushes, lifts, grabs, hugs, shuffles, hustles, and works as you ask it to. EVERY DAY it works hard. EVERY DAY it gives and gives.
And how do we thank it?
By nitpicking what it isn’t. It isn’t, for instance, perfect. It isn’t photogenic. It isn’t desirable. It isn’t. It isn’t. And it never will be – at least as long as you maintain the mindset that it needs to be a certain way.
So today I practiced gratitude for my body. I retracted negative thoughts that were critical of my body. I thought of ways to compliment it. And I listened when it felt tired, achy, or stiff.
In the morning, this practice of body gratitude began on my yoga mat. I practiced for 15 minutes of light stretching, movement, and brought energy and attention into the sleepy corners of my arms, neck, back, and hips.
I ate a healthy breakfast (scrambled eggs with spinach and feta), drank tea, and hydrated.
I choose breath over stress when the boys were getting ready for school. And went to a heated power yoga class after drop off.
After yoga class, I came home and made a green smoothie, more tea, and a vegetable-packed lunch of Tex-Mex quinoa and avocado.
At night, I taught yoga. And I noticed the difference what a day of body-consciousness does for my body. It felt stronger, cleaner, more available. It felt better than it normally does. And I felt better, knowing it was in a good state of being.
So today, I have pages from my album to share.
I also have a challenge for you.
And here’s my book from today.
The picture is of me holding my kale smoothie. It was mildly appetizing, but definitely not as filling as I hoped. In this case, I listened to my body (see that practice in action?!) and decided to eat a little more.
Okay, fine, a lot more.
I wrote a long matra to my body as my gratitude for today. It’s a little long, so I justified the text to both sides of the page and lightened the font to a dark grey to give it more of a patterned look.
I also painted with watercolor. WHICH I LOVE. And I don’t do nearly enough of it. So it was a lot of fun to bring that element into this layout.
I’m having WAY TOO MUCH FUN with this album. Seriously.
The page on the left is a painting that the boys made after they got into my paint supplies earlier this year. I was upset for a half a second, but the results were a lot of fun. They would make pages every day if they could.
And the colors really add to the book.
I love how it came out! Share links if you’re doing this project. I’d love to see what you make!
—CZ Design’s 30 Days of Thankful project is an opportunity to reflect on the people, places, and things that you’re grateful for. You can also follow along on Cathy’s Blog or follow me on Instagram to see what I’m thankful for this year. And here’s a link to my 2012 project, my 2013 Project, and my 2014 Project. You can read all of my posts for this project under the tag 30 Days of Thankful.