How are you doing with our November gratitude challenge? This week in my classes, we were grateful for our senses and specifically for our sense of smell which is the greatest inducer of memories. Today, and really every day, I am grateful for this physical body and its ability to move with ease (most of the time). Notice that caveat. I think we all have caveats and qualifications when speaking about our bodies. When it comes to our bodies, a lot of us spend more time criticizing our imperfections and thinking about the things we would change about how we look, rather than thinking about what our bodies do for us each and every day. It’s so easy to get caught up in that line of thinking, especially when there are so many outside pressures from social media, TV, movies, and even our own friends and family. But, our bodies do a lot for us. Every day, our body enables us to move through life and experience all it has to offer, no matter how fit or able we are. Right now, as you sit here on your phone or computer reading, your body is working hard to allow you to see this and to comprehend it. So even when you think your body is not up to your gratitude standards, think again. How can I be grateful for what my body can do rather than being angry about what it can’t do? You can remember how you woke up this morning able to get out of bed and move through your day. You can be grateful for your body’s ability to consistently take in and release breath, keeping you fit and alive. You can be grateful for the ability to move your body in a healthy way, out for a walk or on your mat, keeping your mind stimulated, healthier and happier. Your body doesn’t ask for much — just some healthy food and water to keep it hydrated, and some movement to keep it lubricated. Remember and be grateful for how your body has gotten you through some tough times and has relished and enjoyed all the good times as well. Remembering it’s always there for you even when you don’t treat it so kindly. Remembering and being grateful your body has recovered from injury, maybe surgery or illness, and how it has healed or is in the process of healing.
On that note, let’s look at some incredible things about your body you can be grateful for (even when you’re not particularly pleased with how you may look). A few years ago, I read a book by Bill Bryson called The Body. As it says on the book jacket, this book will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular. Did you know there are 37.2 trillion cells in your body, that are constantly being created and destroyed, all performing different jobs to keep you alive? Your body (yes, yours!) secretes approximately 31,700 quarts of saliva in your lifetime and that saliva contains a painkiller called opiorphin which is six times as potent as morphine, although we only have it in very small doses. If you unraveled and laid out all of the DNA in your body from end to end, it would stretch ten billion miles. The average heart will beat around 3.5 billion times in a lifetime. And, you take about 7.3 million breaths every year, 550 million over a lifetime. Those are just a few of the many facts and interesting parts of this miracle called our body and why we should be forever grateful for it. But I think the most important thing to remember and be grateful for is that your body allows you to be here now, present and participating fully in this incredible journey called life. I look forward to seeing you this week in any one of classes where you can move and get in touch with the miracle that is your body and be very grateful for that opportunity.
As always, much gratitude to you for reading my musings, Leslie