Archive for the tag - gratitude

10 Ways I’m Thankful For My Body.

IMG_3475It’s Thanksgiving… so let’s get into the spirit of gratitude.

When we focus on dieting and counting calories, it’s easy to create an environment of scarcity and lack. With such a perspective, we get into a cycle of negativity; as a result, our worldview and happiness can contract. When we focus on abundance, on the other hand, the good things in our lives thrive - and our happiness expands.

By practicing gratitude, we can break - and even reverse - this downward cycle of negativity and better align ourselves with both abundance and happiness.

To that end, here are 10 ways that I’m thankful for my body.

  1. I’m thankful for my legs. They’ve carried me through all my travels, and enabled me to meet so many wonderful people and visit so many awesome places.
  2. I’m thankful for my arms. They’ve allowed me to hold many of you tight - including a 14 year old girl who came out to me as gay during a recent meet-up in New Jersey. I was the second person she came out to, and through streams of tears, told me that her family would never accept her. I held her tiny, shaking body so tight - and did my best to comfort her and help her find the strength within.
  3. I’m thankful for my eyes. They’ve allowed me to take in so much beauty. Though it’s easy to grow accustomed to our surroundings, there’s unfathomable beauty all around us. Always. We just need to stop, get off Instagram or Facebook, put down our phones and simply be.
  4. I’m thankful for my strong hands. I love the power of touch, and I love feeling my boyfriend’s body in my hands. I love exploring and getting lost in his body; my fingers are like little adventurers discovering a new land.
  5. I’m thankful for my lungs. Whenever I get lost in the chaos of life or my own silly self-importance, I shift focus to my breath. Inhale. Exhale. My lungs are a wise teacher, enabling me to be present and aware.
  6. I’m thankful for my voice. It allows me to speak my truth and hopefully - even in some small way - help inspire others to find theirs.
  7. I’m thankful for my lips. They allow me to kiss. And, just as important, they receive kisses. I love and appreciate the connection that my lips help to facilitate.
  8. I’m thankful for my ears. They allow me to hear the words of my many teachers and the people who inspire me.
  9. I’m thankful for my stomach. I love to eat, and my stomach receives all the delicious foods that I consume. I enjoy experiencing the abundance of delicious flavors and fueling my body with the nutrients it needs.
  10. I’m thankful for my genitals. Yes, I definitely am. They have brought me so much pleasure and so much joy, and allow me to connect with other people at the level of their soul.

Even if you’re not at your goal weight or build, perhaps some of these reasons will also resonate with you. Even as you express gratitude, you can feel your entire mood - and perhaps even your spirit - shift to a higher level.

In the comments below, please share the ways in which you are thankful for your body.

P.S. For more information about achieving weight loss through inspiration, gratitude and love, consider downloading Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program.

Be Grateful (Not Hateful) To Your Body!

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

gratefulIf you’re like most people struggling with their weight, you probably don’t like your body so much. You hate looking in the mirror. Getting dressed makes you frustrated and angry. And your thoughts toward your body are anything but loving.

You know how lousy those thoughts make you feel, but do you realize that criticizing yourself actually undermines your weight loss efforts, too?

Try replacing even a bit of that self-criticism with an attitude of gratitude and start losing the weight with ease.

Here’s How It Works:

In order to release weight your body needs to be calm and peace-filled. And your body is a living, breathing organism whose every cell responds to your thoughts. Based on how you think and feel, your body releases various chemicals. Some of these chemicals enhance a sense of calm and peacefulness while others heighten states of tension and anger. (Plus we all know how quickly those particular emotions can derail a healthy eating plan.)

Think of each cell as a tiny representation of your entire body. A lack of gratitude blocks weight loss progress because your body does not respond well when criticized. When you feel thankful, your cells feel that joy and transmit chemicals to reinforce that feeling. Think about that warm feeling you get when you receive a thank you card…  Or when someone takes the time to appreciate something you did for them. Your cells understand the message of gratitude, too.

When you’re expressing gratitude for your body you naturally eat more consciously, honor your exercise time and generally act more loving toward your self.

Start Now, Start Small

You may think that before you can appreciate your body you need to be fit and healthy first.  You may think that thin people love their bodies because they are thin.

It’s actually the other way around. People who release weight successfully and permanently learned to love and appreciate their bodies first and it’s that appreciation that helps them to stay fit and healthy.

It sounds challenging—especially if you have years of self-criticism (and extra weight) under your belt. Think of it this way: What if you did something positive for someone and at the same time angrily told them, “I hate you and I hate doing this for you?”

Most likely they’d feel pretty confused and awful. Whatever kindness you did for them would have no meaning. Well, it’s the same with your body. The more you try to eat well, exercise and “do the right things” while telling your body how much you hate it, loathe it, and can’t stand to look at it, the more confused your body becomes.

What’s a body to do with that message? Most likely it responds like a confused, angry child and resists giving you what you want. So you remain stuck and frustrated that your body isn’t releasing the weight you want to release. But, honestly, can you blame it?

Got Gratitude? Great—Now Go Deeper

To stop that cycle, be grateful for all your body does for you. Then go a step further and say “Thank you” to your body. Thank your legs for taking you where you want to go, your arms for helping you hold things, your heart for beating, your lungs for breathing, your stomach for digesting your food. Consciously thanking and appreciating your body helps you feel calm and peaceful. And calm and peaceful bodies release weight more readily than bodies that are criticized and loathed.

Practice this simple exercise to become a grateful friend to your body:

  • Every day take a few moments and thank your body for all it does for you. Thank your legs, your arms, your heart, your stomach, etc.
  • You can either speak silently to yourself, out loud, or write it down on paper. Do what feels most comfortable.
  • While you can do this any time, it’s a powerful way to begin and end your day when practiced right before getting out of bed in the morning or right before falling asleep at night.

As the holiday season approaches, we’re reminded to give thanks for the blessings in our life. And one special, but often taken for granted, blessing is the very body we have been given to carry us through our life journey. Take time this month, and always, to give thanks to your body, your beautiful partner in life, for all it does for you.

Your body will appreciate you—and you will appreciate the results.

Gratitude Boards: The New Cutting Board.

gratitude boardsOprah isn’t the only one with her favorite things. When I find something that I love, I can’t wait to share it with you - and today I’m doing just that.

The other day, I was searching a local farmer’s market for some fresh microgreens when I came across a booth piled high with what looked like beautifully crafted cutting boards. But they weren’t cutting boards. They were gratitude boards.

I was already sold.

The woodworker who created them suffers from a chronic illness. Without his knowledge, his friends and family set up a blog to help raise money for his treatment. Overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion, the idea for gratitude boards was born.

He writes:

The “Gratitude Board” is a new simple design, one that embodies my gratitude for all that has been given to me and my family. I make each board by hand from “drops” or scraps of wood left over from other projects. As I make them, I am grateful for the gift of beauty from the trees that provide my raw material, I am grateful for my ability to work and create and I am grateful for the use that these boards will provide to others preparing meals for their families.

The experience of gratitude isn’t just good for the soul - it’s good for the body. When we express gratitude for our food and make our meals that much more sacred, it’s much easier to make smarter, wiser food choices. I am grateful for the fresh salad that I’ll make this afternoon. Not so much for a box of Twinkies. It’s a simple but transformative philosophy that helps support and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Now, each time that I use my cutting gratitude board, I’m reminded to give thanks for the food that I’m preparing, the people that it will feed and the nourishment that it will provide for my body.

Are You Thankful for Your Body?

Of all the feelings you direct toward your body, how often do you express gratitude?

Many of us are angry or frustrated that we’re too large, too thin, too weak, too this or too that. Some of us feel shame, guilt or even fear about our bodies.

The desire to make our bodies healthier and stronger is positive. But I think that intention is best served in a package of gratitude. If we can be grateful for our body in its current form - and accept it as it is today - then I think our transformation comes from a place of true power. And if you are grateful for your body, then you are more likely to nourish it with healthy foods and actions. It’s an upward spiral.

Gratitude can lift us from a world of low frequency emotions like shame, guilt and anger into the higher frequency emotions of willingness, acceptance and love. It’s like a ladder on which we can climb out of the darkness.

Today, on the day before Thanksgiving, I give thanks to my miraculous human body. And I invite you to do the same. Regardless of where you’re at or what you’d like to change, give thanks.

What about your body inspires gratitude? Let me know in the comments.