I want to learn to accept and appreciate my body. I want to accept the fact that it is good to spend time simply being. Those are things I wrote about when I chose my word for 2021 ACCEPTANCE. My niece Grace and my friend Deb have given me ideas for creating a personal practice that fosters those two kinds of acceptance.
Grace has a master’s degree in social work and is employed as a therapist and yoga specialist providing clinical counseling services. An idea for meditation she posted on her Instagram page really struck a chord with me. I have tried meditation before but find I don’t always have the patience for it. Grace suggested a body scan form of mediation that I figured I could handle. You slowly move up and down your body stopping to focus on different body parts and taking deep breathes. I tried it and really liked it.
My friend Deb is a professional editor and a member of my writer’s group. She has often posted on her Instagram page about her practice of gratitude. She begins each day thinking about the things she is grateful for and writing about them in a gratitude journal. I thought that was something that would be helpful for me too but wasn’t sure I wanted to take the time to write things down.
I decided to put together the ideas from Grace and Deb to create a meditation/gratitude practice of my own which seems to be working for me. I take time just after I wake up each morning to do some deep breathing. Then I move up my body slowly continuing to take deep breaths and pausing at ten different body parts to express gratitude for each one and think about specific gifts that body part has given me the day before.
my feet for the things that grounded me,
my legs for the places I went,
my waist for the times when I was flexible or someone was flexible with me,
my heart for ways I gave and received love,
my hands for things I was able to create or do,
my shoulders for responsibilities I fulfilled,
my mouth for things I tasted or words I spoke,
my nose for memorable smells,
my ears for good things I heard,
my eyes for things I was thankful I could see
and my forehead for things I thought deeply about.
I only spend a few minutes doing this although I am noticing that each day I seem to find myself spending a little bit longer.
The practice is helping me to be grateful, more focused and more accepting.