Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Body Project

Here's a thought: why don't we start focusing on what our bodies DO instead of how our bodies LOOK?

I'm not implying that we shouldn't care about our appearance, only that we should love it. If you don't love the way you look and are looking for a change, then I think it's extra important to start with loving yourself. In turn, I believe that a foundation in loving yourself comes from focusing on all of the wonderful things that our bodies do.

Today, my body woke me up nine minutes before my alarm went off, as it does almost every morning. It pays attention more to the sunlight hitting my eyelids than the organized setting on my clock. Annoying, but amazing, right?

And then it allowed me to think about the things I needed to get done in the immediate future: pee, shower, brush teeth, floss, get dressed, apply makeup, take dog out, go to work.

Next, without hesitation or difficulty, it let me swing my legs off of the bed and carry me through my morning's activities.

Once I got to work, my body connected my thoughts into productivity. It also ate a banana, a muffin, and soaked in two cups of coffee (and then some). 

After work, it let me hear my sister's voice over the phone so I could meet her. Then, my body brought me to my sister. It allowed me to reflect on the day and laugh about the present. And then it did me the favor of digesting a lovely dinner and a glass (or two) of wine. It maybe started to digest some Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone ice cream, too. Maybe.

And now, it's starting to relax. My feet are floppy and my eyes are drooping. My breath is steady. And, it's letting me do one of my favorite things--connecting my mind to my fingers and my fingers to my keyboard. It's letting me write.

The above is hardly a fraction of everything that my body did today. I've only just scratched the surface. 

Take a minute to think about all of the tiny things you've done over the past 24 hours. Did you think about something? Did you look at something, touch something, smell something, taste something? Did you move?

Did you appreciate what your body did for you today? 

Did you appreciate your body?

Did you appreciate yourself?

Did you love yourself?

I think it's time that we start finding a healthy alternative to the way we perceive ourselves. Help me by sharing your appreciation and experiences in the comment section below!

I'm loving the responses that I've gotten from beautiful women around the world!

"Remember our fun-filled day at the Sutro Baths?? Even after all the cheese and champagne, our bodies still somehow hiked up that mountain out of there! So brutal. Thighs burned. But we did it! And I would do it again for another amazing day like that with you ladies!" - from a beautiful lady in Scottsdale, Arizona

"Past: my body dove off a cliff in Croatia straight into the open Adriatic Sea. It braced the fall and resurfaced without hesitation. Caught in the massive swells of an approaching storm I kicked and swam towards shore for what felt like hours - yet making no distance. The waves were sucking us both towards the jagged rocks and also sweeping us out to sea. Adrenaline from the jump and tapped strength allowed me to eventually make it back to shore where I coasted over sea urchins and surfed in on an incoming wave.

Current: my body is miraculously fighting off crazy illnesses in Southeast Asia: stomach viruses, food poisoning, fevers, aches, chills. It will not stop fighting, simply getting stronger with each battle." - from a beautiful world-traveler, currently making her way through Southeast Asia

"My lungs fill with the crisp morning air. I close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. Even in the still that comes with early morning, I can hear the whirring of the city starting a new day. As I take my first sip of coffee, I am thankful for my bodies capacity to fully experience life's most simple moments:)" - from a beautiful woman in NY, NY

"So I am little embarrassed to admit this... but I was never able to do a push up until this year (and I am 27 years old). I mean it... not even ONE!!! Once I started my yoga teacher training and started practicing in the astanga tradition, my body started doing amazing things! I can now do 20 pushups without any problem and was even able to do 5 one-legged push-ups last night! 

I also had a pretty brutal intercostal muscle tear back in December and was told I couldn't practice for at least 5 weeks and I was terrified that this would set me back in my practice. The injury ended up taking almost 8 weeks to heal - but on my first day back on the mat it was as if I had been practicing the whole time. I remember thinking... wow, the body is an extraordinary!!!" - from a beautiful yoga instructor in Scottsdale, Arizona

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