Traditionally, at this time of year our thoughts reflect on things that we are thankful for. It is my belief that one of the most powerful mind/body states is that of thanks-giving. In a world (and a profession) that often focuses on what is wrong, sometimes it can be challenging to remember to give thanks for all that is right.
Whenever I turn my attention to thanks-giving, I immediately focus on health and well being. It is all too easy to take our health for granted each day. Yet, without our health, we immediately turn all of our attention to restoring it. A big part of maintaining homeostasis might be in a daily attitude of appreciation.
How can we appreciate our bodies each day? The famous African hand drummer Babatunde Olatunji, practiced a morning ritual in which he gave thanks for each part of his body by placing his hands upon it and sending it gratitude. He believed that the first task before rising each day was to celebrate the continued optimal functioning of his body.
I invite you to try this. Take just two minutes to move from your feet to the crown of your head. Begin by taking a few deep breaths and putting yourself into a state of mindfulness.
Start down at your ankles and move to each major joint, sending it appreciation through your touch. Imagine radiating a warm “peaceful easy feeling” to each area of contact. Try putting on some relaxing music to heighten the experience. May thanks-giving be more than a holiday. Let it be a daily ritual encompassing the body, mind and spirit through appreciation. In turn, your body will thank you.