I think we all need reminding sometimes to thank our bodies for all the work that it does. It’s easy to get caught up in minor details about your self that you don’t like, details that no-one notices but you, and to beat yourself up about things that actually don’t matter in the scheme of life. It’s not often that we look at ourselves in the mirror and see a throat that has the power to inspire, support and love; or a chest that keeps us alive; or a brain that has the intelligence to imagine the most creative and amazing ideas, calculate risks and probabilities and make sure our bodies are running smoothly.
I was inspired to write this post because my self confidence has been a bit low lately. I gained some weight over exams due to snacking and a sprained ankle so lack of exercise, so I’ve not really been feeling myself. I go on holiday in a week and haven’t managed to loose the weight during summer so this has led to me not liking the way I am at the moment. So today I went for a run, mainly because I had a load of peanut butter and Nutella when I got home from work, but also because I wanted to do SOMETHING, even though I thought it wouldn’t make a huge difference. However it did make a difference, just not in the way I expected; it may not have lost me any pounds, but it did put things into perspective. I didn’t expect to, but I really impressed myself.
I remember a time a few years ago when I couldn’t even run for a minute without almost passing out, and now I find running 3 or 4km actually quite easy, almost enjoyable in fact (I NEVER thought I’d find running anything but hideous torture). Then I got home, and did some yoga in the garden, and I felt inspired to thank the different parts of my body.
I thanked my legs for carrying me from A to B, for allowing me to drive to work, to jump and to skip and to balance.
I thanked my heart for pumping blood around my body, without me worrying constantly that it might stop working.
I thanked my brain for giving me control over my body and thoughts, and giving me the power to do anything that I put my mind to.
I thanked my voice for giving me the gift of easy communication, for singing and laughing.
I thanked my ears for allowing me to hear the messages others have for me.
I thanked my eyes, to watch the beautiful sunset tonight, to admire the moon and enjoy the vivid colours in my garden.
I thanked my hands for allowing me to type and play the piano.
There are lots of parts of myself that I don’t particularly like, I could list them here but I don’t see the point. The affirmations made me realise that I should start appreciating my body for the perfect machine that it is, and what it makes me capable of doing. My imperfections are a mirror of standards set by the media, and I can choose to see past them. Who cares if I’m not slim? I just ran 5km in a decent time. Who cares if I have huge hands? I play the piano really well. Who cares if I get the occasional spot? My skin is soft and I look after it. There’s two sides to every coin, a yin to every yang, the ray of light to every shadow. Choose to see the good in yourself, and you’ll realise that other people a) don’t notice and b) don’t care. Seriously, if you’re a happy, friendly person, other people won’t see half as much as you think they do. Be kind to yourself because 9 times out of 10, you are your own worst enemy, which is actually a good thing. You can’t change how other people think, but you can change how you think.