A friend of mine keeps a gratitude journal. In it, as her only concrete reminder of the day, half daily diary, half meditation, she lists three things she’s grateful for, every single day.
I find this a nice idea. I adopted for a little while for myself, actually– scientists and multiple studiesÂ regularly point out the benefits of such practices, including better productivity and happier outlooks on life–but while I did find myself smiling over my trifecta of gratitude, or whatever, each night, I also found it far too easy to lapse into generalities. My list of three items, I found, would veer into nebulous territory like so:
- Clean sheets
I mean, seriously. So I was thinking about ways to narrow this down, to keep myself more, um, centered, I guess, if that’s not too mushy of a way to put it. I think I was looking for a way that I could really focus on something tangible that made me feel grateful.
And then I realized: I was already in it, the thing that makes me the most grateful: My own body. I’m grateful for it, every single day. I’m grateful for the way I look in jeans. I’m grateful for the fine tendons in my wrist that show up when I tie my shoelaces. I’m grateful for the fact that it moves mostly fluidly, at 42, and even on days like today, when I’m fighting a cold, I’m grateful that my body can tell me when I need to take a break at watch Gilmore Girls reruns.
We’re all so busy preaching things like living simply and loving ourselves, that we forget to take stock of the fact that those things can be hard. I mean, living simply is a complex mechanism, a set of steps, a whole process. And loving yourself is a lifelong work. We all have days where we wonder how we made such a hash of an entire 24 hours.
But being grateful for brains, which think; our hands, which feel; our hearts, which can both hurt and give great joy; our feet, which move us forward every day? That’s a piece of cake.
What about your body makes you feel grateful? Tell us in the comments below.