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Honoring You

Every morning I complete my yoga session by expressing gratitude to my brain and body for allowing me to do critical mental and physical work that supports me to be and do my best. It’s a practice I began a few years ago that reminds me to honor what makes me, my unique internal and external self. For me, it’s a way to create an intentional connection from a place of gratitude. 

Completing practice in Puerto Vallarta '23.

It’s like pausing after a few hours in front of our computer, stepping back and acknowledging tired eyes, a sore neck, and lower back pain. Then, closing our eyes, rotating our necks, stretching our hamstrings, and rolling our ankles. There’s a connection and tangible presence to what we tend to take for granted that empowers us to deliver our unique gifts. We put our bodies and minds through their paces and sometimes when we aren’t paying attention to the signals they give us, they rebel. I like to think that checking in with, acknowledging, and thanking my body and brain through intentional words and actions creates a healthy relationship for sustained harmony. 

We often take for granted our beating heart pumping blood through our veins, our lungs expanding and contracting bringing oxygen in and carbon dioxide out, our feet that walk and run us to where we want to go, and our brain neurons that inform us of hunger and pain and convert thoughts into speech delivered with our mouths. Our eyes create context and help us experience depth, texture, and color. Our hands, our tools, help us pull things close, push things away, and make things.

We may not have full functioning of all our body parts and our brain faculties. We might have acquired or developed challenges and ailments along the way, yet we can still be grateful for what those differences and challenges offer us. When my hip joints grind and pop and scream in pain, I use to plow through forcing them to bend to my will. Now, I acknowledge their feedback, thank them for setting clear boundaries, and try something different in my poses, posture, and movement. Each person has to decide for themselves what their bodies and brains are telling them. They are there waiting to be noticed and appreciated through actions honoring the powerful insights they deliver to us every second of every day.  

Tuning into what supports us to be our unique selves reminds us of who we are. Checking in from a place of gratitude creates a symbiotic relationship of awareness and compassion with and for yourself.  Honoring ourselves in this way supports intentional choices, like choosing a healthy food option, running, swimming, walking, or hugging a loved one or a furry companion. Maybe we choose to power everything down and go to sleep, work on a puzzle, create space to think, sit in silence, listen to the birds, hold a loved one’s hand, make a meal for friends, or sink our hands into the earth in the garden. 

How might demonstrating appreciation for your mental and physical wonders, differences, challenges and gifts support you to honor yourself and deliver your best unique self? 

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