Start Your Gratitude Practice With This Simple 7 Minute Step
In the previous article, we were in the shower together.
You’ll recall the simple technique started out with getting into gratitude by taking a shower. Starting your practice in the physical world, with something you can easily have appreciation for: your body.
After all, appreciate all your body does for you. Consider all of the high level functions it conducts while you are not aware of them. How many times a day do you actually have to stop and remember to make your heart beat? How often do you have to give conscious commands to continue digesting? Or breathing? (More on breathing later – it can be a gold mine when it comes to consciousness, mindfulness meditations, and awareness.)
You showed gratitude to your feet in the first step by washing them. And if you’re as silly as I am, you told them you love them. And you really felt the love and gratitude.
Next, continue washing upwards. Get your ankles clean. “Thank you ankles for keeping my legs and feet attached. Thank you for keeping my feet on course. Thank you for your strength and bearing my weight.”
Now up to your calves. Imaging all of the detail, the structure inside. The muscle, the bones. The connective tissues. Feel them. What role do your calves play? How do the benefit you? Express your gratefulness for them.
And up to your knees. Your thighs. Your hips. Your butt.
Again, with each body part, you might spend a moment stating out loud what they do and that you appreciate it.
Your feet and legs contain massive muscles and bones. Your abdomen and chest house vital organs. As you continue your appreciation, wash your belly and chest. Try to envision the vital organs and processes they conduct so elegantly. Digestion converts food you ate into energy and vital building blocks your body needs to rejuvenate. It sends the processed material down for elimination. A biological factory. Can you feel the wonder even now?
Move up to your chest. Feel your heartbeat. Feel your lungs pulling in air, and releasing it. And feel appreciation.
And up to your neck. How would your life be without all of the mobility it provides your head? Imagine. Feel.
Thank your shoulders, your upper arms, your forearms. Your elbows and wrists.
And your hands. I could write a volume on the miracle of your hands alone.
And your face, your head. Now there’s an entire encyclopedia waiting for your thanks. Your eyes, nose, mouth and ears. What they allow you to consciously see, smell, taste, and hear are just a tiny fraction of the job they do.
Does washing your body in this order seem odd: from your feet upward? Does it seem like top-down works better in terms of washing away the “dirty”? Let me share an advanced technique that requires you to be a bit more comfortable with yourself and the whole gratitude process.
First wash your body. Rinse off. Now you are clean. Then start at your feet as I describe above, but instead of washing, give yourself a gentle massage. And say your little appreciation incantation as you bathe your body in love.
For stronger and stronger results, practice your “Gratitiude Shower” ritual every time you take a shower. That’s around a 7 minute daily ritual you can use to put thankfulness at the forefront of your life. What a great way to wake up to the day if you shower in the morning, and if bathe at night, you get to end the day in an appreciative way.