I sometimes struggle with my body image. I think there’s too much junk in the trunk, too little hair on the back of my head, or not enough definition on my abs. It’s pretty hard, after all, to look as good as TV shows and movies tell us we should, don’t you think? Ryan Gosling, Scarlett Johansson, and the like are pretty hard to keep up with after all. Conversely, I’m thankful for the way I feel in my body. I’m grateful for the strength and definition of my arms. While sometimes I look in the mirror with disappointment, when I choose to, I can also see quite a bit to celebrate.
I share all this because we’re nearing the end of the year, which is a great time to reflect on the past to make changes for the future. When it comes to New Years Resolutions it occurs to me we generally desire more joy and/or love, and two practices that greatly increase our bliss are vulnerability and gratitude. To be vulnerable is to be connected and courageous. It means we’re in tune with our own personal feelings, struggles, etc., as well as with the people around us. It’s an incredible act of courage to first see and admit to ourselves our weaknesses, and then to give and receive that gift with others.
Vulnerability makes us not only more healthy and whole, it opens you and I more up to the joy that’s with us all the time. On that note, gratitude is like an illegal drug that literally alters your brain chemistry and gets you high … only it’s free, legal, good for you, and always available. Regularly centering our thoughts to mindfully savor blessings, delights, joys, moments of love, or any of the other numerous good things in our lives, will bring more joy and love into our beings, thus infusing our daily existence with greater bliss. With all that in mind, I invite you and I to practice being more vulnerable and grateful, as it’ll change our realities in delightful ways.
Grace and peace,