Each day we wake is an opportunity to connect to ourselves, to others, to our world. In gratitude, we can appreciate that not all of us get to wake up to a new day, to live in this body.
Yet most days we forget the sacredness of not just being here but being in a body. We rush into the day, into the next meeting or activity. We push, punish, and restrict our bodies in unloving ways. We forget how strong and capable and forgiving our bodies are as they carry us around all day. We forget our responsibility to feed it sufficiently and well. We forget that our body takes 6 to 8 million breaths per year; without us asking it too. Or that our heart beats 100,000 times a day and 35 million times a year; without us asking it too. Or that the stomach lining regenerates every few days; just for you. We don’t think about how magical it is to be able to eat, walk, lift and hold our children, or to see out the window. We also sometimes forget that not all of us experience these privileges.
Our bodies (and mind) are gifts. They are tools. They are how we connect to our inner and outer worlds, to both the seen and unseen. And if you believe in something bigger than yourself like I do, your body is the vessel through which God (the word I most use), inspiration and purpose makes it into our world.
So today, consider this prayer for the body written by Marianne Williamson. I invite you to insert a different word if God doesn’t resonate for you. I’ve also included a version I adapted that removes this element.
Inward and upward friends,
As I rise up, I thank You for the opportunity to be on this earth.
I thank You for my mind and body.
I thank You for my life.
Please bless my body and use it for Your purposes.
May I rise up strong today, and may my body and soul radiate Your love.
May all impurities be cast out of my mind, my heart, my body.
May every cell of my being be filled with Your light.
May my body and mind both be illumined for Your sake and for the Sake of all the world.
Gratitude for the Body by Marianne Williamson