My Two Thanksgiving Wishes for You...

I have two Thanksgiving wishes for you...
1. Slow Down
Years ago, I spent hours with two other women preparing a delicious Thanksgiving feast, only to watch our guests scarf it down in less than 15 minutes, then leave the table. Barely a sentence was spoken throughout the entire meal.

They grabbed dessert and headed back to the TV leaving the cooks behind as we stared at our half-empty plates.

I was disappointed and, well, really annoyed.

My first wish for you this Thanksgiving is to slow down.

Savor every moment and morsel.

Linger over your meal enjoying good conversation with your table mates. Truly taste and savor each and every bite.

My family has a fun tradition of posing questions to the entire table then taking turns answering them. Everyone participates, from ages 6 to 80.

Questions range from “What movie character would you like to be?” and “If you could be any flavor of ice cream, what would you be and why? to "What was your best day ever?”

By slowing down, you will experience greater pleasure and satisfaction and feel much more energized and connected to your body and your loved ones.

2. Write a Thank You Letter…to Your Body

Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time criticizing our body. 

Doing so causes unnecessary stress and suffering. It drains your energy and life force.

My second wish for you is that you begin to adopt a policy of kindness, compassion and acceptance toward your body.

As you count your blessing this Thanksgiving, take time to write a thank you letter to your body. Tell it absolutely everything you’re grateful for.

For example, thank your…

  • heart for beating on its own and for feeling all kinds of love

  • legs for enabling you to walk, run, dance, hike or ski

  • arms for carrying your child or hugging a loved one

  • eyes for seeing all the beauty and goodness in the world

  • nose for smelling blooming flowers, baking bread, brewing coffee and freshly cut grass

  • hands for performing millions of tiny miracles throughout the day, from tying shoes and texting friends to scratching your dog's belly and selecting a perfectly ripe avocado

This simple yet powerful act can put you on the path to creating a more loving, relaxed and peaceful relationship with your body.

For more tips on cultivating an attitude of gratitude, head on over to here.

She Can Eat Whatever She Wants; I Gain Weight Just Looking at Cake

Do you often find yourself sinking into compare-and-despair mode?

In the realm of food and body, it sounds something like this:

  • It’s so unfair that she can eat whatever she wants and not gain a pound. I gain weight just looking at cake.
  • I’ll never look that good in a swimsuit; her stomach is way flatter than mine.
  • Why can’t I have as much willpower as she does when it comes to sugar?
  • Everyone in my yoga class is so fit and toned; I’m embarrassed of my flabby body.
  • It’s so easy for him to lose weight. Why does it have to be so hard for me?

While it’s human nature to compare yourself to other people, the comparison game usually backfires. When your comparison puts you on the losing end, it often leads to feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, isolation, jealousy, desperation, despair and depression.

Quite simply, comparison is the death of joy.

Comparing yourself to others is a disempowering, futile act that results in unnecessary stress, struggle and suffering. However, rather than judge yourself for falling into the comparison trap (you are human, after all!), you can stop yourself from continually going down this path of self-attack.

Here’s one of my top strategies for ending compare and despair:

Start a gratitude journal.

Every day, write down a handful of things you’re grateful for—big and small. Be sure to include things you appreciate about your body.

For example, recent body-related entries in my gratitude journal included:

  • My heart for beating all on its own.
  • My eyes for allowing me to witness the magnificent sunrise.
  • My strong legs for taking me on a gorgeous coastal hike.
  • My arms for enabling me to hug my loved ones.
  • My tongue for tasting the delicious dinner I made tonight.

By taking time to reflect on and appreciate all that’s good in your life—including what you cherish about your body—you’ll boost your positivity, improve your body image, elevate your overall well-being, and be much less inclined to compare yourself to others.

This certainly has been the case for me, and for my clients. But don’t just take my word for it—try it out for a few months and see for yourself.

Where I've Been and the Power of Gratitude

I just returned from an amazing solo trip to Laos and Cambodia (hence the reason I haven’t been posting lately). Traveling is one of my greatest passions; it truly feeds my soul.

Exploring foreign lands, especially developing countries, always gives me a wider perspective on life and deeper gratitude for all that I have, like clean water, hot showers and easy access to medical care. It also reminds me of how little one needs to be happy.

The Power of Gratitude
Like travel, the holidays also serve as a wonderful reminder to be grateful for all that’s good in our lives. However, the benefits of practicing gratitude year-round are endless from a stronger immune system, sounder sleep and reduced stress to increased energy, more rewarding relationships and greater life satisfaction.  

6 Simple Gratitude Practices
Here are six simple practices to help you cultivate a daily attitude of gratitude:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal by recording five or so things big and small everyday that you’re grateful for.

  2. Create a gratitude jar. Anytime you experience a poignant moment of gratitude, write it on a piece of paper and drop it in a jar. Once or twice a year, perhaps on your birthday and New Year’s Eve, empty the jar and review everything you wrote.

  3. Write a gratitude letter to someone who has had a profound impact on your life expressing your appreciation for all the gifts she or he has given you.

  4. Share the day’s grateful moments around the dinner table. Doing so will surely lead to some heart-warming, memorable conversations.

  5. When you tuck your kiddo into bed or snuggle up with your partner at night, share three things each of you are grateful for.

  6. Express gratitude for each part of your body as you apply lotion to it. For example, thank your legs for enabling you to exercise, your arms for carrying your child, or your hands for performing millions of miracles throughout the day from tying shoes and texting friends to scratching your dog's belly and selecting a perfectly ripe avocado.

With Deep Gratitude,