Archive for December, 2011

re-picturing BODY DELIGHTS

It was my honor and pleasure to be asked by Rebecca Murphy, my dear friend, photographer, writer, coach, complete lover of life, and author of the Relish Life blog, to contribute to her Relish11 project. She has posted a series of prompts this month to help people reflect on this past year (check it out)! There’s something amazing about savoring the past year that contributes to a grateful and hopeful heart. Today, the guest prompt that I contributed focuses on the delighting and savoring the senses in order to feel more alive in our bodies.

As I considered the times that I have felt most “in” my body, experiences including running, basking in the sun, savoring the different flavors of a new recipe, or just focusing on breathing in and out, came to mind. When have you felt most alive, connected, or exuberant in your body?

If something doesn’t easily come to mind, guess what? It’s not too late. Go out and do something this week, today, now that places you squarely in your body. This does not have to be complicated (who needs more to do this time of year). As you’re sitting at your computer, simply focus on inhaling and exhaling, rather than just walking by the Christmas tree, let your eyes delight in the twinkling lights, or when you hug your partner or your kids, fully embrace them with body and mind. By truly embracing our bodily experiences, we can connect with our authentic, whole, imperfectly beautiful selves.



When was the last time you were “in” your body this holiday season? Do you remember a time when you somehow crept outside the worries, nagging thoughts, or rushing to-do lists that bogged down your mind and leaned into the tastes, sights, smells, touches, or sounds of the present moment?

This year, I’m trying something that is a bit radical for me. I’m trying to capture the magic of the season by being present in my body.

Whenever the holidays roll around, I always have the same wish. This year I’m going to really savor the holiday season. Unfortunately, for me, savoring often involves adding a million things to my ever-growing to-do list.

This year, I’m going to send the Christmas letter to family and friends.

This year I’m going to make a ritual out of wrapping gifts.

This year I’m going to watch all of my favorite animated specials.

This year I’m going to throw a fabulous holiday party.

And, guess what? At the end of each season, I feel bummed, frustrated, angered, and saddened that another year has passed me by and the magic, inspiration, gratitude, joy, peace, and connection of the season didn’t manifest in the way I had imagined.

And, the truth is, the last thing I need to do during this crazy, hectic time of year is add even one more thing to my to-do list.

So, I’m trying something different. Rather than trying to do more, I’m trying (key word here is trying) to be more. And the body is a fabulous place to start. The holidays are a perfect time to savor the senses. Do you remember the last time that you actually felt the cold on your skin on a crisp December day (rather than rushing to get out of the cold). Do you remember the last time you enjoyed the first taste of a Christmas cookie as the sugar hit your tongue (rather than inhaling an entire pan of reindeer cut-outs and then wondering why you always gain a few pounds over the holidays)? Do you remember the last time you actually let your eyes flit from light to light on Christmas tree?

The lovely thing about our bodies is that we have this magical opportunity to go from doing to being at any time. Seriously. Try it. Take 5 seconds. Do a senses test. What do you taste, see, smell, feel, and hear right now? These are the mini-moments that make up the present. And the moment is one of the best presents we can gift ourselves.