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Giving Thanks to Your Body

(This article was first published in November 2007 Metta Center email newsletter.)

In Taoism and Chinese Energy medicine, there is an exercise called "Inner Smile", where you smile at your inner organs.

This exercise has a very practical purpose: self-acceptance and appreciation. This simple and gentle practice is very effective in balancing your meridian system and is very nourishing to your spirit.

Here is a slightly different version of this exercise:
  • Sit or lie comfortably. Alternatively, you can even do this exercise when you are walking or in the shower. Begin by taking several deep breaths, exhaling slowly.
  • Allow yourself to recall the time someone extend a kindness to you and you can feel a sense of appreciation gently arising from within your heart-center.
  • Noticing this feeling of appreciation, you bring your attention and extend this feeling to various parts of your body.
  • Starting from the top of your head, bring your attention and appreciation to your hair, brain, ears, eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, jaws, and all the supporting tissues around and in your head.
  • Next, appreciate your skin, the largest organ of your body.
  • Move your attention down to your neck, your shoulder, your arms, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, and nails. Also thank your thighs, knees, ankles, feet, toes and nails.
  • Don't forget to thank your internal organs: heart, lungs and the bronchials, stomach, small and large intestine, pancreas, spleen, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, gonads, and so on.
  • Give thanks to your central nervous system, hormonal system, skeletal and muscular system for their support.
  • In short, appreciate all your various cells, and the incredible intelligence built into you so that you can function and live.
Notice how you feel, emotionally and physically, afterward.

Many of my clients report feeling energized afterwards. Some say that they feel contented, appreciated and loved in a very deep level. Some clients report healing on their physical issues. Many notice a reduction in their stress level and an increase in their ability to stay centered.

Your body is a vehicle for your spirit. Spend some time recognizing it as a marvelous and miraculous creation that it truly is!

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