I have an exercise for you. Rather than a physical exercise like piano playing or running on the elliptical (which, by the way, if you haven’t tried, please do, because it’s awesome), this is more a mental/spiritual exercise to help you in your healing.
Buh . . . ?
Well unless you’ve been living alone on a desert island, it should be no surprise to you that the boss of your body is your brain. Your brain is an organ that commands, on autopilot, absolutely everything you do, from the tiniest (cell reproduction) to the largest (running, jumping) scope. According to even Western studies, this ubiquitous connection between brain and body is what’s considered your “mind.” Rather than residing solely in your brain, your mind actually runs through your very veins, your every cell, your DNA.
Check this brief article out from Time magazine from 2002.
So. What can we take from these findings? Healthy mind, healthy . . . body!
And this is sort of what I’ve been trying to communicate with you guys the whole time. Treat your healing as a holistic endeavor: You are a whole human being, made of perhaps infinite facets and layers. You’re like a diamond.
So rather than only treating yourself physically, it’s also very important to keep your attitude healthy. And for many of you, your attitude is also partially spiritual.
Note to atheists: I’m not trying to talk you into going to church or temple or whatever. But all I want you to do is open your mind to the science behind the theory I just pointed out above. Your spirit is woven within your mind, and you need to nurture it for your own well being. I’m not even going to mention the G-word, so breathe easy.
So today’s exercise is very easy, but may come unnaturally to some of you who aren’t already in the habit. We’re going to focus on having an attitude of gratitude.
All the major world religions encourage a practice of gratitude — what do you think that whole prayer of thanks for your meals is about? Being thankful for the things you have (and you have them; you’re alive, aren’t you?) uplifts your spirit and recharges you. If you take out the time each day to give thanks for the positives in your life, you will do yourself the favor of reminding yourself of all the things you still have to be happy about.
If you’re hitting a blank, here are some suggestions. Give thanks for:
- your family and/or loved ones. Thank goodness for their love and support. This can be your parents, a loyal and loving spouse or significant other, an understanding sibling, your helpful children who have come to your side to help you. A beautiful, close friend who offers her companionship and empathy.
- your medical staff. Thank your doctors and therapists personally — yes, it is their line of work, but they do something so beautiful that very few people even consider doing, and these are virtually strangers who have set aside time in their day to take care of you.
- the capabilities you still have left in your body, whatever they may be. At least you don’t have to reprogram those!
- the gains you’ve already made, even if they seem small. There’s no such thing as a small gain, anyway; as these gains pile up they make up huge ones, and so each gain is essential.
- your pets. That unconditional love despite the changes that have taken place is so lovely.
- this blog — after all, it wasn’t around when I was in the hospital! 😉
And even if you’re not the one who had the injury, I still encourage you to go through this exercise. Try it now. If you want to be really gung-ho about it, please do it once a day.
So, to lead by example, I will now share a short list of what I’m thankful for.
Thank goodness for:
- my inquisitive mind. Without it, I never would have had the motivation to put together this website to share with the people who need it.
- my right side. I will always know what total recuperation will look and feel like, and at least it is still completely intact and at this point, even better!
- my doctors, healers, and therapists. Thank you for your help in my healing, and your knowledge and caring. And your interest in me as a person, and your encouragement.
- the taste of food. I still enjoy every bite the way I always have, and I am eternally thankful for this earthly and gorgeous capability.
- my family. They were there for me every day when I lived in the hospital for two and a half months, and they’re still here to encourage and help me as I continue to heal.
- my beautiful friends who’ve offered physical and emotional support and stuck by me regardless of my condition. I love you so much for that.
- the love of my life, who shall remain nameless here. He’s given me hope and encouragement, and tough love when I’ve needed it. And I hope I can do the same for him as he heals and copes.
- the beauty in the world that helps remind me what my fight is for.
And as your energy uplifts, so will your condition. Please leave a comment below and tell me what you’re thankful for.
To our healing,