Actress Julianne Moore; currently age 52
on the topic of aging:
“I’ve been asked about aging in Hollywood since I started, I think because I started making movies when I was 30 or 31. So the first question out of everybody’s mouth is ‘what does it feel like to be an older actress working in Hollywood.’ And I keep getting it. And my answer to it always has been that you can’t be anywhere except where you are. I’m 48. I’m going to be 48 until I’m not anymore and then I’ll be 49. And if I spend all my time at 48 wishing that I was 35, I’m not going to experience 48. And I’m not going to play parts I played at 31 either. It’s not going to happen. So I feel like as far as aging is concerned for anybody in their life, at any point… you have to go, ‘this is where I am today, and appreciate it.’ Because none of it lasts very long.”
‘This is where I am today… appreciate it.’
Wow. This is simply a wonderful quote to begin a post about gratitude.
That’s right. Today’s post is about living in the moment and appreciating the body you’ve got right now. Not the body you’ll have in a few months after you lose some weight or firm up that tummy. The body that’s yours right this second.
No more postponing your good feelings.
If that sounds like a foreign concept to you, you’re not alone. Because most of us women view our bodies with a certain detached judgment. In fact, as I write these words, a new survey reports that only 3% of the women in the UK are totally happy with their bodies. Think about that; that’s a lot of discontentment. But seeing our bodies with critical eyes is something we learn early on; our bodies very quickly become things to be pinched and tightened and manipulated by exercise and calories. Our bodies are something we glare at in the mirror, scanning for imperfections.
The sad truth is, most of us don’t feel a tender appreciation for our trusty, dependable body and everything it does for us. And even now after everything I know, I still struggle with this.
But I’m getting better.
In fact, I decided to write this post after I heard an amazing quote about our bodies that I immediately wanted to share with you. And you may find it interesting if:
1. you’re sitting down right now
2. you’re a blogger (lots of sitting)
3. you work all day at your desk
It’s a stunning quote I heard while I was listening to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria’s interview with Dr. David Agus. (You can watch the clip HERE. for his full comment).
Shown here on CBS
For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Agus is the former oncologist for Steve Jobs and author of “The End of Illness.” And his message is largely about preventing illnesses. One of his basic beliefs is in order to fight off diseases as we age we need to keep our bodies moving. A lot.
This is what he said:
I know. It’s pretty shocking. And you can decide for yourself whether you believe this or not.
But this comment was a powerful reminder that my body is like a high functioning machine that needs maintenance and attention in order to perform well. Whatever you might think of this quote, his larger message forces you to have a different perspective about exercise.
Exercise is no longer that dreaded thing-to-do in order to weigh a certain number on the scale.
Helen Mirren: age 67
Instead, we want to keep our bodies moving because we love how we feel inside a healthy, strong body. We want to feed our bodies fruits and vegetables because we love feeling energetic.
Do you see the difference?
Do you see how much easier it is to be nicer to your body when you’re not focused on how it looks?
But rather…how it performs for you?
Here’s my latest Gratitude List.
Four Nice Things To Do For My Body:
1. Start the day with a positive affirmation
2. Drink a delicious ‘green’ smoothie
3. Pick a parking space that’s far away
4. Go for a long walk or run –preferably with your dog.
These are four easy things I’m doing right now, feel free to join me.
Kristen Scott Thomas currently age 52
But do these things… NOT because you’ll look ten years younger or because you want to look like Julianne Moore or some other beautiful woman.
Do these things because living a grateful life means living in the present. It means focusing on what you have and not what you don’t have; it means making peace with the natural parts of aging so you can relish every gorgeous detail of your life today.
Here’s a personal example.
Recently I was sitting in my car at a stoplight when I glanced at my hands on the steering wheel. My first random thought was, “Wow, look at my hands. My fingers used to look so long and slender…no wrinkles around my knuckles. Nice, smooth hands…and now look at them. What happened?!”
But I caught myself.
And instead of staying in that mindset and focusing on how old my hands looked, I began to think about what my hands actually do.
That’s right. I thought of all the beautiful things my hands have done for me. I looked at them and I tried to imagine how many little shoelaces my fingers have tied in my lifetime. I wondered how many book pages my fingers have turned. I thought of the first time my hands ever held my infants at the hospital, and I flashed back on all those times I scooped my boys up and plopped them on my hips. That was a whole lot of scooping.
I thought about holding hands, and cooking fantastic meals and laying bricks and planting flowers. And suddenly I knew why my hands looked more worn.
And the strangest thing happened. The harsh judgment I’d felt just seconds ago?
It drifted off. And in it’s place was a tiny surge of tenderness for these valuable hands of mine. Funny how I immediately wanted to put lotion on, and take better care of them.
Although I also know this. I can sleep every night with my hands wrapped inside expensive spa mitts and slathered with creams and they’ll never look like my twenty-year old hands.
Because the simple fact is: I’m not twenty years old.
I hope you find time to do something nice for your body today. Maybe even something on my gratitude list. A walk in the sun, maybe?
Right now I’m headed out with my jogging partner.
This is Stella, she’s waiting for me…
I hope you have a wonderful day, my friends!
If you get a moment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’m linking this post up with these friends: