As many of you know, I serve as a board member for The Women’s Alliance (TWA), a national non-profit that is the leading global network of unique, community-based non-profits focused on empowering women achieve economic independence.
On March 13, 2012, with the support of Ariela-Alpha International, TWA launched its first Smart & Sexy Day.
During the event, participants were given Body Image Training, a segment which I had the honor of teaching atThe Career Wardrobe in Philadelphia, PA.
The module was interactive, and at one point I asked the participants to think about their feelings about specific parts of their body.
For most people, thinking about the best part of their body is more challenging than thinking about what they like least.
It’s easy to form a thought in your mind. Too big. Too small. Too thin. Too fat. Too wide. Too flabby.
Now, Smart & Sexy day was an empowerment event designed to build self-esteem among women.
Unfortunately, even if you are incredibly confident, self-esteem doesn’t always extend to liking your body.
Why is it that you spend more time finding flaws with yourself than loving everything that you have been given?
Of course, we talked about the media, and images in magazines, and taking a stand for our beauty.
At the end of the module, I encouraged the women to leave with a new appreciation of who they are, and how beautiful they were.
After the event as I made my way back to Miami, I reflected on the day.
At the airport, I saw young man in a wheelchair with one leg amputated.
I noticed a woman about my age walking slowly with a cane, as her children danced through the terminal.
There was a middle-aged woman on my flight who was blind and needed step-by-step instructions about emergency exits, and how many paces it was to the bathroom.
And, and the elderly man sitting next to me was wearing a hearing aid.
Being thankful for the wonders of the human body.
As I got off the plane, and walked to baggage claim, I saw thin people, fat people, old people, and young people who could all walk, see, and hear.
And, I wondered if they knew how lucky they were.
No, you may not say thank you for two good legs that work –unless something happens when you are forced to no longer take two good legs for granted.
You may not appreciate arms that can lift grocery bags, or wrap around your loved ones.
You may not have noticed all of the beauty around you – that of the sun rising, the birds singing, and the flowers blooming.
You bend, stretch, pivot, twist, and turn your body all day long, often unaware of the miracle of its inner workings.
For this day, I am grateful.
For the ability to walk, and talk, dance, and sing.
I celebrate every breath I breathe and every passing moment – minute by minute, day by day.
How about you?
The Upside Challenge this week is to make a list of everything about you and your body that you love, and then give thanks.
You are a miracle.
See Upside. Be Upside. Live Upside.
p.s. If you are inspired by the mission of The Women’s Alliance, ask me about our “Greater Than Any Obstacle”giving campaign. Whether once a year, or once a month, you can help us to make a difference in communities across the world. And, I will give a free strategy session to anyone who makes a donation to our 2012 capital campaign.