At the end of my yoga practice the other day, while I was lying still and serene on my mat, instructor Stacy McCarthy said something to the class that resonated with me: “Thank you for getting yourselves here and taking care of yourselves.”
Stacy’s words led me to think: We should give gratitude not only to the blessings we have in our lives, but to ourselves as well.
Gratitude = Peace = Happiness = Love
Happiness and love are the two states of mind, the two states of being, for which we all strive. There are different ways to achieve happiness and love. Why not start by acknowledging yourself, by giving yourself gratitude and by setting a healthy example for others?
Give yourself a hug. Give yourself a hug today, tomorrow, everyday … and especially on Mother’s Day. Just as we do for our children, give yourself a hug. It feels really good to be appreciated and that appreciation must start with you.
Showing ourselves gratitude is an important part of being a good mother. Showing ourselves gratitude is an important way of setting a healthy example for our children.
We all want our children to feel love toward themselves. We all want our children to feel gratitude, acceptance, pride and joy toward themselves. We all want to see them have balance in their lives, which comes with taking care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Mind. Body. Spirit.
One quality we want our children to have is self-worth; not to feel that they are “better than …” but rather that they are “worthy of …” This starts with love and respect for themselves.
What better way to teach our children well than by giving ourselves gratitude?
Our gratitude is illuminated through the choices we make each day, such as our choice in the food we eat, the exercise we do and the products we use.
Let me give you a personal example.
We all want our daughters to feel beautiful, inside and out, and we want to set that example for them. A year ago, when I was introducing my Ekatala organic, natural, raw and 100% chemical-free hair-, bath- and body-care products, there were many times when my daughter Mimi and her high school girlfriends were in my kitchen as I was blending myself a green smoothie while simultaneously nourishing my hair with a 30-minute Ekatala Organic Meditation Mask treatment.
Naturally, I always would offer them green smoothies, and they always would turn up their noses and turn me down. No. No. No. They thought that organic would not taste good. Yet, those moments always sparked them to ask me questions: When did you start eating this way? Why did you choose organic and raw? Why juice? What prompted you to develop Ekatala personal-care products?
Now, a year later, Mimi and her girlfriends will walk into the house after school, and some will ask me to make them smoothies. Others will ask me to mix up a salad. Now, we discuss the benefits of eating organic. Now, we talk about the benefits of using organic, natural and raw personal-care products. And Mimi’s girlfriends may even ask if they can earn some spending money by helping me hand-make and label Ekatala products.
I knew I truly had made a healthy impression when Mimi recently asked me if I knew that certain leading beauty product manufacturers were doing product testing on animals. Mimi described pictures she had seen of animals that had been tested and the horrible shape they were in afterward. She was outraged at the companies and at herself.
“I cannot believe I ever used these products,” Mimi said.
We mothers know that, when our children reach a certain age, we cannot make them do something. Throughout their lives, we must educate, inform and guide them. But most of all, we always must lead by example, because eventually, they will have to be making these healthy, responsible choices on their own.
Years of my setting a healthy example laid the foundation for Mimi (and my two sons) and led her (and her brothers) to be more conscious about making healthy choices. Her girlfriends were exposed to my setting an example, too. We do not want to force our kids to make healthy choices. We want them to make healthy choices because they want to, because they recognize, understand and embrace the benefits.
As they get older and go out into the world, the things from which we try to shelter our children will be staring them in the face. So, teach by example. Educate. Explain. Why is it important to eat this way? To drink this juice? To get the proper rest? To indulge in moderation? To use organic, natural and raw personal-care products?
Which brings me back to my yoga teacher’s proclamation: Part of thanking yourself is thanking yourself for taking care of yourself.
If we treat ourselves with love, if we make choices out of love rather than out of fear, the natural effect, the natural outcome of that, is finding harmony and balance, and hopefully, a healthy lifestyle.
Give yourself gratitude today, tomorrow, everyday … and especially on Mother’s Day.
Start by giving yourself a hug.