Ugh. Even writing that title brings up some discomfort in me.
How thoroughly we western women were raised to critique, disconnect from and even hate our bodies.
Since throwing myself whole-heartedly into creating dances and warm-up and stretching routines for my classes, I have begun to get to know my 41 year-old body in a whole new way.
I’ve always had a pretty healthy body image (thanks Mum), I do a yoga class every week and I get outside for a walk most days, but I haven’t really pushed my body too hard in recent years.
Now, thankfully the dance classes I am creating are gentle, flowing and although will raise a sweat, are not about huffing and puffing or straining, so the chances of any sort of injury are remote. However, the ways I am moving my body are a little different to the other activities I have been doing lately, so I’m feeling a little tender here and there.
These physical sensations have brought some interesting beliefs to the surface in me such as a fear of not physically being able to keep up the new pace I am setting, a fear of not being a good enough dancer or teacher and of course fear of no-one turning up. Most of all, I have become aware of how I still lack true love and appreciation for my wonderful body.
But hey, I’ve got to acknowledge how far I’ve come already.
I started telling myself in my early thirties that I was too old to contemplate integrating dance into my working life in any real way. When I was 38 I ended up running music and movement classes for mums and toddlers for a year or so and made a success of it. I didn’t really know why I was doing this in conjunction with starting my natural therapies work, but now it all sort of makes sense.
The kids’ music classes gave me confidence in arranging, promoting and managing this style of business. And three years later, here I am doing it again! But this time it’s really coming from my heart and it’s all me. At 41 I’m actually feeling looser, stronger and more confident than I did at 31. Plus, it just feels right. I’m ready and I know my body is going to faithfully carry me through this next part of our journey together.
Take a moment now to tune into your body. Maybe focus on your feet. When all is working well, we taking these amazing instruments completely for granted. Just being able to walk, run, dance and skip whenever we feel like it is a huge gift!
Feel your feet on the floor, wiggle your toes, look at them, thank them. Being present, in gratitude, with a part of your body or your whole body for a few minutes each day is a lovely meditation.
Breathe in, breathe out. Haaaaahh.