For as long as I can remember I’ve had body image issues. There is no logical reason for this as I am quite a lovely woman. I am fit and I am strong and I take really good care of myself. I don’t have any significant traumas from childhood that have scarred me for life. The only reasonable thing I can pin point is the social structure that we have set in place that tells you a woman isn’t valuable unless her body is perfect. This is an insidiously pervasive message that we can not escape in this day and age.
I turn 50 this summer and I do not want to take this ball and chain with me into my Cronehood. I do not believe in aging in the traditional sense. Yet, I do feel that the beliefs we carry can age us more quickly than junk food or too much time in the sun. That said, I am embarking on a 21 day journey of self-love using the expression of dance to get there. I am using the system that Gabrielle Roth created called the 5 Rhythms. This series of rhythms takes your body into different dimensions of self. It opens one to the opportunity to explore their body in a sacred way.
I begin my journey today. Grief came up around thinking I could be anything less than beautiful.
More grief and these guttural sounds moved through me in big waves. I got a sense that the grief was old and that my body was weighted down by this old “stuff” that no longer serves me. This grief is the cause of some of the aches and pains I have experienced lately. It is also the underlying source of my negative thinking about my body. If I can dance this out will I be free?
In the middle of the night last night I awoke with severe menstrual cramps. The pain in my body kept me awake enough so I could really observe my thoughts and emotions. A lot of shame was coming up for me around putting myself out there like this. Me, who has been a spiritual leader and teacher for the past 20 years dealing with these issues still. When I danced this morning I was much lighter. I think whatever I was processing in the middle of the night must have moved through. And, I don’t have any cramps today. It did make me question if there is a correlation between shame and menstrual cramps though?
I felt energetically lighter today as I danced yet my belly feels full as I prepare to menstruate. I danced in front of the mirror while I stroked my belly lovingly. I felt like the Willendorf Goddess. Instead of being freaked out by that image it got me more in touch with the sacredness of being woman.
More grief today. My heart feels ripped wide open by it. I’m exhausted by it. I know it is all part of the process of letting go and letting in.
I had an awareness of how much my boyfriend loves me this morning. I’ve known intellectually that he loves me but today I felt it in my bones. I don’t think I could have had this awareness if I had not been on this journey.
I love how my body moves to the music. I’m feeling less constricted. More fluid. Peaceful. I have rarely felt peaceful in my body. I wonder if it is because I am an empath.
I finished my first week of dance this morning. During this I was able to put together how my poor body image translates into not feeling like I have personal power. It has never really made sense to me why I have struggled with this my whole life considering the remarkable tools I have acquired along the way. Yet, now I can see it. If I have no power how could I possibly see myself as beautiful. Each day as I dance I can feel the strength of my body grow. When i danced in front of the mirror today I looked at myself in a different way than I have before. There is more compassion there. More love than before. Just maybe I’m starting to see me instead of just look and find myself wanting.
I got my period today and needed stillness instead of movement. So, I gave my self permission to take the day off.
What a loving thing I did for myself yesterday. It is not very often I give myself permission to not do a practice I’ve committed to. I can be very rigid about it. I really sense that I am allowing more love into my life. Giving myself the day off yesterday shows that love. Today when I danced I felt light. When I began this journey more than a week ago there was such heaviness in my body. I was carrying around an ancient grief that weighed me down. I noticed when I put my foot on the floor today the step was light and the movement was more fluid.
Today I videoed me dancing. I wore very little as I wanted to see all of me. When I played it back I was surprised at how strong my body looked. That has been the root core of my body image issues, this sense of weakness. I know I’ve gotten stronger over the past few weeks but I wonder if this physical weakness has been a misperception all along?
I could still see the energetic heaviness that I carry in my body. It really showed in the video. Which I find is a good thing. I know that it is still there and I can set an intention to release it. I wish I would have taped me from day one so I could see if there is a difference from then to now. Will that heaviness shift over time? I don’t know.
When did we become so body obsessed? Why am I so body obsessed? I am not my body.
Today I smiled while I danced. I felt lighter and had more fun as I moved. I am noticing a change in myself. I’m not taking things quite so seriously. I really do feel that is because I am becoming more at ease with me. Today I was videoing a short yoga practice for my peeps and after I had finished it it wasn’t there. I was disappointed but not really upset. I saw it as a sign that I need to slow down and take my time. Not every thing needs to be done NOW. I think that understanding is a result of this journey. Not everything matters as much as I think it does.
Not having a good day. I danced hard during my practice. I needed to dance all the self-loathing and insecurity out. It helped. I used my drum during the dance to help process “stuff” out of my belly. That is where I feel the negative emotions the most. In my belly. I also used some Release essential oil and that seemed to help as well.
I’m embarrassed that I’m not over this yet. I usually move through things pretty quickly. This is a life long issue though and I don’t want to carry with me for the rest of my life. I want my 50’s to be beautiful and graceful and filled with self security and self-empowerment. Only I can give those gifts to my self. Only I can claim Me. All these negative emotions are a disowning of self. I’m going to explore some soul retrieval techniques as well. I think there is something within me that is missing. Not missing as in lacking but that I have hidden away for safe keeping. Will keep you posted.
Day 13 – Soul Retrieval and Integration
Yesterday, I felt something was missing and when I looked closer at my Auric field I could feel where it was empty in places. This morning, I went into meditation and I called back those parts of self that I had kept hidden for safe keeping.
My soul retrieval process looked like this. I lit a candle and got into the tub. I began to breathe long slow and deep. In my mind’s eye I see myself in a cave. In the cave there is a fire. There is always an old woman there who is the keeper of the flame. I ask her to help me with the process. She has me lay down naked on a reed pallet. She begins to rattle over different parts of my body. I begin to see lights moving towards me. These are the parts of self that I have abandoned or hidden for safe keeping. I feel them come back into my body in a very physical way. The Old One rattles over my body again to seal the soul parts back into my body.
When I came out of the meditation I felt more whole, more present in my body. I will take the day off the dance and integrate the soul retrieval today. Part of this journey of wholeness is listening to what my body is telling me. Today it is telling me to be still.
Personal Soul Retrieval is a process where I go into meditation and invite parts of my self that may be missing from this physical incarnation back into my body. We “leave” for many reasons. Trauma is the number one reason that we hide parts of self for safe keeping. The result is that we can feel like something is missing from our being. We may not be able to be fully present or we may have holes in the Auric field. There are other ways to accomplish soul retrieval where there is a healing practitioner who goes on the journey with you/for you. I offer this as one of my services.
Day 14 – Beautiful Day
The soul retrieval I did yesterday worked its magic! I feel more whole in my body. When I danced this morning there was such joy! I feel like there is more to be done, old thought patterns to be shifted, old habits to reframe, etc. Yet, I feel quite lovely in my body this day. I feel I can look inside myself and see. Before there was always this absence. Today I feel Presence.
Day 15 – Pandora’s Box
I’m excited to say (I’m weird I know!) that more fears and insecurities and doubts and, and, and . . . are coming up as a result of this work. I’m excited about it because I know I am doing a great purge. There is freedom in sight. There is strength and a secure foundation at the end of this road. Today I danced until all the fears left my belly. It’s interesting to note that when I experience fear it is in my belly and my belly has been the part of me that I criticize the most. Today when I looked in the mirror I liked my belly. There is a loveliness to its roundness and its nice soft curves. Underneath all those curves is a great strength. I can see the aspects of both softness and strength in my body, mind, and spirit and how those qualities bring balance to my being.
Day 16 – A Revelation
During my dance today a bit of grief came up. I wasn’t very attached to it but I did notice my willingness to breathe into and through it rather than try to get rid of it. That has been my M.O. in the past. I would engage my negative feelings in battle and try to wrestle them out of me. I’ve known intuitively that that wasn’t the best way to handle my feelings. I just didn’t have the distance or the courage to to do it differently. The dance has helped me become the observer to my emotions rather than the reactor. In the space of observer I can recognize that my emotions will not be the death of me rather the builder of my strength.
Day 17 – The Sacred Chalice
Today’s dance brought me in touch with my belly being a sacred chalice. It is the place where we contain our hopes and our dreams and . . . our power. This Divine Feminine Power is who we really are as women. We have forgotten it in our quest for external perfection. We have bought into the lie that our worth is our body instead of what is contained with in its curves and softness. Our Power is Sacred. It is time we reclaimed what is rightfully ours.
Day 18 – Dancing With Power
I am tired today so didn’t have much in me to dance long. I did play with the energy of magic/manifestation/power. I asked my body to move with power and it was interesting to see how I held my body in a different way. I also used the energy of magic to manifest more abundance in my life. I simply tuned into that same energy of power but used it to draw abundance to me. Some fear came up so will need to delve into this a bit deeper to understand why I’m afraid to use magic in this way.
Day 19 – Dancing Abundance
I’ve noticed that I’m no longer focusing on what is wrong with me but getting more and more in touch with the power within me. I am becoming comfortable with the lines and the shapes of my body.
I meditated on yesterday’s fears and come up with some past lives that didn’t go well for me when I used magic. Thus the fear in this life time. Today I connected with magic again and felt much more at home with the energy. I used it to call in abundance and moved with the energy of prosperity and grace. It felt natural. It felt like we were given this tool to use as one of the many resources for tapping into abundance. Many times I have forgotten that being abundant is a natural state. There is a sense that I need to work hard for it. If we relax and allow ourselves to open up to it prosperity is abundantly available to us. Let the dance of abundance fill you!
An easy day of dwelling in the joy of moving my body.
Day 21 – Last Dance
Not really. I’m on a roll now. This is only the beginning of the journey. I no know I can use dance for any kind of transformation I may need in the moment. What a gift. Dance on!
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