May 28, 2014 by Nicole
Dance is indivisibly linked to the body. As dancers, our bodies are our actual instruments. We have an intense mind-body connection. And we depend on our bodies to allow us to create and express ourselves through dance, a medium that we love.
I follow a blog called Weightless that focuses on our relationship with our bodies. Weightless says it’s about “fostering a fulfilling body image and life, at any shape + size. It’s about well-being, not weight.”
As a follower of this blog, I received the following prompt via email and I thought it was a really powerful challenge that I wanted to share. From Weightless:
Today, challenge yourself to write 10 body-positive statements, which feel true and realistic for you.
You might want to gush about your body. You might not. You might write about how you’re learning to appreciate your body. You might write about the things you want to remember. Start each statement with the words: “My body is…”
For example, this is what I wrote in my journal:
- My body is smart — telling me when I’m hungry, full, tense or achy, when I need a hug, when I need to move, when I need to sit.
- My body is strong, even when I can’t do a certain exercise or need an extra long break. (This is something I remind myself of regularly, because I forget regularly.)
- My body is a gift. My five senses are a gift. Walking is a gift. Being able to laugh and hug my honey are gifts. And each one is also a miracle. How much brain and muscle power does it take to walk? Yep, miracle.
- My body is a dance machine. This past Saturday Brian and I danced our butts off at a friends’ wedding. We had the best time — all thanks, again, to my body.
- My body is deserving. It’s deserving of care, comfort, safety and respect regardless of my weight, the size of my hips or the shape of my stomach.
- My body is my heritage. My ancestor’s roots run through my veins. I have many of my family’s traits. I have my mother’s eyes. I have my father’s hands and my grandmother’s legs.
- My body is imperfect. It’s etched with chicken pox scars, moles, stretch marks and certain “flaws.” I’m learning to see this as a good thing. It is my own unique blueprint. It is mine.
- My body is evolving every day. I’m learning to observe this with curiosity (and care).
- My body is enough. It is enough in its current shape. It will be enough when I gain weight or when I lose it. It will be enough when I’m pregnant, and after I’ve given birth. It will be enough as I grow older and experience other changes.
- My body is an opportunity to explore the world, to go on adventures, to breathe in all the wonder, to process the pleasure, and the pain.
What is your body?
I loved her examples. Bringing an intense focus on your body can be a positive thing…but it’s just as easy to go down a negative road, fixating on the things that aren’t “right” or “perfect” or the things it struggles with. That’s why I felt this prompt was so powerful – it asked you to take a minute and practice gratitude for your body and positive reinforcement. Which is a good thing to do for anyone, but especially as dancers who are already body-focused.
I think this is an excellent inclusion for your dance journal. And something you can revisit to see how your journey unfolds, as your body image and perceptions change.
I hope you find this as helpful and positive as I have. Would love to ready some of your statements in the comments section!