If you havent guessed by the title, I was back in bellydance class this Saturday. It was just us 3 newbies as everyone else was getting ready to perform in or go to MEDA that day. It made for an intimate group where we could work on steps that were giving us trouble.
Nicci, our high energy, gracefully flowing movement teacher yelled down the line "shake your boobies" with a huge smile on her face. I laughed loudly sure the neighboring stores could hear me above the beating music. I shook my "boobies" faster and wondered what other things I thought I could only hear from a partner, but now hearing it in bellydance class.
It was freeing. I was brought up to be a "proper" woman. An expectation of being quiet and speaking politely and reserved with company. It was a constant battle with mom growing up who often shook her head and whispered under her breath "I'm the one who wanted a free spirit" At the end of the battle I always acquiesced and tried to conform.
So being there at the moment, I was like myself no worries of what anyone thought of me or my body.
We then went turns. I don't remember the actual name, but she called it from model to goddess. "Everyone stop looking down at my feet keep your heads up". I did the turn correctly. "Holy crap how does not looking work?", I thought. She came up to me close to my face and said "you can stop grunting now ' cause you just DID IT!", Laughing as she said the last part.
I inhaled sharply. I was GRUNTING?? and I laughed louder hearing in my head "not very lady like".
But the best part was I as I watched Nicci's movements, I tried to start mirroring the grace and fluidity of her body. As I looked at my own body that critical eye of seeing breasts too large, stomach too fat, thighs to thick wasn't there. It was replaced with "how can I move my body as it is right now to be more fluid and graceful not only as I dance, but as a daily practice? " I recognized the shift in my thinking from hiding to want to be present and show up.
Being overweight and the perception/assumption of who you are as person can be a negative one in today's society. The lack of understanding that weight gain is usually an inability to process emotional issues or trauma. Not lack of willpower or laziness.
Because of this assumption, my go to is to hide, cover up, and not be noticed. And I see this with my weightloss clients.
As I stared at myself in the mirror I knew it's not only about body love/acceptance, it's about self love/acceptance. Being thin doesn't fix all the problems. Those feelings don't magically disappear when you become thin. Accepting who you are at this moment and doing the work to heal yourself is what leads to healing and nourishing your body.
I feel that bellydance, hypnotherapy and nourishing my body has allowed this to start happening for me.