I've been at my spa for two days now - this is the third. I'm enjoying the quiet, and the lack of any schedule or demands on my time. I've had time to sit and stare into space and nap and think. (In addition to hanging out in the pool, sauna, steamroom & jacuzzi)...
Last week, my friend/mentor/counselor suggested I spend some time meditating on the concept of acceptance - especially when it has to do with accepting my body size/shape and not trying so hard to change myself.
I started with the question, when did I stop feeling good about my body? I let my mind wander, and ended up in junior high school in a particularly painful memory of showing up at school in a new outfit (for the record - a turquoise blue mini skirt/sweatshirt set), and being told that I looked fat.
I remember thinking to myself, "No. I'm not," but wondering anyway. There was something so important about fitting in, I had to consider they knew more than I did.
I don't remember much more of the scene, but I can still recall the names of the girls I desperately wanted to have like me. They never did, and I did find other friends. But the feeling remains to this day, of looking outside myself for acceptance.
From that memory, I went on to think about when do I feel good about my body? And I remembered many times on the dance floor of various bars, just dancing because it felt good to move. Dancing because I loved the music and I couldn't sit still. Dancing whether or not I had a partner. Feeling all the different ways I could move my body. Loving the attention of people watching me. And, at the same time, not caring at all what others thought because I was having such a good time.
And now it is today, 2009 and I'm 40. I am a Jazzercise instructor, and I get to invite other people to my party, to dance with me. It is a good place.
It becomes even more important to allow my knee to heal completely, so I can go back to dancing. So I can remember it's not about my size or shape, but about the joy of having a body - the joy of moving it.
I'm noticing something as I write this post... I still haven't come to the place of acceptance of what IS. What if I couldn't dance? Would that mean I never get to that place of joy again? It appears I still have some work/meditation to consider...