The brain processes shape in a lot of different ways, and I know from my own experience that shape can serve as a visual compass. For example; we see our progress in yoga poses by acknowledging the shapes we make and how they change through continuous practice. Most of my human body shapes speak to me through choreography, but I’ll get to that in a second. Back to the brain; I picked up a copy of Neuroplasticity, by Mohen Costandi, the other day and read that there are certain parts of the brain responsible for certain tasks. We can actually train these certain parts to take on new tasks and responsibilities in addition to what these parts were originally designed to do. We can advance or alter the way our minds function. Since the vision center of our brain is known to take on other tasks, and since we are such a visually stimulated society, I’m wondering what else we can train our brains to do in the vision chamber of our brains. I don’t know how it’s related, but maybe this is connected to helping body image dysmorphia?( Click link for information on Neuroplasticity | Mohen Costandi 2016 ).
Okay, now back to shapes and the human body. I enjoyed making shapes with my body because I couldn’t look at my body in the mirror directly. The shape that my body made was easier to look at than looking at myself in that shape. After leaving dance for a while due to the sound of my thighs closing together in fifth after every grande battement, I finally found the courage to get back in the studio and save my passion, my sanity. I just couldn’t look in the mirror. I moved and danced facing away from the mirror, so I couldn’t judge what I looked like doing my movement. Instead, I found out how I felt when that movement happened. This was therapeutic, and I found a loop hole that allowed me to enjoy dance again without the torment of staring at myself. This turned into choreography and lots and lots of beautiful students to share it with.
We kept the lights low in my class. All of the ladies in the lobby would see me running from studio to studio and say, “There she is! There’s Jacqui with her lamps!”. If I was to teach in Studio B (the big pink tutu studio) I was going to make it cool. My class was a safe place to scream and express away from competition contemporary and the pressure for perfection in other places of life. It still chokes me up to think about the passion that would come out of these kids. The best moments happened when they would do something that surprised themselves so much they would look to me and other students like, wow, did you guys feel that? We made beautiful memories, and they learned how to embrace the parts of themselves that used to scare them. I am forever grateful for that time in my life.
I originally skipped over all of the episodes of HOME PODCAST that did not talk about alcohol directly, so now that I’m looking back at all of the ones I missed, it’s so awesome to see that they cover so much of what I’m going through at this stage in my recovery. This one on perfectionism really helped me, click the link to check it out -> HOME PODCAST | Episode 11: Perfectionism.
Take it easy. I used to believe that if it’s not perfect, it doesn’t happen. This is not a drill. This is the real thing. This is my life. I did the best I could for a long time hiding from my truth. I can look in the mirror and accept myself, today. Life exists with me in it outside the fog of booze. I take care of myself today. I don’t have to torture myself by going to the places I never wanted to go to in the first place. At exactly the right time this week, one of my heroes reminded me that it’s okay to say “No.” as a complete sentence (Hip Sobriety). Drinking allowed me to go everywhere. It let me ignore how much I did not want to be in my body sitting around for everyone to see. I have put myself through absolute hell trying to ignore my truth, and this is a big part of why I drank in the first place. I needed my own space from everyone, including my own critical self, so I thought I needed to drink to live in this world. These days, I enjoy my time in sobriety. Time is valuable to me. I have my routine that works for me. Anyone who doesn’t respect that isn’t worth my time anyway. That’s the power of the fire. That’s the power of breaking the rules and turning around to look in the mirror. It is so worth it.
In the heart of it all, those sensitive, special parts of everything house something just as sacred; strength. I am strong because I continue. Looking into the wounds of where I’ve been, I see all that I’ve weathered and survived. I realize once again that I am this and these new things, too. I’m imagining this as a poster right now on a community bulletin board. It is hanging by one tac. The image is a yogini with a flower-fire heart engulfed in colorful flames. I still don’t know why it looks that way, but I get it. I prefer Waterhouse though, today. ❤
photo credit, Bubba Carr, @bcarrworksphoto