Last week, I had scheduled a dance class for Thursday morning at 8:30am.
On Wednesday night, I could feel how tired my body was. I hadn’t been sleeping well all week (hello lunar eclipse on Friday!), and had already done some other workouts earlier in the week that left my body feeling heavy and tired.
I considered canceling my class, but since I booked it through Classpass and it was already past the cancellation deadline, I would have had to pay a fee.
I decided to go anyway.
I showed up feeling so groggy Thursday morning, and sure enough, my body just didn’t have it in her.
The music started and as much as I wanted to be into it and dance my little heart out, I just couldn’t.
My body was hitting a wall and wasn’t having it!
In the past, I would have had a stream of negative, harsh thoughts go through my head.
Come on, you’re here, push through it, suck it up.
This is how you grow… push through the fatigue!
Everyone else is doing it, I’m sure they’re tired, too. Stop being a baby.
But, that’s not where I’m at with my body anymore.
I love and appreciate my body intensely.
I respect her.
I respect her even when she says “stop”, “rest” or “not today”.
I know she is on my team and that she wants to be fit and healthy, and that she also knows her limits.
So there I was, with an hour class ahead of me, needing to figure out how to get through it with a body that just didn’t want to move.
I took a moment, I put both hands on my belly, softly closed my eyes and said to my body, “Honey, I am sorry I took you here when all you wanted was to rest. I will do a better job at listening next time. What do you need from me in order to get through this for the next hour?”
And the response I heard was, “Just let me have fun and move to the music. Forget all the choreography and instructions, just let me take it easy and just have fun.”
And so that was the compromise I made with my body: we’ll do the class, but we’ll just enjoy the music. We’ll drop all the mental stress of following all the steps, we’ll pick up what we can, and we’ll just enjoy having an hour to move to amazing music.
By taking two seconds to have this conversation, I was able to feel okay and excited about being there again.
I wasn’t beating myself up, or thinking about how badly I wanted to go sleep, or forcing my body to move in a way that felt like a struggle.
I was working with my body and she was working with me.
After that conversation, I had to stop caring about what anybody thought of me. I had my spot in the back corner, and I just did what felt right TO ME. Sometimes I picked up the choreography, and other times, I just danced in my own way, in whatever way felt so good in MY body.
Yep, at times I was that weirdo in the corner, totally in her own body, dancing in a way that made her smile and missing all the moves!
There were 40 people in the class, and I decided to choose to honor my body and my needs over caring what anyone else thought.
It was liberating.
And it was a moment that I was able to show my body respect, honor, and care.
It’s all these little moments that add up to create a beautiful, deep, truly loving connection with your body and with yourself.
It’s the repeated checking in, the consistent acts of love and respect, the conversations and communication that happen (eventually subconsciously) throughout your day.
The relationship I have with my body and with myself has changed dramatically over the years, and it’s come from practicing acts of kindness and love on a daily basis.
I just want to share this with you as an example of what “listening to your body” or “honoring your body” looks like — because sometimes these phrases can feel so confusing or unattainable.
I’m curious, have you had an experience like this? How are you honoring your body these days? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
P.S. I also want to let you know that I just launched a new course: The 21 Day Body Image Challenge. It’s a 21-day course, where each day you get a new bite-sized lesson in how to connect to your body, let your insecurities go, and live your life fully. You are going to learn actual tools and daily practices to treat your body beautifully so you can feel so much more confident and self-assured.
I’m running a Beta of the program starting August 6th. I’ll be going through the program with you every single day in our private FB group, so you will get tons of support. With the Beta, you can enroll at a discount, and I just ask that you provide me with feedback so I can make the program even better. If you’d like more information about it, just click here to email me and I can send you all the details!