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This Time Around

This time round on my ballet journey, I have the power of knowledge alongside me. I am aware of my body’s strengths and weaknesses.

It’s funny because, although this time round I have many many more challenges, I am choosing to see those challenges as opportunities to do things the right way for me, and therefor achieve more of my dreams and goals.

Last time, I had hopes and dreams but was continuously failing. I was continuously feeling my body crumble when it didn’t seem like it should.

I was being told my body was perfect for ballet and “should” be able to make all these perfect ballet shapes if I tried hard enough.

I also had a strange fear of movement. I began to get over that fear while I was at the barre — in fact, Iearned to adore the feeling of movement at the barre, and I even started feeling a little more confident with some pirouettes.

But move me away from the barre and I completely froze up.

I remember during my first private class my teacher tried to teach me a very simply pas de bourree with a simple relaxed pirouette on the end.

But it was the strangest thing. It felt like I was learning to walk again. Like everything was foreign to me. Like I didn’t even know my left from my right. Like I didn’t even know my own name anymore.

I used to walk away from centre time feeling so deflated. I didn’t understand why my body felt so weak in the centre and I didn’t feel like it would ever end.

(I do have to add that my in-class teachers were wonderful. They would always say, ‘Just give it a try!’ They could see I was really struggling and didn’t make me feel worse for it. And I am incredibly grateful for that!)

Now, after having experienced such a massive physical breakdown, and doctors finally being forced to pay attention — and that attention leading to the right diagnoses’ and now treatment, has meant that I actually know now why my body was not ‘failing’ but struggling with certain elements and why I felt so awkward doing centre work. Yes, there are actual physiological reasons for it!

So many things make sense to me now.

I remember during my hardest days a few months ago, I would lie there, unable to speak properly, unable to stand up, unable to wash myself, pain searing through my body, and I would try to think of the good things in my life. I found them in my children and my hopes for better times some day. But it was bloody hard to find them. Some days I was too consumed by my suffering to find them and I just wished for the day to end. 

But I never thought I would one day look back at that time and see it as a vital part of my future success.

And that is what it is. (I am not ignorantly suggesting that this is how it is for all chronic illness sufferers. We all have our own journeys.)

There will be many ups and downs ahead. And my daily grind is still a pretty heavy grind.

But now I am armed with knowledge and am moving forward in an achievable way, giving my body all the support and understanding it needs, to get me where I want to go.

And understanding makes ALL the difference. I’m no longer confused. I no longer feel like a failure. I feel more confident that I can achieve my dreams than I have ever felt before — because I have adjusted my dreams and the ways I intend on achieving them.

I may have health issues that are making me see things in this new light, but I think it’s relatable to everyone who may start to feel that pressured feeling about what they’re trying to achieve.

I suggest we all stop comparing ourselves to others and start learning about our own bodies, how we work and don’t work and start working WITH ourselves rather than against ourselves. As that is how I see the greatest growth happening.

Zoe xxx

P.S remember, if you like it… share it! 🙂

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Love and Acceptance

Popped up some post-it love notes today, in a restroom. Was so much fun. Cannot wait to do more.

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I loved doing this so much. 🙂 Exploring all things self-love/self-worth has been very healing for me recently. I found I was feeling resentful of my health issues and as a result I was feeling resentful of my body. I felt like it had let me down. Like I had let me down. AGAIN! Not just because of the recent health stuff, but because of the many complicated things over my whole life.

I realised that I was lacking acceptance of myself, the way I am.

I realised that I have been running from my true self for forever. Scared that if I stopped, turned around and saw myself, I would be horrified by the restrictions I would have to face.

And the funniest part was realising that it was the very running away from myself, the very lacking of acceptance, that kept me from feeling my own love.

I have found that starting to accept myself and my body for all the wonderful, creative, unique and complex being it is, I am feeling so much more love from myself, and in turn, liking myself so much more. I actually feel the opposite of what I always thought I would feel. I feel soft and gentle and kind. I feel warm and welcoming. I feel understanding.

I feel accepting.

I don’t feel any dislike at all. I don’t feel any blame like I did my whole life previously. I don’t even feel forgiveness because I don’t feel my body needs forgiving — I can see now that it has just been doing the best it could. And that is enough.

This has taken me so by surprise. I always try to see the silver linings in things and I have to say that I am not sure I would have had such a profound healing journey if I had not had my recent flare of health stuffs. I feel completely blessed. I feel so lucky to have had this moment in my life. It has changed me.

What a wonderful thing. Love. To love yourself and to love others. A truly healing medicine. A medicine I hope everyone finds.

Regarding the recent acute physical stuffs: It has been pretty up-and-down. I have been weaning off my high doses of medicines for my asthma, and I am now completely off the strongest med. We will be seeing how my asthma goes. It hasn’t gone away completely, so I am a little dubious about what will come over the next few days. I was having some side effects from that med as well which weren’t very nice, so hoping I don’t need to go back on them. Still on a couple of other meds. Basically we will see how I go over the weekend and see the doctor next week. If it gets serious over the weekend I will pop into the hospital.

My ribcage issues are going okay. Pretty stable. Still painful but seems to be recovering bit by bit. Still not doing a lot of physical work (or paying for it if I do too much) but I can move my arms more now and get hugs again, so that’s something! 😀

Zoe 🙂