May 2016 – Reclaim Your Body

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So, I trained in November – and one exercise ‘the story of the body’ dance destroyed me.  It had been the first time that I had ever started at my feet and invited my body to tell me its story.  I was in instant tears of grief. My feet had, allegedly, been with me from birth.  They had played French skipping with elastic in the playground, once in my 20s they had cleverly Flamenco-ed me home from a party when I felt too drunk to walk straight and in my 30s they had spontaneously and without warning walked me out of a house and onto a train away from a relationship. Now, in my 40s they were dancing…sober…

As I travelled in my mind’s eye up to my ankles, shins, calves, knees, thighs, groin, crotch, womb – my grief began to overwhelm me, and my lack of ability to feel or think kindly towards it, or myself began to traumatise me.  I felt an all-too-familiar sense of falling endlessly into despair, spinning out into space, uncontained and lost. I didn’t know any more about my body, because I was no longer in it.  Suddenly, I felt warmth on my back in the middle of my shoulders and realised that Rebecca one of the facilitators had come to me. It reminded me that I was in a body, in a room,  with 7 other women that I did not not know, all deep in their own version of this process, and I was embarrassed – but mainly grateful. I still could not bring my own hand to touch my womb or abdomen.  My repulsion so deep – even though I had grown and water-birthed my beautiful daughter from there – my trauma, whatever that may be, so deep and lodged in this part of me.  People who talk in chakra language would say that these two lower chakras represent the actual ME, physically BEING here, and my sexuality, creativity and sense of self.  I am a living contradiction…a strong creative Aries woman, and a jelly-wreck, scared to be too much, too big, too ANYTHING.

Rebecca put her other hand on my womb – more sobbing – and eventually, I was able to put my hand on top of hers over my own body.  It reminded me of when my parents died – they had died within 5 days (not linked) and so in the funeral directors they were laid out together, and my brave big sister put a hand on each, which I just could not do until she urged me to put my hand on top of hers. What was I so afraid of? A corpse? the sense that the people had gone, and all that was left was a corpse?  Is that how I feel about my own body and my inability to stay in it?

Well, you can imagine why one wouldn’t want to revisit THAT shit again, so when Rebecca and Zoe announced they were running ‘RECLAIM YOUR BODY‘, you can see why I was keen to find out if this was going to happen to me again.

Reclaim my body?? from where? who has it then? do I want it back anyway?

Because I have been running my Big Beats classes now, I have been having to be IN my body – AND standing leading the class.  ME?  So there is no way that I could NOT go to this workshop.  I knew that I would face the same stuff again, and I was afraid. Since this pivotal moment in November, life has been changing. That sort of grief, trauma and panic is impossible to ignore any more, and it would explain my eating disorder, and my mood and anxiety.  So getting closer to it rather than avoiding and ignoring it is painful, and quite rightly bringing up a lot of strong feelings.

I laughed so hard to myself two days before RECLAIM YOUR BODY because I saw Rebecca, my Petrol-head-shaman (click her name for more info) for a consultation in the morning, and drove wildly to get to my appointment with a Psychologist from the weightloss service in the afternoon.  All bases covered!!!

It came to Saturday, and I was READY…to go through this portal again, but this time I was going to GRASP THAT NETTLE, and I was going to LOVE IT – even if it killed me.  With Rose Quartz and a handkerchief in one side of my bra, Labrodorite in the other, I WAS READY…

So we get to this exercise, and the music is exactly the same as before, and I’m a little more acquainted and friendly with my feet, after all – they’ve got me out of the shit? Even my hips have become more fun to know, but try to bring that focus central – to my womanhood in any way, and I begin to heat up and sweat..I can feel it rising again. Rose Quartz surely?  it’s pink innit? I take out my crystals and try and find something soft and kind in myself through the delicate pink of the quartz, and I silently plead with and beseech generations of ancestors and women before me to help me through the incandescence and solidity of the Labrodorite, and I mop my tears with the handkerchief.  And I am beaten…

Just as before, Rebecca appears, I guess she’s ready for this too – and invites me to sit down with her.  I am sweating, crying, ashamed and afraid.  She asks me to sit in front of her, she is sort of, cradling me from behind – and I cannot let go.  She says ” I got ya – it’s safe”, but it is NOT safe. I become fixated on holding my weight off her. Scared that if I relax, my huge body will crush her little body, and she, I and the back-jack will fly backwards across the floor.  I am shaking – now because my core muscles are holding my body in an awkward position somewhere between sitting up and leaning back. And it is poignant… I have waited possibly my whole life for this moment. For someone to see the distress, the grief, the trauma, and not just leave me there in it, all by myself.  For someone little to imagine that they could get their arms around someone big like me and hold that big mess that has no name or title… and when that moment came – I could not take the very thing that I longed for.

It is not that I do not deserve it, but I am afraid of receiving in a straight forward way. I have learned to curb my Eeyore-like statements, and my self-depreciative comments over time. Not because I have stopped thinking or feeling them, but because they make people feel uncomfortable and they are ‘manipulative’ ways of seeking reassurance, support and LOVE. So this whole damn gig about being ‘TOO’something was absorbed early in my life, and I have spent the rest of my years trying to get, strong, funny, competent, self-reliant to make sure that I never need TOO MUCH from anyone. Because why?

I don’t know…I guess I’ll have to keep dancing to find out.

Dance with me?




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