I'm fresh off the matt from trying a new exercise class, barre, a combination of yoga, ballet and pilates. It also was the first time I've taken my little guy to a drop-off childcare group, thinking this might be the perfect thing for us both - exercise for me, practice towards preschool independence for him. I was more hesitant around his readiness than my own, but happy to say we both were fine!
He blended right into the new scenario without any problem, off to the slide before I could say goodbye. I sank into the experience fairly easily as well. Meeting new women in a new setting is always a little awkward, especially when the focus is on the physical and there could be comparison and other unwanted gremlins staring right back at you from a giant mirror that is not all that forgiving. I knew to enjoy the experience I had to just keep my focus more inward, find my body awareness, and connect with that energy and sink in with gentleness and care.
As I moved through the class I had that familiar feeling of engaging with something long lost, a comfort and strength in my physical self that I haven't really nurtured in a long time - but not all that far from reach. Even with the extra curves and weight I still feel strong and balanced, and I notice that my body remembers being lean and agile and not at war with the rest of me, and especially that it really longs to get back to that place. The truth is right there: if I can shed the extra pounds my strongest and healthiest self is there waiting.
It isn't lost on me that Shed is my word of the year, my intent being more with the emotional side of things than the physical, but knowing the two are inextricably linked. Not surprisingly, the momentum from everything that has been shifting since embracing this notion keeps pushing me closer and closer to the need to shed on a physical level too. In order to fully release into the happiest expression of my life, I know with more and more certainty that I have to let go of this protective cocoon I've built around myself. When I exercise, I always have this same emotional conversation going through my head... I'm surprised by how aligned and centered my body actually is but I feel completely hindered and held back by the extra weight wrapped around me, and if I could only let some of it go I'd feel so much better, and that tastes exactly like freedom.
I have been at this crossroads with myself many times before (as is evident by the post I wrote two years ago, linked above), but I'm also lot leaner emotionally than I have ever been. And now, with age, the signs are evident that time is not on my side. The choice is pretty clear, I can either love my body and myself with a healthier lifestyle, or I can keep trying to be fully happy and alive while dragging around this literal and figurative anchor. Seems obvious. Knowing how I want my life to feel, I know how I want my body to feel as well.
The wisdom is right there in front of me tugging, calling, pleading. Why continue to resist? That is the question I know I need to answer in order to make it to the other side.
Maybe it's finally time.