I want to talk about what Aerial Dance has done for my mind. I have a tendency to be very hyper critical. I am a perfectionist. And a realist. I also have a really poor self esteem. In conjunction with starting Aerial Dance, I also started therapy, took on a career path as a boudoir photographer, and filed for divorce.These things have worked so beautifully and cohesively together. I don’t believe much in coincidence, so I really trust that I was supposed to heal in a few ways at the same time.

I cover shame with self depreciating jokes, drawing attention to the things I think look weak or unappealing to the outside world. I preface all my potential and present failures with WHY I’m failing and if I can’t outwardly laugh at it or excuse it, I hide from it. I’ll joke about my jiggly bat wings for arms or the fact that I’m embarrassed I’ve NEVER been able to do a pull up or even a lady push up. I’ll over explain that I can’t do a certain pole move because they cut through my muscles when I had a c-section, and I hide from dancing, or tuning into the sensual side that comes with pole. I focus on the fitness portion only and refuse to allow myself to embrace the sexiness of it. All of these things come from deeply rooted shame.

Through therapy, time at Aerial Dance, and photographing women in their magnificent, feminine, perfect-as-is selves, and going through my divorce- I’m learning some of these things faster than others- that I don’t HAVE to laugh at my body for not preforming the way I want it to. Nobody else is laughing- they all understand. I don’t have to explain why I can’t do a tuck- everyone in that studio has their own Achilles heel. And I can learn to be comfortable with the sensual nature of the exercise I choose to do. I’m mostly stuck on the last one, and I’m not sure why- but I’m learning through it and I can’t wait to see how I embrace that side of me and how beautiful I look when I do a year or two years from now.

To be perfectly honest- all of these aspects have been challenging. It has taken two years of catching myself before I make a joke about my body and silence my limiting beliefs, and I’m not done yet. But I’m active in healing the shame through moving my body and allowing this sisterhood to encourage my mental and physical health.