The Body is Art | Self-Acceptance
June’s Pole Dancing Bloggers Association (PDBA) blog hop theme is on the body, and what it means to look and feel your best.
There are a whole host of different things I could write about here, and this will probably lead to a succession of different posts later on, but we’ll start with the concept of self-acceptance.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
As a child growing up, my closest friends were my brother and our family friends (all of which were dudes). In an effort to have common ground, I shunned anything that was perceived to be “girly.” These were poor life choices on my part, but I was young and impressionable at the time, and there’s really nothing I can do about it now, so let’s just move on.
Despite finally branching out into the world of dancing (hula/Tahitian, pole, salsa), I had a difficult time thinking of myself as a dancer. To me, dancers are graceful and possess this mesmerizing ability to make everything look effortlessly beautiful.
I trip over nothing and smash into doors/tables and apologize to inanimate objects on a semi-regular basis.
Suffice to say, the main problem I had when I first started pole wasn’t from not being able to do the move we were working on. Even if I couldn’t do it exactly right, I was still strong enough to muscle my way into whatever it was. Nope, the issue was with my apparent inability to make things look pretty and graceful. Long lines, fluid motion, the absence of a “resting bitchface” (I look kinda angry when I’m concentrating)…they were all things I had to work on accomplishing, and to this day, it’s still my greatest challenge. (Y’know, that and the issue of not having time to ever practice.)
I’ve always been my own greatest critic, which I attribute to my type A tendencies and my need to overachieve. I never want to become complacent, because I believe you can always be better than you were.
There’s a fine line between that and self-acceptance though, and if I took the above statement to the extreme, it would make for an extremely unhealthy mentality. I can’t say that I had very horrible self-esteem issues growing up, but within every Asian household (sweeping generalization, I know, but bear with me), therein lies a fair share of criticism. I like to joke that I’m somewhat full of it because my self-confidence is pretty high. I’m happy with myself and the way I am, but I also recognize that there are things I should probably work on. (My abnormal love for food/compulsive eating habits and cactus-like tendencies, for starters.)
That being said, physical activity (since it’s all-encompassing) made me way more aware of my body and what my strengths and weaknesses were. Lifting weights helps me to become stronger (not gonna lie, it usually makes me feel like a total badass). Running helped with building my patience (heh) and BJJ helped with my apparent lack of spatial awareness…but of all of them, dancing is what makes me feel beautiful.
I think that in order to really be happy–in life, in relationships, or just in a general state of being–you have to be able to accept your faults. Accept that you can’t know/do/be everything, and you’ll have a starting point. These are the five things (my life philosophies on this topic, if you will) I shall end with!
- Know that you can’t be perfect, but that it doesn’t mean you can’t continually strive to be the best that you can be.
- Be aware of your limits, but also know which of those limits are ones that you can push to better yourself as a person.
- If you want something and you get the chance, go for it! Generally speaking, there’s more regret associated with the opportunities you pass up. (This may or may not be the reason behind why I continually try to do everything in the world simultaneously.)
- Never allow someone to be your priority if you’re only an option to them. This is paraphrased from a Mark Twain quote, and summarizes how I learned to walk away from people that meant way too much to me, when I didn’t mean enough to them.
- Believe in your self-worth. We all have different definitions of this–different values, habits and lifestyles–I feel at my best and happiest when I’m doing what I love and/or helping others, which thankfully, happens to go hand in hand most of the time.
What makes you feel and look your best?
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