Craving face-to-face connection, this spring I signed up for several classes through Girdwood’s Four Valleys Community School. One of them was “Pilates with Patty.” It meets Wednesday mornings at 8:15 a.m. in the Meadows Community Center at Our Lady of the Snows Chapel. Today was the second class.
I’ve never done Pilates before. Let’s just say it’s not the gentle yoga I’m used to. I had forgotten that it’s possible to go from lying flat on your back, to a seated position, using only your stomach muscles.
I watched the dancers’ bodies of women ten and twenty years older than me, and realized that I needed some help with my self-talk. I needed some UU affirmations to counter the inner critic.
As I’ve written before, for me “inherent worth and dignity” is often more aspiration than reality. My childhood taught me, “There is none that doeth good, no not one,” and those early messages are hard to undo.
So what do I tell myself when I walk into Pilates class? What affirming words will help me love the body I have, enough to transform it into the body I will need for the next 40 years?
And what about words of affirmation for clothes shopping? What rituals will help me imagine beauty? A blessing of the dressing room?
Most of the time the Rev. Dr. Peacebang scares the bejeebers out of me, but she’s absolutely right about her core message: our bodies matter. The work we need to do in the world is done by our bodies.
So tell me–what words work for you? How do you find courage? When does your body need blessing? How do you affirm the worth and dignity of your embodied self?