WHM – Day 25

I’ve been thinking about this prompt for a while, and sorting through all my personal memories to try and come up with the best way to describe what that feeling of “beautiful” has been for myself.
And what I’ve pulled out from my memory bank has been those moments when I feel the most alive, most empowered, most exhilarated, even during the most quiet and calm moments.  So I think there is a link between feeling beautiful and feeling like I can take up space.
For me, feeling beautiful is connected to those moments when I feel I am dancing.
I have a background in ballet and modern dance, and even though I don’t have the body I used to from twenty years ago, and I can’t do the same physical exertions, I still have the spirit of dance steeped in my soul.  I watch other dancers and can see the beauty in every movement and how it can express the most profound emotions and life experiences.
One instructor told us, “Dance is just glorified walking.”  It was a reminder not to get too caught up in the technique, the details, but to find the glory in something that our bodies were designed to do naturally.
An assignment I later had for one of my choreography classes was to observe the many kinds of ways that people walk and to transform my observations into a dance piece. It was an example to me of how our everyday experiences are part of a beautiful tapestry of movement, even when we are not aware of them.  And then to put the spotlight on that movement, to become more aware, to allow the muscles of each leg and foot work together to propel us forward, that is how to transform our “everyday” into something beautiful.
And the joy of dancing together!  Does anyone else remember the joy, the giggles of recreating the particular skipping motion from The Wizard of Oz: “We’re……off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz!”
It is then not a surprise that I also learned the beauty of the everyday in the poetry of Wendell Berry and in the writings of Henri Nouwen.  They all glory in the ways of “being” in the world. To slow down, breathe, notice.  To honor the growth of trees, of our own human soul.  This is a form of dance as well.  This is how I can feel beautiful: to notice how I am allowed, even expected, to take up space and put my imprint in the air around me.
Dance is often used to describe journeys, of recognizing we are beings of action, not just snapshots of checklists.  When we truly inhabit our bodies is when we are the most beautiful. When instead of shrinking, hiding behind self-consciousness, we boldly proclaim “I am here”.
Taking up space involves intentionality but also revelling in the spontaneous.  I believe feeling beautiful also involves those aspects. We spend time preparing our hair, picking out clothes, but beauty is when you are willing to go beyond those details and give yourself permission to be found in those spontaneous moments of laughter, of unplanned joy.  Of glorying in how I and those around me can walk in this world.
Krysta Winters is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and anxiety.  She has a passion for the empowerment of women, and lives with her husband and undoubtedly the cutest dog in the world: her Havanese.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s