I recently read a post by a woman who was celebrating her life and experience as she was, completely appreciating her journey even as she noticed her own discomfort. I was quite inspired and wrote a little comment at the end of it that I wanted to share here, for those of you who need a little pick-me-up and a reminder that life is happening right now, in this moment… and this one…. and this one… and this one…
I’m so excited to read your post. As a woman who was a 300 pound couch potato at 22 and now is an internationally renowned fire dancing instructor — hula hoop, poi, staff, fans included — at 40, I’m a walking example and advertisement for “Love your body right now, as it is!” I’m still what most men would objectify as a “fat girl” thought they would say, “a fat girl who can move” once they saw me dance.
And you know what? Who cares? For me, it’s all about the practice of being in my body and getting more comfortable with me every day. The cornerstone of our work at my school, Temple of Poi, is about helping people with their mindset, cause let’s face it — when 40 looms around the corner it is ever so easy to suddenly start thinking about getting old. Biology just starts kicking in and there are things that really begin to make you feel older. So when you stand next to someone else who just somehow doesn’t seem so old or out of shape (or actually isn’t!), it’s really easy to make a big deal out of that because when we’re younger, no one bothered to teach us these three simple rules: Leave your judgment behind; choose your language consciously from a place of empowerment; and compare your self to your self.
The fundamental question I encourage everyone to ask is this: “did you make progress and have fun?” If so, it (class, practice, life) was a success. I have consistently found over the nearly 8 years I’ve had my school – where I do teach people how to safely play with fire in all contexts – that integrating this mindset is pivotal in Celebrating Life In the Moment.
Sure, some part of our ego might want to have that 6 pack after we just gave birth without doing ab work. And, well, that simply may not be what is meant for our experience. Why should I compare myself to that other person whose journey was absolutely nothing like mine? How does that serve? So if you’re looking at helping your own psyche, I offer you this mindset (written in more detail at on the Temple of Poi website) to help you embrace the You that You are right now even as she grows, evolves, changes and becomes more than she was moments ago.