Pleasure not Perfection

When did moving my body shift, from how much FUN I could have in it, to the thought that it needed to be perfect before I would move? Or that the only reason to move is to make my body more perfect? When did moving become all about exercise or training?

I remember loving my young girl body, swimming underwater in my cousin’s pool. Holding my breath with determination to challenge how far I could go until I had to surface to breathe. School lunchtimes were filled with playing elastics with my friends. Practising for hours in the playground, tangled, then untangled. The thrill of lasting 2 minutes or more without going out.

I guess things changed for me as a teenager, my body filling out, all legs and hair and breasts.  In the space of a couple of years I became very self-conscious of how I looked, which was different to what I saw in magazines, what I perceived a women’s body should look like. I clearly remember school swimming sports as a 14 year old, how much I dreaded having to participate, even though I was a very good swimmer. Life had become ALL about perfection and my imagined lack of it.

As a young adult moving my body was a means to an end, transformation and losing weight, as I filled my days with exercise focused on punishing my body for not being good enough. What I discovered is that striving for perfection is a never – ending spiral into despair, as the goal posts unfortunately continually shift, and if you fail at sticking with the program, you tell yourself that not only do you not look perfect outside but you are also flawed on the inside.

I guess as humans we are all flawed, coming to grips with this is ultimately where salvation lives. We are not perfect. We will never be perfect and striving for physical perfection does not bring your life happiness.

If you want a happy life you focus more on what brings you pleasure and less on what brings you pain. Pleasure can be found in living in the moment, not striving for something beyond what you are experiencing. The moment feels complete.

Moving your body, when combined with experiencing pleasure, is life enhancing.

  • Running to your loved ones at an airport arrivals terminal
  • Cranking up your favourite dance tracks in your lounge room and dancing because you know that no-one is watching
  • Walking your dog in the park
  • Shooting hoops with your kids on a Sunday morning
  • Gardening in the spring sunshine

The words exercise and training don’t enter your head, you move because of the pleasure you feel.

We don’t need to be perfect to get the health benefits of moving our bodies daily. If we focus on the pleasure of moving, rather than striving to achieve an ideal of perfection, it no longer feels like a chore. It becomes something you desire, something addictive, something that brings you enormous joy.

In particular dancing taps into this. There is something magical that we experience as human beings when we combine music and movement together. Perhaps it’s connected to  the rhythm of blood as it pulses through our veins.

At GLOW dance we are all about PLEASURE not PERFECTION.


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