This week we had a chance to interview SheHive Partner, Jessica Van Valkenburgh, on Facebook Live about learning to love your body. Jessica wants to help women break the painful cycles of negative body image, which are considered normal in our society. Jessica is an advocate for women to love and accept their bodies and their whole selves. She works to inspire a different approach to self-love - beginning at home in our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls - and to expose the powerful connection between movement, breath, mindfulness and feelings for healing.
I have always been told to follow my gut.
Little did I know my most joyful triumphs, and deepest disappointments, would all somehow resonate around the sacred area between the base of my bra and the band of my jeans.
I’ve been a dancer since the time I could walk. I learned at a very early age to rely on a mirror to tell me the way things should be. It told me about my body and my talent. I learned what looked good and was pleasing, and what was out of place.
I was a natural when it came to dancing. As a kid, I was thin and lanky, with long legs, and feet that arched like dipping swans without a lick of effort. Dancing came naturally, and I felt wonderful in the praise and admiration of the audience.
This was probably the beginning of my torrid love affair with praise and criticism. When I was doing everything right, I was on top of the world. If I received a correction from my instructor, I was devastated, especially when it came to my body.
“Tummy in, Jessica!” I got used to hearing.