Good evening bloggy boos! Hope you’ve had a great Tuesday:)
Tonight I’d like to talk about an issue that has been on the brain for a bit of time now, and needs to let loose.
Over the weekend, I saw Black Swan.
It made me feel so many emotions: unsettled, disturbed, sad, excited, humored, but the greatest of these was disturbed.
The main character (played by Natalie Portman) is a ballet dancer, living with her single mother as an adult and trying so hard to be the “perfect” ballerina.
Natalie Portman had to lose a lot of weight for this movie, to become what was referred to by the film makers as “emaciated”. I am not one to make judgement calls on one’s appearance, but their description of the actress’ condition certainly played to the fact that many of the character’s behaviors portrayed that of a girl with an eating disorder, which is a strong symbolic representation of the strive for perfection.
I know this because five years ago, I battled and overcame a terrible eating disorder that almost consumed my life. So, seeing this movie obviously brought back some dark memories, and was ultimately disturbing.
This intrigued me. Not because of the condition of the character, nor because of her portrayal, but because of the symbolic meaning.
She is asked to dance the part of the White Swan and the Black Swan at the same time, and through her struggle to portray the Black Swan, she ultimately finds hers.
Isn’t this quest for “perfect” exactly what we all get trapped in?
I think it is. We all want the perfect grades, the perfect man, the perfect family, perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect friends, perfect body..you get the idea.
But most of all, what we find ourselves trapped in is having the perfect diet or having a perfect fitness level.
Let me tell you a little story.
This morning, I woke up and packed my gym bag with every intention of going to the gym after my last class. I went through the day’s routine, and finally came home before I was supposed to go to the gym.
And you know what? I was tired. And every time I thought of getting on a workout machine, I cringed a little bit, and my bed seemed more and more appealing.
So, you know what I did? I had a bowl of hummus with raisins and then took a two hour nap.
And it rocked.
When I decided in myself to skip today’s workout and give my body the rest it deserved, a pang of guilt pinched in my chest for a second.
Woah, hold on there! Why should any of us feel guilty for giving our bodies rest?
Girls, listen and listen hard: exercise for vibrancy, and rest for rejuvenation.
If you need some rejuvenating, don’t put the extra stress on your body and set your body’s vibrancy clock backwards. Instead, give your body what it needs and then exercise when you’ve got your vibrancy back.
At church on Sunday, one of my ministers gave a sermon on “sick professions”. He spoke about the fact that Americans are constantly trying to be more productive in their lives and their careers instead of doing something that serves to help the world and people around them. Because of this, we end up feeling used instead of well-used.
Do you see the difference?
If not, think of it this way: if your heart is not in it, you most likely feel used. If your heart is in it, you feel that you are well-used, and part of a greater purpose.
The reason I tell you this is because it can apply to everything in life. If your heart isn’t in your exercise, don’t do it. You will just end up feeling used. Instead, take a break until your heart is in it again, and use that to find your vibrancy.
Today, I gave my body rejuvenation. I fought the urge to make myself productive in an ultimately un-productive way. That pang of guilt ain’t got nothing on me! The urge to be “perfect” consumes all of us sometimes, giving us the inability to see the good, the truth, and listen to our best friend: our own bodies.
That is my Black Swan.