Why I started Be Body Aware?

2 years ago

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I decided to start my own company and focus on well being because I felt inspired to implement the ideas, experiences and research that have been beneficial to me. I explored my passion for dance and my longstanding efforts to overcome my high levels of fear and anxiousness that I faced on a regular basis. This along with reflecting on my past and my quest to follow God’s call to serve others in a way that is beneficial, has led me to express the importance of focusing on well being from the perspective of physical activity and self care.

My love for dance is such a part of my identity. I was a professional dancer and had an incredible career, working as a Contemporary dancer, performing with Donald Byrd/The Group, among many others. I have also been a Ballet dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble and danced on Broadway in ‘‘The Lion King’’. I truly lived a dream I had never imagined and felt at my best when I danced.

My life started to change after the tragic day I witnessed the burning inferno of what is now known as ‘911’. On 11th September, 2001, I was attending a class at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. That morning changed my life and the lives of countless people! I was truly in a daze for weeks after 911 but didn’t recognise I was traumatised. A few weeks later I was mugged by gunpoint! It was too much for me to bare, even so, I didn’t let anyone know about being mugged and my trauma went undetected. My deterioration with certain matters, such as how I handled my finances, feeling vulnerable, lacking confidence, and self doubt, were some of the signs that lingered. In 2014, I finally went to see a hypnotist to help me overcome my high levels of fear and it was confirmed that I had been suffering emotionally from the events of 2001.

Even though the sessions with the hypnotist helped I knew I needed more support. On the outside everything seemed fine, however, internally I was struggling. I felt physically out of shape, so I focused on exercises that alleviated my anxiety and kept me more uplifted. Then in 2016, my mum’s health, took a turn for the worst. She had been diagnosed with Dementia and my family and I were caring for her. Even though I was exercising and dancing, my emotions were quite intense. I found that meditation and deep breathing also helped with my anxiousness.

Towards the later part of the year, I went to work in Germany, at a time when I thought my mum’s condition was quite stable. Unfortunately, I was called back to Leeds because her illness declined quite rapidly. My mum never recovered! Then in June 2017, I was diagnosed with stage 2 Breast Cancer. I tried alternative methods and had some counselling. In January 2018, I decided to have a mastectomy and went through a massive sense of shame and loss. The reality struck deep in my soul. I had to come to terms with all the layers of the deep wounds I had suppressed. In addition, I recognised the resilience I had developed. Even though my life had changed from 2001, most of the time I had remained optimistic, despite my trauma.

This journey has led me to the strong desire to share some of my life lessons and research in dealing with stress and anxiety. Physical activities and self care have kept me resilient and more invested in living my life fully. My goal is to authentically share ways that I have developed and studied to support others to deepen their body and mind connection, and inspire more awareness to greater health and well being. I offer bespoke programmes thatare tailor made to suit you. It would be my privilege for us to work together to deepen your body and mind connection and ‘move’ you to greater health and well being.

Keep moving to a better you!

Leonora
Founder and Director
Be Body Aware Ltd.