Retreat, a conversation starter with your body
For the first time sisters Frith Bail and Nina Manolson are merging their expertise to open a conversation to women of any age who want to forge a kinder, more caring relationship with their body.
They are joining forces for two one-day cross border retreats in the art of body-compassion, dubbed Create, Cultivate, Connect.
Bail, a Creemore based master potter, explores the female form in her sculpture. Her work explores the changes in the body, be they through the natural aging process or something more invasive, sometimes as an exploration of her own changing body.
Manolson is a Massachusetts-based body and nutrition therapist who has worked with women for more than 25 years to help them heal their relationship with their bodies.
Because Manolson and Bail are sisters, she said there is a deep trust, love and caring that they create that environment for other woman.
“There’s something really amazing about art. It has this superpower of tapping right into our unconscious,” said Manolson. “Doing this work in a community of women is incredibly powerful where we feel safe and nurtured we model self-nurture for each other.”
The tone of the work is far from diet culture and self-improvement, she said. It’s feminist counter-culture work toward liberation.
“At its foundation, it’s a day of using art to explore our relationship with our body. It’s really about using art, play, movement, writing, drawing to invite that authentic and compassionate but curious dialogue with our body,” she said… “You don’t have to be an artist at all and in some ways it makes it easier because you can engage freely in a playful and curious dialogue without having to work past your aesthetic ideals or expectations.”
There are many reasons that people’s relationship with their body can become complicated – body image, illness, aging, injury. The goal is to approach the conversation with curiosity, rather than a mindset of finding an instant fix.
“It’s about starting a conversation with a body that you may feel you are ignoring,” said Manolson. “How do you pay attention in a kind way to a body that you are managing or bossing around?”
She said many women are ignoring their bodies, or managing them in an aggressive way that makes us feel we are at war with our own bodies. A clue that a body is being ignored is when it starts yelling.
“If we don’t pay attention to the needs of our body, our body starts yelling at us with pain, with exhaustion, with anxiety, with unwanted eating behaviours, with irritability, or depression, self-hate, body shame,” she said. “Every body yells in its own way. If we can notice that these unwanted symptoms or unwanted behaviours are actually our body’s way of trying to get our attention then we can start opening the door to a caring conversation with our body.”
Manolson and Bail are running workshops in Creemore and in Arlington, Massachusetts. The Creemore date is Saturday, April 4. Cost is $195, which includes lunch and materials.
For more information and to register, visit ninamanolson.com/createcultivateconnect.