I came out shaking and hardly able to breath, feeling totally exposed, half wanting to run off stage. As the music started and I began to dance something amazing happened. I lost myself. Something new took over, a lightness, a feeling that I was bigger and brighter than I had ever been before. It was truly an out-of-body experience. I was flying, I was totally open, totally free and I felt tremendously powerful. When the moment in the dance came where I took off my top to finally bear it all, it was like no other feeling I have ever experienced in my life. It was like that layer of self-pity, shame, fear, and powerlessness I had carried for all those years, all the insecurities I had felt, suddenly disappeared. I was left with this deep knowing that I was complete and perfect exactly how I am.
Stripping Off the Shame: Guest Blog with Audrey Steele
This is a snap shot into the experience I had the first time I performed burlesque. I attribute a massive point of transformation in my life to dancing burlesque and because of that I feel called to share this experience with other women so that they may have that same opportunity. Teaching burlesque and leading women in this very special work has become such a gift for me and fills me with a deep sense of purpose.
Here is what I learned through my experience with this art form that continues to serve me to this day. It’s going to sound really obvious…
There is nothing wrong with me and there is nothing wrong with you.
We are all perfect exactly as we are right now. In fact we each have a unique beauty inside and out that no other woman on planet earth can compare to. Yes, we are perfect. This is the truth.
As I continued to dance burlesque, I began to realized that I had wellspring of power and that it was coming from inside of me. I no longer needed the approval of someone else to be ok. I began to truly approve of myself and of other women. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to let that go. It seemed totally impossible before and I feel it is truly a miracle that I no longer live in so much pain.
I wont say it was burlesque alone that helped me finally end the toxic lifestyle I was living, but I believe, with every fiber of my being, it was an integral part of a greater awakening. I sought help, went to therapy, I got sober, I read helpful books, practiced mediation and yoga, and surrounded myself with communities who loved me and challenged all the limiting beliefs I had about myself and about the world around me. I did my work and some!
The moral of the story is not that every woman should become a burlesque performer, (although, I think any woman can.) The moral of the story is to take action! If you are suffering in any way, take inspired action. Take a risk. Say “yes,” when invited into a new life experience. Live. Your. Life. No one can do it for you. Stripping was part of my path, it may not be yours. I invite you to stay open, to pay attention to what’s being offered, to be a “yes” to life. I urge you to acknowledge what’s not working and to be willing to see new possibilities for yourself, to try new things, to push your limits. Don’t stay in the safety and comfort of your limiting beliefs. Expand. Get bigger. I promise, the freedom you have to gain will be worth every scary moment of uncertainty. I hope to see you on the dance floor soon.
For registration about Audrey and her upcoming offerings find them here.