You May Not Know This About Me…
I am a pole dancer.
It’s true. I have been for almost six years. Not professionally. Just for myself.
I reserve 2 hours a week for a date with myself – in a dark room with red lights and a pulsating beat where I am surrounded by the feminine. A sisterhood of women of all different shapes, sizes & ages showing up for one reason only – to turn ourselves on.
Now, NOT in the sense our society likes to reference with that phrase. When I say to turn ourselves on, I mean to light up. To feel alive. To connect. To heal.
This method of movement I take is called S Factor and was instrumental in my healing process with my body. The walls of that studio offered me so much support and, quite honestly, changed my life.
This is why I am incredibly honored to share Sheila Kelley, founder of S Factor herself, with you on our blog today. I invite you to get quiet, take in her words of wisdom, celebrate her in the comments and – if you feel so called – join me at her event in August. I will be there and would love nothing more than to connect and share in this experience with you.
I Hate It…Being a Girl
One of my favorite TV shows, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, is back on. I love it because movement is my bliss. Elevating the masculine and the feminine is my bliss. Seeing women and men dancing their bliss is perfection for me.
The gorgeous Christina Applegate was a guest judge during the auditions on the June 4th episode. A beautiful young girl named Dani Platz was filmed auditioning for the show. Before Dani performed her raw, ravishing, radiant dance, the cameras followed her as she told a personal story of her struggle with body image and an eating disorder. When the cameras cut back to Christina Applegate sitting at the judges’ panel, she whispered to the judge sitting next to her, “I hate it…just…being a girl. It’s hard.”
It’s hard being a woman. I used to hate my body too. When we as women hate our bodies, we judge and punish them, sometimes in indirect ways, like a silent disapproval, and other times in more direct ways, like an eating disorder.
I studied dance in college and my dance teacher used to tell us, “Your body is your temple, treat it that way.” That never resonated with me. It didn’t cause a mental shift, because all I could think was that my body is not an old building with straight lines and cold stone. No, my body is soft and circular, warm and flowing. My body to me, was more like a child. So I switched that image in my mind from a temple to a child.
Your body is a child, treat it that way.
I’m a mother of two, a girl and a boy. I’m a lioness who’s fiercely protective of her cubs. I want them to eat the best foods. I want them to live full lives. I want them to be loving, creative, challenged, passionate, awakened and happy. These are the same things I want for myself, for my body, and for my life.
My body is my child and everything I do and say can harm her or empower her. (Tweet It Out!) This knowledge caused me to experience a shift that awakened me to the power of the feminine. Because a woman’s body is inherently loving, creative, challenged, passionate, awakened and happy. Look at little girls at play. It isn’t until we get older that we learn to hate our bodies.
Right now, in this moment, I frickin’ love being a woman. I love my body. I love my emotions. I love my lumps and bumps, scars and cycles, vulnerabilities and feelings. I love being a woman so much I’ve dedicated my life to helping other women fall in love with their bodies through movement I call, S Factor. S for the natural round, curvy, circular shape of a woman’s body. A shape I’ve learned to embrace at any size, every weight, and any age. A shape that empowers me because I have experienced a shift that has awakened me to the knowledge that I am empowered by it.
Are you struggling to change your perception of your body? Are you dying to feel love for yourself? Have you been searching your entire life for a way to permanently shift your thinking as a woman, from judgment to love? Have you been beating your head up against a wall searching for that love externally? Only to find that you don’t measure up to magazines and celebrities and social pressure and stigma?
Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, you need only click your heels to unlock the power of the feminine. How do you click your heels?
You dance, of course!
When your feminine body moves naturally, she defines beauty and all judgment recedes. This is why dance is such a revered art form. This is why dance helped Dani Platz from So You Think You Can Dance find her way back into her body again.
The feminine body is a gift. That’s what I’ve discovered. Movement has given me love of, compassion for, and pride in my body – something I never imagined I would evolve to.
Whatever you’re doing today, schedule a moment of movement. Whether it’s a dance in front of your mirror as you get ready, dancing with your kids as they play in the backyard, or something more…sexy. Shake what your momma gave you!
Every day the world decides for women what sexy is and what sexy isn’t. Time for a new world, baby! The world of Sheila Kelley Live 2014! Where every woman will be cherished, nurtured, and celebrated. Global femme leader, Sheila Kelley, is credited with changing the lives of over 10,000 women worldwide through her S Factor method. Powerful women like Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and Martha Stewart have brought Sheila Kelley S Factor to their audiences. The world’s leading self-help gurus, including Tony Robbins, have referenced Sheila’s S Factor movement as a way to transform your life, and Sheila’s groundbreaking TEDx talk has almost 300,000 YouTube views. The next opportunity to learn from Sheila will be at Sheila Kelley Live 2014, August 2 & 3 in California – an empowering, 2-day transformation event for woman of all ages, shapes and sizes. No judgment. Only love. You will fall in love with S Factor’s fitness and philosophy essentials designed by a woman, for women. Get ready to live more freely in your body, feel more radiant, and attract your life’s passion. Experience potent, powerful, ever-lasting and eternal feminine magic that will take your breath away. Sheila Kelley Live 2014
Amber’s keynote was engaging and positive. I’m pretty sure every girl left that room feeling a little bit better about herself and inspired to work towards body peace. I was so impressed with the entire experience and am grateful that you came to our house for Fat Talk Free Week. You all left a lasting, positive impression.