So here is some real talk about my experience…
Since the very exciting launch of Madam Steele’s School of Sensual Arts, I have been faced with a boomerang of self-sabotaging feelings and thoughts around the possibility of failure. Ugh! So uncomfortable! Especially as we head into the next burlesque performance series. I have battled fear and insecurities that have, frankly, made me want to give it all up. I am expanding into a new level of personal and professional responsibility and it’s challenging and scary! My fear has wanted me to give up and stay safe. Luckily, I have done enough work to be prepared for this and to hold a bigger perspective. I can now recognize when fearful thoughts are in the drivers seat before they take me too far. My job is to be courageous and face them, rather than give in. I have to look past my fear, walk through it, and remember what’s on the other side; remember the why. Why do I want this? Why am I doing this? Why is this important? Focusing on the why, is imperative for me to move forward. It gives me the motivation, willingness, and courage to go on.
More about Courage…
My definition of courage is, having the willingness to see something through even at the risk of failure. The experience of being courageous can’t exist without the experience of vulnerability and fear. Being courageous it isn’t necessarily comfortable, but that discomfort can help take us into a new levels of expansion and growth.
In Madam Steele classes we have endless opportunities to practice being courageous. For many, even the decision to register for a class can be scary, showing up to class, walking on to the dance floor, moving our bodies in new ways, letting our sexiness out- all of this takes an extraordinary amount of courage. You have heard the phrase, “showing up is the hardest part.” Well it’s so true! Showing up is half the battle. We all face huge mental obstacles in just arriving. Through the simple act of getting our feet to the place, we begin to develop a power that only comes form moving through our fear and resistance. Every single time we step into the discomfort of our fear and walk through it, we gain a little more power. We see that we can survive it and possibly even thrive in it.
In order to be courageous we have to make friends with our fear and be willing to understand it. It wants our attention. I needs us to see it and acknowledge it’s concerns. I also needs us to respect it’s boundaries. There is such thing as moving too fast. Some of us want to close our eyes, skip the hard part and just dive in. While this approach can have its benefits, it can also be counter productive. If we move too quickly through a scary experience, it is possible we might dissociate from how we feel in order to “survive it.” We skip out on the opportunity to explore and comprehend the experience on a deeper level. We miss the chance to really learn from our fear and develop real power around it. The trick is to move at a pace where we can stay present and embodied. We keep breathing. We listen. We be honest with ourselves about how we actually feel.
I like to think of our classes as a microcosm for our lives. Whatever we are working with in life comes out on the dance floor. When we come together with other women to face our fears and challenge ourselves something magical happens. A certain kind of support develops that we don’t necessarily get in the environments of our day to day life. It allows us to feel safe enough to explore the depths of who we are. We all show up for different reasons but the bottom line is we are looking for an experience that will remind us what our higher-self already knows; we are worthy of being seen, we are beautiful, we are not broken, we are strong and we are courageous. Our fear is designed to keep us safe even if we are not in real danger and it will go to extreme lengths to make that happen. Every time we assert our willingness to be courageous, when we sign up for a class, when we show up at the studio, when we dare to believe that we can, we are rewriting the story that we are in danger and we expand our capacity to be brave. Thank you all for helping me continue the practice of being courageous even when I want to give up. The reflection is beautiful.