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Monday, June 27th, 2011
Blogs | The North Pole
Bravery, Boldness, Courage & Strength ~ S Factor
Tomorrow marks my completion of level four in Sheila Kelley’s S Factor. This course and new life style of mine is the highlight of every week. I count time by the weekly occurrence of this class. I had no idea this would become such an intrinsic part of my life. Dance class? Yes. Lifestyle change? Had not a clue. But it is. My life has changed.
Each week I dance. I strip down. I learn flying tricks, inversion tricks, spins and climbs. Even now, I’m learning the variety in a sexy descent. All these things are great for my body. They feed my inner siren and it spills into my every day life. However, on a deeper level, something more is happening. A few weeks ago, I tweeted the following.
Lets talk about shame for a moment.
SHAME <– definition
a painful emotion resulting from an awareness of having done something dishonourable, unworthy, degrading, improper, disgraceful or ridiculous.
SHAMELESS <— definition
having no sense of shame; brazen. done without decency or modesty.
The fact that I ever equated the existence on my sexuality and sensuality to our understanding of “shame” is deplorable & heartbreaking. The word is not pretty. It’s not empowering. Its stifling. Hurtful. It is probably to blame for the death of ideas, growth and development in individuals, communities and the world at large.
The point is, I should not even have to feel “shameless” about myself or how I express it. The need to feel “shameless”, implies that I’m working against feeling shame. So I take it back. S Factor has not taught me to be “shameless.” It has taught me to demolish the word all together!
In addition to demolishing stifling language and thought patterns, I’ve noticed other bits of my character that have grown. I have seen evidence of Bravery, Boldness, Courage and Strength.
I love literal definitions. Here are some more partial, relevant ones.
1. a warrior
2. to defy; challenge; dare.
3. possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.
1. not hesitating to break the rules of propriety; forward; impudent
1. mentally powerful or vigorous.
Going back to my thoughts earlier, it is true that this class has taken my physicality to another level. However, in addition to that has come a lifestyle change that has developed my character and the expression of my being. This revelation occurred to me when I found myself having a conversation that years ago I would have considered uncomfortable. The conversation was sexual in nature. While I’m all about sexual exploration and sensual living, I still have my shy bits. There were conversations I avoided because I just felt uncomfortable, weird and sometimes even silly. There were things I didn’t think about because I just didn’t want to considerate it. I didn’t want to take the risk of expressing myself. That only left room for an unfulfilled situation.
So I took the risk and expressed myself. No matter how silly or ridiculous or weird I might sound, I just said it all. At first it felt uncomfortable and my voice shook. However the more I expressed myself, the easier it became. The more I used my voice, the braver I found myself. My voice stopped shaking. I spoke with conviction. I expressed my heart. I think the person was taken aback for a moment but our conversation continued. They was informed. I knew I had said all that I needed to say.
In the past, I just didn’t do these things. I have been so scared of being inappropriate. I now deplore that word! That fear kept parts of myself silent. I stopped taking certain risk and I can’t even quantify the negative effects of that. Whether the root of this is self induced or taught behavior is no matter, right now. The point is, I gave into it.
But when I had that conversation and as I exist in this moment now, I realize I have nothing to lose but myself and that is a sacrifice I will not make. When I don’t speak my thoughts, when I don’t take risk, when I don’t express myself, that is less of Sheena that I am giving the world. I can not take that risk. How can I be authentic, if I won’t show myself fully?
This revelation and personal triumph in growth can emerge in a variety of ways. Perhaps you heard a lecture on being bold and it inspired you to try things.Â Perhaps you were courageous enough to climb a mountain and that feeling overflowed into the rest of your life. It can be anything for anyone. For me, literally and metaphorically stripping down things & materials that bind & hide me and allowing more of myself to show gave me boldness. Exploring my curves gave me the bravery to explore my life. Using my physical strength to reach dance goals I hadn’t even imagined gave me the strength to try new things in my every day life. Having the courage to embrace myself as a woman and explore the expression of that gave me a growing courage to express the entirety of my being.
It wouldn’t be an S.O.S. post without some good quotes.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.Â ~Ambrose Redmoon
I love this quote regarding courage. I believe the mentality and emotion of fear is something that happens and at times cannot be avoided. If I were at the edge of a cliff with a 1,000 feet drop, my heart would race, my mind would be all “WTF?” and yes, I would feel fearful. BUT, courage is telling yourself something else is more important. So let’s say I was on the edge of that cliff but I had a parachute on or I had climbing gear connected to me and I knew just what the hell I was doing and I was in a race for my life. The courageous side of me would dispel that fear in order to accomplish what I set out to do. Connecting this to what I wrote above, I feared being inappropriate and silly but I’ve come to a place where authentically being me is more important than that!
Freedom lies in being bold. ~ Robert Frost.
Robert Frost is the man! We should have been friends. We are pure balls of energy. We are not meant to be restrained, confined, or bound. We want liberty! I find that the bolder I am, the more personal liberty I acquire! Thus FREEDOM!
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self. ~ Aristotle.
I like this quote because it speaks to the fact that its all about YOU! Yes things happen to you and people do mean things to you BUT it all goes back to YOU! You can be your own source. You can thrive past anything IF YOU TRULY WANT TO! You can be the source, the power and the center. Whether its through overcoming your own limiting thought patterns or embracing more of your core, its about you. Being brave is about being YOU, completely, wholly and authentically!
Choose rather to be strong of soul than strong of body. ~ Pythagoras
Physical strength is great. However my focus isn’t on body. My body is temporal. Its one expression of the entirety of my being. Yes, taking care of it makes for a much more pleasant life but I find that strength must also manifest from my core. My spirit and my soul.. they need to be nurtured and cared for too!
Promise me you will always remember â€“ You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.Â ~ Christopher Robin to Pooh
SLY’s other S FACTOR WRITINGS
Conversations with My Skin : Goddess Rising : Rebuild Yourself : Sheila Kelley S Factor Review: The Siren Has Awoken : If You’re Sexy & You Know It, Clap Your Ass??? : Do Everything Your Mama Told You Not to Do : S Factor: Level Two ~ Welcome Back SLY