Recently, I shared how I started dancing…but what I didn’t include was the more relevant story of how I almost didn’t start dancing.
Have you ever experienced contraction in the form of inhibition, doubt, obstacles, distraction or sometimes blatant self-sabotage just prior to expanding into a grander embodiment of your true self or taking an action aligned with fulfilling your heart’s purpose?
I certainly have! Whenever I’m stepping up and doing something that’s really meaningful to me I experience it. BAM! Tightness in the belly, flutters in the heart, chaotic thoughts.
Contraction before expansion is an unavoidable part of any transformational process. But you can’t let it keep you down, small and discouraged. The fruits of your commitment to embrace your full potential as spirit living through a physical body are SO worth it.
Here’s my tale of why it’s worth it to follow your heart & how I almost didn’t start dancing...
In February 2011, on a whim of hearty inspiration my best friend and I packed up our house, quit our jobs and sold anything of value we owned to finance moving to a small island in Thailand to participate in a Mystical Dance Teacher Training Course with no plan of ever returning to Australia.
In the depths of my soul I intuitively knew getting into dance was going to change my life fundamentally…yet I felt a mixture of excitement and extreme nerves as I had never really danced much before.
The first few of days on the island before the course started were bliss. We spent our days drinking coconuts, lounging in hammocks and riding around on scooters with the wind of freedom blowing in our hair.
Until the afternoon one day prior to the course starting. Riding along on a scooter laughing & singing something ridiculous, we turned a corner in the road, some loose sand caused the scooter tyres to slip, I lost control and we both came crashing onto the concrete.
We hit the ground hard and emerged dazzled, concussed and covered in blood, grit and road rash.
Our only consolation: two handsome men found us, picked us up and took us to the hospital.
At the Thai hospital we received basic care to clean up our visible wounds and were sent home to rest. Sent home to allow the shock to wear off and begin feeling the devastation of having a broken body only 12 hrs out from starting my supposed to be life-changing dance experience.
I had intense pain in my right collarbone and it was highly recommended that I go get an x-ray. I knew I had two choices if I went to get an x-ray. Either the x-ray would show my collarbone wasn’t broken and I’d just have to take it easy, rest and wear a sling for a while OR it would show a fracture and I’d have to go home to have it fixed and thus miss my Mystical Dance Teacher Training Course.
Very regularly I see women grappling with showing up during their transformational process.
I get it. I feel it too.
It’s hard to muster up the courage to embrace the one thing you really deeply desire that simultaneously scares the shit out of you.
But, if you want to do anything meaningful with your life you CANNOT side step the experience of uncertainty, doubt, fear and challenges.
Your power lies in realising these contractions are a natural part of the process and not to let them stop you from showing up and taking action where you know you need to.
I share my story hopefully to inspire you to see the value of going through the obstacles and your perceived limitations. I still experience this contract-expand dynamic all the time, it never goes away, you can only get more committed & relaxed about going through.
The contraction we experience is always proportional to the transformation and expansion awaiting us on the other side of fear.
Keep showing up where your heart wants you.
You’ve got this and you're not alone.
STAY TUNED: Obstacles to Transformation [PART 2] – The Power of Commitment
"For almost a year I would read the feedback from the DED weekend workshops and wonder if all the hype was really true. Or more so if i was capable of feeling the depth of this course that all of these woman before me had.
What if it's too much? What if I can't handle it? It kinda scares me! It would be such a waste of money if I didn't show up..
However beneath the chatter of my fearful mind there was always a warm and inquisitive whisper prompting questions like:
'But what if I DO love it, what if through this practice I form a deep connection to my body and heart?'
'What if i see myself as the beautiful powerful feminine goddess that i'm longing to feel inside and out?'
'What if tapping into my sexual energy opens and allows more love and freedom to flow through me and into my life and relationships, igniting a confidence in myself and what I desire and deserve as a woman?'
'What if through this practice I form a deep compassionate and loving relationship with my body which allows me, for the first time in my life, to really love myself and appreciate all the parts of me that make me a woman, that make me, me?' <3
Well, after letting that little voice, which I like to think is my heart, get so loud I couldn't ignore it anymore, I booked into Holly's DED course and made the commitment to dancing through my fears and eliminating that mind chatter every single week.
I am beyond happy, relieved and proud to say all my desires + more were met during this time and now I too am sitting here enjoying some deep reflection and gratitude for everything I have just experienced.
Allowing myself the opportunity to be so seen/vulnerable every week while so deeply supported and strengthened by my sisters was such a blessing.
Even on the weeks I didn't feel up to it I still made the commitment to go and 100% of the time left feeling so much more in tune with my body and simply more alive than I felt before.
Holly creates SUCH a beautiful and nurturing space for you to feel supported and loved in this sometimes confronting journey. Her wealth of knowledge surrounding the feminine and masculine (plus so much more) flows out her so effortlessly into every class. She is a true gift to us all on this journey, lighting the way with her acts of love and dedication, she is a constant inspiration and reminder of everything we are capable of achieving as woman.
I cant stress enough how much of an impact she's had on my own journey and how much I urge you all to be blessed with her practice and teachings as soon as possible.
So thanks to Holly and the sisters I shared these last 6 weeks with I now have a new confidence, and sense of inner strength that I know stems from my heart. Its not ego, it doesn't seek attention or validation from my relationships, its a deep love and respect for myself and a continuous thanks from my body and soul for making the commitment to grow and expand every class.
So, it is without an inch of hesitation I recommend this course for your body, mind and spirits evolution.
Every woman has something to gain from these teachings and NOW is the best time to start.
If you're reading this, you're ready :)
Fear not! You are loved and you are supported.
True magic awaits <3 <3"
These are the heartfelt words of Ashleigh Edmunds, with whom I've had the absolute pleasure of witnessing move from hesitation into glorious embodiment of her feminine nature in the DED level 1 course, and now is continuing to embrace all the wonders of being a woman in the level 2 course!
She generously allow me to share her testimonial in the hope that her experience would also inspire other women to take the leap.
If reading this has affected you...don't wait any longer.
I started dancing not so long ago in 2011. Prior to that I had explored salsa socially for some months, and before that you wouldn’t have even caught me dropping a few moves in the living room.
Up until 5 years ago I had very little relationship with my femininity, love for my body or inkling of what was possible to feel through dancing.
The game-changer for me was a suggestion from my intimate partner back then to replace my rigorous yoga practice with dancing but keep the same level of inner awareness.
So, I began to dance for 60mins per day, every day…rain, hail, shine, menstrual, grumpy, relaxed, stressed…no matter what, I would dance the dance of whatever I was experiencing. Eyes closed, ipod on shuffle, the dance would unfold…sometimes clunky, sometimes almost still, some times dynamic and emotional.
And my life began to change…dramatically.
The dance in my heart began to awaken.
It was magical, I felt alive in my senses like never before & marvelled at the beauty I found everywhere I went.
I couldn’t stop dancing, life became an incredible mystical dance with a universal dance partner leading the way!
Amidst my own home practice I was also engaged in an extraordinarily beautiful & deep practice called ‘Hridaya – Meditation for the Spiritual Heart’ and was entering 10 day silent retreats every month for 8mths or so. It was absorbed in seated meditation that the vision, method and philosophy for Sacred Dance emerged.
Dance fundamentally changed my world.
Now, it is my honour to share the potential for awakening through dance.
I take great pleasure in seeing all the time women experiencing the same union with dance as I did.
A relationship with dance that brings radiance, freedom, love andgratitude to all corners of your heart.
And whole body relaxation when you realise you don’t have to try so hard and push to do everything. The dance is already happening, within you it has a volition of its own, leading you always towards the most uplifting experience of life for your soul.
On 20 March (next weekend) I’m offer a 1-day workshop nestled in a nature on the Sunshine Coast called ‘Awaken the Dance in Your Heart’. I will be sharing the fundamental philosophy and practices to fall absolutely in love with yourself and the dance of life.
If you heart is yearning, please come join us!
CLICK HERE for more info & bookings
Below: This photo is from late 2011...about six months into my practice of awakening through dance.
Are you the type of woman that gives and gives and gives in relationships trying to make yourself feel adequate, because just being who you are isn’t quite good enough?
Don’t get me wrong, giving is a beautiful and fulfilling quality of the feminine nature, just look at Mother Nature and all the she gives. I’m talking about the kind of hustle to sell yourself as good, pleasing and acceptable that happens because you don’t respect yourself enough to value who you are.
No matter what you do, how tolerant you are, how much you give till you burn out and are an emotional wreck or numb, your partner and the people around you don’t really value and respect what you do because you don’t give yourself that honour.
You are enough.
I know we’ve been told for eons that women are inferior, sexualised objects and weak victims that make bad decisions. It’s time to come to our senses. Real change starts within. It starts with every woman rediscovering the inherent divinity within herself, marrying herself and committing to her own self-love and worthiness. Only then can you really love and serve another.
The courageous, yet vulnerable women who embrace the Devotional Erotic Dance practice very quickly come to realise the immense value, power and beauty of who they are and begin to respect and honour their own intrinsic worth as non-negotiable.
I get constant feedback from Devotional Erotic Dancers about the huge positive changes in their lives that come from owning and honouring who they are. In their relationships, their work and their communities, people interact differently with them, respect them, give them time, opportunities, listen to them and possibilities open because they have claimed themselves.
If you need to reclaim your self-worth and experience the incredible blessing you have in this life of being born a woman…there’s not a single moment to waste feeling unfulfilled, come dance.
So much more than a sexy dance class…
The 3 most common relationship issues and how understanding & embodying one important principle transforms them all...
Every week I’m engaging with a lot of different women of all ages from all sort of backgrounds.
These safe and nurturing spaces allow for a lot of heartfelt honesty, openness & vulnerability about our relationship with ourselves, with others and with life.
I want to share with you the three issues I hear most often from women about their intimate relationships (or absence of)…
1. “I feel I am transforming so much but he does not want to open & grow with me”
2. “We love each other, but there’s just no sexual chemistry anymore”
3. “I want a relationship but there doesn’t seem to be many great men out there”
If you can relate to any of these you’ll empathise with the heart ache, longing and frustration that this feeling of something missing can bring.
I know I certainly have experienced all these feelings deeply in the past and it was for one important principle I did not understand, did not cultivate and thus caused me a huge amount of confusion & dissatisfaction,
that is: sexual polarity.
‘Polarity’ is a fundamental law of the universe recognised both in mainstream science, tantra and dare I say every esoteric tradition. It is the dynamic force between a positive (+) and a negative (-) pole. Polarity is happening at the level of atoms creating an electrical current for your lights at home, in your breath through inhalation (+) & exhalation (-) connecting you with the flow of life, in your inner awareness as a detached witness to thoughts & experiences (+) or engaged in the energies of life with all your senses (-), and most definitely in your relationships as a play of sexual energy between the masculine (+) and feminine (-).
Just as if you put two oppositely charged magnets near to each other they will be magnetised, attract and create an arch of energy and insatiable pull between them, so it is with intimate relationships.
Also true, if you put two magnets of the same charge together there will be repulsion. Two people embodying their masculine nature will be inclined towards competition, fighting, bringing things to an end, as will two people embodying their feminine nature will tend to have fun, play, share emotions & stories but not really commit or go anywhere…in both cases a magnetic sexual energy will be absent and the deeper needs of each partner and the relationship will go unfulfilled.
Understanding the significance of polarity and cultivating your feminine (and masculine) nature is essential to going deeper in a relationship, both for attracting a trustable deep masculine partner into your life and/or embodying the enormous potential you have as a woman to inspire openness, growth and change in the heart of your partner.
Polarity is the force moving between two poles, you can only change yourself, but through your own inner transformation and empowerment you will naturally affect your partner or potential partner.
Since, we live in a society that exceedingly values the masculine nature often most women are moving through the world embodying a masculine nature. It's not wonder relationship get confusing when many women are unaware of the need to and how to relax into their feminine nature when relating with an intimate partner.
Devotional Erotic Dance & the Spirituality of Feminine Sexuality is a transformational journey in recognising, reclaiming and awakening the enormous power of your feminine nature through a dynamic experience of dance and sisterhood in a safe and supportive space for exploration.
It is so much more than a dance class, more than self-development, more than a spiritual education in relationships & sexuality, it’s not therapy but healing certainly happens as a side effect…it is pure magic and opportunity to touch the Goddess within and see her dance.
Feminine sexual energy is undoubtedly the most powerful of forces in this world. It is pure potentiality, the creative drive of life itself and intoxicating beauty of nature manifest in endless forms.
Secretly if not openly most women know or at least intuit that this erotic energy within them can move mountains and essentially get them anything they desire.
What if you could access the capacity to manifest whatever you desired into the world?
Such an immense capacity for transformation dwells within your hips...no wonder so many of us shut it down and keep our knees together for fear of our own potential!
But what if this scintillating erotic feminine energy is married with the heart...offered in its fullness as a sacred gesture of devotion to your beloved. Not used to elicit security from men, expensive clothes and a new car...but in service of the highest love, for spiritual awakening.
How would it feel to connect, express and be seen in that fullness of your sexuality? In all it's facets...the softness, the wildness, the playful and dirty without shame, judgement or boundaries. To surrender to the erotic energy that creates and moves the entire universe also moving through you, kissing your neck with goosebumps, heating your thighs with passion, and streaming up your spine with the caress of fine silk.
Notice as you’re sitting right now where you are…
…the sounds around you…the high pitched ones…the low vibrating hums...
…and the scent of the air as you inhale…the coolness against your nostrils…
…what kind of sensations are in your forehead?…and toes?
…even take a moment to look up from the screen and notice the colours and forms appearing before you just now.
Can you feel your heart beating?
And see if you can gently shift you’re attention now from all these sensory perceptions, objects, the ‘stuff’ of life, the oddly mysterious universe appearing before you…and turn your attention inwards to notice that underlying presence that witnesses it all…the one who is experiencing all those impressions.
Take a moment to contemplate how regardless of the constant change in your surroundings, sensations and experiences, that presence ‘you’ are always ‘there’. That no matter what is happening or wherever you go the feeling of being there is always there.
Has there ever been a time when you were not there?
We can begin to appreciate these two aspects of our self…the experiencer or witness, and the experience or life.
The witness of our lives (as we notice) is forever present, unchanging, without attributes, still, untaintable and untouchable beyond the fluctuations of our mind and the world, it feels as the centre of our experience and yet pervades everything. The same ‘you’ that was when you were 5 years old, 5 minutes ago…and is here now as you read this.
Life, energy, on the other hand is vibrant, forever changing, never staying the same, loaded with experiences, comprising everything conceivable in the entire universe, from electricity in tiny molecules to the enormity of galaxies, and not excluding the heat of anger, the most exquisite artwork, dramatic thoughts & the fabric of dreams. It is full, alive and teeming with possibilities. The intimate tremors felt in your heart when someone you love comes near.
These two aspects of our existence are often referred to as the masculine and feminine respectively. We know experientially that they are never separate…we never have an experience without being there to experience it, and visa versa.
In tantra these two aspects are often personified as God and Goddess, or Shiva and Shakti…the masculine and feminine principle. Notice right now how they are constantly at play within you, as you.. Shiva, the witness-consciousness is pervading Shakti the energy and fullness of life…they are forever together in union, making love, creating an ever more expansive and deeply mysterious existence!
Not somewhere else, but right now within you, as you.
When you are seated in emptiness, detached and witnessing the splendour of life…you are Shiva.
When you are feeling the entirety of the universe, connected to everything, surrendered to the innate aliveness and flow of life you're immersed as Shakti.
In our relationships we can also emulate the divine love and union of existance that is consciousness and energy dancing together, and experience that not just within ourselves but through two bodies. How awesome!
How would it be for one person whose naturally more at home in the masculine temperament of deep stillness, emptiness, detached witnessing, unwavering attention, trustworthiness and the ability to pervade life with his presence, to meet with a lover of a feminine nature who shines with the fullness and beauty of life through every cell and who essentially wants be seen, filled, to unveil the tenderness of her heart, and offer everything in undefended vulnerability and devotion!?
A divine union? Scintillating to say the least!
This powerful attractive force created through relaxing into and expressing the natural sexual polarity of the masculine and feminine has the capacity to radically revolutionise the depth and harmony experienced in our relationships and as an individual.
For a feminine woman to feel truly seen and felt as a Goddess, fulfilled by the sacred offering of her sexual energy, and for a masculine man to be absolutely worshiped and honoured for the depth of his presence, and invited, received into a feminine body surrendered to bliss of the universe pulsating within.
For most women it is not often in our everyday lives that we get the opportunity to touch the depth of this power of the feminine within ourselves. Maybe you’ve never ever had a chance to explore this immensely powerful yet vulnerable part of yourself, let alone feel safe to express it in an intimate relationship.
Devotional Erotic Dance transformational courses are a 6 week journey to the revelation of your intimately sexual and divine nature as the entire universe embodied in a woman.
The nature of the Devotional Erotic Dance workshop obviously brings up a lot of hesitation and concerns in many women about who we are and what our relationship and attitudes about our own sexual expression are more deeply, and it is for that reason that this workshops is very transformative.
When I first attended a full weekend workshop of this variety incorporating erotic dance and being seen and appreciated in the fullness of being a woman and moreover an embodiment of the Divine, I too was very nervous to accept my place there and embrace the vulnerability of bearing my heart & femininity. I was even quite bashful to have others know I was attending a 'striptease' course given all the negative stigmas that comes with females expressing their sexuality.
Nonetheless, I took a deep breath, went and it turned out to be one of the most life-changing experiences in shaping my sensuality, softness, confidence and undeniably powerful nature as a woman. I loved every minute of it, from the nerves and uncertainty to profound empathic connection with others, the slinky hip drops, and everything in in between...I felt more like a woman than at any other time in my life, and more over was seen and saw others in that brilliance also.
Some of the most precious fruits of my experience with devotional erotic dance however, was the connection and wow-factor it created in intimate relationships. To feel so sexually full in myself, yet be seen totally vulnerable by the loving gaze of a partner was absolutely incredible. The succulent flow of a woman's hips filled with a infinitely erotic power offered to a mans heart I believe has the capacity to inspire a deep contentment and happiness to every relationship and each persons relationship with the world. Existence is the play of the masculine and feminine, so the harmonizing and adoration of each in ourselves and our relationships brings delight and spiritual upliftment on so many levels.
There will not be any explicit nudity or sexual acts in this workshop, when we are exploring aspects related to actual lovemaking it will be through discussion rather than demonstration. You will not be forced to do anything you don't want to, and I will take great care to ensure that everyone feels comfortable to take the steps deeper into themselves. I can not say that a feeling of vulnerability will not be there, but it's absolutely understood that women blossom through relaxation and feeling supported...you can't force a rose bud to open.
Here's a couple of videos you might like to watch to get a gist and inspiration of the approach of this workshop:
Shelia Kelly 'Let's Get Naked' http://youtu.be/Lrdn4lazVBc
Brene Brown 'The Power of Vulnerability' http://youtu.be/iCvmsMzlF7o
If you have any other questions or wish to clarify anything before booking into the workshop please feel free to get in touch