This isn’t what I meant to write….

I don’t have a thoughtful introduction to this post. I sat down to write something else and this is what happened. It spoke so truthfully and powerfully to me that I decided to let it fly off the page to you.

And man, aren’t we trying to do it all? Be fit. Exercise. Eat the right foods. Drink our juices. Eat our veges. Buy the right stuff. Wear the right clothes. Get our hair done right. Use the right face cream, floss, get outside, write positive affirmations, call our parents, answer all of our emails, do well at work, overwork, start a career, make some money, prove ourselves, keep date night going, get a date, get a good date, get a fall-in-love date, journal, draw, do yoga. Pilates. CrossFit. Spend more time with our friends. Tell the truth. Get sexy new lingerie. Try to be ourselves and not care. Really try not to care.

Seeing everyone else’s life as perfect. She’s the perfect wife. The perfect mother. The perfect entrepreneur. She’s the perfect everything. Comparing. Self-loathing. Judging. Judging to feel better. At least I’m better than her. We want to be our best. But deep down inside, sometimes that means being like someone else.

We finally (please, please) want to love our bodies. We have to face aging. We have to leave old selves behind and figure out how to live as our new selves. New wives. New life stages. Newly-hired. Newly-fired. Divorced. Left behind by a loved one. Heartbroken. Dream shattered. We are exhausted. Bitter. Resentful. Tired. Some of us are soooooo tired. We are overworked and overwhelmed.

We are under-loved. Under-nourished. Under-honoured. Under-respected. By ourselves.

We are great at multitasking and victim complaining. We suck at self-love and protecting ourselves.

We are undersexed. Under-joyed. We feel guilty. We feel like idiots. Losers. The only person who just can’t figure it out. Get it right. Succeed. Get it together. We aren’t good enough to be loved. To be cared for. To relax. To be adored….just because. To be as rich as we want. As brave as we want.

We are stressed. About everything. Even about relaxing and not being stressed.

We miss our old selves. Our vibrant, alive, sassy, sexy days. We look into a future that looks a lot like today. Except we are older and fatter and more depressed.

And yet. We learn. We get inspired. We feel a rush of energy and jump into something. We take risks. We close our eyes and trust ourselves…even when we are scared shitless. We reach out. We try our best to be real….to be vulnerable. We treasure those conversations that come along like manna from heaven – that lets us know. You are not alone.

We dream. We desire. We feel wisdom and power rising up from inside us. We know there is more. To life. To us. We dream of our glory. We dream of possibilities. And all the while, we wake up and get on with it. With the kids. With the job. With the long hours. With the shitty boss. With the tense relationship. With the aches and pains. The exhaustion. The unforgiving pace of life. With the work and the responsibilities and the endless endless work. We overwork and undercharge. We make the lunches, we buy the next size up. We stock the fridge, we make the appointments, we do favours for friends that cost us energy, time, money or spiritually.

We are self-conscious. Still. Especially around that certain group of women that make us feel like we are back in high school. Their lives are so perfect. They are confident and happy and worthy of everything they want. And they do want. And they do ask. And we hate them for that. Even though we wish we had the guts to do it too. They look like they belong. In the world. That the world belongs to them.

We miss our old selves. Even when we love our jobs, our kids, our husbands, our lives. And we are afraid to bitch about it because we are so lucky to have what we have. We don’t feel like we deserve to ask for more. And on top of all of this, you want to be happy and fulfilled? You greedy bitch. Who are you to ask for more?

We are dying, finally, to just be ourselves. To feel confident walking into a party just being ourselves. We are dying to be free. From what our parents expect. Our partners. The world. What we have been taught to do. We are dying to write our own stories. But some days, there just isn’t enough energy to change a thing. It seems impossible.

We spend a lot of time being anxious about everything. We can’t sit down and relax. Until we sit down and collapse. We numb ourselves with wine, television, social media, anything to get us from thinking about our lives and our deep deep yearnings. We are afraid of them. They are too deep, too big, too powerful. We keep them in their cages. But, somewhere inside, we know that they are leaking out. That yearning is leaking out and sometimes it feels like wine and sometimes it feels like poison.

We want to scream and yell and shout but our throats feel tight and afraid. We want to say so much, tell our truth but our words die on our tongues. We open our mouths….and out comes lies. Half-truths. Change the topic. Diluted truths. Sanitized versions. Prettied-up talk.

We scoff at words like divine feminine. Goddess. Priestess. We pretend that we don’t want to feel honoured. Adored. Sacred. It scares us, this willingness to go into that place. We are terrified of going beyond what we know. Our fear of growing too much, feeling too much, wanting too much, changing too much, being too much holds us in our nice white chairs as we feed our children, prepare dinner, let the man talk first, fluff our pillows and avoid desserts. Above all, be nice.

We fear that flying towards something brighter will leave behind our husband. Our friends. Our work, our kids. Our parents. It is a constant fight inside of us with our heart frantically beating it’s wings to fly  and our fearful arms keeping us wrapped in tight.

We shut down. We turn off. We hide. We shut away. We smile and pretend. We break down. We break apart. We silently call out for help and understanding. Please let me know that I am not alone.

And yet. Sometimes we look in the mirror and we love what we see. We open up to someone…and are intoxicated by not having to pretend anymore. We sign up for workshops, we go on retreats, we spend money on ourselves and walk away from the guilt, we sign up for salsa lessons, we drop friends who don’t make us feel good, we ask the woman who looks like fun out for a coffee. We try on our lingerie. We try not to judge. We realize things about ourselves. Our parents. We start to build our own world. Have the courage to paint with our own colours. We dare. We try. We dream. We open. We turn our faces toward the sun and close our eyes. We allow our shoulders to drop. The dishes to pile up while we have a kitchen dance party. We cry. We create. We destroy something to make room for something new. We walk out of the door. Away from the job. Away from the relationship. We start making boundaries. Eating better. Going for walks. Whispering to ourselves, I promise to take care of you.

We turn our faces toward the sun and close our eyes. Whispering to ourselves, I promise to take care of you.

I am not a domesticated animal

 

I am not a domesticated animal. I am a wild animal that should not be allowed in nice clean houses. (Good thing I don’t have one of those…)

Here’s the line that keeps repeating itself when I am cleaning up some mess on the table. For the fifth time. Grocery shopping. Cleaning toilets. (Actually, that one is a joke because I don’t clean). Doing drop-off and pick-up. Being nice and friendly. Paying bills. Christmas shopping. Thank you notes. Summer camp research. Meal plans. I’m thinking to myself, with some degree of surprise…still… “What the fuck am I doing? I am not a domesticated animal!”

(This is actually what I look like every morning…)

lioness

 

As I fill up the sink to wash dishes, I mutter to the universe, “This is not where I really shine. Have you seen me on the dance floor?! That is where I shine. This is not me. Honestly.”

I worry about an alien invasion where they will catch me folding laundry and that’s how I’ll go down in their history books.

I remember back to my high school days where everyone told us that our lives would be different from our mothers. We wouldn’t have to get married or do housework or stay at home. We could have careers and be whatever we wanted.

And here I am (and not alone), 20 years later, housebound, folding laundry, planning doctor appointments, putting labels on clothing (again, a joke, because I still haven’t done that) and down on my hands and knees, wiping up spilt milk…again.

The fact that I love my kids, my dude and my house has nothing to do with it. I resent it, when it becomes the only thing I’m doing, because it’s just not the fullness of me. It doesn’t represent the totality of who I am. What I can do. My wildness, my craziness, my aches, my bliss, my genius, my adventure, my rebel spirit.

By the way, this is the exact feeling that inspired me to create the Juicy Woman Revolution.

Some days, I just am so mad about it, I put on Def Leppard. Cry. Rage and rant. Kick something. Gently (or not) squeeze my nipples to remind myself of who I really am.

I have a sticky note on my computer that says “I am deliciously erotic.” There are days when I read it and know it deeply in my body to be true. Then there are days when I couldn’t feel further from deliciously erotic. In my track pants with a hole in the crotch, kinda needing a shower, with hairy legs and unbrushed teeth. Exhausted and resentful.

But then, when I read those words, something shifts in me. Sometimes it’s really small. Like a whisper. And sometimes it’s really loud like a FUCK RIGHT, I’M DELICIOUSLY EROTIC!

And that’s why it’s there. To remind me to claim my space to shine. To create places that tell the full story of who I am. To do things that remind me of who I really am, in the fullness of my feminine power and beauty. To live outside the wife/mother/responsible member of society box.

I vow never to be tamed.

About a year ago, when my daughter was getting out of her car seat, she lost her balance and yelled “I feel dangerous!”

And I thought, hell yeah.

If you feel inspired, in the comments below, please share your thoughts on being a domesticated animal….or untameable…or anything else this makes you think of.

As always, thank you for reading.

Sophie

A story about saying the un-sayable

 

As some of you know, I am currently taking a break from my regularly weekly blogs. I needed to slow down on one business aspect as I started to speed up on another aspect, which is the development of an online course.

I miss writing! I miss our communication; even though for the most part it’s a one-way conversation, outside of the comments (I love when you comment) and emails I get in response.

Anyway, I’ll be popping back in now and again when I have the time and something really worthy of saying.

In this blog, I’m going to talk about a very emotional experience I had on my S-Factor retreat at the end of September. When I let myself be broken open.

Broken open sounds so aggressive, doesn’t it? Torn open? Split open? Blown apart? They all sound quite violent and yes, this kind of opening up is not for the faint of heart. But I know that allowing ourselves to be broken open is the only way to be fully realized and fully ourselves. Which is something that most women crave.

I’m sharing this story because I want you to know that you are brave enough to allow something out of where you keep it hidden. Being broken open has the power to set you free.

So this is the story about something that broke me open. In the right space. With the right support. Sometimes we need someone to give us permission to melt. To let go. To just release…to stop holding on so tightly. To go deep. To be braver than we thought we could be. Sometimes we need a loving and safe push forward. And this is the gift of putting yourself into someone else’s trusted, loving and safe hands. We can’t do it all by ourselves. We all need help.

In one of the exercises at the retreat, all of the women were asked to find that voice inside that said the most toxic and painful thing. You know….that voice. What we say about ourselves that we don’t want anyone to know. And then we were to find a partner who would write it down on our body, cross it out and write the opposite.

(For all of those women reading this right now and feeling their hearts beat and the panic of being in that room, I hear you! But trust me, when the time is right and the support is right and your heart feels safe enough to melt, you are ready. Because it feels so good to let go.)

Afterwards, walking around, I could see women with writing all over their bodies. Their toxic lines are familiar to all of us; “You don’t deserve to be happy.” “It will never work out for you.” “You are too damaged to be loved.” “You are stupid and ugly.”

I partnered up with a woman who I had never met before. But of course, we were sisters just because we were both there, both trying to melt, both being brave, both wanting more.

On her body, I wrote “You are cold.” (which is something that her husband said to her a lot…and it broke her heart.) And then I crossed it out and wrote “You are open and perfect.”

When it was my turn to tell her what to write, as I switched from healer to asking-for-healing, my voice split and I dissolved into tears saying the words that I wanted to bury forever.

On my chest, she wrote “You are unloveable”. And then she crossed it out and wrote “You are so loveable.” And decorated it with flowers and hearts.

yoga-poses-susan-cabana-740x460

And there it was. The unspeakable was written on my chest for all to see. And by saying the unsayable, I took one giant step towards the freedom and power that comes with allowing myself to be broken open. One journey. Many giant and mini steps.

Most of us have armour everywhere. To protect ourselves. And most of us have needed to be protected. And then, at a certain point, the protection becomes walls that prevent us from experiencing the kind of love, joy, self-acceptance and power we really yearn for.

So, here’s my question to you. Are you going to allow yourself to break open? To say the unsayable? To speak your truth?

And when I say, speak your truth, I don’t mean to anyone else. I mean to yourself. Before we can say our truth to others, we need to be able to say it to ourselves. With compassion. With deep love.

I’d love to hear in the comments below whether you have ever had an experience of being broken open and what it did for you.

As always, thank you for reading.

Sophie

 

How my retreat went

Well, here I am, back for almost a week from the S-Factor retreat in Miami. I am still adjusting. This is the hard part for me; figuring out how to maintain the feeling that I had when I was away while fulfilling responsibilities to my work, family, children and myself. To keep my insights, discoveries and deep yearnings alive. To remind myself of myself, even in the busyness and frantic pace of life.

Having a group of women together that are yearning to be more of themselves is a pretty heavy experience. Beautiful. Awesome. Inspiring. Moving. Emotional. Heart-wrenching. Basically, all of the colours of the rainbow. Which is what being a woman is all about. The range of emotions. The rawness. The power balanced with the beauty balanced with the ache.

So I arrived in Miami on Thursday and the retreat started on the Friday. Four full days. We had a movement class a few times a day with a small group and then sessions with Sheila Kelley with the whole group. The theme of this retreat was “Dangerously Sexy”. It was about learning to dance in that sweet spot where we are fully ourselves, fully expressed, fully authentic – without standing in the shadows and letting fear prevent us from shining and without dancing over the edge and losing ourselves. Big stuff.

In the first S-Factor retreat I went on, the transformational experience for me was when we were asked to dance in our sadness. Which I had never done before. I danced in grief for my mother and moved from tears to joy. That one dance changed my relationship with my sadness (allowing and expressing it) and my relationship to my dancing. Gone forever was my narrow range of dance expression, which had been limited to sexual energy or darkness. Both of which I still love but were not the full breadth of me. So I started to express other parts of me through dance.

On this retreat, I had a transformational experience during one of the exercises. You never know what you are going to hear when you are allowed to sink into your own body and your own voice. During that exercise, I made a deep commitment to take care of myself. Not just about working out and having a great hair cut. But a deep commitment to taking care of my heart, honouring my soul and making my sadness feel safe. As you can imagine, it was a painful, heart-opening, overwhelming and precious experience.

For those women who are ready to make that deep commitment to themselves, the final day to register for the JWR course in Toronto is today. Join me.

In the meantime, I wish for every woman some space and time to hear her own voice. To hear the voice of her body. Her heart and her soul. It is a precious place to be.

On a lighter side, I also got flirted with a lot (yay!), loved loved feeling the humid heat of the city on my skin, went skinny dipping in the ocean (complete with sting from a jelly fish), danced my cha cha guts out and felt the embrace of the masculine during a bachata dance. I laughed with new friends, felt gorgeous in my skin and walked down the street like a goddess.

All in all, a fantastic time.

A love letter and request to all the mamas out there

This is a love letter and a request to all the mamas out there but the message will ring true for all women so even if you are not a mama, please read on.

What I want to say to every woman is this. You are not alone. We are the same. Different details, same challenges. Same fears. Same dreams.

When I pass mums on the street, there are generally four things that happen. The first one is, we look at each other and smile. The smile says “Hi fellow mum. Isn’t life grand?” And this is only if both of us are having a great mummy day. So, lovely but infrequent.

Secondly, there are two smiles and one at least, (me) is lying. The smile says “I’m smiling because I’m supposed to be so happy about being a mum and I don’t want you to see me not smiling because you are probably such an awesome mum that you totally love everything about it but really I want to shout my face off and run away.”

The third dynamic is when both of us are having a tough day and we pass each other in resigned silence. We both know it’s just one of those days where it’s all about making it out of the trenches by bedtime. Alive.

The fourth type of interaction is what I want to talk about today. The fourth one is when a mother passes me with an unspoken but tangible message that says “We are not alike. I am not like you. You are a MUM. And I am a woman with a baby. We are NOT the same. I am happier, sexier, more natural and generally better than you. We have nothing in common.”

And I want to run after her and shout “Do you think that I wear jogging pants all the time? Don’t you think that I still dream about dancing the night away in high heels? Don’t you know that I’m just a woman with a baby too?!”

(By this time, obviously, she is also running. Away from me.)

And when I’ve been this mum, the one who gives the attitude, what I’ve really been saying is “I can’t let you know what’s really going on so I have to pretend that everything is perfect and that I’m perfect because I just can’t let down my guard and show you what is really inside.”

Sigh. We all know how it can be so scary to tell the truth.

But if we are brave, we learn that after every truth comes freedom. That there is no freedom without truth.

So, we need to start telling the truth to each other more often. We need to think of ourselves as allies in this life, as supporters, as “lifter-uppers”, as people to lean on, as guides, as keepers of our secrets. As sisters.

As a community.

Women are still finding our legs when it comes to thinking of ourselves in community. Not as competitors. Enemies. We are still shaking off the lessons learned in high school (or wherever we started picking them up) which were more aligned with judging other girls, being bitchy, being mean and cruel and using put-downs and insults to feel better about ourselves. Even at that young age, we defended our sense of insecurity and fear, not by sharing it, but by turning around and creating it in other girls. (And by the way, if we still do this as women, how will our girls every learn that there is a better way?)

 

Sisterhood

 

We are not in high school anymore. We can now choose to see other women as potential friends. As women with stories to share. Wisdom to impart. Arms that hug. To see them as a place to put down  heavy burdens. Because we are all different but the same. We have common fears, anxieties, challenges, roadblocks. And similar dreams. Hopes. Yearnings. Desires. Longings.

So, to all the women out there, mums included, a request: let’s drop the attitude and open our hearts to all the women out there that we pass in the streets. Let’s smile and send a message of understanding, love and belonging. Because we are not alone.

(Psst, the big secret is that life is easier with more friends, not more enemies.)

In the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you view the community of women and what you’ve experienced around this topic.

Bring me your sh*t

That title is so provocative! Mmm….me lovey.

There’s a back-story to this title.

I’ve been thinking about what I “want” women to bring to my classes. I used to borrow what I had heard in yoga classes and ask students to leave everything at the door. To be in class, free from their daily worries and stresses.

But as my experience deepened with the Juicy Woman Revolution course, I changed my mind. I started to feel that most women (myself included) needed a place to bring their shit. To express their emotions. Their anger. Sadness. Exhaustion. Vulnerability. Grief. Questioning. Challenges. I started to feel that if every place we spent time in didn’t want us to “bring our shit”, then we’d never have a place to be truthful. To express how we really felt. To be real.

In essence, it’s like living in a fantasy land where we only express the “good” emotions; positivity, optimism, love, joy, confidence, happiness, etc. Gag me with a spoon. I mean, those emotions are just half of the circle, aren’t they?

If we don’t have a place to express those “bad” or “dark” emotions, where do they go? I know they yearn to be expressed because I know what it feels like to express them and what other women experience when they let them be expressed.

It feels like freedom.

Actually, we do express these “bad” emotions. We cry when we are sad (or frustrated or happy or angry). We yell when we are angry. We darken and contract when we are grieving. We are total bitches when we feel resentful, overdrawn, exhausted and used up. And yet, there is something about this kind of expression that still traps our emotions in the body. They get stuck there like pellets of ice. Hard, unforgiving, unmovable.

I believe that we need to express our emotions physically. And that by doing that, we allow them to be acknowledged. And seen. And heard. And released.

It’s not about fixing them. But when our emotions are allowed to move through our bodies as we dance, when they get a chance to say what they need to say, when they are heard and seen, they change.

They shift.

They don’t need to be cured. They need to be heard.

And the way we leave class is not the way we came into it.

Don’t leave your shit at the door and then pick it up on your way out. Bring me your shit. Bring it right onto your mat. Dance in it. Feel it. Let it flow through you.

Psst. Because when you bring your shit, you also bring your glory. And that, my friend, is a helluva party.

Look for the next session of the Juicy Woman Revolution course starting Fall 2015.

Forget everything else. Who are you… as a WOMAN?

 

So, as most of you know, I am really big into women. Being one. Raising one. Having lots of awesome ones in my life. I love the feminine. The more I learn, the more I love. The more I know, the more I adore.

I love being a woman!

In fact, I think that I may have just realized that I was one. Seriously. I think before I knew I was a woman, I thought I was an entrepreneur. Friend. Dancer. Teacher. Business owner. Daughter. Leader. Then wife and mother. (By the way, these last two jobs are really really good at making you forget you are a woman!)

It’s only been in the last few years that I have really started to feel like my primary persona was as a woman. Felt the feminine. Felt like so much of my power and potential and fucking kick-ass beautiful warrior rebel yell came from the fact that I was a woman.

Continue reading “Forget everything else. Who are you… as a WOMAN?”

This still surprises the heck out of me…

My life has changed.

Really changed.

And it still surprises me every day.

Because there was a point when I didn’t believe that anything could change about my life. That I didn’t have any or enough power to change my mind-set, change my day, change my life.

But I did.

And so can you.

Now, before you start rolling your eyes at yet another blog post that talks about “HOW AMAZING AND PERFECT MY LIFE IS NOW!”, I’ll let you know that in some ways, nothing has changed. I still have hard days. Unexpected challenges. Difficulties that attack my sense of self-esteem, confidence and faith in myself. I still face days that are harder to get through with fun and pleasure and set-backs that seem exhausting to recover from.

But.

But they happen less often. I recover faster from them. The negative thoughts that they bring don’t have as much power over me as they used to. And I am able to get back to the place where I really want to be more easily and with more strength.

Here are some ways my life has changed that make me very happy.

1) I experience way more fun, joy, happiness and bliss in my daily life. (Yup, I said it. Bliss, y’all!)

2) I feel very connected to my sense of sexuality. I feel that my sexual energy is with me during my day and that THERE IS MORE TO COME.

3) My patience with my kids has totally changed. Instead of operating from a place where patience was a scarce resource, I now am able to enjoy them more. Most of my anger, impatience and frustration is gone. (By the way, for the moms out there, this changed because I started to get very interested in what made ME happy, not what made them happy. Not the usual piece of advice but the only one that works.)

4) I love my life! (Again, before you throw up with all of this cheerleading, let me explain.) For the most part, when I wake up in the morning, I feel excited about my day. I have things to look forward to. My life is filled with lots of stuff I love to do. I believe again that my wildest and sweetest dreams are now possible. That the future holds more of what I want. (By the way, it used to feel like the future held nothing exciting for me except for a gradual decline into domesticity and jogging pants.)

The kicker is – my life didn’t change. I changed.

Here’s my message to you. Yes, I think the Juicy Woman Revolution course should be experienced by every woman I know because it does change your life. But that’s not my message. My message here is that if you want to change your life, you can. It is possible. You have all the power and wisdom within you to do that. If you are reaching out to people or resources or books or thinking about things differently or experimenting in your life to make it better, KEEP GOING! You can do it. You can change your life and CREATE A LIFE YOU WANT.

Our minds and hearts and souls are so powerful. When you turn them towards working for you and creating a life that fills you up, the stars are the limit. I honestly believe that.

So, whatever you are doing to change your life, don’t give up. It is possible. It is possible FOR YOU. I believe in you. Show yourself that you are worthy of a great life.

Cheers to all of us; reaching, yearning, dreaming and constantly trying.

With admiration,

Sophie

3 pounds vs 8 cookies?

(By the way, this photo is taken from “Advanced Style” – both a book and a documentary about women in their later years who continue to shine and express themselves with outrageous joy for life. Gorgeous and inspiring. You can find out more about “Advanced Style” here.)

I was in the gym over the holidays and overheard a conversation between two women, both in their late 50’s. One stood on the scale and told her friend that she was up 2 pounds and it was because of the 7 or 8 shortbread cookies she had eaten the night before. Her friend commiserated with her. And then they both remarked that that was the very reason they came to the gym.

I found this conversation both interesting and depressing. Interesting because it was the exact conversation I could imagine happening between two teenage girls; caught in that vulnerable time where it is a challenge to love themselves as they are, without forcing their bodies to be something else. But these weren’t teenage girls. These were fully-formed grown women. Had their measure of their bodies not changed at all? How sad, I thought.

Her obsession with those insignificant numbers seemed so……..small. Such a small and insignificant way to measure the value of a body. Or of a life.

(I was secretly hoping to overhear another conversation between two women, both in their late 50’s, about how they were now “up 2 pounds” because they had been on vacation in Italy with their 20 year-old boyfriends and had put on weight eating delicious food and making love all day. No such luck YET!)

Then I started to think about different ways to measure life with numbers and here are some ideas I came up with;

We can measure the # of times:

* we are brave enough to say something we are afraid of saying

* we compliment someone on a job well done and make their day

* we have, think about, desire or imagine mind-blowing, glorious sex

* we go out dancing

* we lose ourselves in the moment and feel transported out of regular life

* we pee our pants from laughing

* we are honest and vulnerable and REAL in a conversation with a trusted one

* we experience ecstasy in our bodies

* we play outside

* we have opera playing while we cook Italian food and drink red wine

* we smile at strangers

* we discover something new about the city we live in

* we cry. Real, big, emotional, pure, cathartic tears

* we go deep into our hearts and change our lives

* we eat 7 or 8 shortbread cookies and then dance to this song!

So, here’s to a New Year filled with bigger, brighter, richer, sweeter and sexier ways to measure our days!

 

Meet your most fearless, confident and pure self

“She does what she wants and never anything to impress or please. She dances in the shadows when she wants and on centre stage when she wants. Her body is made for pleasure and she curves and rolls and reaches and mesmerizes. She is ice cold and fire hot. She is untouchable. Untameable. Unknowable.”

These are some of the notes I made at the S-Factor retreat in January 2014, almost a year ago. They were notes made about my EC, my erotic creature (as Sheila Kelley defines the “feminine body” all women have). I remember having such a clear idea of who my EC was. Once I was ready to see and feel her, she took shape in an effortless and magical way. I questioned nothing about her; she was my perfect fit.

When I tapped into her (with the benefit of the time and space that retreat allowed me), she had an instant effect on me. Anxieties disappeared. The thought of apologizing for anything was gone. Self-doubt, questioning my actions, thinking about what I should do instead of what I wanted to do seemed like an ancient and forgotten way of being. My deep core confidence was both as light as a feather and as unalterable as a mountain. She was unshakeable. I was unshakeable. Pure magic. A deep love affair.

Seeing her, really seeing who she was, was one of the greatest moments during that retreat and had a lasting and powerful effect on me. I was so inspired to keep her with me, to give her what she needed to show up more often in my life. I wanted her to be a strong presence in my life and, therefore, to change it.

Let me ask you, who is your “erotic creature?” Do you know her? If you are like me, maybe you lost track of her as your energy got directed everywhere else (really, everyone else) except within.

She won’t come out if you just call her. She requires time and space to be known. She is not likely to be your outward personality, the facade you put on at parties or social events. She’s not likely to be who your friends think she is – although she might have some elements, if they know you well. She might not even be who you want her to be. But she will be the purest and most fearless essence of yourself. And when you wake her up, that confidence and fearlessness will start to pulse through your “real” life as well.

She is not in your brain. You can’t think her alive. You have to feel her alive. Move her alive. She is in your cells, your soul and your spirit. She is in your body; all it’s curves and stories and moments and tears and heights and depths and passion and despair.

When does she show herself? I have found her most easily when I dance. When I dance for myself, in my own moves, being guided by my own feelings and emotions.

When you move in meditation, with music that fits you, she’ll come out. When you feel free to feel anything you want – your lust, your shyness, your anger, your coldness, your aggression, your sweetness – she’ll come out. She is your core sensual essence, your intrinsic nature, your quintessential soul, stripped clean of anything that tarnishes and devalues her. She has a fearlessness that blows away self-doubt, expands your spirit, blows your mind and makes you feel FINALLY AT HOME.

If you listen for her, she’s there. All the women joining me next year in the inaugural Juicy Woman Revolution Course will have the honour of meeting her perhaps for the first time or of re-aquainting themselves with her.

In further news, I will be taking a break from these letters over the holidays to just unplug and have mad fun. My most juicy best to everyone over the holidays and here’s to a bubbly, inspirational, diamonds-in-the-sky and magic-is-possible New Year’s. I look forward to our adventures in 2015. And thank you very much for all of your emails and support and attention this year. I am honoured.

Sophie