As humans we can’t help it, we’re going to catch ourselves comparing ourselves to others. We know this is not helpful to our own personal growth and few things can frustrate us or lead us to feeling “less than” faster than comparison. We may feel no matter how hard we try we will never be as (insert word of choice) as someone else.
Your personal journey, whether it be physical skills or sensual reconnection is your own. How could it possibly match anyone else’s. Could you imagine how boring classes (and life) would be if everyone did the exact thing at the exact time all the time?
So what does comparison take from us?
Appreciation: When we get stuck in the comparison trap, the first thing we’re losing is the appreciation for our uniqueness. That energy you’re spending wondering why you can’t ____like someone else is costing you an opportunity to reflect on what makes you special. What is it you do that feels absolutely amazing in your body? You move in ways only you can move, and that is more precious than getting your full splits.
The value in exploration:This may trigger some, but comparison can lead to jealousy which de-values not only your accomplishments, but that of the woman you’re comparing yourself to. Again, we’re human, it happens, but the more we can catch ourselves in these moments the more we can reframe and take back that energy for self exploration.
Embodiment:Comparison will keep you in a performative state and away from embodiment. Read that again. And again. Save it somewhere while you’re at it.
Presence and joy:It can also cost you all the joy of being fully present in your own movement and celebrating your own accomplishments. One more time for the people in the back: You don’t have to keep up with or move like anyone else in the room-as a matter of fact, it’s the opposite of what we try to achieve here.
Authentic connection:Instead of spending time and energy getting deeply acquainted with yourself, comparison will have you trying to keep up with other people-taking you further and further from authentic connection. We spend so much of our lives trying to play the keep up and fit in game (especially when it comes to sexual energy, but more on that soon) -this is a space to leave that at the door. So, the next time you catch yourself having a comparison moment, take a breath, remind yourself you’re a normal human having a normal human feeling, take a moment and reflect on a movement or trick that FEELS really good to you and carry on being your unique badass self.
It’s time to focus on reconnection and reclaiming our sexual selves.
On the surface, it sounds cutesy — but it’s not fuckin’ cutesy. It’s connecting to your most raw, authentic, erotic self. It’s NOT defining yourself based on the opinions of others.
Our whole lives we are judged based on who we are in relation to others. Are you a good daughter? Wife? Mother? We’ve been told our value lies in how valuable we are to someone else. But that’s a fucking lie.
Remember that very first feeling of being attractive, worthy or sexy?! Was that feeling based on someone else's words or actions?
When we start to modify how we act or look in order to become more desirable to other people, the further away we get from our authentic selves. When we present the TRUE version of ourselves and are met with rejection, we start to question it — we hear you, it’s scary.
I stand by these words spoken by Sahiba,
“An unexpected independence comes from rejection. When someone stops seeing your worth, you learn to see it from your eyes.” —
When we’ve presented our most authentic selves and have been met with rejection, we may have tried to alter ourselves in some way to be perceived as more valuable or more palatable to others. Over time we come to realize that shit just isn’t working and maybe it’s time to turn all that energy inward and start the journey back to ourselves.
We’re constantly told to dim ourselves down — and I’m here to tell you to stop that shit. Sexual liberation for women has become something that is defined by society. The media dictates that in order to be sexually liberated, you need to be promiscuous — but that’s kinda bullshit.
When we reconnect with our bodies, just for us, we reclaim our sexual energy, just for us. It’s this beautiful form of rebellion. We may not be able to change society, mainstream media, or the world outside.
But no matter what’s going on outside of us, we still have the power to reclaim our sexual energy and reconnect to our bodies for ourselves. That’s something that CAN’T be taken away by anyone — no individual, no system, no media.
If you want to “rebel” against societal expectations and twirl your way into your best self, we’re the studio for you. Join us!
For real-time updates on what’s happening in our West Town studio, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
3 Loving Reminders when you’re feeling frustrated:
You’re unique! This is a beautiful thing! It’s so easy to start comparing ourselves to others, which often leads to us feeling some kind of way about ourselves. There is not one other person with your exact life experience, personality, body proportions (and so on and so on). This is a space to flourish in your you-ness (yes, I know that’s not a real word). When we are giving attention to what others are doing instead of what feels right for us, we’re cheating ourselves out of all the yummy, juicy, embodied pleasure our bodies are screaming for.
Don’t fixate on expectations and outcomes. Sometimes shit is just not going to work out on any given day. That is normal! What is not ever going to happen is feeling like a strong, confident, capable, sexy, goddess 24/7. Didn’t nail that skill you wanted to? Your dance didn’t happen like you pictured in your head on the way to class? Put it away on a shelf and stay open to what your body wants to do that day instead. Devoting time to yourself is always the biggest win.
Above all other things, give yourself grace! Just as it’s not practical to feel strong, sexy, etc. 24/7. It’s not sustainable or attainable to feel puppies and kittens and rainbows self-lovey 24/7. We show up and do the best we can with where we’re at on any given day and that is more than enough. Days where we feel off are going to happen. Talk to yourself the way you would the woman in class next to you when you see her struggling.
We get so wrapped up in sexy as an aesthetic and it’s based solely on other people’s opinion of what sexy should be and what it should look like. We do that instead of exploring it as an internal feeling for ourselves.
What does sexy FEEL like?
We need to switch our whole concept of sexy from a look to a feeling. If you think you’re not sexy, maybe you’ve never taken a moment to let go of thinking about it aesthetically and start to explore how it feels. The studio gives you the tools and space to start exploring these things. We’re here to help you tap into things that already exist inside of you. Whether that’s the most obvious thing – physically (you have muscles already, you just haven’t developed them) or the things you need to grow emotionally and energetically.
Our space is free of judgment, and you don’t have to worry about expectations. This is a space to play, explore, and observe what happens without trying to anticipate or label any outcome. There is no wrong way to feel or move – we’re letting go of the right, wrong, good, and bad based on societal conditioning.
Join us in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago and start peeling away those layers. Connect with YOU without worrying about the approval of others. Taking the time to develop these things is how you tap into the different aspects of your personality that have yet to be explored. All you need is an open heart and mind!
For real-time updates on what’s happening in the studio, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
I know it’s almost become cliche to say “Comparison is the thief of joy”. When we think of this statement we assume it pertains to comparing ourselves with others, but how often do we catch ourselves comparing ourselves to ourselves? Even worse, nothing can send us spiraling down the rabbit hole than comparing ourselves to the version of us we think we would have or should've been.
We’ve all done it. “Last week I could _____, but now I’m struggling” “If I only realized ________ sooner my life could’ve been better” “If ___________ didn’t happen to me, I would be amazing” We could go on and on…
Does holding onto comparison give us a nice comfy excuse to stay safely where we’re at? I know it has for me and surely I can’t be the only one.
Being normal humans, there is no way we can keep comparison from popping up, but we can use it as a self exploration tool instead of letting it run amok in our brain.
Self exploration and growth is a beautiful, messy af, absolutely fucking non-linear, forever process.
Next time we catch ourselves in a state of comparison, can we take just a moment to reel it in and reflect on where we are in the present moment and trust it’s exactly where we should be? Even if it’s messy? Even if we’re not operating at 100%? Can showing up for yourself and letting go of the should haves or could haves be enough?
Are these feelings even yours or things you’ve been conditioned to believe? Give yourselves some grace. Growth can feel really scary sometimes. We always hear about the feel good part of growth and transformation, but the truth is it is hard as fuck. It will challenge you over and over again. But, more on that another day...
What are you doing to replenish yourself? Mind, body, and energetically?
Nobody feels a problem or guilt when it comes to making the time to do something that’ll exhaust them (physically or mentally). But the guilt comes when you take the same amount of effort to set aside time to reset and restore.
We seem to view rest as something that’s earned or something that just happens because of our overexertion. But it's non-negotiable! It needs to be a part of regular self-care. If you don’t consciously make time to rest, your body will force you to rest.
Your to-do list is never going to be complete. There will always be more to do. So, prioritize rest – schedule it just like you do with everything else. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
Our studio is a place to slow down and not obsess over whatever end-goal you might have set for yourself. We want you to know that through showing up, you’ll hit those goals. There’s no sense in stressing or worrying about them. We can’t force or fast-track anything.
When we try to force things, it’s not sustainable. That’s how we end up exhausted, injured, and burnt out. Let’s focus on reconnecting with YOU. This is not a process that can be rushed! By the time we’re adults, we’re this culmination of things we’ve been trying to be for other people – something that has taken a lifetime! And if it’s taken that long to get to the point that we’re at now, we can’t expect a quick fix for embodiment and awareness. It takes time.
If you’re ready to start stepping into your most authentic self, we’d love to see you in class! CLICK HERE for the class schedule. For real-time updates on what’s happening in the studio, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
I can’t possibly be the only one who has this thought on occasion (sometimes frequent occasions). We’ve collectively been through some shit the past couple years, then throw in all the things we go through in our personal lives…it’s been rough!
I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t had many days where I’m driving to the studio or sitting down to write or create and think “fuck, I’ve got nothing…I don’t know how I’m going to do this”. Obviously I can’t show up for class and tell you all “I’ve got nothing today-let’s all go home”. And being a firm believer in practicing what you preach- I show up and do it anyway.
I’m sharing this because of the tremendous lessons that I’ve learned from the “show up for yourself and do it anyway” mindset:
-I have never ever ever regretted showing up. Not once! Even as a student, I was always grateful I showed up.
-On the days I felt I had nothing to give I’ve had some of my best classes (as a teacher and student).
-When my brain wasn’t busy thinking of all the really cool shit I was going to do at the studio I was more connected with my body. This allowed my body to move more intuitively.
-The growth and learning that occurs when I stayed devoted in these moments outshines what we learn on our best days. Don’t rob yourself of these moments by only showing up for yourself on the best of days.
So, the next time you're thinking “I’ve got nothing”. I’m here to remind you, you have more inside of you than you ever imagined. It's absolutely normal and ok to have the "I've got nothing" days. Just show up. You’ll surprise yourself over and over again.
You don’t have an expiration date. Yeah, read that again. Let it sink in.
We’ve been programmed to think that once you hit 30, if you’re not married with kids, established career, white-picket fence kinda shit, then your “market value” has somehow shrunk.
FIRST OF ALL-- We don’t have a “market value”. Stop that narrative.Society is constantly telling us no, especially as we age.
“You’re too old.” “You’re too young.” “You’re not established enough.” “You’re overqualified.”
But when the clock strikes thirty, we’re just starting to realize who we are. We’re finally feeling more like ourselves than ever. And it’s around this time that we usually start to realize how much the opinions of others we’ve taken on.
So let me say it louder for the people in the back: YOU DON'T HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE.
Hey, thirty-somethings — whether you meet societal approval or not, what’s your FAVORITE thing about this stage of life? Your life doesn’t need to be some cookie-cutter version of societal norms.
We spend our whole lives trying to fit into perfect little boxes, based on what other people say is acceptable.
Newsflash:You DON’T have to do or be certain things.
You don’t have an “expiry” date. Your version of success, strength, confidence, sensuality — the list goes on — doesn’t have to look the same as anyone else’s.
It’s time to STOP CARING about external validation and START focusing on the things that you really want and the things that feel good to you.
At Catalyst Movement Arts, you have the freedom to define what strong and sexy means to you. Come to class! You’ll be surprised with a) how fun it is b) how supportive everyone is and c) the cool shit that happens when you tune into what YOU want. We can’t wait to see you in the studio! Here’s the class schedule and if you want to connect, drop a comment here or head over to Instagram. We’d love to hear from you.
Appreciation for our bodies: Even from day 1 you’ll be surprised at what your body is capable of. Many of us come into pole assuming we won’t be able to do anything at all. We quickly see all the beautiful amazing things we can do and it just keeps getting better from there. We start to view our bodies with appreciation and gratitude rather than something that is not _____enough. That mindset shift is extraordinarily powerful on it’s own.
Trust in our bodies: For some of us, we will start to feel safe in our bodies for the first time in a long time (or ever). We are 100% team slow pole here. Instead of rushing into what’s next, we spend time building trust and strength in our physical bodies. Developing that trust is what helps us feel safe as we begin to explore and progress. I also firmly believe trusting our physical bodies helps us feel safe to start seeking a deeper connection to our emotional/energetic selves.
Our Intuition: Like I said above, when you start feeling safe in your physical body, it helps you lean into and trust your intuition. No one knows your body better than you do, but we’ve been second guessing ourselves our whole lives. We stop looking for answers outside of ourselves and trusting our intuition will take us where we need to be.
Our Voices: I don’t think we’ve touched on this one enough yet. Your voice matters here, your voice is valued here. This isn’t pole bootcamp. If something isn’t sitting quite right with you or doesn’t make sense or feels unsafe, please let your instructor know. We are here to meet you where you’re at. Additionally, there is so much power in the shared conversations during classes. You all have something precious to bring to the table and inspire each other (and us) more than you know.
Our Sexual Energy: Yep, everything you’ve been told to feel ashamed about is free to run wild here. Sexual energy is a powerful, beautiful thing to be nurtured and explored. Here we claim it for ourselves first and always. It’s no longer something that is dictated by social conditioning or the opinions of others.
Our Playfulness and Joy: This is a space to let go and explore. No expectations, no stressing over an imaginary finish line. We encourage all to approach this journey with playful curiosity-like when we were little and ran amok and it felt so good because we didn’t give a shit about how anything looked or what anyone thought.
A Loving Relationship With Our Authentic Selves: We all come to this space with various layers of ick (super technical term lol). Years of being told what we should act like, what we should look like, what we should do with our lives, etc. Here we can start to let that all go and just show up as we are at that given moment on that given day and love and celebrate the fuck out of it.
All of these things take time. It’s an ongoing, forever growing process. It’s a mindset and approach to life. There are no shortcuts. It takes devotion and work, but there is so much joy to be found in the process itself-don’t cheat yourself out of that.
There’s this assumption that whenever we’re doing deep work to reconnect with ourselves on our self-discovery journey that it’s going to be so heavy… like you’re going to have to wade through human doom and gloom to “get there”. But it’s not like that! It’s not a heavy journey. Don’t get us wrong — it can be. There will be moments of struggle, both physical and emotional. We’re building skills and that’s just a part of it. But if we’re approaching this as a big, heavy skillset of something we “have to do”, we’re taking away so much joy from the experience before even starting! All you need is an open mind. Explore what happens! When you show up to class just to have fun —without the goal of mastering a trick, being the best dancer in the class, or whatever other thing you’ve decided you “have to” do — you’re making space for the lightness and happiness that comes with movement. One of the cool things that happens at the studio over and over again, is that women who’ve created that space for joy start to see the beauty in everyone around them. You’re in this place with women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and walks of life. Through witnessing how beautiful they all are, you start to take that inwards and see yourself in a brighter, better light too. You do not have to have a certain body type for us. You don’t have to change anything about yourself for us. Everything we’ve been told about what “ideal” beauty standards is absolute fucking trash. You are beautiful, exactly as you. Right here, right now. When you come into this space consistently, you’re going to witness beauty in a variety of forms. It’s kinda magical. And you don’t want to miss it. JOIN US in the studio! We can’t wait to get to know you. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below or reach out to us on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to hear from you!