I'm a "wing it" kind of gal. I could spend hours preparing for every class (and I've tried that), but you know what works best for me?
Feeling the feels.
And going with the flow.
I can't control who's going to be in one of my classes, or the energy that they bring.
Whenever I try to plan, things get sidetracked... so I've stopped.
We're going into one of the planniest times of the year. You've got obligations out the wazoo. And to some extent, you can pick & choose what works for you and fills your cup — but at the end of the day, there's no getting around the fact that you're going to spend SOME energy in situations or around people where you'd rather not be.
Here's what you need to do:
Before you leave, take ten minutes. Move your hips. Wiggle your ass. Shake out all the crap you need to shake out and THEN go see your family.
You don't need a pole to release this movement — and you'll feel much less like you're going to stab them with your fork over Christmas dinner.
And when you leave, let it go. What happens at the crazy relative's house stays at the crazy relative's house.
There are things that happen in your life that are beyond your control. Don't take them on as your own. Don't let them shake your precious energy. Don't own them or let them dictate how the rest of the season shakes out.
It's so important to spend time sitting with yourself and really thinking about what you want for you. What would bring you joy, just for you?
If that's a tough question to answer, that's totally okay. You know what we're going to do? We're going to try stuff and see what happens. We're going to chill the fuck out and stay expansive in our thinking. We're going to clear space for goodness that's going to find its way to us.
Oh, and we're going to try to stay out of jail. That feels like a pretty solid plan to me.
So many women struggle with developing healthy boundaries, whether it be in romantic relationships, family dynamics, and even friendships. We have been raised to be in service to others, to make others happy, to do our very best not to hurt anyone’s feelings. The depth of this mindset may vary based on your cultural and/or religious familial background, but it’s something we’ve all experienced.
We are born to be good daughters, raised to be good partners, good mothers, good friends, etc: no matter the cost to our own well being. It is ingrained in us that being a “good_____” means putting others' feelings and needs ahead of our own.
Now, there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with any of those things. Nurturing, giving, and being kind are beautiful things-when done on our own terms in a way that doesn’t leave us feeling depleted (caveat: if you’re a mom you’re absolutely going to feel depleted sometimes especially with a newborn, there’s no work around for that one-but you can still find ways to fill your cup).
You do not owe anyone your energy.
You do not owe anyone access to your energy.
Your energy is sacred. Be intentional with it.
At a base level, boundaries give us permission to say no, something most of us have not been encouraged to do most of our lives.
Boundaries not only keep us more centered and at peace, they are an incredibly useful tool for self exploration and discovering what truly feels aligned (or not) for us.
As a recovering people pleaser I know it can be really hard to start setting boundaries, but once you begin I promise it gets easier. It truly took years of work to get to the place where I truly felt my body is sacred, my energy is sacred, my home and the studio are sacred-these are all non-negotiable and I don’t feel obligated to give everyone access. Did this piss some people off? You bet it did, but that’s ok. Getting to a place where you’re ok with people not liking everything you do and not being for everyone is a whole parallel journey of its own-more on that another day.
It’s an interesting journey to dig deeper inside to develop tools to protect yourself from things outside of yourself, while staying connected to yourself.
Instead of thinking of finding your boundaries like putting on a suit of armor, think of it as a way to discover and nourish our most authentic selves: emotionally, physically, and energetically.
Being intentional with our energy and protecting our energetic space is an important practice in every aspect of your life. Your body not really feelin what’s going on in class? Ask for a modification. Friends want to hang out when you really need to rest? Reschedule. Scrolling pole videos on ig have you feeling less than about your own movement? Unfollow. Don’t like this newsletter? Unsubscribe. It’s ok! I promise.
A few months ago, after watching water damage continually wreak havoc, I had to make the decision to downsize the studio — and it's been a whirlwind. Physically, of course; but emotionally too. Downsizing is weird. Letting go is weird.
We are soooo programmed to think that more is more, and more means successful. The more stuff you have, the happier you'll be, right?
That was my initial mindset when I realized we had to consolidate the studio spaces — and it was terrifying. But once I decided to go ahead, some pretty cool things started to happen. I realized, even in one space we were able to create and offer more than ever before. Now, I am literally counting the minutes till the move out is done.
When you're making a big change, it's great to take a step back and re-evaluate your priorities. It's way (way) too easy to hold on to the things that we're familiar with... even when they're not good for us. Whether it's stuff, or relationships, or commitments, letting go can be scary AF.
I encourage you to stop & check in on what's on your plate right now. Are your goals actually for YOU? When you simplify, you'll be able to offer even more to your world, because you're setting boundaries and prioritizing the way you should.
You won't be distracted by the million plates you have in the air. You'll be able to breathe again.
And isn't the same true for moving and being in your body, too?
Every day, we see women experience the utter RELIEF and JOY that letting go can be. Honestly, it's what gets me up in the morning.
When new students join us, they spend a lot of those first few classes looking in the mirror, checking their technique and making sure they look good. And there are awkward moments, for sure. Some of the moves are going to feel weird at first (or, frankly, forever) - and that's a-okay!
Catalyst Movement Arts is a space for you to build physical trust in your body. When you build that trust, you'll start feeling safer in exploring more emotional connection for your movement.
Growth is messy - oh, is it ever fucking messy - but it's also where all the best stuff happens. And not just in the studio... it carries through to your entire life!
When you are secure in who you are and what feels good for you (just for you!), you CANNOT return to your day-to-day life and shake yourself back down. It's impossible. You can be wearing a tattered paint shirt and ancient slippers, and when you feel good? THERE IS NO STOPPING YOU.
(Seriously, come hang out with us. You're going to love it here.)
Making the choice to try something new and different is hard. You want to do it, something keeps pulling you to do it. Maybe it’s not something that people expect from someone like you. You know that you're capable of great things, but sometimes... well, sometimes it's really fucking scary. When we feel that anxious feeling in our chest or pit of our stomach we quickly label it a red flag, so maybe we don’t do the thing or put off doing the thing we were just so excited to try.
You can hesitate to try something new and different because you know you're going to get pushback and judgement from others.
Sometimes (a lot of times), that's a sign that you're on the right track. You need to really need to fucking do it. When you're terrified because you know people are gonna talk, that's your GREEN FLAG.
On the other side of that fear, everything blossoms. Feeling anxious to start something new is normal — but you'll flourish from there. It's pulling on your heart for a reason.
This is why I love pole. Yes, I started out trying to learn some new skills. Yes, I wanted to be physically active. But the REALLY cool part of it? It's the mind-body-soul connection. It's the way that through the things you learn in your classes here, you can unfurl the best parts of yourself.
Being rigid — inside and out of the studio — can feel like putting on your armor. You want to look a certain way. You want to master a technique because it looks really fucking cool. You want to be steady. Strong.
We all crave that, sometimes.
But life's not about checking off a list. When you pay attention to where the tension is, when you observe it and own it, and then intentionally LET IT GO — that's where the magic REALLY starts to happen.
You can build and grow in a way that feels GOOD instead of being constantly frustrated. When you change your focus to observing the feelings within, rather than what your technique looks like in the mirror (or, y'know, to other people), it changes the whole game.
Open your heart & mind. You can be soft and strong. Release the notion of rigidity meaning strength. Bring softness into your life.
Slow down. Find your flow state. Commit to a daily practice of bravery. Give yourself time to feel what's actually aligned for you.
This? This is the stuff that makes you UNSTOPPABLE.
We live in a world that’s telling us to always look outside ourselves for more. More money, more things, more beauty products, more clothes, more of everything-pole tricks included. We are constantly bombarded with messages that whatever we are and whatever we have is not enough.But what if we stopped chasing after more and instead started appreciating what we have? Like REALLY appreciating what we have, not a half assed superficial assessment then go about our day. We might just find that we have so much more than we’ve been led to believe .
One of the most powerful tools to appreciate ourselves as we are right now is by taking note when our bodies FEEL good—whether it's dancing in classes or taking a nice warm shower. When we live sensually, we're more in tune with our bodies and our surroundings—and that can lead to feeling more abundant with what we have.
I know I shared this before, but one of my go to personal abundance practices is as follows: I think of one thing I’m grateful for and write that down. Next I think of as many things as possible that I appreciate about the thing I’m grateful for. What started as one simple statement has become a list of many things that already existed, but maybe haven’t gotten enough appreciation. It only takes a few minutes and you can do it anywhere.
So right about now you might be wondering “wtf does this have to do with pole dancing and sensual movement”.
In the pole realm, it’s hard not to fall into the trap of thinking more is more (esp with ig and tiktok). More tricks, more flexibility, more strength, more dance moves, more outfits-only when we have more will we be “good at pole”. Fuck, most of us thought we needed more of half of those things before we even took our first class. (If you haven’t taken a class yet, trust us-you don’t need any of those things to start)
That’s not what we’re about and that’s certainly not how we want you to feel in our space. This is a space for you to slow down and appreciate where you are and all you can do in that given moment of time. It’s a space to let go of the pressures of chasing after more and feeling abundant as you are right now.
If all you have in you is the energy for a pole walk or a simple spin, how can you make the most of that instead of trying to force anything more? Have you ever taken the time to explore your fullest expression of the things we cast aside as “simple”? There is so much beauty to be found in simplicity and if no one else has told you, your beauty is abundant af.
When it comes to being more mindful and connected to our movement, two of my favorite practices are gratitude and appreciation. No matter how shitty my day has been or how off my dance practice felt, I can always find things to be grateful for and appreciate. When we think about being thankful, appreciation and gratitude are often used interchangeably.
When it comes to sensuality and sexual energy, we may have been taught to be fearful of exploring these parts of ourselves. We may have been told that it's not proper or that we'll get in trouble if we do. But what if we were brave enough to reconnect with ourselves in this way, this time on our own terms and a focus on feeling good just for us?
If the idea of taking a deeper dive leaves you feeling a bit apprehensive, you are not alone. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but the thought of exploring these things was terrifying to me! I had written myself off as someone who “that deep sexy stuff” wasn’t really for. That was easier for me than facing the fact I was scared of being judged, had lingering shame around even wanting to feel sexy, and didn’t have a clue how to even begin.
Self-love and self-nurturing are key when it comes to exploring our sensuality and sexual energy. By taking the time to nurture ourselves, we can begin to let go of the fears that have been holding us back. Take that a bit deeper even, we begin to observe how many of those fears may have come from something outside of ourselves. This can be a freeing experience, one that allows us to connect with our true desires. The feeling of embodied desire in our own skin is so delicious and powerful. It’s a journey to get there, but I promise you it’s worth it.
When we allow ourselves the freedom to explore our sensuality and sexual energy, we can begin to feel more alive, like we’ve discovered a precious treasure that’s been hiding. We can connect with our bodies in a new and exciting way. We can discover what brings us authentic pleasure and joy.
So, take a deep breath, give yourself grace, and allow yourself to explore. It may just be the most self-loving thing you do for yourself.