Burlesque as a life lesson: or how taking my clothes off in public made me a better person

I am in the middle of what I like to call my midlife adventure. I have to say, I am crushing it. I dyed purple in my hair, got my first tattoo and also did something very bold: I joined a burlesque school. Yes I decided that my new hobby would be taking my clothes off for people. 

Now before you get all huffy, we are all adults here. Is there nudity? Yep. Is it fun? Yep. Is it tasteful? Mostly!

And although burlesque is sexy and showy and all that good stuff, it is so much more. Burlesque teaches you that your body right now, not 10 pounds from now, not what it looked like 10 years ago, is perfect and beautiful and worthy of adoration

Women don't get a lot of body positive messages like this. We tend to collapse into ourselves, make ourselves smaller. We apologize for taking up space. Burlesque rewires all that negativity. It teaches you to own your space, make bold choices and love yourself, as you are. 

Now performing, much less taking off gloves and boas and bras and all that, is not for everyone. But what I wish was for everyone is the feeling that you are gorgeous and worthy of adoration. At my first performance I was terrified, but it is one of those situations that you either do it and own it or don't do it. Burlesque isn't about your body, it is about confidence. And if I didn't feel it all the way, I just acted like I did. And guess what, it was so fun and liberating and wonderful. And because I put myself out there, I got so much more back. 

So if we are working on being courageous communicators, and sometimes it feels like standing in front of a crowd naked, it is okay to be scared. But if we can move past the fear and stay strong in our messages, we will get so much more back.  Our organizations are perfect and wonderful and worthy of adoration right now. Not a few more donors from now, or when we get that grant or when the new wing opens up but right now. So get out there and get adored.