An excerpt from FLAUNT! Drop Your Cover and Reveal Your Smart, Sexy & Spiritual Self by Lora Cheadle
Using the principles of burlesque, author Lora Cheadle’s FLAUNT! helps women strip away everything nonessential that’s covering their raw, beautiful souls in order to reveal the sparkling goddess lurking inside. All too often, women have been taught to hide their true selves with costumes, characters, and masks, creating a persona to show the world that pleases others and acts as the “good girl,” doing what is expected. These layers may originally seem imperative, but all too often they begin to chafe and restrict, suppressing the true beautiful and unique spirit that every women has.
We hope you enjoy this excerpt from the book.
Let me share with you the labels, roles, and scripts of my past. The accompanying costumes, accessories, and dance steps that were all a part of the choreography created for me by others. Why? Because oftentimes we see aspects of ourselves in the stories of others, bringing us levels of insight that we didn’t have before. What I want for you is to be able to recognize and release the choreography that no longer serves you so you can dance your dance, your own way. To see how my past informed my present, how it almost dictated my future, and how I used FLAUNT! to set myself free from constantly seeking external validation and find joy and satisfaction beyond what I thought possible.
What I wanted, deep in my soul, was to be wickedly smart, without being labeled an aggressive bitch. To be powerfully spiritual, using and developing my own intuition on my own terms, without being called a New Age, woo-woo freak. To be sexy as hell, my own way, and enjoy how my body looked and felt, without being called a slut. I wanted to flaunt and to be all that I was without apology and most certainly without cover. Without checking pieces of me at the door when I went into a professional environment, and without altering or limiting myself to suit others. I wanted to flaunt myself, not to be obnoxious but to allow myself the opportunity to live the full breadth of all that I was. Part Amazon warrior, part gangly pink flamingo, part regal countess, part traditional June Cleaver, part ethereal goddess. I wanted to set all of me free, to show myself and the world everything I was capable of. Without worrying what people might think.
Finding My FLAUNT!
With an explosion of color, FLAUNT! woke me up to the fact that I had spent my life dancing choreography that was not my own. I had let others choose the music, the costumes, and even the stage on which I was supposed to perform. I had willingly cloaked myself with costumes, labels, roles, and scripts that were not mine. In my quest for “perfect womanhood” I had inadvertently hidden my true self and dulled my own sparkle. FLAUNT! made me realize that in order to be happy and healthy and to joyfully dance my own life, I didn’t need to do more or try harder.
What I needed was to strip out of all that I had layered on in an attempt to be what I was “supposed to be” and expose myself exactly as I was. FLAUNT! showed me that I was a smart, capable, and dedicated mom, wife, and career woman, who also happened to be smart, sexy, and spiritual. And that was okay! Revealing my truth, my core essence, the divine goddess I was inside, and bringing in all versions of everything I had ever been, empowered me to re-choreograph a new life that was more spectacular, more satisfying, and more fully my own than I had ever dreamed possible.
Through the five steps of FLAUNT! — Find Your Fetish, Laugh Out Loud, Accept Unconditionally, Navigate the Negative, and Trust Your Truth — and using burlesque as the vehicle, you can recognize and release the inhibitions and judgments that are covering you; reveal all facets of your authentic, core self (ahem, your inner burlesque star); and re-choreograph a brilliant, connected, and deeply satisfying life that reveals your beauty, brains, and beliefs so you can find the authentic joy, fulfillment, and self-acceptance that you crave. Are you ready to find your Naked Self-Worth and to sparkle? Then let’s FLAUNT!
The Costumes and Steps Required for the Dance of Perfect Womanhood
Most of us have been wearing the costumes of the roles we play for so long that we’re not even aware that we are wearing them. We play a million different roles and have a million different responsibilities, and knowing our roles so well, we are adept at quick costume changes, of switching seamlessly between our various identities. Yet while we are often clear on how to live up to these roles, we are rarely clear on how to live up to being ourselves.
Growing up, I asked myself what I wanted to do with my life, not who I wanted to be. I never asked myself, Who are you, Lora, deep inside, exclusive of your labels, roles, and scripts, and what kind of a woman would you like to be? or What do you need to do in order to create and sustain internal satisfaction, despite external circumstances? No, I was more focused on answering questions like, Where should I go to college? What should I major in to ensure that I get a job? and What are the next steps to take in order to achieve my career goals? Nor did I ever sit down and plan out how I was going to do what I aspired to do while still being who I authentically was. You may have been the same way, more focused on doing than being. And it’s my hunch that you never asked yourself deep, provocative questions about who you were inside and how you were going to integrate your honest expression of self with all that you wanted to do, either.
In my case, I modeled the behavior of those I loved, adopted the actions of those I admired, emulated beliefs of those I respected, and fumbled my way into adulthood, for right or for wrong. I’m guessing that I’m not alone, and like mine, many of your identities were created inadvertently over time, with little or no conscious awareness on your part of how they showcased or masked the woman you were inside.
Lora Cheadle is the author of FLAUNT! After ten years of practicing corporate law in California and Colorado, she chose to change paths to become the radio host and Life Choreographer® she is today. She is a certified hypnotist, personal trainer, burlesque performer, and yoga instructor, as well as a popular writer for People magazine and Elephant Journal. She offers “Find Your Sparkle” coaching programs, workshops, and destination retreats and teaches all over the world. Her home base is in Colorado. Find out more about her work at LoraCheadle.com.
Excerpted from the book FLAUNT!. Copyright ©2019 by Lora Cheadle. Printed with permission from New World Library.