Simple Yet Glamorous?

What exactly do I mean when I say I live the simple yet glamorous life in the magnifique city of Montreal.

My life is simple in that I discovered some mindful and minimalist life strategies that bring balance and serenity to my day-to-day. It’s glamorous in that I love burlesque and I adore creating dazzling, silly performances and shows. Having both in my life brings me much satisfaction and pleasure.

It also means that I find bobby-pins by the door and glitter most everywhere, but that is OK by me. They remind me I’m living the life I want to live.

Perhaps SIMPLICITY & GLAMOUR is an odd combination, but it’s my version of Yin and Yang. They help me embrace LIFE in a BIG JOYFUL way  and I think bringing both into my life is an important part of my journey.

Life is complex.

My simple living and compassionate mindset allows me to meet life’s challenges, express what’s on my mind and in my heart. It’s what keeps me grounded yet able to fly free. It’s what helps me connect to those I love.

Keeping certain things simple lets me bounce around in the complex with joy, gratitude and authenticity. Bounce around in the unpredictability, uncertainty and vulnerability knowing I have a safety net. Having a toolbox of strategies and skills makes me more resilient when sh*t hits the fan – because it will.

So, what do I simplify?

Everything involved in my everyday is structured in a simple way. This took some time. I had to reflect on what I owned and what owned me. I had to think about my possessions and my space and how they made me feel. Yes, I used the Marie Kondo Method. While I’m not a 100 item minimalist, I have downsized in a BIG way. I know each and every one of my belongings and where they live. And I love them all.

My burlesque costumes may have sequins and fancy fringe trim, but they also are chosen and made with simplicity in mind. They are easy to store, maintain and to perform in (and out of). Streamlining my burlesque life means I don’t tear through my space last minute looking for a costume piece or have to create something last minute. I have just what I need. Not more, not less. When I have a show I know I can focus on my performance, deliver as best I can and be present for the entire process.

My internal life?

I simplify that too. It’s absolutely essential in fact because there is a part of my mind that likes to tell stories  – often attaching shame, guilt and fear to them. Then there is my gut that likes to do somersaults. And of course, my heart that likes to race.

I’m betting this all sounds terribly familiar.

Thank goodness there is a solution to this mess of stress and struggle. Mindfulness meditation – it’s the simple antidote to the busy mind poison. Sure, it’s a popular buzz word these days but there is a reason for that. It’s incredibly powerful. It’s an active way of thinking that helps calm the mind. For goodness sake, it creates new neuro-pathways! So freaking neat!

In a nutshell, it’s about observing yourself, your body, your mind’s stories, you name it and not trying to change anything. Experience them without judgement. Let all the weird, uncomfortable and painful sensations and thoughts just be. Then approaching it all – especially yourself – loving kindness. So simple yet so radical.

One of my favourite meditation resources is the work of Tara Brach. She has a wonderful weekly podcast aswell as incredible books I refer to. My therapist suggested I read Tara Brach’s book Radical Acceptance and helped me immensely in developing some equanimity. Something I had been seeking since I was a little girl.

And of course, there is Vietnamese Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. His books on finding peace within the present moment are some of the most accessible and beautiful out there.

I am sure I will write more about these topics in the coming weeks and months (maybe years – who knows!). If there is something specific you would like me to write about with regards to my exploration of simplicity and glamour, let me know!

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

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The Desire Map – Best Option For You

What is the Desire Map?

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The Desire Map started out as a book, written by Danielle LaPorte. From there, it became the driver of over 500 book clubs around the world. At the heart of it all? A commitment to feeling good. Cynics would say that choosing to place your focus on feeling good is silly – maybe, even selfish.

But I (and thousands of other Desire Mappers around the globe) know better. Because who wants to live a life that doesn’t feel good?

Who wants to work in a job that sucks their life force?
Who wants to be in relationships where they don’t feel nourished and honored?
Who wants to feel bored in their own life?
Not me. And I’m pretty sure, not you.

The Desire Map taught me how to make better choices by making decisions based on my core desired feelings. And that boils down to living a life that feels good to live.

I’ve watched this book inspire major transformation in my own life and in the lives of many others. I believe in this material — I know that it works.
… which is why, I took my passion for The Desire Map one step further. I have become an Official Licensed Facilitator of The Desire Map. Woo!

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Seskuality Workshop March 7th

Sex Ed 101 For Adults With Seska Lee

Event: Women’s Workshop Weekend – Organized by Jennifer June Chapman
Day: March 7th, 2015
Time:1-3pm
Location: Chateau St-Ambroise (4020 St-Ambroise, Montréal, QC H4C 2C7)
Cost: $25

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Yes, I went there. Orchid as a symbol for the vulva.

Did you take Sex Ed as a kid?

Was what you learned useful? Did it make sense to you and your life as a teenager? How about now as an adult? Most likely your answer is NO.

Well, now that you are all grown-up you have the opportunity to fix that! Yes, you get a big Sex Ed do-over!

This workshop is all about getting accurate and up-to-date sex information in an approachable, judgement free, fun way. It’s important to me because being empowered and informed about all things sexual and sensual is essential to having a healthy and satisfying sex life.

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Why I Don’t Hide Or Deny My Past

OK, time for a super personal blog post about who I am and what I used to do for a living. Yes, I was some version of a porn star.

I do not hide or deny my past work because I think once you have done sex work you should be allowed the freedom and opportunity to do other work – without having to say you were a victim or a survivor if you do not identify as one.

I do not hide or deny this aspect of my life because this experience has brought me to where I am today. It has helped shape me into the woman I am today. I’m an empowered, hard-working, creative, generous and compassionate woman.

I do not hide or deny my past work because there is power in being OUT about it. My past is not a dirty little secret busy-body gossips can try to use against me. It belongs to me. While they can frame it however they want, I know the truth. So do my friends and loved ones.

I do not hide or deny my past work because I do not feel shame over finding pleasure in consensual sex and sharing the documentation of it.

I do not hide or deny my past work because other people are not comfortable with talking about sexuality in general or theirs in particular.

I know when it is appropriate to talk about sex and when it is better to be more discreet. I am a responsible and respectful adult. My friends actually find me prudish and too proper when it comes to public sex talk! I am an educator and believe in age and developmentally appropriate ways to discuss sexuality.

I do not hide or deny my past work because I know all online content (adult or otherwise, commercial or otherwise) is stolen and shared. It will live online as long as there is digital technology.

When I am 90 and in the old-folks-home some attendant will be taking care of me and then unknowingly view pics of a much younger me during their own private moments of pleasure. This type of thing happened to Bettie Page. It will happen to me. It will happen to you if you have ever taken a sexy selfie.

The Internet is forever for all of us.

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RHH Live

RHH Live is a weekend conference created by Marie Forleo.

The conference began on Friday afternoon with a meet and greet. I chatted with a few of the women there (as you might have guessed RHH Live is geared towards women). This turned out to be key to the second part of my NYC adventure as the lovely Denise-Marie of Glitter The Globe helped me out in a BIG WAY when Hurricane Sandy hit and I was stranded in NYC for 5 extra days.

Josh Pais was our first speaker and he led us through very physical and emotional exercises that explored how to be present in our bodies without getting all caught up in our messy, racing minds. It’s something I have been working on and having some more tools in my toolbox is much appreciated. He has a free audio training about these strategies. Perfect for when I am lost in my thoughts. If you get lost in your thoughts – or as we say in French dans la lune it might be perfect for you too.

I had dinner Friday night at Prune in the East Village. I was lucky to get a seat because the place is small and fills up quickly. Understandably so because the food is damn good and service top notch. Reservations highly recommended. When I got back to my hotel I spent 90 minutes waiting on the phone to change my flight to Sunday at 8pm. I thought I was safe. Little did I know.

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