Tag Archives: Wellness

Your Body Is A Work Of Art | Musings on Photography, Movement and Bellies


Your body is a work of art.

Go see one of your favorite paintings or sculptures (or look up a photo of it). Chances are it depicts the human form and was inspired by someone’s body.

The first time I saw Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, my aesthetic response to the painting was so strong my friend had to cajole me through the rest of the Uffizi. More recently a sculpture—Expansion by Paige Bradley—elicited a similarly powerful reaction.

Notice the imperfections and vulnerabilities in the art. It’s beautiful, in part, because it’s not perfect. Just like your body.

I’ve made peace with and even learned to love most of my body.

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Appreciate the Genius of You With 3 Celebration Dares


 Photo Credit: Tresemes37

Gratitude may be the simplest tool we possess to increase abundance in our lives. The field of Positive Psychology grew out of the ‘gratitude visit’ that Martin Seligman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, gave his students. It turned out that expressing gratitude and savoring blessings profoundly increases health and happiness.

Imagine what would happen if you included yourself on your gift list this holiday season? And instead of buying presents, you expressed heartfelt love and appreciation with these Celebration Dares.


Celebration Dare 1: 101 Treasures + Traits

"self love" - bodybinds.com

List 101 treasures and traits you love and appreciate about YOU.

If this makes you want to run for the hills, begin with ten or even just three.

For example:

  1. I adore my passion
  2. I admire my creativity.
  3. I appreciate my strong muscles.
  4. I’m thrilled with my signature scent (lusty jasmine) that wafts from my hair, neck + wrists compelling compliments of, “Mmm, you smell so good.”

See what happens when you get going…?

What do you love about your personality? Are you compassionate or bold?

What do you appreciate about your body? Your cute toes, long legs, firm abs or belly streaked with the beauty marks left behind after she made a baby?

Perhaps it’s your curious or analytical mind? Or your generous or indomitable spirit?

Approach the activity with the same attitude towards yourself that you have for a grandparent, parent, child or spouse/partner.

You can even make a simple list.  I love + appreciate you because…

Immerse or take your time. What feels best to you?

  • Carve out an hour or so to take advantage of an inspired muse.
  • Make it a daily ritual upon awakening (or before bed) with a cup of tea while curled up with your journal.
  • Start a new note in an app on your phone to capture self-love on the fly.

Once you complete a list of 101, give it to yourself as a gift.

  • Create a fancy PDF. Print it in color. Send it to yourself tucked in a holiday card signed with love.
  • Make picture art using your favorite online (Canva) or mobile (WordSwag) app. Print, frame + wrap it up. Then stick it under your tree, if you celebrate Christmas.
  • Hand write it on simple or stunning paper. Read it aloud to yourself on New Year’s Eve while sipping a glass of champagne. You can even record it on your phone (or with vocaroo) to listen when your critical voice comes haunting.

Savor the love and appreciation.

Celebration Dare 2: Be One With LOVE

"self love" - bodybinds.com

 All we are is love. ~ Larisa Stow & Shakit Tribe

Buy or cue up the song Final Moment: Love by Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe on your mobile music device.

Take it with you (don’t forget headphones) to your favorite spot in Nature. Take it to one that awes you and makes you feel connected to all living things.

Get warm, present and embodied with a short hike, swim or dance. Play, if you dare. Skip through the grass, ride a swing, build a sand castle or climb a tree.

Once you’re smiling and glowing get comfy. Lay or sit on the ground (on a towel or blanket you brought) or stand at the edge of the ocean or stunning hilltop view.

Put in your headphones and start the music. Play it loud enough to feel enveloped by its vibrations, yet quiet enough to hear the hum of nature surrounding you.

Feel the love vibration. Let the expansive energy of the music, her voice and the lyrics fill you and lift your spirit.

At some point as she chants, all we are is love, stretch out your arms and soak up the light from the sun—whether direct rays, filtered or reflected.

Feel loved by the universe. Soak it in by giving yourself a hug. Feel loved by YOU.

Revel in connection. And listen to the song anytime you need a boost.

If this feels too ‘woo woo’ for you, watch the documentary, I AM. It could change your mind. And if you live near Ventura go to this playshop with Larisa Stow.  I wish I could.

Celebration Dare 3:  Celebratory Parade

"self love" - bodybinds.com

Dance to a song that feels like a party or celebratory parade in your house or during a freestyle dance during your weekly dance class, if you take them.

Adorn yourself in an outfit you love, with your Bodybinds, of course! Add jewelry that jingles and jangles when you strut and twirl. Hip scarfs with dangling coins are my favorite. Anklets and charm bracelets or bangles are a close second. Even dangle ornaments or lights from your Bodybinds.

If you’re not a dancer, sashay and strut through your house. Or better yet, down your street or a grocery store aisle. Carry and shake a tambourine, egg shakers, gourd drum or any percussion instrument you have lying around.

This dare was inspired by my recent dance to Trumpets by Jason Derulo in my regular pole dance class after my teacher said, “You filled the room like a one woman parade.” That’s exactly what it felt like!

Every woman, man and child deserves to dance or move like a one-person parade at least once in his or her life!

More Song Suggestions:

  1. Adorn by Miguel
  2. Freedom! 90 by George Michael
  3. Swing by Savage
  4. Party (ft. Andre 3000 & Kanye West) by Beyonce
  5. Wild for the Night (ft. Skrillex & Birdy Nam Nam) by A$AP Rocky
  6. Bailando (ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona) by Enrique Iglesias

Rejoice in celebrating YOU!

PS If you enjoy this and want more come join me on my blog from Dec 31 thru Jan 2 for a 3-Day Love Growth Spurt Challenge for daily prompts to celebrate, cherish and dare ourselves to increase the size of our heart’s.

Lisa Faulkner is the passionate + playful pole dancing professor. She also writes for PDBloggers and Bad Kitty. Come learn and play with her at poledancingprofessor.com.

Zebras. Pigeons. Football. 3 Tips on Finding Inspiration

Editors Note: Today is Milan’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MILAN!!!! We’re so grateful for you, your life and everything you are.

"3 Tips on Where to Find Inspiration" - bodybinds.com

I love creativity because there is no right or wrong way engage in it. Creativity manifests itself in so many beautiful ways through all kinds of things. River dancing is creative just as a boudoir photo shoot is creative. Pole dancing is creative just as an Amish woman hand sewing a quilt is. Successfully executing a $20/week grocery budget is creative just as hosting a party with a $2500 budget is.

Creativity doesn’t discriminate; it and the inspiration that ignites it can be found anywhere, in everything and in every part of our day to day lives. In a world abundant in stimulation, sometimes we’re still stumped on how to stay inspired or find more to keep us going.

Here are a few tips to help keep it flowing.

1. Look for Inspiration

A common misconception is that inspiration hits you over the head and stays with you forever if you’re a “true artist”.  Let’s be honest. That’s only the reality of some creative and artist types. I feel that they are an exception to the norm. Most of us fall into peaks and valleys when it comes to the inspiration to create and form new ideas. I’ve learned over my creative life that we have to help it along. Constant inspiration for your creativity is a daily and deliberate exercise. Sometimes you have to go out and get it! Not all your songs have to loosely reflect your own personal life’s experiences. Look for other stories, be they frivolous or serious, that you can tell. Travel to a different state or town in your country or visit a different country to gain a different perspective and experience different tastes, sights and sounds.

Go to a park, party/event or museum and people watch. In an indoor or more people focused setting you can create a story about an individual, couple or family that you see or let them represent a theme that inspires something. Talk to new people or people you wouldn’t normally gravitate to.  Older people inspire me a lot and many times share great nuggets of wisdom. Learning more about others and their stories can result in creation.

If you’re in an outdoor setting, like a garden, park or beach, you can animal watch as well. On my safari adventure in South Africa over the summer, I was really inspired by the beautiful zebras I saw in abundance. Their awesome black and white patterned, “daily outfit” reminded that sometimes with personal style that less is more. This reminder inspired me to purge a lot of my wardrobe once I came back. I vowed to have a wardrobe of only items I needed and loved. This resulted in me having less items but more styling options to express myself. Who knew a zebra could inspire all that!

2. Get Outside of Your Comfort Zone

If you’re a ballet dancer or teacher, take a hip hop dance class or a salsa dance class. Learning a different form of dance you’re not familiar with can add new elements to your tool kit. I’m a creative writer and though I love a good fiction novel more than anything, I expose myself to ALL kinds of books and literature for inspiration and new ways to write and express myself. I read hair blogs, cooking blogs, fitness magazines, classic Mark Twain, smutty romance novels, personal finance books, books on femininity and sexuality, biographies, sci-fi books, etc.

Sometimes your inspiration will come from your least favorite things. Most inventions are the result of someone having an experience or  feeling that they didn’t like. They were then inspired to change it or make better. Or take fear for example.  Its one thing to overcome a fear. However, you can also understand a fear more by becoming inspired by it. If you fear bugs, go on a bug collecting excursion with a bug expert. I hate and have an irrational discomfort in being around pigeons. Maybe one day I’ll visit a pigeon coupe to learn more about them and get over it. Key emphasis on “one day” but overcoming that fear could teach me something!

3. Release Your Expectations

Don’t try to tell inspiration how and when it can or should come to you. That bird pooping on you, while running late to work, in the rain could be a spark for something. The key is to be open for ANYTHING to inspire you. It can come from an excursion, someone you don’t like (!) or something that happens during your everyday life. There are no rules. Maybe you begrudgingly went to the football game with your boyfriend to support one of his interests and you got ideas for your next photography project. Be open to pulling/finding inspiration from and in ANYTHING. When we place expectations and limitations on how we can receive it, we can lose out on the opportunity to experience any at all.

Inspiration is a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you’re at the peak, high on tons of it and other times you’re in the bottom of the valley scraping for it. This is normal. The main thing to take away from all of this is that it’s a deliberate and daily exercise. Don’t try to force it, just be open to receive it however it will come to you. Eventually, maybe looking at the cloud patterns in the sky for just five minutes of your morning commute to work will spark an idea that solves a problem you’ve been stumped on for weeks, a winning book title or dress design that sells out in minutes.

Have you ever been inspired in an unconventional manner? Share your experience below.

Milan is a bohemian, new age, Scorpion lady with sophistication and funk. She has a passion for life and adventure and is a glutton for books and all things creative. You can find her at any of your local cultural events, in the park practicing yoga, in the kitchen jamming to A Tribe Called Quest songs while cooking dinner or her blog www.AGrlCanMAC.com talking about life and beauty.