Category Archives: Personal

Incubating dreams…

I have a lot of “someday” dreams. I’m sure you have some, too. They’re not “bucket list” type dreams – something to do once and scratch it off the list forever. They’re “someday, I want this to be part of my life” dreams. Otherwise known as long-term goals if we lived in a perfect world where you’re on the right track and everything is magically flowing in the right directions.

In the last week, the Universe has given me clear indications that two of these Someday Dreams are on their way to becoming reality. Not through persistent, dogged effort (though I’m working on those kinds of dreams/goals, too). Just by saying to myself and the Universe, “Yes, I’d really like that.” And then, like magic, I’m getting resources and opportunities handed to me by friends and business contacts whom, by the way, I had never told about these dreams.

Whether it’s the Universe tossing these things in my direction in response to my desire or I’m simply noticing opportunities because I’m looking for them, that doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is that I’m incubating these dreams, and they’re getting closer and closer to becoming reality.

So what are your Someday Dreams? You don’t have to share them, of course. Sometimes they’re too fragile at this stage. But it sure is fun to think and dream about, isn’t it?

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Personal

This just made my month…

Spoiler alert: I’m about to get sappy here… Consider yourself warned!

I usually hang out and work hidden in the back area of the studio on Monday nights during Red Velvet’s Cardio Can-Can class, and tonight was no different. I’m generally answering emails or working on a project and don’t really pay attention to what’s going on in the class other than enjoying all of the giggling I can hear coming from the dance area.

Tonight was just like any other Monday night, except that as the group was leaving after class, someone called out, “Goodbye, Betty!” Then they all chimed in with their goodbyes, and one person called out, “Good night, I love you!”

Now, as some of you know, things have been pretty crazy for me lately. My husband, Randy, and I are splitting up, the lease is up very soon on the studio so I need to do some significant fundraising and find a new studio FAST, and I’ve been dealing with some health issues for a while now. This weekend was particularly rough, and I was feeling pretty down today.

During class, I just happened to be listening to a cd on marketing techniques, and I was trying to apply the concepts while thinking of my own students, because the  goal of marketing is to find more students like the wonderful students I already have. So it’s going on and on about demographics and prospects and qualified leads and conversions and response rates and all sorts of clinical ideas like that.

But then I hear that sweet voice calling out from the doorway, very casually, “Good night, I love you!” and I thought to myself: Wow, how lucky am I? How many business people get to have such meaningful relationships with the people they work with? I wouldn’t trade this for the world!

And suddenly everything felt so much better. It’ll all be okay. Because I really do have an amazing life, and I am surrounded by the loveliest, kindest and most brilliant ladies (and some men) a girl could ever hope to know.

So good night. And I love you, too.

3 Comments

Filed under Personal

I’ve been a bad girl! Do I need a spanking?

I have been a bad, bad blogger.

Some of the Burlesqueteers are really great bloggers. They post very interesting and personal articles regularly, and every time I read one of them, I think to myself, “I need to blog again.” But then I don’t.

I told myself that I didn’t blog because I just didn’t have the time, but that just wasn’t true. I mean, if I had time for Angry Birds (which I did) and farting around on Facebook (which I also did) and for reading a slew of historical and paranormal romance novels (yup, that too!), then I definitely had enough time for blogging. I just didn’t do it.

I recently realized the real reason I haven’t been blogging. Well, there are a couple reasons actually, but they both boil down to one reason in the end:

I’ve been self-editing my blogging before ever setting my fingers to the keyboard, and it killed my interest in writing, let alone my courage to hit that “publish” button.

I wrote a little bit about my first reason for self editing here. I let the haters intimidate me. I no longer felt comfortable putting myself out there because I knew that a certain number of people don’t like me, don’t like what I do, and actively, vocally want to “take me down.” So I pulled into my little shell, and I stopped putting myself out there. And I let the haters win just a little bit.Don't try to win over the haters. You are not the Jerk Whisperer.

Well, fuck that! Yes, I swore. Swearing is powerful when used to show strong emotion, so here I go again: FUCK that!

Since I haven’t been blogging, you probably don’t know about all of the business training I’ve been doing over the last few years. Not just reading books. I’ve been going to seminars, taking online courses, listening to audio training, watching DVDs. It has really been an obsession, or perhaps a compulsion. I’m not sure which. Well, I was amazed when almost every single business mentor I’ve been training with addresses this issue of haters. They don’t generally call them “haters.” Bestselling author, David Bach calls them dream stealers. Winston Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something in your life.” It seems to be a universal experience for everyone who has ever had the audacity to actually get out there and do something. So, I’m not going to worry about it any more. Let the haters hate, I’ll be here having fun in my Burlesqueteer Bubble of Awesomeness (more on that later).

The second reason I’ve been self-editing and so not writing, is that I had it in my head that I should only write advice about burlesque on this blog. Or announce upcoming shows or whatnot. But since I felt I had to write about burlesque, of course it was the last thing in the world I was interested in writing about. And so I wrote nothing.

Well, eff that, too! This is my blog, so I’m going to write about whatever I am inspired to write about. This might be health, self esteem, fashion, lifestyle… heck, it might even be about burlesque! It will be about what’s going on in my life and my mind as we go along. If it’s TMI or doesn’t interest you, don’t read it. If you like it, great! But I’m not going to worry about it before I write it all out and hit “publish.” I might not even worry about it afterwards.

I already have a bunch of subjects I’m excited to write about, so stay tuned for these upcoming posts (and subscribe to this blog if you want to be notified when they’re published!!!):

– “In search of the Next Frontier of Naked”
– “The Bombshell’s Guide to Making Sh*t Happen”
– “How to create YOUR Happy Bubble of Awesomeness”
– “Embarrassment Therapy”

You can also check out some of the Burlesqueteers’ blogs here:

“Burlesque Mama” by Violet Streak
“Corner Blog” by Yve Jobs
Red Velvet’s blog
Candy Pie’s blog

(Are you a blogging Burlesqueteer and I didn’t list you here? Leave your URL in the comments so I know about your blog!)

9 Comments

Filed under Personal

Even better than New Year’s resolutions: Find deeper joy and fulfillment in 2011!

New Year’s Eve is absolutely my favorite holiday all year long. Yes, I love Halloween because it’s a huge Dress Up Party, and what is more fun for a burlesquer than a Dress Up Party?!? And I love Thanksgiving and Christmas for the family connections. But NYE is my favorite holiday because we think about our lives around the New Year. It’s the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new cycle, and this is the only time of year that everyone in our culture is encouraged to look at their behaviors and take action to improve their lives. It is a mass conciousness focus on self-reflection like none other in our society, and that is very powerful!

This year, rather than making a list of specific actions or New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, which are most often forgotten by February or March, I encourage you to spend the time leading up to and following New Year’s Eve asking yourself a few leading questions:

What do you really want?
What would make you feel happier, live more fully and freely?

Because everything we want, we want for one of two reasons. We either think it will make us feel better, or we want it because we think we are “supposed” to want it.

What actions in your life are motivated by true desire, inspired by a movement toward joy and freedom?

What actions in your life are motivated by a feeling of obligation or “I must want this, because everyone else is saying this is worthwhile”?

Several years ago, I was performing all the time, touring across the US and Europe every few months. It was a fast-paced and fun lifestyle, but I wanted more, although I didn’t know what. I just knew I wanted my work to be more fulfilling. No one I was working with at the time understood my dissatisfaction. I was performing full time. What a dream come true! How could I not be happy with that?

One day, as I was asking myself that very question, I wrote this down on a piece of paper and stashed it in a small bottle on a bookshelf: “I want to help women who have been beaten down by society.” I looked into volunteering at various shelters or call-centers, but my hectic performance schedule wouldn’t allow for me to commit to a regular volunteering schedule. So life kept on moving, and I eventually just kept on working and forgot all about that little note.

A couple years later, I moved to the Bay Area. Shortly after that, I started teaching Burlesquercise classes. Little did I know when I first started teaching burlesque classes that they would be a transformational experience for the women taking the classes, helping them develop confidence and release issues they had held about their bodies their whole lives! Here is an example of women whose self-esteem had been beaten down by society all their lives, and I was helping them shake off the doubt and pain and FLY!

If that’s not a subconcious self-fulfillment of my own little “prophecy” I don’t know what is! Now, with the Everyday Bombshell Scholarship Program, I am starting to reach out to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and women overcoming eating disorders, physical disabilities, economic disadvantages and other intense challenges to their self-esteem… which takes my goal written on that little slip of paper even further!

After having completely forgotten about it for years, I found that little slip of paper recently, and it was like a window opened in my mind. When I wrote that note to my subconcious, I had no idea of the HOW or WHERE or WHEN of fulfillment of that desire. So I let it go, and a few years later, here I am! It feels like magic to me, how the perfect circumstances came along for me to use the skills and interests I already had in order to fulfill that deeper goal.

So I encourage you to  take some time for yourself; maybe sit in a park, take a long bath or shower, walk in the city or along a trail, whatever helps you still the chatter and really hear yourself. Take some time and think about what you really want from life. Go deep and find that desire that fills you with joy when you think about it, maybe even a secret joy that you’re too embarrassed to share with others. Whatever comes to you, write it down and either stick it on a mirror (or board or refrigerator door) where you will see it every day, or hide it from yourself for a while. Forget about it for a few years, and let your subconcious do the work to get you where you want to go. Let the universe create the perfect circumstances for you. And let’s see where your life takes you in the New Year and beyond!

6 Comments

Filed under Personal

I’m back! With new enthusiasm and projects!

I have not written much here in the last couple of years. I certainly haven’t shared anything personal here in a really long time, and I am nervous and excited today because I am about to break that silence.

The last few years have been fun and challenging, and it has been very exciting to take my business in new directions, work on so many fun projects, and meet so many lovely new people. At the same time, I have faced some attacks against my business and my person that have seemed very close at times to derailing my whole career. Lies have been spread about me by people that I loved, lies that made me out to be a very different person than who I am – someone I wouldn’t want to know. These lies affected me, and continue to affect me, both personally and professionally.

Some of you may know what I am referring to, but I have no wish to go into detail here. What I really want to talk about is what I have learned from this situation. As a result of this, I have asked myself repeatedly, “Do I really want to do this any more? Why am I doing this? Isn’t this supposed to be fun?” And each time I have considered this, the universe has answered my questions in the form of emails and conversations with my students (or sometimes even people I have never met) telling me how my classes, workshops, events and products have changed their lives for the better. They say that my programs have changed the way they see their bodies and their selves, changed the way they relate to others and live in the world, and brought joy and self-acceptance into their lives where they had previously questioned their own worth. Now that is work that is worth doing!

This is why I do what I do. I do this because I love people, and I truly want to be of service to those who can benefit from my programs. I want to see every one of you shining with confidence, secure in your own sexiness, going after your dreams. I want to see you all living your lives at your full potential, working on expanding that potential until you have come so far that you are amazed when you look back at where you started out. I want you to amaze yourself with your own fabulousness. I want you to feel sexy and sassy and stylish and present your best self to the world every single day. Why? Because it feels so good! When you are feeling confident, the world opens up to you, and you can accomplish anything! This is what I want for you.

This is the motivation behind everything that I do. There is absolutely nothing more satisfying to me than watching you step beyond your previous comfort zone and accomplish things that you didn’t dream were possible. I want you to feel like a goddess, a celebrity, a star. I want to see you express yourself as the beautiful, brilliant genius that you are. This is how I see you, and nothing is more thrilling for me than to watch you begin to see this in yourself, even just letting the awareness seep in through a small crack in your shell at first before really letting it in.

I have been calling myself a Body Image Activist for a few years now, and I really do feel that this is my calling, my true life’s purpose at this time. As a result of all of my questioning, I now feel refocused and re-energized toward this work, and I am working on more than one project to step up my work as a Body Image Activist!

What does that mean? That means I will be launching new resources and programs, based on the confidence and body image exercises from the classes I have been teaching since 2004 as well as practices and techniques that I have learned through my own quest for self esteem and confidence throughout my life. As Mohandas Gandhi recommended, I am going to be the change that I want to see in the world, because that is the only way to create lasting positive change.

Today, I have unveiled a new blog project: “All Kinds of Sexy: A Bombshell Betty® Everyday Bombshells™ project celebrating sexiness in all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities, and backgrounds – because there are All Kinds of Sexy in this wide, beautiful world we live in!” I will be posting articles and links to other articles on the web that are relevant to self esteem, positive body image, and representations of ALL kinds of sexy! I will also be posting photos, profiles and interviews of Everyday Bombshells and media icons that fit the bill. I hope you enjoy the project!

With love and laughter,
Betty

15 Comments

Filed under Body Image, Personal

Hitting the Reset Button

Wow, I haven’t written in so long and there is so much to write about. I’ve just been working, working, working my sparkly butt off (more than usual) the last few months and have not updated here at all. In addition to “Plain Jane to Pinup Queen: Pinup Workshop in a Book” that is officially available on September 30 (presales are available now!) I am working on two other book projects, one of which I expect to have available in late October or early November. No, I’m not telling you what it is yet, you’ll just have to wait for the announcement, but I am very excited about it. Aren’t I just a tease?

Venus Zinepublished a writeup about my Pinup Workshop in their fall issue. Venus Zine is absolutely my favorite alternative magazine, with lots of great writeups about the alternative music and arts scenes plus great DIY instructions and coverage. Pick up their fall issue now! You can read Joelle Caputa’s writeup of the pinup workshop here!

The Pinup Workshop Tour has also been keeping me super busy. I’ve done a ton of traveling this year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down going into next year either. Woo! I adore traveling, and not just the part where you’re hanging out in new and exciting places. I actually love the traveling part, the getting from Point A to Point B, on the train, the plane, and walking. It’s that in-between, on-the-way-somewhere-but-not-quite-there-yet limbo place that I like. It’s very relaxing. There’s nothing to do but sit there, read, and daydream. I get a lot of great ideas on planes, trains, walking, or even a few times on the back of a motor cycle. I get a lot of ideas in the shower or doing dishes too, but that’s a different story.

Of course, this is not as relaxing when taken to extremes. My Boston/New Haven trip turned into the Murphy’s Law trip from hell, and would have been miserable if the people in the workshops hadn’t been such dears. In particular, the ladies in New Haven were total dolls. That story is so great, I will write a seperate entry about it.

Right now, I am in New York, staying in Brooklyn with my friend Legs Malone, who is an absolute sweet heart – and an amazing burlesque performer! She is brilliant and beautiful and a wonderful hostess. She has had a few days off and a childhood friend in town as well, and it has been very cozy and wonderful hanging out. Other than the Pinup Workshop on Saturday, Randy and I didn’t schedule any work for this trip, and I am glad. It is so nice to be able to just relax and hang out with wonderful friends.

It has been so good, in fact, that I think it fulfilled my horoscope for me! From Free Will Astrology, which is absolutely the most delicious and witty horoscope anywhere:

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): My friend Joan was experiencing a cascade of
annoying physical symptoms — mediocre digestion, mild headaches,
chronic congestion in her ear, itchy skin. None was terrible, but together
they were a big distraction. After two trips to her regular acupuncturist,
there was little improvement. The acupuncturist decided it was time for
more drastic measures: He was going to try a dramatic treatment that
was akin to pushing a reset button on a machine. Success! Joan was freed
from the nagging ailments and experienced a thorough rejuvenation. I
suggest you seek out the equivalent treatment, Libra: Push the reset
button.

(BTW: I always read Libra and Scorpio because I am a Libra born on the Libra/Scorpio cusp with a Scorpio rising. However, I am only referring to the Libra horoscope in this instance. In case you wanted to know.)

I definitely feel like this trip has hit my reset button. I am more relaxed and invigorated than I have felt in a long time. Who says taking some time off right before big deadlines is a bad idea? It is sure working for me! I will write more later, after I have finished lounging for a bit…

Leave a comment

Filed under In Print, Personal, Pin-Up, Travel and Adventure

I *heart* NY!

I have been traveling so much during weeekends lately that after this series I will no longer be teaching classes on Monday nights so I can travel that day instead.  After my last trip to NY in June, I flew home that Monday and taught a class a few hours later. I was so exhausted! I was dreading the start of class, wondering how I was going to pull it off when I was so beat. Then I heard a little voice from inside say, “Just have fun with it.” That helped so much. I have been repeating that to myself again and again ever since. It really makes a good mantra for me! Joy is contageous, so the best thing I can do in any situation, especially in class, is to have fun. And when it comes down to it, why do people choose to take a burlesque class rather than yoga or something more traditional if not to have more fun? So I bought a couple of energy drinks, downed them during the class, acted like my normal goofball self and no one seemed to notice that I was not feeling at all Bombshell-ish.

The trip to NY was wonderful. We did a private Pinup Shoot for a staffer at Venus Zine, my favorite alternative women’s magazine (you can usually find it in the music section on the news stands). Joelle Caputa is writing an article about her transformation for the Fall issue, which will be available September 1. I can’t wait to see it!

We also ran a larger group Pinup Workshop and Photoshoot while we were in town. People from both shoots were enthusiastic about attending another workshop soon. That’s the best feedback I could hope for!

I went to Coney Island for the first time to attend the Mermaid Parade. It was amazing! The costumes were truly inspiring. There were a lot of burlesquers in attendance as well. I recognized Darlinda Just Darlinda, Little Brooklyn, and Pookie Patootie. Unfortunately, I didn’t run into Molly Crabapple, but I saw pictures of her at the parade online afterwards. Randy and I went with Legs Malone, who was able to get us into the parade to help carry the Mermaid Ball banner, so we were able to participate rather than just watch from the crowded sidelines. To get an idea of how wonderful the costumes were, check out some of the photos from the parade! This guy got some great ones, and there are so many more!

Pinchbottom BurlesqueLegs also performed at Pinchbottom Burlesque’s Indiana Jones spoof show that weekend, so we went after the parade. The show was wonderfully silly and well produced. I loved it! It was also very inspiring the way they wrote it up as a play and the burlesque acts helped advance the plot. Brilliant! I see why they get such good press. Lots of shows in San Francisco get produced with a very consistent theme, but I haven’t seen anything written into a storyline that coherently. The closest we’ve come to that in San Francisco has been the Cock-T’s show where they have a cheer competition with the Diamond Daggers. If you haven’t seen a Cock-T’s show, you should check them out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Burlesque, Personal, Photos and Videos, Pin-Up, Shows and Events, Travel and Adventure