Flaunt yourself free
From corporate attorney to yoga teacher and burlesque dancer: Lora Cheadle outlines her four stages of competence and how the principles of FLAUNT! can set you free
Using the principles of burlesque, author Lora Cheadle’s new book FLAUNT! Drop Your Cover and Reveal Your Smart, Sexy & Spiritual Self 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 woman has.
Yoga: The Four Stages of Competence
FIRST STAGE: Unconscious Incompetence – Discovering Yoga
People come to yoga for many different reasons including fitness, mindfulness and stress relief. Regardless of the reason, yoga – like a true master – meets us where we’re at and takes us where we long to be.
For me, a long-time fitness aficionado, I came to yoga for continuing education credits. As an over-burdened corporate attorney and mother of two, when my gym offered me a free spot in a yoga teacher training immersion that would fulfill my credits all at once, I jumped at the chance.
I thought that learning yoga would be a great addition to my repertoire, but what I discovered instead was how to accept myself as I was, without ever achieving mastery.
SECOND STAGE: Conscious Incompetence – Studying Yoga
Walking into teacher training (which also happened to be my first official yoga class) I thought learning yoga meant learning the asanas. I did not know we would study the Yoga Sutras, go in depth on the Eight Limbs of Yoga, and spend a month journaling about the application of yogic concepts in our own lives.
As a lawyer, studying was in my nature. I loved researching, reading, and writing about whatever I was grappling with. And yoga was no exception! I dived in headfirst, learning about every tradition, series, flow, practice, theory or style I could. But the more I learned, the more I realised I did not know.
THIRD STAGE: Conscious Competence – The Arrogance of Yoga
As I improved, I began proving my competence, becoming judgemental in the process. My curiosity about the many forms of yoga was replaced by irritation. How dare they strip away the spiritual pieces, focus solely on the physical, and still call it yoga? Why were Americanised names used instead of the original, Sanskrit ones?
Who did these people think they were, and why wouldn’t my gym friends find a real yoga studio instead of going to the weekly, half-baked practices they were doing at the gym?
FOURTH STAGE: Unconscious Competence – Honouring Yoga
And then it hit me. My so-called competence and the way I tried too hard to master yoga was the problem — not other people’s practices or philosophies. Yoga is the master, and like a good master, it meets students where they need to be met.
In fact, a discipline as powerful as yoga can never be fully mastered and like it or not, I will be a perpetual student! Ironically, this shift allowed me to let go of judgement, embrace where I am (not where I want to be), and move into unconscious competence to deepen my practice.
Mastery through the 5 steps of FLAUNT!
Letting go of what I thought yoga should look like enabled me to strip out of preconceived ideas and beliefs and embrace a process that I call FLAUNT! – an acronym for Find your Fetish, Laugh out Loud, Accept Unconditionally, Navigate the Negative and Trust in your Truth. FLAUNT helps release judgement so we can accept ourselves unconditionally, and move into mastery, finding peace and satisfaction along our own, imperfect journeys.
Let’s break it down:
FIND YOUR FETISH – Find something that you love to do. Not something you ‘should’ do, or that someone else wants you to do. Find what you love, and do it often, without apology.
LAUGH OUT LOUD – Laughter is healing, fun and can shift the energy of an entire room. Cultivate humour by seeking out things that tickle your funny bone, and finding other people who make you smile.
ACCEPT UNCONDITIONALLY – Like the yogic concept of non-attachment, much of life is spent worrying about that which we cannot control. AU is the atomic symbol for gold, and when you accept unconditionally, you find your golden centre of clarity.
NAVIGATE THE NEGATIVE – Life is not an easy road. Sometimes things fly off the rails and do not go as we had hoped, but these challenges are not ‘negative’, they are simply part of the path to be navigated. So, we might as well learn to enjoy the process.
TRUST IN YOUR TRUTH – Nobody else knows your life experience or your truth. Whether you are unconsciously incompetent, consciously incompetent, consciously competent, or unconsciously competent, trust in your truth. It is the fastest way to get where you want to be. Similar to the practice of yoga, the five steps of FLAUNT will meet you wherever you are and lead you to exactly where you want to be!
Lora Cheadle is the author of FLAUNT! After 10 years of practicing corporate law, she is now a radio host, writer, personal trainer, burlesque performer, and yoga instructor. She offers ‘Find Your Sparkle’ coaching and teaches all over the world. Find out more at: LoraCheadle.com
Inspired by the book FLAUNT!. Copyright ©2019 by Lora Cheadle.