By Butterfly


(Image taken from

Dear Eileen,

Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to attend such an empowering event. Throughout my life, I have never considered myself a “sexy” person. The image I associated with that word did not fit what I saw in the mirror. Therefore, I was always satisfied with being “pretty” or “cute.” I had never realized how much these labels kept me from breaking free and living life on my own terms. As I matured and began questioning my role as a daughter, sister, and girlfriend, I began to realize that being cute and pretty kept me hidden in the background. That posture allowed me to follow and do only what was expected of me. For many years, I put myself last for the good of those I love. However, over the past three years, I have truly focused on putting myself first, as well as understanding and appreciating my body.

Throughout the retreat, Shelly focused on the importance of understanding the concept of “bliss.” She challenged us to identify how we achieved bliss, who has been in the way of our bliss, and what we can do to take charge of protecting our bliss. This activity was difficult and emotional for me because sometimes our bliss is threatened by those we love the most. As we shared our feelings with our assigned retreat partners, it was incredible to see how many women felt the same way. I truly appreciated everyone’s honesty, vulnerability, and openness. I was amazed that the event had created an atmosphere where women were not competing with one another but rather supporting and empowering one another. I was extremely happy to be around so many strong, talented, and beautiful women.

I must confess that I was nervous when Shelly asked everyone to wear their sexiest outfit as we learned the introductory routine. As I quickly changed into my T-shirt and pants, I realized that my definition of “sexy” was not quite on the mark. My group members asked if I had brought anything more revealing. I just laughed and told them “no” (I lied because I still didn’t feel ready to let go of my inhibitions). As I learned the routine, I was surprised at how quickly I learned the movements and how natural it felt. I got into a zone that is difficult to explain but felt natural. For the first time, I felt as though I had truly connected to my body and felt “sexy” within my own skin. I felt comfortable challenging my body and exploring my limits. During the second part of the activity—once I reached a level of comfort and desire to fully embrace myself in the experience—I changed into sheer, see-through attire. I did not think anyone would notice or say anything. However, I was shocked that so many people came up to me and said that I looked like a completely different person. I’m glad I changed my clothing when I was emotionally ready because it truly felt librating, and I was able to connect with my inner self.

By the end of the night, we had the opportunity to perform our routine in front of everyone. Although I was nervous, I was also extremely excited to participate. It felt so liberating to perform and put aside any doubts and fears. It was a beautiful celebration of women of different shapes and sizes, and I loved it! I met incredible women from different parts of the world who truly touched my heart.