I am here! A lesson in Self Confidence and recovery.
The first time I met Madam Storm, I attended 'The Art of seduction masterclass' in mid 2018. I always had a healthy relationship with Sex and my general Sexuality, so I was looking to take things up a notch in the bedroom with my partner. The class was beyond amazing, so of course when She said at the end of the class that she would be offering a 'Strut masterclass' for walking in Stilettos in the new year, I signed up on the spot!
Fast forward to January 26th, and it was a whole different story. In the time between the two classes, I had lost a good portion of my Self-esteem and was a shell of my former self. I felt unsexy, unwanted and drained of all self confidence (I might write more on this one day). When the day of the class arrived, I watched the clock tick slowly till 3 pm...that was the time I had to leave to not be late for the 3:45 pm start. I couldn't move. I was filled with self doubt and I thought I would make a fool of myself. I had not worn heels for months, I had gained some weight and I had not left my house except to go to work for weeks. I am pretty sure I was in a deep depression. At 5 pm I pulled myself together and got in my car and drove to the BASE Studios in Vauxhall for the class. I got there 30 minutes before the end of the 3 hour class.
Madam Storm graciously let me join the class for the last Strut walk lesson of the day (there were 6)...and then the class started the shouting positive affirmations to finish. I realised later that they had done this throughout the class but as I had come in late I felt even more like an outside from this group of seemingly Uber-confident ladies. They joyfully shouted 'I am here!, I am woman!, I am beautiful!, I love myself!, I am powerful! I am confident!, I am sexy!, I am strong!' over and over while walking towards the mirrors with love in their eyes as they looked at themselves. I mumbled the affirmations, as I tried to focus on not falling flat on my face trying to do the 'Strut', looking at myself in the mirror was avoided at all costs so I found myself bumping into other lady 'Strutters' often. I began to wish I never came at all. It was all too much, too soon and it was too hard to play confident. I was done with the class really and wished I had not come.
At the end during the class group picture, I cowered at the back trying to make myself smaller and hide my almost 6ft (6'6" in my heels) frame as much as I could. Madam Storm took one look at me, pulled me forward and said 'Own your space - you are beautiful! You are not too tall!' I am not ashamed to say I burst into tears from this straightforward statement, simple as it was, that I had not heard or believed in ages. Without warming, I was hugged and that made me cry a bit more and she held me till I stopped. I might have missed most of the class but in those final minutes I was able to cry, something I had not been able to do in weeks. Who knew I would find comfort in a Stiletto masterclass! All the ladies came round to give me a kind word or a hug as we left and I felt this incredible love of a sisterhood of women that I had known for half an hour!
When I got home I wrote the affirmations on little post-its and stuck on my mirror. Night after night, I said my affirmations loudly and I looked at myself in the mirror and said 'I love you' before I went to bed. Over the next few months - with a combination of an incredible amount of self-love, support from my family + friends, prayer + meditation, therapy and exercise I pulled myself out of a dark place and into a much happier space. I still have a lot of work to do, some days are dark still but I have started the journey, I am a masterpiece and a work of progress at the same time. However, finally and without warning, on one of those nights I lay in bed and smiled; the affirmations no longer felt silly, I did love myself. Haha.
When you say something you yourself long enough and you will start to believe it, so make sure you speak with love.
When Madam storm invited me back to the next class for free a few weeks later, it was a new woman who walked in on April 6th. I had a spring in my step. I was smiling. I walked in with my head held high. I was also early! However, nothing I could have done on my own prepared me for the class though. It was a lot more than just affirmations!!! We began the class with Madam Storm teaching us the basics of ANY walking style "Core engaged, shoulders back, tits UP." We were going to learn 6 styles of walking or 'Struts'; The Power and the Pussycat Struts being my favourite, this was woven in with affirmations and touching yourself lovingly (not like that!) in front of the mirror. If I had thought the class would easy, I was mistaken! It was not all affirmations and prosseco, it was a lesson in practical self-love.
At the end of class, Madam Storm took us out to the streets of London to test out our new confidence. Chile! It was a rush to walk down the street screaming 'I am here!'; a simple statement that meant a lot more to the women in the group than anyone looking at us! In that 3 hour class learnt how to walk...we learnt how to talk...and boy did we look sexy AF doing it!
I am of course still a work in progress and many days its hard to be confident...it will be a stretch and a half to say I am back to 100% but on the good days I remind myself to walk tall, core engaged, shoulders back and Tits up! It helps if you talk life like a walk, slowly and one step at a time. Always reminding yourself that you are indeed HERE.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Madam Storm for my podcast- The Valerie Kerri Show. I speak to her about Body Confidence and her movement to bring women into their own....one heeled step at a time! Listen below!
Find her here: https://www.teachmestorm.co.uk/