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How I got my mojo back


Photo by Linsey Ray

On Valentine’s Day my man took me to a masquerade ball event.  Everyone was dressed to the nines.  All wore masks.  In fact, they were required.

There were performance artists, burlesque dancers, a jester, and a mysterious writer who would throughout the evening call couples upstairs to chat with her.

It was all very secretive.

And, aside from the burlesque dancers, I wore the least amount of clothing in the crowd.

It felt both risky and powerful, sexy and unnerving, but mostly, it felt liberating to embody someone completely distinct from my day to day.

When I was a little girl living in Chile, my grandmother came to visit from England. She was in mourning as my grandfather had passed.  With her, she brought handmade presents: Red satin tutus for my sister and I, and a butterfly costume for my little sister.

It was so like my grandmother to create something of beauty out of the ashes of  her darkness….

I can still remember the feeling of satin against my skin, the power inherent in red, the spaciousness of the tulle, my transformation into a prima ballerina.

We put on a show for her.  I recall feeling so loved, so seen, so free.

As a young adult woman I put away those childish costumes in favor of more sensible, acceptable clothing.  Clothing that fit in.  Clothing that got things done.  Clothing that rendered me invisible.  Clothing that hid my growing disgust with my body. Clothing that concealed my shame.

Using clothing as a shield became so pervasive that by my late 20’s I’d grown accustomed to wearing nothing less than a large t-shirt over my one-piece when going to the beach or even while swimming in the water (and I was a size 4 at the time.)  This pattern continued well into my 40’s.

When I allowed myself to, I would imagine the fun of having a costume trunk, but would shut the lid on the idea the moment it entered my mind…. I needed an excuse to wear a costume. I needed an event to attend. I needed a logical, reasonable reason…

Still, a part of me longed to play, longed to be somebody else, longed to express herself with color, fabric, make-up, shoes, wigs…

Where had the tutu wearing, free-spirited Me disappeared to?

Over the last few years, as I shifted and changed, as I  let go of the parts of me that were constricted and concerned with what others thought, my clothing and my expression did also.  It began with tiny steps: with my undergarments. This, Sisters, was a change no one could see.  But it transformed the way I felt, the way I walked.  It affected my mood.

I held a secret no one knew.

Photo by Linday Rae

As my confidence grew, the fun I had with lingerie began to spill to the outside – and my style gained “flavor.”  I played with layers, color, textures.  I had photo shoots taken with fabric in the water and shots covered solely in mud.  I dressed as a Goddess for a women’s event.  On warm days I brought hand-held fans… I began to see my body and my frame as a place to create, to express.  A place for art.

A few years back, a girlfriend gifted me a white tutu skirt.  I was delighted.  It reminded me of the tutu I had from my childhood.  I chose to wear it to a new year’s eve party just because.

It was the tutu that drew my man’s attention to me that night, he tells me.

Four months later we went on our first date.

But back to Valentine’s Day…

This year, I pushed my own expression envelope.  Wearing a latex catsuit, gloves and thigh-high boots framed by a long black blazer to the masquerade event was both edgy and incredibly thrilling.

In fact I landed an opportunity to do a photo shoot the moment I walked into the place…

This is the power inherent in owning every face you own.

I will be honest, there are still days where it I am still challenged by negative thoughts about my aging body, but I have lots of tools to wiggle myself free of them.  Frankly, those days are more the exception than the rule.

Yet I cannot tell you the joy in being able to let my freak flag fly, to be loved wholly for it and to have the honor to teach women how to own every delicious part of themselves without reserve so they, too, can get their mojo back.

Your Soulwork for this week is to share, in the comments below, an experience where you lost your mojo.  Be honest.

Recognize that the road to Love is circuitous, riddled with swamps and potholes.  In transparently and vulnerably owning every facet of who you are, you  begin your journey home to your worth so that you may open up to the DEEP SOULFUL LOVE you’ve always desired. 

Listen, dear one, as I have sounded it out for your pleasure…

P.S. While this material doesn’t cost you a cent, it came from my heart. All I ask is that you share this post with at least three friends. Fair trade, right? xoxo Joëlle



6 Responses to “How I got my mojo back”

  1. AlleyCat says:

    I was the one who first noticed you entering the TAKK House. Confident, Sexy, Powerful, Youthful, Intriguing, Strong, Daring, Courageous, and last but not least, Incredibly Beautiful. I stood peeking out at you from behind the safe bulk of my professional full frame camera full of jealousy and wonder clothed in a literal and proverbial mumu. 5 & 1/2 years of safe, loving marriage and 2 children under 5 dampening, if not drowning completely, any mojo I have ever had. My first thought was WOW and my second was my friend, the renowned boudoir photographer in charge of photographing the event, Lindsay Rae, needed to see you, speak with you, and photograph your splendor.

    I didn’t know I had mojo, until i realized I had lost it. Starting a new business on top of having 2 small beautifully demanding children has turned me into someone I often do not recognize. I’m not sure if I have a “freak flag” of my own but I’d like to borrow yours, if I could. Familiarity breeds contempt and monotony leads to a long slow painful death of your inner self. Ya know what I mean? Inside this 39 year old stretched and overweight body is a 20 year old sex kitten superstar that wants to dance on the bar scantily clothed. Ahhhh, there it is… mojo.

    Rediscovering my mojo leads me to feelings of guilt. I need to take to some JUST FOR ME time, not working on my business time, not photographing clients time, not editing time, not running errands time…… just pure unadulterated time for me, Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Business Owner, Photographer, House Cleaner, & Short order cook. Selfish time. Time with all my hats off, so to speak. Time to work out, time to indulge my beauty, time to meditate, time to be just me. I am sure I am not alone in having these feelings of guilt. Is it fair to my young family to indulge myself in such a way? My Mother never did. She worked as a nurse 3 days a week and the other 4 days were spent doting on us children hand and foot. She wore my old clothes and sneakers until well after I graduated from 4 years of college (that she generously subsidized) while wearing 8 year old, out-of-style, sneakers. I don’t want to do that. Does that make me a bad person?

    Guilt by example. Is it unfounded? Is it selfish to want to be healthy, happy with my body and have some sort of “style”?

    Or is someone standing with a shot gun pointed directly at my mojo?
    Sometimes I think that person is none other than……. me.

    • Joëlle says:

      My Sweet Sexy-Kitten Sister,

      Your response is beautiful and raw. Your appetite for more, delicious. And your guilt… Your guilt. It’s the yoke we, as women, wear and which becomes so evident when we even dare to consider putting ourselves, our pleasures, our desires first. The truth is that your mojo, Sister, is your Life Source. Your mojo is your point of attraction. Your mojo is creation – your children and your art are proof of this. Your mojo is the last bastion of your freedom. And your mojo is the portal to the Divine. As such, it is selfish to cut yourself from it. Because you sit at this crossroads, on some level, you already recognize this. So, no, I won’t lend you my Freak Flag. I expect you’ll show us yours before long. I can’t wait to bask in its radiance. Loving you beyond measure. Joëlle

  2. Amy says:

    Your story is gorgeous, Joelle…and the photographs inspiring and beautiful and hot. Thank you for sharing this delicious reminder of our own inherent deliciousness…

    • Joëlle says:

      Dear Amy,

      Thank you so much for your feedback. It gives me great pleasure that through my story you are able to see your own radiance – and it’s always been available to you, my love. xoxo J

  3. SG Lovely Rita says:

    Joelle you are hot hot hot! Love your work, lust for your mojo! You are so amazing. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I am blown away with your masquerade wear. I had a girlfriend who knew how to do Halloween up right. I had some great years with her dressing up in October.

  4. I still haven’t joined Mama Genas. Maybe it is time to become a Sister Goddess after all. I like your idea for the trunk of costumes. You sweet Goddess.

    Lately, I have felt in a shell and ready to break out of my smother suit of fat and shame and apologies. I deserve that freedom and to feel sexy again. I am in hot pursuit.

    Thank you for this post.

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