Let’s talk…Every Woman is a Goddess with Sophia St. Villier

Sophia St. Villier is a burlesque artist, writer, speaker and the creator of ‘Every Woman is a Goddess’ workshops. She is passionate about helping women feel beautiful from the inside out and embrace their sensuality through feeling good.

Sophia is a flame haired burlesque artist with the looks of a Golden Age Hollywood Star and the body of a pinup goddess. Hello! She is just as gorgeous on the inside as she is on the outside.

Having taught burlesque to hundreds of women she has now taken her passion for helping women engage with their sensuality, pleasure and divine femininity in a fun, playful and assuring way, and applied it to her ‘Every Woman is a Goddess’ workshops.

If you are looking for elegant, spell-binding entertainment or if you are ready to connect with your innate goddess wisdom then maybe it is time to bring hip swinging burlesque moves combined with practical and soulful advice into your life.

Burlesque Bombshell. Teacher of Goddess Burlesque Workshops.

Meet Sophia St. Villier.

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Credit: Joanna Kor

Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it. ~ ― Søren Kierkegaard, 19th century philosopher.

Burlesque, awesome and super hot but not your average career. How did you find yourself on stage?  

Burlesque was not a career choice as such, but more of a passion that expanded into a career. I started in burlesque when I first moved to the United Kingdom from my home country of New Zealand. I’d read about the resurgence of burlesque in the US and UK and I was at once intrigued and entranced. I’ve now been performing burlesque for about 8 years in spaces such as tiny underground bars to decadent theatre stages.

How has your own personal journey influenced your work and life choices? 

Ha! In every way. Sometimes I think to myself, surely my life would be easier if I had an employer, a 9-5 (or 6:30 in reality) job where I turned up, did my work, socialised with my friends on a Saturday night and got on with my life. But what about the catch: I’d have to get really good at numbing out my soul voice – something I’ve never been too good at. My personal journey has been about moving to a city where the energy felt electric with possibilities. I have always been passionate about myth, research, art and story telling. It’s also no mistake I’m in an industry that plays with the notions of beauty and sensuality – two themes that fascinate me, especially when woven in with spirituality.

Credit: Joanna Kor

Tell us about the key challenges you see facing people today when it comes to their bodies?  

I’m writing a piece on this topic at the moment. An issue facing women and men is not feeling good in their bodies especially around the area of sex. I’m really interested in this because there is such a direct connection between body awareness and deservingness of sex for some of us. It’s often along the lines of wanting to date but feeling that their bodies “aren’t (insert ideal here) enough” or are “too (insert putdown here)”. That fear is a tangle of unworthiness, perceived self preservation and an anticipation of imagined rejection from a potential lover. I’m very interested on hearing HOW people create change in their life. I always want to know how. Even if someone else’s “how” doesn’t work for me, I’m fascinated to hear their journey. The “how” of to heal this particular issue in my opinion? I wouldn’t worry about sex yet. I’d be concentrating on self awareness on why feelings of unworthiness are coming up. Awareness is bringing issues to the light without judgment. Throw some compassion in there while you’re at it. It’s a process and will uncomfortable to examine where these erroneous beliefs come from. This is not about the changing the body, it’s about changing beliefs. I went though a period when I utterly hated my body and completely shut down my sensual side. I found energy work helpful with changing old beliefs such as breath work and kinesiology. I had to get honest and holistic in my approach to sorting it out – mentally, physically and spiritually.

You want to embrace your sexiness in a playful and wholehearted way. That’s what I’m all about.

What approach do you take to helping others find their own inner goddess?  

My biggest message is that it’s time for us to bring awareness to what ‘sexy’ is for us individually and define it for ourselves. This leads to a freeing up of beliefs holding us back from expressing our sensual sides and energy. I love using the different archetypes of the goddesses to examine behaviour patterns and beliefs in our lives. I like to create a safe space to discuss from the heart fearful thoughts we hold about ourselves that we may think are too silly to give credence to.

Your ‘Every Woman is a Goddess’ workshop sounds intriguing, what could we expect?

I combine meditation, written and group exercises where we speak and write from our hearts with some of the hip swinging, sensual burlesque moves. It’s about moving the body in a way that feels really good rather than focusing on what we look like. It’s a fun, playful, grounding and incredibly heartfelt space where it feels safe to connect with our sensual energy and discuss pleasure in all it’s aspects. The next workshop (April 10, in Farringdon, London) has the theme ‘The Discipline of Pleasure’.

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Credit: Joanna Kor

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to bring more joy, pleasure, creativity, passion, sexuality and sensuality into their lives? 

Joy: look for the joy in this moment. I can be a gloom merchant and I’ve found doing three rounds of what I’m grateful for (and asking “why” I’m grateful for these things) incredibly uplifting. Pleasure and sensuality: Look at where are you are scared of pleasure in your life, where you resist it and move towards this resistance. Sensuality can be seen as a form of mindfulness (but I like the word awareness better) about what our senses are experiencing at any given moment and how that connects with our heart.

Passion: in the world of psychology, passion isn’t seen as a good things, it’s seen as a fixation. But I love it when people are so passionate about something they choose obsession over looking cool.

Passion is authentic. It’s letting your crazy shine through.

Creativity and sexuality (which are one in the same for me): it’s about expression, connection and succumbing to the mysteries of the process.

What is your message to cynics, sceptics, and the intrigued?

As an intrigued cynical sceptic myself, I can understand. I’m also a seeker of wonder, devotion and mystery mixed in with that cynicism. I know what it’s like for life to feel futile, one trial after another. I’m going to have to turn to Leonard Cohen to complete this question for me:

I’ve also studied deeply in the philosophies and religions, but cheerfulness kept breaking through….

Finally, what are your top five tips for self-love?

For me, I see self love as transformation, not transformation to someone else, or even our ‘best self’ but transformation to our most authentic self.

  1. Be a seeker – get curious about yourself, about where you behave with resistance, where you can be a bit of an arsehole.
  2. Kindly and compassionately observe your own bullshit. Self awareness coupled with self love is so important. Without self awareness, I’ve seen “self love” warped into a sense of entitlement and narcissism. Without self love, self awareness can become a tool for self flagellation (that’s a whole lotta self going on!). We need the self love and self awareness working alongside each other to create real transformation.
  3. Have some kind of daily practise where you connect to your heart.
  4. Do things that feed your soul – this can range from a writing, dancing, 5 minute walk near in nature to imagining the connection between all the people that grew, harvested, shipped, roasted and ground your coffee when you take a sip.
  5. Remember to laugh and be silly.
Thomas Knights Sophia St Villier
Credit: Thomas Knights

Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive. ~  Elbert Hubbard  

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