Hi, I'm Jess MacLeish, mama of Bring The SASS.
The road to Bring The SASS has been a long and deeply personal one for me.
My journey into womanhood was a turbulent one...self medicating, overthinking, addicted to a toxic relationship, bouncing from house to house, job to job...no stability and no sense of self.
I'd been living in a self inflicted haze of pain for 12 years, until I reached a turning point in my late twenties.
And that's where the story really begins!
I'd made the huge step of leaving the relationship and felt the strength rising in myself, but I was still wasting my time in a job I didn't care about, partying my weekends away to break the monotony of the week.
It was then I had an epiphany...the first of many to come!
I realised we have so much power over what we put into the world, and I wanted to help people.
I didn't know how, or feel worthy of doing so, yet...but it stayed with me..and slowly started to morph and form on an unconscious level, to be revealed years later.
Then....in an unexpected twist of fate, I began to dance.
On a whim, I joined a burlesque class in the burbs of Melbourne.
I had no idea what burlesque even was until I stumbled across a poster, and felt that intangible pull of something greater than me, guiding me there.
It was there I began to reclaim my connection with my physical body, my sensuality...and really feel my essence.
I was surrounded by women of all ages, backgrounds and stages of life who were all there reclaiming their self connection too.
I was part of a sisterhood, and it was a profoundly empowering experience.
With that came my next life changing epiphany.
I wasn't lost. I wasn't broken.
I was just DISCONNECTED.
So I kept dancing. The more I danced, the more I reconnected myself...and deeply felt my truth and power.
I embarked on a double life of sorts; mental health worker by day, professional burlesque dancer by night. I was having fun and helping people...but I sensed there was something greater forming.
Through my vastly different roles, I was part of many women's lives on an intimate level. It gave me great insight into the collective issues we face.
There were women constantly telling me how empowered they felt after watching me perform, and they wished they could own their bodies like I did mine.
There were clients telling me they couldn't get out of their heads, or feel their bodies.
Slowly but surely the pieces started to fall into place, to lead me to epiphany number three.
I realised though our circumstances were all different, we were all experiencing the same thing.
I saw the importance of truly BEING IN, loving and respecting our bodies...and how our our relationship with our body is so closely connected to our relationship with our soul.
And just how vital the balanced connection of mind, body and soul is for our overall wellbeing.
So, what started with sexy dancing for fun opened up a whole new way of being for me.
I was no longer living in reactive mode, guided by the world around me. I was living guided by my heart, my soul, my bodies wisdom, and the greater intelligence of life.
As I continued on my own personal journey, I explored different styles of dance, movement, yoga, pilates, qi gong, mindfulness and meditation. It was then I realised that all of these practises I tried, came back to one thing...it's the definition of the word yoga, actually!
UNION..the polar opposite of disconnection.
The union of mind, body and soul. I believe this is the birthplace of our personal power...our key to living a life full of vitality.
Living from this place of connection has been a gamechanger for me...but I don't believe it needs to be as intense as it sounds.
I believe a sexy dance class can embody this philosophy, just as cooking a meal or going to work on the train can...I think it's easy to integrate this deeper wisdom into our modern lives.
So I started to integrate it into my classes.
And as I continued to teach , I realised I could no longer call what I was teaching burlesque. It was a fusion of everything I'd learnt professionally and personally, and it had no name.
It still felt beautiful and sexy and feminine and powerful and super fun...but it wasn't burlesque.
It was then the Universe whispered in my ear...Bring The SASS.
And it told me that SASS is an acronym for the union of the three things that led me back to myself...that I now help others with.
Self Awareness. Sensuality. Soul.
Spreading SASS in the world is my calling. Everything I've lived has been for this...and everything I'm still living, is for this.
I love nothing more than giving my fellow women a space to connect with their SASS, themselves and each other.
Whether it's through a dance class, an embodiment retreat, one on one coaching or a guided meditation...the ethos is the same.
It's SASS, spewing out of me..well, through me really.
As Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame says....I'm just the human it tapped on the shoulder!
And I'm SO GRATEFUL for it!
I pinch myself that I get to truly connect with so many women. I get to hold fun, awesome spaces, and see the true power of SASS in motion.
When women come together, dancing and connecting as their most vibrant, authentic, empowered selves...it is nothing short of magical.
It definitely keeps me in a constant state of awe and gratitude for the work I do.
If you'd told the stressed out, overthinking, disconnected past me this is the life I'd be living...she wouldn't believe you.
And so it is for her, and every woman that has been her, that I Bring The SASS into this world.
Thanks so much for reading this. I hope we can connect one day too!
With love, Jess xx