A bite of their own

somewhere in between the dove and the wolf

maybe more wolf than anything though

when you play with a wild animal

excitement

and at at times, bitten

but how exhilarating is that bite

and the play in between

for so long strove to be the dove

not understanding what the wolf actually meant

or perhaps

knowing it too well

wise enough now realizing I’m not all wolf

few are

but my teeth are sharper than i’ve wanted to admit

don’t be afraid of me

teeth are useful

and fun

and those with a bite of their own

will not be afraid of mine

Scary & EXHILARATING

Remember: being a true badass entails living with an open heart. Most of us have needed to develop “armor” to survive in this tough world. Don’t let your armor block your Love from reaching others.

People are precious. People can also change. We’ve all been conditioned in different ways through challenging childhoods, heartbreaks or bullying.

Sometimes people develop protective mechanisms due to these situations. Have compassion for people. We are all literally doing the best we know how to do.

Sometimes, some people just don’t know how to be better. This is where a little bit of your Love can change another person’s heart.  It’s happened to me and I’ve been witness to changing other people many, many times in my life.

Maybe you’ve had a hard life. Maybe you’re having a hard time justifying living with an open heart because it seems like everyone is out to get you. Some people ARE out to take advantage of you - but most are not.

Remember that we all began as innocent infants, two-year-olds, four-year-olds,… give people a chance. You never know what can be on the other side and that is a scary and exhilarating concept to live.



#fankickmafia #pancakemafiatoo #trainlikeabrandisgirl #brandiland

Visual Perception

The saying, “Things are not always as they appear” is more true than your typical platitude. Seeing is not something that we do with only our eyes - in fact, the eyes are a fraction of the process involved in what we constitute as “seeing”. As much as we may want to believe that there is one objective “reality”, perception is something that cannot be divorced from what the eyes see and is ruled by many factors. One factor I address here is the role of the emotional state on perception and seeing.

Typically, emotions and visual perception are thought to be mechanisms operating independently of each other; however, one’s current emotion state can affect how an environment is perceived. For example, most of the time, people have a tendency to process their surroundings globally; however, stressed conditions seems to minimize the spatio-temporal field, thus narrowing attention. In 1959, psychologist J.A. Easterbrook proposed his hypothesis that “the range of cues attended to is inversely related to the degree of arousal; that is, in a state of increased arousal, attention narrows and fewer environmental stimuli are focused on.” (Easterbrook)

Conversely, findings since Easterbrook’s hypothesis have supported the notion that positive emotion encourages global attention. When researchers induce a happy or stressed mood by having participants reflect on and write about a happy or stressful event from their lives, those in positive moods perceived their environment in a global perceptual style, whereas participants in stressed moods adopted a local perceptual style.

A common test to measure global and local perception is the Kimchi test, wherein participants are shown a geometric figure made up of three small squares arranged in the overall shape of  a triangle. People are then asked which of the comparison figures is most similar: a triangle composed of small triangles or a square composed of small squares. The local response would be to elect the figure with squares, the global response being the figure with the triangles.

To read more about the Easterbrook study, this is a good starting point:

Easterbrook J.A. The effect of emotion on cue utilization and the organization of behavior. Psychological Review. 1959;66(3):183–201.

Formed By Responsibility + Resolve

There are some games you don’t get to play unless you’re all in.

If you want to live a life of meaning, you must first decide this is what you want. Living a life of meaning is not a thing that happens to you naturally. Our first instinct is often to run in the other direction as soon as difficulty arises. Your decision sets the tone for how you will deal with all subsequent circumstances.

What’s the upside to facing all this inconvenient struggle? You get to live at the top of your game. You get to know what you’re really made of. You get to look at your face in the mirror and see not the face of a naive hobbledehoy but instead the face of a person formed by their responsibility and resolve.

I’m often asked by students how they can be more sexy. This is what makes a person truly sexy. Everything else is ornamental, but that “attitude” all comes from this decision to live life and all of its unknowns all in.

brandiameliagodcharles.jpg

The saddest betrayal

You may not always be liked and you may not always fit in with “the crowd” when you speak and act the truth of who you are. But you must be who you are. Otherwise you turn your back on yourself and that is the saddest betrayal.

Who are you? What do you think about in your quiet moments? What is important to you? When you realize the answers to these questions, then you must act in accordance with your own ideals.

This is what this life is for. It’s not always going to be fun and easy, but it was never meant to be. You don’t find out what you’re really made of until you come up against some pain anyway.

The meaning in your life is directly proportional to the amount of responsibility that you take for your life. Make your life count so you can go to bed each night proud of the woman you are and the woman that you’re becoming.

There is inspiration everywhere. And if you need more help, simply ask. 

#trainlikeabrandisgirl #fankickmafia  #brandiland

Pure

As a person, a teacher and a friend, I am a balance of “fun to play with” and “instigator”. I’m full of laughs but I’m not the one you come to when you want to hear what you want to hear. I’ll teach you how to empower yourself, but I’m not the one to come to when you need your ego fluffed with meaningless flattery. I will tell you the truth, and most times it will make you feel like you can take on the world, but sometimes it’s going to hurt your feelings or piss you off. I am a lover at my core, but God gave me these teeth and I will use them when I need to.

I know without a doubt, that my bite is as pure as my embrace. You need teeth in order to have any semblance of internal or external power in this world. Better still, you need deep familiarity and knowledge of those teeth. This familiarity enables those teeth to be channeled for good instead of unchecked chaos.

My bite is what never allows my friends, students or myself to languish in self-hate, weakness or excuses. My bite is the voice that speaks out against the bullies and assholes of the world. My bite is what impels me to leave situations or people that are draining my vitality. I don’t know who or where I’d be without these teeth.

Find your teeth. Stop being afraid to be a bitch. Stop being afraid of not being “a nice person”. A truly good person is in touch with all aspects of themselves, light and dark, and uses them for beneficial purposes, controlling that darkness appropriately.

We all have light and dark within us. The difference between those of us that accept the darkness and those that do not is the difference between integration and fracture.

brandigodcharles.jpg

Goodbye Instagram & Facebook

Last night I deleted my personal Instagram account and deactivated my personal Facebook account. I’ve been wanting to delete my social media accounts for some time now, but this week a few things transpired that pushed me to it.

My intention with taking myself off of social media is to be closer with others, not to distance myself. What I am distancing myself from is the "illusion" of connection that social media provides. This illusion at times prevents me from actually connecting with people because my brain is “tricked” into thinking it’s getting the closeness that it needs. This is what social media was designed for - to provide the proverbial “dangling carrot” but never actually bestowing it. Social media doesn’t make us happy, it only keeps us distracted.

The feeling that we are all doing things just to get photos and videos of it to post online has always bothered me, in myself and in others. I’ve always been a person that forgets to pull my camera out during events or vacations because I’m wrapped up in the moment. Somehow, this ability to be in the moment became an unfortunate thing, because I had no evidence or pretty photos of what I was doing and with whom. This kind of makes me sick.

The past few months when I’ve looked at my Instagram page, I’ve been starting to feel that I’m not sure how to convey the entirety of who I am by what I post. I know that social media is not meant to convey the entirety of a person, but I began to realize that I didn’t like that.

I have been having experiences lately where I am in touch with a universe inside myself. It’s everything that I am. From these experiences of myself, I no longer feel satisfied with certain aspects of life such as social media. It all feels empty now.

Additionally, I don’t want to be a part of a world that is so disconnected from truth. I was viewing a photo of a model where it was very obvious that she was surgically enhanced as well as perfectly made up and styled - not to mention the photo was edited to perfection - and her caption was the Helen Keller quote: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.” 

I love physical beauty and I love good photography and great editing, and I have no issues with plastic surgery, but why not just own what your photo is expressing instead of putting a quote that completely goes against what your entire look is aiming at? It feels schizophrenic and sends conflicting messages, especially to people that are looking to these “influencers” as role models.

I’m a little scared. Scared that I’ll be irrelevant in my industry without posting a constant stream of videos and photos showing off what I can do on a pole and what my body and face look like. I’m scared I’ll never get another modeling gig again. I’m scared I’ll make less money because I don’t have that platform to advertise my services. I’m scared that I’ve become more reliant on social media than I previously thought and that I’m going to feel alone.

I’m glad I made this choice though. I have a feeling life is going to be better despite my initial fears and that I’ll actually feel closer to people and closer to myself. We’ll see what happens.

Experiencing Abandon

Last night I watched a Nick Broomfield documentary called, “Fetishes”. I’ve never had any fetishes but was drawn to this documentary. The film focused solely on BDSM and a New York City dungeon, “Pandora’s Box.” I started off with a scared feeling as the head mistress gave Broomfield a tour of the dungeon (the medical room made me feel really scared), but about 15 minutes into the film, my mind was completely opened to what BDSM actually is.

Broomfield was able to capture footage of the sessions with the clients and their mistresses. I realized through watching these encounters that BDSM is really all about two things: sensation and trust/total abandon. Firstly, these clients were so in touch with what gave them pleasure - many of them had been aware of their own distinct pleasures from very young ages. And they accepted it as part of their sexuality.

How many of us are in touch with the fact that a sensation felt at some point in our development gave them “good feelings” and then subsequently accepted that into our identities? Most, I would imagine, would feel shame about such “weird” proclivities and disassociate from them, relegating them to the realm of suppression.

Secondly, these clients are courageous enough to venture out in order to partake in this very particular sensory experience with another human, thereby showing some of their most vulnerable aspects to another. I was awestruck by the level at which these clients were able to trust.

There was a man that had a rubber/bondage fetish and he liked to be outfitted in a full-body and face rubber suit with only two tubes coming out of his nose so he could breathe. His mistress had total control of his sensory experience and whether he breathed…or not. He trusted her that much.

I found myself jealous of his ability to trust someone that much. I don’t want to be in a rubber suit, but I want to be able to have that level of abandon with another person. I want to be that intimate and vulnerable with another person. I think these clients are able to be completely themselves during these sessions and that is mind-blowing to me. I once thought BDSM was scary and strange but I see it now as something pure and actually very beautiful. It is not about pain, it is, at its core, about experiencing utter and complete abandon.

I think the idea that most people hold of mistresses is that they are very mean, yet powerful amazons. What I saw was that these women are fully present, creative and loving. And yes, powerful. Who doesn’t want to be around that type of energy? I connected to a part of myself when I was watching the mistresses and seeing the unreserved, demonstrative and devoted energy that they brought to their work. I saw myself in that.

I also have always enjoyed grabbing, smacking and biting the ones I love (sometimes bringing them to the edges of pain but then scaling back and “doing nice” again). I never really knew why I did this, I just thought it was something weird about me that I probably shouldn’t talk about (an ex used to shame me for it, insinuating there was something wrong with me).

Now I realize - because the mistresses modeled for me a different reality - an internal experience I have always had but never understood. I don’t think I’ll become a dominatrix any time soon, but I can accept and subsequently enjoy this part of myself now because I understand it more.

I feel invigorated today and that the world is more mine. I am connected to it and the people in it in a new way.