An open letter to the Dancing Eros community From Vanessa Florence (Founder)
So this piece is a long time coming.
Its held so much weight and significance for myself and Dancing Eros that I think I’ve done about 5 versions of it already over the past 6 months. However every time right before I was about to click publish, some other layer of the story would rise to the surface and I’d realise I wasn’t ready to share yet.
So here we are finally.
These words are intended for who have been following my journey and/or are connected to the Dancing Eros work and care about it.
2018 – WTF just happened?
In 2018 things went to shit for Dancing Eros.
I know we weren’t alone.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably noticed that for many, last year was pretty fucking wild.
It’s been a time for anyone who hasn’t been in full alignment to clean the fuck up and come back into integrity. Which often included facing the cold, hard, sometimes painful repercussions of not doing so.
Power plays and hierarchies have been crumbling all over the place, gurus falling off pedestals, powerful leaders being called out for their dodgy dealings, #metoo movements highlighting abuse and ‘how to spot a narcissist’ articles have been at an all time high.
Its been very much a time to get clean around POWER.
Where we use it, abuse it, hand it over, project it onto others, where we take what is not ours – all the violations and kinks have been getting purified out.
Dancing Eros was not left out of this cleansing.
Some of you may have heard whispers of what went down and I’ve also hinted at what’s happened on my own social media but I have yet to fully put everything out there publicly in a more formal statement and be completely transparent with the community.
I feel it is in integrity as the original creator and current legal owner of the Dancing Eros entity to own my shit, speak what has happened and to also invite in support for this next chapter.
I believe we cannot fully move forward into the future until we atone for the past.
Sit down, make yourself a cup of tea and settle in, as this may be a long one.
A BIT OF HIS(HER)STORY.
For those who don’t know about 6 years ago at the age of 25, I created Dancing Eros.
And it took the fuck off.
In 12 months I went from being on government benefits to making thousands of dollars a month leading a feminine sexual empowerment movement.
When it all began I don’t think I knew what I was getting myself in to.
I didn’t start Dancing Eros because I had all this experience of deeply healing own shit with the feminine and so I wanted to it give back.
I didn’t start it because I had been initiated as a woman and it was my time to take others through that journey.
I was in many ways a very young girl who created something that I actually really needed the medicine from myself.
Despite my inexperience, Dancing Eros was a huge hit as it turns out lots of others needed this medicine in their life too. Yet as it grew my own need to go on a deeply personal journey with the feminine was quickly overshadowed.
Very quickly I was catapulted to the helm of a booming business, a pioneer for the whole vulnerable sharing social media public figure thing, passionate advocate for conscious capitalism and the founder of this epic body of work that was gathering a lot of attention.
Since then hundreds of lives have been changed and transformed by the Dancing Eros work and it’s been an epic journey with a lot of light and a lot of gifts for people.
So much has birthed from Dancing Eros; new communities, friendships, relationships, babies, connections, businesses, creations, projects and so much more.
But it also has come with a fair share of shadow too, and I’m here to speak to some of that.
LEARNINGS & HINDSIGHT
Before I go into details,
As the founder, I want to take a moment to take full responsibility for the consequences of my mistakes within Dancing Eros and the pain they may have cause others.
I know I created something really fucking amazing and Dancing Eros has hugely contributed to many peoples lives in a positive way but I also know I have made mistakes and haven’t been perfect.
When I look back on the whole journey now I can see so many ways I was unequipped to wield the level of power and energy that Dancing Eros is and to do it in a way that was truly healthy for myself and others.
The responsibility of holding and caring and being able to support Dancing Eros to be a sustainable, healthy and thriving body of work, community and business was and is beyond my personal capacity.
Being supported hasn’t been an easy ride for me either, and the bigger Dancing Eros got the more it highlighted my own personal shadows in working with others that finally had to come to light and heal within me.
I have been part of a lot of peoples empowerment, liberation and growth and created a massive positive impact on the community, I know this. And I have also been controlling, immature, narcissistic, entitled, emotionally manipulative, wounded and therefor sometimes abusive in my role.
I have battled with my own private journey being deeply bypassed by my public one and I’m still in the process of recovering myself in that and acknowledging the ways that I hurt myself and others.
That’s the thing about being a leader.
All your issues don’t just affect you and those really close to you, they affect entire communities.
So I want to say now that if you have directly or indirectly been hurt by myself or Dancing Eros at any time over the past 6 years
I’m sorry, I love you, please forgive me. Thank you.
THE SITUATION RIGHT NOW
So what actually happened?
Well as you know, all shadows have to eventually be brought to light to be faced and healed and in June last year this healing process well and truly begun for Dancing Eros.
I’m currently working on a book to share my whole journey, everything that has happened and all that I’ve learnt from birthing Dancing Eros so I’ll keep a lot of the story for that.
To sum it up though,
I believe one of the major issues that revealed itself in Dancing Eros was the healthy masculine and feminine energy not working in harmony together and a lack of real maturity and physical grounding.
As the founder these were very much my issues that then showed up in the culture, the dynamics of the team, the work itself, the business and the finances.
2018 was the a major wake up call to face all this, when I found out that the Dancing Eros business was at breaking point, in thousands of dollars of debt and on the verge of going bankrupt.
Its been a huge time since of having to face all that, it was a massive blow, a huge wake up call and its taken some time to feel strong enough to name it all here publicly and take responsibility for the mistakes.
I know is this letter is an important step in that process. To acknowledge that mistakes have been made and we are doing the work to come back into integrity and health. To get really honest with you all rather than slinking away from it and pretending nothing happened.
There is still a lot of work to do to rebuild Dancing Eros and come into the next phase but we are doing it, being real, being responsible, being empowered and showing up to own it and do what we need to do to make things right again.
Thank you for the part you’ve played in this journey and the life of Dancing Eros. You will be hearing more from us over the coming months with where things are at, what’s going on and how you can be a part of its future.
Thank you for witnessing.
Vanessa Florence Hatherley
Founder and Mama of Dancing Eros