Real Bodies of S - Brooke Bergman

by Sheila Kelley 9. January 2017 22:54

In celebration of the Real Bodies of S, we took the opportunity to talk one-on-one with some of the woman in our community. Our first interview is with Brooke Bergman from Lake Forest, CA where she details her journey of overcoming body shame and learning to love her curves.




Name: Brooke Bergman

Age:     34

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Occupation: Therapist & Mom


Where are you from?

I am from Central California - the Tulare/Visalia area. I grew up around dairy farms, cotton fields, ag shows, and dirt. My dad was also in the car business. He was always bringing home fast cars.



What was it like growing up? How has it shaped your life?

I was raised with a strong connection to family, hard work, and religion. The area is very conservative. There were many gifts that my growing up years gave me, but one of the pieces that I have had to overcome was the teaching by the church that the feminine body was dangerous and bad. That the feminine body caused men to sin. As a caring person, this caused quite an internal conflict because the last thing I wanted was to cause anyone harm. The conflict arose because what was allegedly causing harm was my own body—which, as an adolescent girl, I was already confused enough about.


I can see the good intention that my community had for me and other young women. I can appreciate the things they were trying to protect me from—unintended pregnancy, STI’s, and emotional pain. But it had the unintended consequence of making me afraid of my own sexuality. Sexuality shouldn’t be something we are afraid of, it should be celebrated! While it is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken lightly, healthy sexuality is ultimately about play—and if you are afraid, you can’t play.



How has that shaped my life?

I have had to do a lot of work to reclaim my feminine body and to appreciate her sexuality.  Sheila’s Ted Talk addresses the idea of lifting up the feminine in order to restore right order within ourselves, with our relationships, and in our world. When I am honoring the feminine body I have, everything else in my life feels right because I am honoring my existence, my Self—and everything flows from that.


So you became a Therapist. Why this role?

I graduated as an English major and started as a literature teacher to 9th & 10th graders. I quickly learned that mental health issues were preventing the children from learning so I went back to school to get my masters.

I work with all types of people, but I primarily work at an eating disorder clinic with young women in their 20’s. From my work, I see that women are disconnected from their bodies. Not only do they have an inability to recognize body cues like hunger or fullness, cues, but even when they do, they fail to honor them. These women are betraying their bodies. 

Like many women, I thought I would be happier if I weighed less, were more toned, etc. I think we have all been there. We view our bodies as a projects. But I now know and teach these women (like Sheila) that those feelings of beauty start from within. We must love our body as it is today - S Factor also teaches this.


So we can see just how much body love and acceptance is to you. When did you first try S Factor?

My first class was in August 2015. I heard about S Factor through the suggestion of a friend who knew some teachers. I was in the middle of a separation and divorce. I was feeling very tender and raw, unwanted and not powerful. I was very hesitant to try pole dancing because of the stigma, but my curiosity overcame the stigma. Everything in my life was “up in the air”, and so I was open to new experiences in a way I hadn’t been before.

During my first class I felt a little silly, but at the same time there was something in me that said YES! My body said, “Thank you. Why have you waited so long to do this?”

The thing that sealed the deal for me was the end of class demonstration. I watched two normal women turn into GODDESSES in front of me. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I just wept. I had been told the feminine body was evil and bad - it was something to be feared. But here it was in front of me. I wept at the loss of that in my life. That I had lived so long without that beauty.

It was that powerful of an experience. Now being presented this opportunity to share my experience with other women, I couldn’t miss the chance.


How do you participate in S Factor now?

I signed up to be a member that first night and come at least 1-2x a week - 3 if it's possible. 

When I go, I am able to reconnect to my body and reconnect to the feminine. It clears the masculine energy that says, “get things done.” The world is masculine centric, but now I am encouraged to connect to the feminine energy - softness, rest, beauty, soul. Once I do that, then it invigorates everything else I need to do.


How has Sheila Kelley’s Erotic Creatures impacted your life?

I have gotten in touch with my erotic creature, it’s amazing to see her emerge. And she has emerged in unexpected ways. My EC is the Dangerous Challenger and sometimes the shy reluctant. That’s where she lives the majority of time. By getting in touch with her, it’s been very freeing. I have also realized that part of journey is accepting the flow. Trusting your body. It will tell you what you need to know next. This helps me when I go into an uber masculine environment. I will wear certain clothing that helps me tap into my feminine energy and power. Nothing short of miraculous when I take my EC energy out into the world.


Because of this practice, S women are fully aware - fully embodied. Nothing is going to get by us. Tuning into your feminine intelligence, your feminine intuition - it’s so powerful when I am tapped in. This practice has helped me be a better therapist, mom, friend and lover. I really honor it. If you honor it, there is so much wisdom in it. It’s a muscle.


What have you learned about yourself? Did you know any of this before?

S Factor has helped me clear the river so to speak. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, the author of  “women who run with the wolves,”  speaks of clearing the river so we can flow. S Factor clears the blockages and get in touch with the flow of that beautiful river of life. The blockages can be in the form of the masculine energy. The blocks can be anything that limits the expression of your feminine Soul.


How has S Factor impacted your professional life?

Everything about this practice has confirmed the research I have already done. Many  of the books I have read  speak about feelings, connection, attunement—which are all connected to the body. Psychology is moving towards a somatic orientation. Many psychology professionals believe that to help patients heal, they need to get in touch with their body. S factor helps women do just that—move their bodies in a way that is healing.


You are a mother, anything specifically you would tell your daughter after learning more about this practice?

My daughter has a mom that is living in her body. She will see and feel that. She will pick up on that and hopefully live that out. I’ve made a conscious effort to not body shame. I only speak positively and honestly as she is listening closely.

How I treat my body, how I demonstrate this versus just even speaking to it. We are shamed for desire and wanting anything in the world. I hope that I can my daughter feel that she can want, that it’s ok.


How do you feel about your beautiful body today? In other words, how has S Factor changed your relationship with your body? What is the most profound shift you’ve experienced?

Today I love my body--all of it. I honor her every curve, her every stretch mark, and every sensation. Discovering my erotic creature has shifted my life in profound ways. I feel grounded, confident, and powerful--and because of that, I am more comfortable with my own vulnerability. And being more comfortable in my vulnerability has increased my sense of connection in all of my relationships.


If you could send one message to all the feminine bodies in the world, what would it be?

I wish that all feminine bodies would know just  how precious, vital, and powerful their bodies are. I wish that each feminine body would know just how stunning she is when she is released from the prison of shame and self hatred. That her beauty is in when she allows herself to be seen.


Praise your body! One sentence homage or gift of gratitude to your incredible feminine body.   

I am grateful for this beautiful body of mine--because she is the external expression of my Soul.

We are so incredibly grateful for women like Brooke - for their courage, their passion and their support. Thank you for inspiring us. For more body love and more inspiration, please visit Real Bodies of S.






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