My name is Morgan Cuffie and I am a 36 year old mom, teacher, podcaster, potential influencer, and obvious twerker. Most importantly and simply though, I am a woman who is struggling to hold on to the slivers of self esteem she’s got left.
The journey of self love has been like crocheting a sweater for me: I complete all the rituals; sage, pray, meditate, say affirmations, take long baths, stare at myself in the mirror, and listen to videos that tell me I’m great. Just adding to the rows of yarn in my self love sweater. But then the world happens; a breakup where your heart is ripped out of your chest, a job that just won’t appreciate you and your worth, a child who doesn’t think you’re cool at all but simply wishes you would go away. And theres a tug on the end of the yarn that unravels half the sweater before you know it. Before my eyes it’s like I watch my own sweater of self love transform into a pile of useless fibers in under a minute after some heartbreaking happens.
I’m doing this shoot because it’s like reworking the sweater. I have worked with Stacy multiple times before and it is always life changing. The openness and acceptance you feel for your body after standing un-judged in front of complete strangers is surprising and joy making. It’s like a surprise birthday party where you didn’t expect to feel so much love and instead of having to imagine everyone else naked to calm your anxiety, you are the only person who showed up naked because you felt none. Stacy’s work is essential and timely. As many of us try to heal wounds buried deep under the surface of the skin we have already been taught to hate, Stacy creates safe spaces for us to bind and dress our wounds or straight up just have reconstructive surgery.
This shoot allows me to assuage scars of motherhood and tell the world I am a mom AND a sexual, beautiful being. The burns of relationships get a salve because I can imagine those partners reminded of how stupid they were to let go of the magnificence that is my body. And where some of my limbs feel severed, cut through and hanging by a tendon from abuse and neglect, Stacy has given me a space to bind myself back together and recognize that my body is not weak because it was traumatized; it is resilient, strong, and effervescent mostly because of how gorgeously it has survived that trauma.
So, here I am again ready to take my clothes off, ready to get some healing because what do you do when you’re holding a half-crocheted unraveling sweater? You bring it to Stacy so she can teach you how to knit.
The process of working with Stacy was like a blend of Eastern meets Western mental health and wellness practices. It was like taking the best practice of each and implementing it with a direct service approach. The process took a little over 2 months. Stacy was available to me 24 hours a day 7 days a week, however, we had scheduled appointments by phone 1-2 times weekly. She learned about my experiences past and present and what struggles I was having. She then designed a program unique to my specific needs and goals. It involved a blend of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual practices. A new age holistic approach. This experience was absolutely life changing and soul cleansing.
Over the years I’ve worked toward self-improvement and healing. I’ve made great strides in making changes to be healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ve learned about exercise and health becoming a certified personal trainer. I’ve learned about what spiritual beliefs and practices I aligned with. I participated in therapy on and off. As my circumstances improved, I couldn’t help but notice there was still something deep within me that I could feel was not healed. It gnawed at me. I didn’t feel right and I didn’t know what it was or what else I needed to do. I watched a documentary on plant medicine and the benefits. I instantly knew this was what I needed. Life circumstances created the perfect opportunity to begin this journey. Through my work with Stacy supporting and guiding me, I was finally able to heal what needed to be healed. I don’t think that I would have been able to achieve this final stage of healing without having this experience. I can feel the change deep within me. The people that know and love me the most can also see the change in me. I will forever be grateful.
Stacy and I met in January of 2016 at one of her Love Yourself Naked events. I was super nervous about getting naked that I never even considered how transformative the experience would be. I didn't realize how disconnected I was from my body until I stood naked in front of a camera and saw skin, light, curve, roundness, and power. I loved all that my body was holding and all that it had to give. It was the beginning of my self love journey. Not just loving what is, but also respecting myself enough to do better.
I have been battling food addiction for some time now, and while I've received good support, Stacy was the first to explore the reasons behind my addiction, and unpack some of the underlying causations that are not discussed with traditional treatments for addiction.
Later on that year, August 2016, because of my work with Stacy, I began FATGIRLSDANCE™, a social media experiment that aims to dismantle stereotypes about plus size bodies. It has since become a worldwide movement with partnerships with Dove, Kleenex, and working with Shonda Rhimes.
Not of this would have been possible without the work I did with Stacy. She changed my life, my ideas about myself, and my relationship with my body. I will forever be grateful to her.