Say it with me…

Pleasure is not a dirty word!

At our last Hot Mess to Awesomeness Society Meeting, halfway through a beautiful moment of connection and growth, I was stuck by a sense of fear, wrongness, almost ‘dirtiness’ (aka shame). Each woman shared the word she planned to carry into 2023, then one brave soul uttered PLEASURE, and the entire energy of the room shifted.

And now days later, I am still thinking about how rebellious it feels to want more pleasure in my life!

What is it about PLEASURE that we shy away from?

We say we want to be happy, to experience more joy, to be lit up by our work & relationships, and yet when we bring the idea of pleasure into the equation (of which happiness, joy and being ‘lit up’ are all a part of) we get the urge to turn away, to try to focus on something else.

Is pleasure too much to ask for?

Brene Brown once said that joy was the most vulnerable emotion we can experience…because to truly feel joy you need to be fully present, in the moment. And in order to be in the moment, we can not be thinking about the future or the past. We need to be here NOW. We need to perceive the situation we are in as safe, see ourselves and capable and openly embrace uncertainty with trust & ease (and without fear).

And for those of us who are waiting for the other shoe to drop or to manage the next crisis, who’ve been conditioned to believe that self-sacrifice is the path to happiness and told to seek external validation for all that we do…and those of us who’ve been made to believe that our worthiness and lovability are conditional…

Putting ourselves first is fucking hard.

Pleasure, in my opinion, is joy in action

Experiencing pleasure requires trusting ourselves – being fully present in the moment, engaging & directing all our senses and devoting all our awareness and energy to something specific, leaving little to nothing for any possible dangers…that is the ultimate act of bravery.

There is nothing further from anxiety and nothing more exquisitely vulnerable, than opening ourselves up to and exposing ourselves (figuratively and sometimes literally) to pleasure.

So what is actually keeping us from pleasure?

Is it our habit of fearing vulnerability that pushes pleasure away? And, my big question… If life lacks pleasure that WTF are we doing here?

Are we so used to fearing pleasure, (something that has passed down from generation to generation), that we equate wanting it with deviance? Is our conditioned response to balk at those who courageously seek pleasure warranted? Who decided that a woman experiencing pleasure was something to be feared? 

I’ll give you 3 guesses! 

What do we do?

At the root of our fears are our beliefs. And when we come up against someone or something that contradicts what we believe to be true, we go through a pretty predictable series of thoughts/behaviours…

1 – They are wrong
2 – They are crazy
3 – They must be feared

And the kicker is that due to our penchant for confirmation bias (siding with evidence that keeps us right) and without the habit of suspending our current beliefs in order to make way for learning, we will continue to fear and push away pleasure. 

What can you do?

Be an outlier, be willing to take a hard look at what you currently believe to be true, and ask yourself why you fear pleasure! Who told you to? Does that person, organization, entity have the right to tell you what is best for you?

For many, what happened at The Society Meeting was a much needed moment of feeling seen, and it was a beautiful reminder that no matter how unique our experiences are, we are all connected.

Now what?

Perhaps like me, you will whirl through emotions trying to make sense of it all. Maybe what is best for you, is to allow everything to percolate under the surface as you go through all that needs to be done.

No matter where you are, remember that you are not alone and that this collective experience of curiosity and courage is creating a ripple of disruption in the worn out belief that we have to earn our worthiness and lovability or the right to experience pleasure.

What took place at The Society Meeting was more than a gathering, more than the sharing of stories, it was an experience that will forever change the trajectory of my life.

If you are feeling unsure as to what to do with the surge of power that comes from this type of exploration reach out, I’d be happy to help you harness that power! 



(not so secret)