Audacious Pleasure

Audacious– Adjective

1. Extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; daring

2. Extremely original; without restriction to prior ideas

3. Lively; unrestrained; uninhibited

During a dance ritual for the winter solstice, I was asked to set an intention for the coming sun cycle. What came to me loud and clear was:

Audacious Pleasure

In so many ways, my pleasure is: conventional, small, safe, replicated, controlled, tested, and familiar.

And yet to others, my pleasure my already seem bold and lively. And there is room for more.

  • I commit to finding the edges of my upper limits around pleasure and expanding them.
  • I commit to finding the ways I keep myself safe and small and give myself permission to be reckless.
  • I commit to surrounding myself with friends who encourage my boldness and inhibition, and who model this in their own lives.
  • I commit to tapping into my imagination and creative center to invent pleasure pathways that do not yet exist.
  • I commit to seeing myself and being witnessed by others in unrestrained wild pleasure.
  • I commit to discovering how much more sexual ecstasy my body can experience.

Thinking about these commitments for the coming cycle brings the familiar tingly-buzz of nervousness that comes when I approach the edges of my comfort zone… a sign I’m on the right track.

Here’s to the days getting longer and pleasure getting deeper.

Audaciously yours…

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As Winter Approaches…

I know it is time to write again, when my brain at rest can think of nothing else but crafting and assembling words.

As I’ve slowed my pace this fall, somehow my energy to write slowed as well. I find myself tonight simmering in a thick pleasure stew made up of ideas, self-care, and activities. Here are a few…

Upon learning of China’s ban on importing recycling from the U.S. (and the subsequent discontinuation of recycling centers taking plastic, bags, etc.), I have dedicated a large amount of my energy and focus to reducing the amount of waste our family generates. I can’t in good conscience anymore buy lettuce in a box, and appease myself with the idea that “at least I’m recycling it.” The changes I’ve been able to make not only have reduced our waste significantly, but they have us cooking more, eating more vegetables, and even further simplifying life. And for the first time, in a very long time, I am enjoying cooking again.

Then I added to my time spent in the kitchen by testing out Dr. Mercola’s MMT eating protocol as outlined in his book “Fat for Fuel.” Since switching over, I’ve felt clear and strong, I’ve lost a few pounds, and I am enjoying finding and cooking recipes.

I was going to say that I think it helps me to have a strict container in which I can be creative. The desire for package-less food and then my focus on a new way of eating have reinvigorated my pleasure in the kitchen. But I realize that I’ve had a strict container regarding food for many years, namely the kids’ food preferences, that has caused me a great deal of suffering and strife. I’m realizing that the container is helpful, but only when it is a personally pleasurable choice! I see that I don’t do well with imposed containers.

Dancing is an activity that provides significant amounts of pleasure in my life. My dances on Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights are deeply fulfilling. And I wanted more. I was lucky to find a nearby studio that offers daytime pole dancing classes. To help me practice and get strong, the teacher suggested I create a routine. To honor my focus on slowing down, we choreographed a slow-paced routine. The weekly class feeds my love of dance, is building up my biceps, and reminding me that going slow requires presence, practice, and tremendous strength.

After lying in front of a cello and allowing its notes to vibrate through my body, I had a very clear sense that I wanted to experience cello music even closer: between-my-legs closer. The next day I rented a cello and signed up for lessons. There are few things more pleasurable than the sensation of playing an open C note and feeling it dance through my legs, chest and pussy. All in all, I learned one very important lesson — listening to others play the cello brings me far more pleasure than listening to myself play the cello!

After reading the book “Girls and Sex” I have been inspired to move forward with an idea that has been sitting in my mind’s waiting room for a long time. I would like to create a sex-ed class for teens. And not the basic birds and the bees, nor one that covers important additional information about consent, diversity, and sexual politics (thanks to http://www.scarleteen.com all that is already covered). I want to write about the importance of pleasure — what it is, how to practice cultivating it, and how to experience it in its form of ecstasy. I’m reading, listening to books and podcasts, thinking, journaling, sketching, and testing ideas around this. Maybe nothing tangible will ever come of this idea. But at the very least, I’ll be prepared for talking with my daughters when they hit teenage-hood in a few years.

And there is more in the stew — life-changing sex, embodying a goddess, allowing myself to be seen/hiding, being fearless, dancing with self-judgement — that is still cooking, still mending their flavors together. I hope to dish them up in another post in the near future.

All you got to do is slow down

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Yellow leaves caress my face as I walk along cloud shrouded paths.
My canine companion matches my slower pace
as we each drink in the scents from the woods.
The forest bath soothes my nerves and decelerates my steps.

The days grow shorter, the cold returns,
my neck and feet cloaked in wool.
The cards tell me to connect to my hope and serenity,
which feels easy and natural.

My bike carries me under ombré leaves of autumn hues.
The wind rushes through, inspiring nipples to stand erect.
The warmth of the sun is unable to penetrate the chill in the air.
Light and color provide delicious nourishment.

I savor the sweet burn in my strong arms
as I hold my body perched precariously upon a pole.
Challenging myself to go even slower still,
as Morcheeba croons:  “all you got to do is slow down”

Warm smells fill my kitchen while by body steeps in hot water just outside.
I listen to the chestnuts fall and the wild geese invisibly passing overhead.
A stark contrast to life just a few years ago—
lived at a pace that I can’t fathom now, nor wish to return to.

Under the harvest moon, I received instructions.
Surrender to the season.
Deepen into the pleasure of my own feminine expression.

And so I go, slower still.

Take me where I cannot take myself


Dear Lover,

Pull my body close to yours.

Rest your head against my temple, so you may whisper in my ear.

Witness my complete surrender.

Embody my veneration.

Seduce the tenacious barricade protecting my heart.

Navigate towards my uncharted desires and fears.

Illuminate the darkest corners of my imagination.

Hold tenderly the depth that I occupy, and escort me deeper still.

Take me where I cannot take myself.

Quote of the Day- Evolutionary Sexuality


“…evolutionary sexuality is a gift to us from the Divine Mother. She wants to redeem our sense of our bodies, show us that she lives just as much in our bodies and in our genitals as in the skies, and mountains, and mystical revelations. She wants us to experience in the core of life her great bliss fire; but She doesn’t want us to experience it simply to feel glorious and empowered. She wants us to feel glorious and empowered so that we can be Her tireless agents of transfiguration in reality.”

From the book “Evolutionary Love Relationships: Passion, Authenticity, Activism” by Andrew Harvey and Chris Saade

Photo source: Jerry Uelsmann 

A symptomatic fever

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“Cut off from nature, cut off from community, financially insecure, alienated from our own bodies, immersed in scarcity, trapped in a tiny, separate self that hungers constantly for its lost beingness, we can do no other than to perpetuate the behavior and systems that cause climate change.

It is here where the root of our collective illness lies, of which global warming is but a symptomatic fever.

We need to come into direct, caring, sensuous relationship with this forest, this mountain, this river, this tiny plot of land, and protect them for their own sake rather than for an ulterior end. …ultimately our salvation must come from recovering a direct relationship to what’s alive in front of us.”

– Charles Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

 

Photo Source: Forest Lore

Planting seeds of pleasure in the ashes

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Precious forests are burned to the ground. Island communities completely destroyed. Cities suffocated underwater. Bodies extracted from the rubble. Verbal threats of nuclear war volleyed back and forth.

How can choosing pleasure be the right choice during times like these? How can I even talk about pleasure as smoke blurs the sun, ash falls on my front steps, and friends cannot return home due to the massive fires in the nearby Columbia Gorge?

We should be sad, or angry, or to spring into action.
Mourn the forests!
Punish the teenagers who started the fire!
Start planting trees as soon as possible!

Choosing pleasure is selfish, insensitive and unnecessary in times like these!

I don’t believe this story to be true! Reconnecting to pleasure is the best possible thing we can do.

Let me be clear, that when I talk about pleasure, I am referring to the feeling of when our deepest needs for intimacy, connection, creativity, play, and service to something bigger are met deeply rather than on the surface (e.g., creating intimacy through deep lovemaking with a soulmate vs. watching hours of porn).

When we meet these needs and experience deep pleasure, we experience the world in a significantly different way than we see modeled by the dominant culture. We also create new possibilites for ourselves and everyone else about how to live together on this planet.

One of the major fires in the Columbia River Gorge was started by some teenage boys throwing firecrackers off a cliff into the forest. There is considerable public outrage, calling for punishment of the boys and their families. There is little pleasure experienced about this fire by those who love the Gorge or, I can imagine, by the boys and their families. By choosing anger and sadness we perpetuate the story that “they” are evil, and “we” are good. Us vs. them. Villains vs. victims. When this escalates, it looks like the terrifying banter between the U.S. government and North Korea. Choosing pleasure upends this pattern.

What would choosing pleasure look like in the situation of the Gorge fire? We could throw a dance party and invite the boys and their families as the guests of honor. We could forgive their negligence and finally extinguish the social fire of hatred that still burns strong. We could connect impacted families and band together to help them rebound. We could dance and play among the charred trees, allowing our laughter and song to penetrate their roots and be distributed along the mycelium mat to the entire area. We could leave feeling connected and inspired to rebuild the trails and restore the parks.

I’d like to believe the forest would repair and regrow faster when the community supporting it and living in it is filled with love and pleasure, than with hatred, fear and sadness.

Fire is a necessary ingredient for cleansing and rebirth. My prayer is that the Gorge fire can help burn away the blame and anger swirling through our region, that is mirrored and amplified across our country and the world. And what may rise from the ashes is more connection, more gratitude for the natural environment, and a deeper sense of community. The seeds we need to plant in the ashy, fertile soil, are seeds of pleasure.

There is value and importance in feeling anger and sadness and fear. Anger tells us something needs to change. Sadness shows us there is something to be let go. Fear indicates that something needs to be known. We need to feel all these things, accept and appreciate them, and help understand what they have to teach us.* And then we get to choose whether we are willing to experience pleasure — to shift into ease and play, creativity and connection.

Choosing pleasure is a revolutionary act that redefines how we interact with one another, with the natural environment, and how we experience the world. Choosing pleasure creates new possibilities for how we solve problems, respond to catastrophe, and function together as a society. Pleasure becomes a compass for us to follow as we create a more beautiful world together.

 

 

* Inspired by the teachings of the Conscious Leadership Group
Photo: Stephanie Yao Long | The Oregonian/OregonLive