Each of the years I have done this challenge I have learned so much. I am so grateful to all of you who participated and shared your stories with me. While I learn a lot from my own practices, I truly feel that most of my learning comes more from all of you and your beautiful sharing.
A lot of us aren’t taking the time to ask ourselves what would be pleasurable
I have been very heartbroken to learn how many people are largely living a pleasure starved life. Many people who participated found that even just starting to ask themselves what they wanted today was a deeply beautiful practice.
It is just as much about what you don’t do as what you do do
Even when approaching pleasure we have a tendency to be productivity focused, but one of the beautiful parts of pleasure is that it invites us to also look at rest, doing nothing, connection with others, etc. It can also invite us to look at things we aren’t doing that are causing obstacles to pleasure in our lives. For example having a lot of clutter or needing to move more to support feeling more delicious in our bodies.
It brings up a lot for people
Many people told me they were very interested, but felt most comfortable only watching (which is just as valid). It truly can bring up so many emotions from present pain to grief over years spent without pleasure to body shame. So much in the social media world throws us into the deep end around pleasure and we often need to move gently, slowly, at our own pace.
Shame is perhaps the number one obstacle to pleasure
This can be so many forms of shame: shame that we don’t deserve it, shame that we won’t be worth loving if we aren’t always pushing/striving/working, shame about what we want for our pleasure, shame about our bodies, etc.
Pleasure is often the first thing to be sacrificed when we get busy
Because most of us live in societies that don’t value pleasure we often feel it is only for when there is time and often sacrifice the thing we need most when we most need it.
People still associate pleasure with being lazy, unproductive, even sexually deviant when the opposite is true
It can be life changing to approach our goals and discipline from a place of pleasure. Ironically most people find they get more done even though they are less attached to that outcome and that wasn’t the goal
Pleasure can encompass all areas of our lives
Many of you talked to me about how so much around pleasure was only associated with sexuality. It can of course be an amazing portal to getting in touch with our own sexuality, but it is not just sexual. All areas of our lives can be nourished and energized by pleasure.
That we need each other in community
This one was a new one this year. I got to hear how the aspect of community can play such a profound role in encouraging us to explore pleasure and inspire us with ideas.
Pleasure can truly be life changing and absolutely revolutionize every aspect of our being
Each year it has been so delicious for me to hear about the ways that even gentle additions of pleasure have completely changed people’s lives. It is a big reason I like just sharing pleasure practice ideas and then those allow people the lived embodied experience of how life changing pleasure can be and guide people to their own knowing and wisdom.
Pleasure is always worth it.
I know most of us have been taught that it is frivolous or not needed, but in my and participants' experiences it is always worth it. It is worth the effort, the time, the presence.
Pleasure is a reliable and beautiful guide
I think many of us have also been taught that pleasure is not something we can follow, but truly tapping into our own pleasure actually allows us to be nourished enough to not need to chase false senses of pleasure like practices that harm us. The self knowledge and love that comes from pleasure helps us to see our own needs even more clearly and can give us the energy we need to fulfill them.