It’s been almost 10 years since I started my current business and I’ve worked with thousands of womxn at this point. I have given them all a variety of homework assignments after coaching calls with them to help them expand their capacity so they can step into a whole new way of being in the world.
But there is one exercise that has stumped ALL of them. It’s so hard for them to do that they’d probably solve the world’s hardest math equation more easily than they could do this assignment.
Want to know what it is?
2 weeks of pleasure practice.
Now before you roll your eyes and think this is another life-coachy “do more self-care, bubble baths, and champagne” post, think again.
Because that’s not real pleasure or self-care. That’s just scratching the surface.
I’m talking about the real shit. Pleasure with a capital P.
And it’s that kind of Pleasure (which you always avoid) that has the power to not only transform the entire way you operate in your career or business, your money and your impact… but it also has the power to topple the toxic patriarchal systems that have kept womxn and men around the world down for centuries.
Oh yeah, we’re going THERE today. Buckle up.
Now, as I previously mentioned, most womxn I work with, at some point, get “pleasure practice” homework.
And, no, I don’t mean sex (though if that’s part of your pleasure practice, great!).
I mean pure, unadulterated pleasure. The kind that brings you back home to your body and your innate wisdom. The kind that reminds you of who.you.motherfriggin.are.
This kind of pleasure can look like laying back in a hammock and doing nothing except staring up at the sky.
Going to the beach and doing nothing except sitting there watching the ocean waves crash onto the shore.
Taking the time to rub lotion slowly all over your body before you go to bed and enjoy allll the sensations on your skin.
Going to a garden, walking slowly through it as you feel the grass crunching underneath your feet with that delightful sound, all while stopping to smell all of the bright, colorful flowers, allowing all of your senses to be engaged and turned on.
Eating a strawberry and feeling it’s luscious flesh slide down your throat as the flavor bursts on your tongue and sends a shiver of delight down your spine, while dopamine molecules course through your brain, lighting it up.
Most brilliant, ambitious womxn like you have the HARDEST time with this assignment.
Cause let’s face it, you don’t usually eat your strawberries like that. Chances are that book you’ve been desiring to read is still sitting there on your side table, untouched.
And those fantasies about just BEING and doing nothing while hearing the ocean waves crash in front of you, remain just that, fantasies.
I have never seen a brilliant womxn squirm, sidestep and justify getting out of their “homework” like they do with pleasure homework.
In fact, you probably read how I described pleasure above and rolled your eyes.
Your dialogue probably looks and sounds like this:
Must be nice, but I have big stuff to do in this world. I’m running a hugely successful enterprise and tons of people rely on me — so yeah, I don’t have time for pleasure like that. I’ve got deals to close. Besides, what’s the point of that? How is that going to help me with leaving my legacy? Come on. NEEXXTT.
You know what’s underneath that thought, secretly steering you like a puppet on strings?
Every single time I hear a womxn say, “I don’t have time for this crap, I’ve got more important stuff to do,”
“I tried pleasure practice for an hour every day and all I did was sit there feeling stressed out about all the work I was NOT doing during that hour. It felt wasteful and selfish.” I know that is the toxic patriarchy operating within them.
Yes, YOU, the one who is all about womxn succeeding and being seen as equal to men.
You who make it your mission to uplift and bring other womxn along with you as you rise.
You who want to prove to the world womxn have just as much to contribute to the world as men.
Every time you don’t prioritize your pleasure, you uphold the very toxic patriarchal system that you rail against.
Because underneath not wanting to prioritize pleasure, underneath the guilt and stress you feel every time you take a break, is the toxic patriarchal belief that we must PROVE we are worthy of rest and pleasure.
This belief says that somehow, we aren’t inherently worthy as human beings unless we work ourselves to the bone.
We must “work hard” in every single moment to prove our worthiness and our goodness.
Do you know where that belief comes from? Feudal lords who taught their indentured slaves that it was more “holy” to be poor and always work your ass off so that they wouldn’t rebel.
In my work, I teach my clients what I call the Thirteen Lies and the Thirteen Truths. The lies come from the toxic patriarchal system which has built our world. The truths are what will set us free.
One of those lies is this: I am broken.
Toxic patriarchy needs you to believe you are broken. Because it needs you to believe that because of your brokenness you are not worthy. When you don’t feel your inherent worth, you work yourself to the bone to PROVE your worthiness. You undercharge or work too hard for what you are charging. You struggle with boundaries. You feel under-supported.
So many womxn I work with feel guilty receiving wealth (in all definitions of that word) if they aren’t sacrificing themselves, their health, their relationships, or their pleasure.
Because if you are indoctrinated into the belief that you aren’t worthy (which you are, because you’re human and were born into this effed up system), you don’t think you are worthy of all the things that bring you pleasure, whether it be health, wealth, or any kind of abundance, unless you are doing some harm to yourself to justify “deserving” all of that.
I call bullshit on that.
That guilt you feel when you’re doing nothing/not working, that need to prove you deserve your rewards only through working your ass off… That’s a capacity issue.
And instead of investing in yet another funnel, another business strategist or another strategy itself, you need to be focusing on expanding your capacity – because capacity expansion is what allows us to prioritize pleasure WITHOUT guilt.
The truth is that you are whole. You are inherently worthy because you are a human being. Your worth is never up for question. Never was.
And you, who claim you are here to disrupt the status quo… change the world… create a new paradigm by building wealth and success as a capable, strong, female leader…
Every time you deny your pleasure because you feel guilty giving that to yourself, you are upholding the opposite of what you claim you are here for.
And in the long term, working like this, ignoring your health, going, going, and going just to prove your worthiness (which is a lie anyway) is going to affect your profits.
Because this is not sustainable.
And those who do great things in this world prioritize their pleasure. They know it is the fuel that keeps their premium engine running. Otherwise, you’ll be running on fumes. And the best way to destroy a premium engine is to treat it like that.
I want you to think about that next time you’re feeling restless over prioritizing an hour in your day to eat a damn strawberry like it’s a slow-motion scene with Barry White’s voice crooning in the background.
I want you to think about the fact that you destroy the toxic patriarchy every time you prioritize walking away from work and taking that ocean break. Or the next time you book that appointment with your naturopath and DON’T push it aside in favor of “getting shit done”.
And if you don’t prioritize pleasure, you’re choosing the very thing you claim to abhor and stand against.
That usually does the trick to get my clients to do their pleasure homework.
In love and capacity,
ps: think this is a bunch of “woo woo crap”? Okay, here are some actual facts for you. There is a DIRECT and constant correlation that I have seen working with thousands of womxn in the last 10 years — the more she increases her pleasure, the more her revenue increases. Always happens. Pragmatic enough for you? Now go eat that damn strawberry.
pps: did this resonate? Let me know in the comments below.