At first I feel nothing, broach nothing, love nothing. I feel dull and mossy with sleep. My body feels wary, untrusting. I’ve been away from myself—and my body reminds me. And yet I persist: bringing care and tenderness into my hands, I touch myself. I touch myself as the presence of one who is deeply loving, and in this love, uncompromising: she is infinitely insistent upon my pleasure.
Slowly, sensation awakens: a warmth pools in my lower belly, and ripples into a golden tingle, this very alive energy that is also completely relaxed. It goes where it flows, it flows where it goes. Like the goddess in my mind’s eye. Like the goddesses I know here on earth, the women whose grace is dawn & fawn & song & strong. And now, I even remember I am one of them.
At my own touch, and in the eye of the goddess, my body opens into lusciousness. What moments ago felt parched and rough is now an undulating ocean of rushing wet light.
At first, I was moving the energy, consciously choosing to know pleasure, but now, the energy is moving me. I was made for this surrender, this captivation into a wave of life.
The marvel in this moment is pleasure, absolutely. But it is also a feeling of presence, a feeling of being not-alone, of being witnessed as love liquefies me, renders me whole.
If my desire is possible,
Women are born into a culture that tells us we need to earn pleasure, buy pleasure, deserve pleasure. Women are born into a culture that tells us women are made for pain. Or made to be the fulfillment of someone else’s pleasure.
She says: but what is this whisper, this beckoning lush tongue in my ear?
She's her own answer: the revelation of a wild pulsation.
So many of us have experienced trauma that resounds in our bodies and has the potential to keep us in exile from pleasure for our whole lives.
She feels yet: life desires me.
She knows: my longing, my exile, is the very seed of my homecoming.
We are told that we are blessed to live in america, we are liberated:
we get to dress how we like, choose our mates, our learning, our livelihood.
We are told we have freedom of speech, a privilege.
And it is a privilege, and we are blessed.
But until we liberate our pleasure, we are not free.
Now I know. It is not seriousness and discipline that makes it possible to survive...It is my desire: desiring life, desiring the incredible diversity of others, desiring love, and first and foremost, desiring myself. -Bärbel Kreidt
This winter I spent months in a deep depression. On the heels of the launch of my first book, SURGE, I felt my animating passion drain from my heart, my body. I didn’t predict that finishing a years-long project would create this lull like a chasm, a loss.
What has re-animated me, caress by caress, is intimacy with life, with self, with creative energy, with love. Sometimes subtle-soft, and sometimes roaring. What this depression taught me was insistence upon pleasure. Call her the goddess, or call her a part of myself (I choose: both!), she has arisen for me: this one who firmly plants me in the ground of sensual aliveness, even and especially when I am feeling discouraged, numb, or ashamed. She whispers, stay with me, stay.
Who am I to refuse her?
I honor and refine my pleasure because, of all the women on this earth right now, I know I am amongst few who are free to do so. I liberate my own pleasure in full awareness of what it cost our mothers and grandmothers and women way back to pass this freedom forward to us.
I've found that when depression, numbness, or creative inertia sets in, pleasure is the antidote. And the pleasure I speak of need not be earth-shaking (though, oh sister, it can be!) ... it can also be taking pen to paper, writing into our longing for pleasure, our honeyed memories, our desire for our own selves. It's magic what voicing our desires can invite. At this half-day women's retreat in a couple weeks, we'll be practicing meditation, movement, writing, and art-making that can liberate us into the next world of our pleasure. If you've ever felt you need to "earn" pleasure, or if you've left your body when feeling unsafe, this retreat can help you heal.