First off, Happy Thanksgiving….maybe? Today is Thanksgiving if you’re in the US and it represents the start of the holiday season. Depending on how you feel about the holiday and about family it can be a pretty rough time as well.
I’m already hearing from friends about how stressed they are.
“I really need to learn to say no”
“I’m exhausted already”
And this is exactly what The Great Pleasure Challenge is for. It’s ultimately about doing things because we choose to, not because we’re supposed to.
And that can be triggering AF to people (our loved ones included) who are more comfortable with going along to get along.
Why “commit” to pleasure?
If this is you and you find it rewarding and wonderful, please don’t stop. But if instead you find resentment welling up inside about all the ways you’re supposed to behave and all the things you’re supposed to do around the holidays, then signing up for the challenge will give you a soft and safe space to really become intentional with the way you engage with all of your traditions. And that’s going to mean more energy, more satisfaction, more delight, better memories, and more meaningful connections.
Committing to pleasure isn’t about telling everybody to fuck off. It’s about determining what is true and useful for you and embracing that fully. Pleasure is an Avenue to discover your boundaries as a LIVING thing, so they can serve both you and others.
What does that look like, in practical terms?
This might mean that your famous green bean casserole doesn’t grace the holiday table this year (they will live, and maybe it’s in your pleasure to share the recipe and have someone else share in the tradition and thereby evolving what has been into something new and expansive and meaningful).
This might mean that you forego gift giving all together and instead commit to a family cold plunge where you all freeze your asses off on Christmas Day, followed by dim sum and ever advancing pots of hot tea (please invite me. This sounds utterly fabulous).
The idea of putting your pleasure first can be triggering because it can seem like that means sending a big ol’ Fuck You to the people who have come to rely on your showing up in a very particular way. But it’s actually a really loving act, both for yourself and your relationships.
AND it might not mean that anything looks any different at all. You might end up choosing exactly what you already have. But the difference is in the choosing. The difference is in the active participation with your desires, rather than the automatic performance of your obligations.
I’m wishing you a beautiful start to the holiday season, whatever that looks like (I’m taking my dog for a frigid swim in the ocean and I’m low-key terrified of how cold it’s going to be).
The wild, messy, playful, experimental, crazy, joy-filled underpinnings of The Great Pleasure Challenge are what I love most. And that’s the energy that serves me best going into this time of year and what I know it will be bringing to you as well.