Since starting this blog on pleasure, I’ve explored what opens us to pleasure; what I call pleasure’s keys. I’ve looked at the importance of tuning into sensory awareness and getting in touch with your body. And I’ve explored another important pre-requisite – giving yourself permission for pleasure. Others can’t truly give you pleasure, you make it for yourself, most often by finding what pleasure uniquely means to you.
In these glorious days of summer, I want to move on to ways you can access pleasure – some tried and true doorways. This summer I’m focusing on creativity as a doorway to pleasure. My friend Lorie Carson got me started. She’s spearheading a project called “100 days of creativity”, in which she’s inviting people to join with her in a commitment to do something creative every day for 100 consecutive days.
So many people talk about wanting to make space in their lives for creativity, and they often mean through one of the conventional routes of art, music, writing or dance. But creativity also encompasses gardening, cooking, dressing with fun and flare, or studying poetry. You get to choose what’s nudging you to self-expression. Whatever your medium, the invite is “just do it”!
Some people say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. But a 100-day commitment really holds the promise of deeply embracing a new way of being. Last year about this time, I took up a 100-day challenge to meditate every day. I can honestly say it changed me. I was a fairly regular meditator to start, but the every day practice took it to a new level and had a big impact on how I entered and engaged in my day.
So this summer, I want a new challenge. Lorie suggests you put some conditions around the commitment in order to narrow the focus from the vague “I’m going to do something creative each day” to “I’m going to paint every day.” Maybe it’ll be small, maybe an unfinished painting, but every day I’ll play on a new piece of paper. My friend Anne, who’s joined the challenge, is a painter. She wants to explore the imagery of ripe peaches, so she’s going to paint a peach each day!
I want to create a solid writing practice. The past year I’ve been playing around the edges, but haven’t fully given myself permission to bring it into the centre of my life. The challenge starts July 15th and on that day I will start 100 days of writing. Every day I will write. I’ve not yet set the constraints around the practice – a draft of a page-long blog, or a set number of words, or a timeframe of writing for an hour. I will choose one of these by July 15th and keep you posted.
I’m grateful for Lorie’s initiative and invite you to join in. We all need some structure to shift to new places.
A surefire doorway to pleasure is allowing yourself to have creative self-expression. What would a 100-day commitment look like for you?
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Madeline combines her experience as a gifted teacher and facilitator with her exquisite sensitivity to guide us into unlocking pleasure. In her gentle way she helps us to make friends with our bodies, softening the places where we feel resistance, shame and pain and learn how to tune into the myriad sensations of pleasure. She embodies her teaching and the expression of her own pleasure is contagious. Madeline creates a safe space to (re)discover that we are wired for pleasure and can overcome the negative conditioning of fear, trauma, and messages of “not good enough”.