Last week’s assignment was to take time out for some Serious Sensual Pleasure. You’ll remember it was not the “I’ll put a rose on my desk during my twelve hour work day” kind of pleasure, which, don’t get me wrong, is extremely valuable and badass. But Serious Sensual Pleasure is when you go on vacation in your very own body. I have loved your blog comments and reports of what you chose to do, and in this blog, I am going to share why I told you to do it.
Right now I am not working. Every morning I wake up with this gripping fear of “what am I going to produce today? How am I going to validate my existence today! I don’t have time for a bath, or a movie, or laundry for God’s sake! I have to figure out what I’m doing with the rest of my life!!” Ironically, the hardest thing to do during this time has been to…not….work. All the things I dreamed of doing like watching movies, taking baths, etc. when I longed for time off suddenly feel slovenly and pointless. Who am I if I don’t produce?
There is a quote by Megon McDonough: “sometimes deepest answers come when you’re out there having fun.” I first heard this in the song “Amazing Things” at the life altering Sacred Success retreat by my friend and teacher Barbara Stanny. I remembered Barbara talking about how as women we have a serious addiction that many of us don’t even know about: the addiction to busyness.
When I first stopped working, I felt like I had to figure everything out about my life in two weeks. That seemed like enough time. I busied myself with plans, promotions, new classes, etc. All of that was fine and good, but financially and otherwise, I couldn’t see beyond the next three months. I knew I had to start thinking way bigger than ever before. But in order to do that, it’s not so much thinking, but listening longer and harder than you have ever listened before.
I began to take my baths more seriously. This was not just frivolous relaxation; this was the equivalent of going to the office. Going to yoga was not just a way to squeeze in a work out and fill the time; it was crucial for downloading my ideas. I began to see one of the most simple, yet often overlooked concepts in human history showing up big time. Yin and Yang.
The Yin/Yang symbol is not just a hippie tattoo, or something you see in the new age bookstore. It is the fundamental science behind living a life of Sacred Seduction. Yin energy (the energy of rest, the moon, cool water, meditation, darkness, intuition) is both opposite from and interdependent on yang energy (the energy of activity, motion, the sun, light, action), and vice versa. You will notice in the symbol that both energies contain a small amount of the other. This might sound like mumbo-jumbo, and I get way more into this when I teach a class, but hang with me because we’re about to get to the good part.
In Seduction, there is the yin of refusal, the yang of indulgence. The yin of wanting, and the yang of satisfaction. The yin of the maternal, cozy, loving energy and the yang of the Seductive Smack-down that leaves a gorgeous pink flush on the soul of whoever receives it. A seductress is not one of these things; she is ALL of these things. She must possess both of these energies in balance in order to be her most seductive self.
When I gave the assignment I said that you would come up with 1000 excuses why you can’t include Serious Sensual Pleasure in your week. One of the most common is time. “I barely have time to tie my shoes let alone light a candle.” This is not because we are all workaholics necessarily. Often it is because our lives are so full of good things that we barely have time to keep up with them all. We start to resent all these good things and feel constantly pissed off. “God, I have to go out and see my friend do an aerial act tonight. Poor me!”
You might be thinking your should just suck it up and get into gratitude but I say yes, poor you. Your body is craving downtime and if you don’t listen, it will poison everything in its path. The aerialist, the spouse who is giving you a spontaneous gift, the lover who wants to take you to Balthazar, all of em’ get the shaft when there is too much of that yang energy and not enough yin.
So, the moral of the story is: not only is rest not detrimental to productivity, it is the most crucial ingredient. When you find yourself overwhelmed with all the tasks you have to do, scribbling out a to-do list a mile long – I challenge you to do something completely radical. Like watch an episode of Mad Men. Or order your favorite lunch that costs $5 more than what you normally spend. Savor. When you slow down, the chatter in your mind quiets. You begin to differentiate between what is truly important on that list, and what is on there just to make you feel validated. Take your rest and relaxation as seriously as you take your work. This is one of the essential keys of living Seduction As A Way Of Life.
Next week’s assignment to becoming a Sacred Seductress: when someone does something that pisses you off, no matter how little, say something. Or, if you choose to not say something, take notice of how it feels in the moment, and then in the days after. See you next week Seductress.
PS – If you’d like to lay back in the warm waters of Seduction in just three weeks time, my Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice on February 1st and 2nd is filling up. Get it while you can, this may be the last time I teach this class! The value of it is immeasurable. Trust me, you want in.