Women are powerful and dangerous to the powers that be when connected to their bodies and erotic nature.
This is why my work is rooted in the body and dedicated to unwinding pernicious patriarchal patterns that lead us to perpetuate systems of oppression.
The same patterns that lead us to burn out are actually manifestations of white supremacy culture – more on that later this week!
As we continue to show up for change in our world, I cannot stress enough the importance of making space to 1) chill and rest and 2) actually feel pleasure and joy.
Choosing pleasure when everything else indicates you shouldn't – combined with taking action, of course – is the ultimate radical act, for all women but particularly for black and queer women whose identities intersect in increased layers of oppression. This is the origin of "intersectionality."
Audre Lorde, black lesbian activist and poet pictured below, wrote the essay Uses of the Erotic which was a big inspiration for me when I was writing my master's thesis. In it she teaches:
"In order to perpetuate itself, every oppression must corrupt or distort those various sources of power within the culture of the oppressed that can provide energy for change. For women, this has meant a suppression of the erotic as a considered source of power and information within our lives."
Right now, I know we're all sitting with fear, guilt and panic and not knowing what to do each day. This is natural and human and I've been in this too. But this is truly just the beginning, we're in a complete upheaval of long-standing systems and we must fortify ourselves for a long journey.
If we let every news cycle spin us out in fear and worry, we will burn ourselves out even more than we already are.
So, I invite you to make space for pleasure, for joy, for celebration. Make space to move your body. Make space for restoration, rejuvenation. Whatever that looks like for you.
Guilt and shame will inevitably surface when you endeavor to choose pleasure when everything tells you not to. When that happens, read that Audre Lorde quote again – and reach out to me if you're wanting more support.
Know that the guilt and shame you feel is a manifestation of the conditioning we have received from living in a white supremacist patriarchal society that maintains its power by separating us from our own bodies, our energy, inherent worthiness and of course – our power.
Choosing otherwise is a radical act. Are you with me???