A couple weeks into one of my programs one brave woman will ask – why can’t I let myself feel good?
Like I know what I’m supposed to do to feel good and yet there’s this resistance I feel to actually letting myself relax, tune into pleasure, and get present with myself.
I love it when I get this question.
The core reason why we find it difficult to actually tune into pleasure in our lives is that we have all been conditioned to be productive.
It’s in the roots of our education system.
I was reading The Enchanted Life by Sharon Blackie in a book club with my friends. There was a chapter on enchantment, how we can find ways to connect to that sense of wonder and awe and engagement with the world that young kids have naturally.
There was a passage about our education system that just hit me in the chest.
It quoted a Stanford Department of Education professor (from my own alma mater!) talking about how our education system, at its core, is designed to turn us humans into the most stable, reliable, effective workers possible. It’s not designed to make us happy, help us find fulfillment, or help us with all of the things that really feed our core needs as humans.
It’s designed for capitalism and economic progress.
There’s something so fundamentally difficult in that, particularly for women, because it negates how we have hormonal cycles and fluctuations that happen throughout the course of the day, the month, the year, that affect our ability to focus and what sort of mode we want to be in.
Being at a flatline baseline of productivity is just not how we’re wired.
There are times when we’re wildly productive and can get so much done. And there are times when we’re supposed to be hibernating and resting.
So how do we honor our cycles in a capitalist economic system that’s just focused on hitting quarterly targets and profit indicators and values productivity and results above humanity?
Is this system actually serving us? Clearly it’s not.
Part of our collective reckoning right now (read: mass job market exodus) is looking at how we can operate in the current political, economic model we’re living in while honoring ourselves, our seasons, our rhythms, and our individual needs.
This honoring of ourselves is a big part of my work. How can you honor what’s real for you today?
P.S. The big secret is that when you focus on pleasure instead of productivity, everything still gets done ;) arguably more efficiently and definitely more pleasurably – ready to give it a try?