Pleasure is the point. Feeling good is not frivolous, it is freedom.
~adrienne maree brown
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with what I want my business to look like in 2020. I incorporated on November 1, 2018, unveiled on April 1, 2019, and yes, I’m already thinking about what I want to tweak, let go of, and add as the anniversary approaches.
From the outside, you might be like, “But you are just getting started. Let what you’ve put together marinate for a while.” Sure, but I can feel what’s working and not working for me. I believe that’s really what matters most.
I’m creating a company, a brand, services, products or whatever it all is for my people. You know who you are. People paying super close attention may be noticing subtle shifts. Or maybe not, but they’re there. They’re coming.
These are shifts that are getting me closer to the deep groove that feels the most right. In other words, in alignment with my purpose.
In order to align, truly find the groove, I have to hone. Hone in on what’s right. What’s not quite right. What feels good. What doesn’t feel good. Honing is the act of tweaking in order to find the sweet spot. I think that’s what the dictionary says. :)
For me, it’s always been about what feels good. When I ran away from employment more than a year ago (and other times throughout my working years since age 13), it has been about what I wanted (or didn’t want in the last case), even if I didn’t always have words to articulate the feeling.
So now, I ask myself a lot of questions over and over to ensure that I’m aligning with my purpose and my joy — constantly tweaking and aligning. It’s never ending really.
What do I want my business to be? What do I want to do with my time? Who do I want to spend my valuable and scarce time with? What are the conversations I want to be having? Who do I want to serve? What feels good?
Pleasure as an act of RESISTANCE
My girl adrienne maree brown talks about how feeling good is an act of political resistance that improves society as a whole. As someone who is realizing the experiences of oppression I’ve had in different domains of my life, throughout my life, (something I’m sitting with, digging into, understanding more and more each day, and discovering how I’ve worked through and am now capable of undoing the harm it’s all caused), I’m resisting what holds me down, what others want from me, and what harms me. I am doing this as an act of radical self love.
Radical self love is a tool for honing in on what is working for you.
If my business is working for others but not for me, what’s the point?
I’m not suggesting that I’m so off track that I’m tearing Mariposa down and building it back up. No. I’m talking about the subtle ways in which I use my knowledge and skill for good, for me, for the strength and liberation of people who are most silenced.
I was on a business retreat a couple weeks ago and used the time to hone in on what the next phase of my business could look like while, at the very same time, replenishing my energy.
So full disclosure, I’m not entirely replenished. The month of August has been a bit of a slog (yeah, I’m using it as a noun). I can connect my energy depletion to all the craziness of June and July — testing out a business strategy that “everyone” uses, planning two truly epic birthday parties for bffs outside of the city I live in, and my real life version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
All of that was preceded by a low-energy month in May which was preceded by a high-energy first quarter of the year as I was getting things in place with the biz. Inside all of that, I was/am managing a very tender and private matter that’s caused waves of sadness and frustration for months.
So, what does this all mean? It means that the more honed in I am on what feels good to me in my work and life, I think the less energy depletion occurs overall. I’m trying out the concept of leaning in, fully, to joy. As Taja Lindley shares in Pleasure Activism, “I made a commitment….[to] allow joy to be my compass…to allow it to direct me where I should go and wanted to go.”
So yeah, what feels good? I’m using pleasure and joy to hone in on every area of my life and business.
Pleasure as a business strategy
As I look ahead to the remainder of 2019, just 126 more days, I’m developing and refining my systems that will bring ease and flow in the new calendar year. Automations, decluttering (thoughts, desks, chalkboards, everything), work blocks — stuff like that.
I’m thinking a lot about who I want to collaborate with. Not just for the sake of money, but for the heart. I want to be in relationship (personal and business) with people who bring me joy, who make me think deeply and differently about things, who challenge me, who support me, who inspire me, and with whom bold ideas are created because of our shared magic. 💫
I only want to work with, serve and engage with other humans who bring and bring out the joy.
I’m focused on teasing out what isn’t serving me and replacing it with all the good things that do. I’m releasing fear and doubt. I’m letting in love and clarity. I’m learning about bodhichitta and how an awakened heart is directly tied to every aspect of life and business.
As I sit here on this Tuesday morning, compelled to write instead of what I had planned for the first hour of the day, I’m leaning in to what feels good, letting go of what doesn’t. And not making a big deal out of any of it.
In what ways can you hone in?