What I struggled with in learning how to prioritize myself

July 21, 2016

Scratch the surface of every woman and here’s what you get

July 21, 2016

Desire. Appetite. Hunger. Wanting.

July 21, 2016
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What are your deep desires?

One of things we talk about at the JWR retreat is DESIRE. As in, what do you really want? What do you want for yourself, greedily, selfishly, gloriously, revelling in what it is to be you and want what you uniquely want.

To know and live inside your desires is both deliciously forbidden (a woman’s appetite, in all it’s forms, is not socially supported) and exquisitely pleasurable.

I’ve been thinking about the appetite of women and I’d like to share some words with you from a book I am spellbound by, called “Appetites: Why Women Want” by Caroline Knapp.

Caroline had a large part of her life where she was anorexic and that journey became an exploration and a questioning of the appetite of women – not just how we approach food but how we approach our wanting in LIFE.

Excerpts taken from “Appetites: Why Women Want” by Caroline Knapp.

“Appetite by Renoir

“The women linger at the water’s edge, and they are stunning in the most unusual way: large women, voluptuous, abundant, delighted. They lounge along the river bank, they lift their arms toward the sun, their hair ripples down their backs, which are smooth and broad and strong. There is a softness in the way they move, and also strength and sensuality, as though they revel in the feel of their own heft and substance.

Step back from the canvas, and observe, think, feel. This is an image of bounty, a view of female physicality in which a woman’s hungers are both celebrated and undifferentiated, as though all her appetites are of a piece, the physical and the emotional entwined and given equal weight. Food is love on this landscape, and love is sex, and sex is connection, and connection is good: appetites exist in a full circle, or in a sonata where eating and touching and making love and feeling close are all distinct chords that nonetheless meld with and complement one another.

Renoir, who created this image, once said that were it not for the female body, he never could have become a painter. This is clear: there is love for women in each detail of the canvas, and love for self, and there is joy, and there is a degree of sensual integration that makes you want to weep, so beautiful it seems, and so elusive.”

And when Caroline talks about the gap between what we are supposed to be allowed to want as women (we can, apparently, have, do and be it all) and what the reality of the world tells us about what we should want, she says;

“A woman, today, can be a neurosurgeon, or an astrophysicist; she can marry or not marry, leave her spouse, pack up, and move across the country at will. But can she take such choices a step further, or two or ten? Can a woman be not just an astrophysicist, but a big, powerful, lusty astrophysicist who feels unequivocally entitled to food and sex and pleasure and acclaim?”

Every time I read that last sentence, my whole body sings yes. That is what I want.

To sit inside and with your desires is a powerful thing. To write them down, look at the words of those yearnings from your heart, to imagine yourself inside them – gloriously happy, turned-on, excited, lit up, more yourself than ever, is a powerful thing. To feel those desires in your body, the way they make your heart sing and your soul expand and how they feel so sacredly right, is a powerful thing.

When you write your desire list, do it with the intention of only indulging in the pleasure of enjoying them. Do not do one thing about them. Take no action. Write no to-do list. Stake no claim on which one you will get in 5 years. Let not one worry about logistics, finances, effort, pushing, will power, persevearance, expectations take away a drop of their sweetness. Just enjoy sitting inside of them.

At the next JWR full-day retreat in October 2016, you’ll have a chance to dance inside your desires. You are worthy of all of them and nothing you desire is too much to ask. Claim them with a deep love for yourself.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts about your appetites and your wanting. What does desire and hunger in your life make you think of?

 

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