Divest Day 14 of 21 - From Restraint to Pleasure


Yesterday, we conceived the beautiful world that we envision. Love, laughter, aliveness and joy weaved strongly throughout my vision, and I’m guessing it did in yours as well.   

As the folks at Movement Generation say in their Just Transition framework: what the hands do, the heart learns. We must practice what we want to create. If pleasure is something we feel a lot of in our ideal world, how do we connect with pleasure in the here and now?

Sometimes we forget that our major drive as human beings is pleasure - it’s what guides us towards the fulfillment of our needs and desires. But the war economy has trained us to deny pleasure, and instilled a strict code of self-discipline and moderation in us instead. This training numbs us enough to keep performing the unpleasant tasks that turn the gears of the machine.  

Meanwhile, we’re made to believe that our deep needs for belonging, connection and service can be filled by material goods and status symbols - ultimately pale substitutes for the real thing.

Do you ever find yourself thinking that feeling pleasure in the midst of so much suffering is selfish? I know I have. But I’ve come to realize that my joy, my aliveness, is good for the world. My best, most authentic writing always comes only after I’ve left the computer to run on the beach, singing with my activist posse or laughing hysterically with friends - it comes when I honor my joy. And when I organize with others based on what feels good and right to us, that’s when the most possibilities light up, when the most visionary work comes to the surface.

The war economy shakes in its boots because the things that bring us joy and pleasure are free and abundant: a secret they don’t want you to realize.  

Today’s Pivot

Today, reflect on what your relationship to pleasure and restraint are like.

What would you be doing with your time and energy if you made decisions based on a feeling of deep, erotic yes?

PS: For a great take on the role of pleasure in the movement, check out this chapter in The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein!

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