Welcome to the second installment of our 8-week summer series, The Womanly Arts Unplugged! This week, Maurya, a Mastery and Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp Grad from Boston, MA, joins us to teach about the Womanly Art of Having Fun No Matter What…
Maurya, Age 51 – Lawyer, Coach, Wife and Mama
The Art of Having Fun No Matter What is really my favorite art, because it’s about claiming my power and agency, and making the choice in any experience to find my pleasure and joy.
When I’m practicing this Art, I look at my life through the lens of a researcher, exploring ways to inject fun . . . even if, especially if, I’m dreading a particular obligation.
When I first learned about the Art of Having Fun No Matter What, I was like, “Yeah right. Are you kidding me?!” I didn’t think it was possible. Have fun no matter what? Come on. It seemed so frivolous, and unattainable.
Then, I moved into “research mode” — I still didn’t think it would bring enough change to be worth the effort, but I decided to experiment.
It was all about the baby steps. Flirt with a toddler, or a puppy. Go to Starbucks, get your favorite drink and compliment the barista on how they made it. It’s about treating yourself to that connection, and pleasure, in all the little moments that could otherwise just pass by.
That’s the way that I was willing to try this — choosing little risk-free opportunities to inject fun, and practice pleasure. And then notice, okay how do I feel? Lighter. Okay, interesting. And that’s what propelled me to take bigger risks, with bigger change potential.
What was your relationship with Fun like, before and after learning the Womanly Arts?
Before I learned the tools and arts, I did all the things I thought I was supposed to do. I was a good lawyer. I made good money. I was a good wife. I was a good mom. I volunteered. A lot.
I went to parties. They’d be . . . kinda fun. But because I didn’t feel fully confident about who I was and what I wanted, I was still concerned with what people thought of me, there was a certain level of self-consciousness. I would make nice conversation, it was lovely, blah blah blah, but it wouldn’t really feel juicy and connected.
See, I’m not the loudest crayon in the box. Before the SWA, I thought that having fun meant trying to be someone I’m not. I learned how to look like I was having fun — big smiles! But those experiences didn’t really light me up. I wondered, “Is that all there is?”
On a spectrum from A to Z, where A is bottom of the depths heartbreak and Z is total ecstasy, I was living in the middle of the alphabet. It was a pretty narrow bandwidth.
And I think that’s the societal thing that’s expected! If you’re too happy, people are taken aback — it’s too much. I think my standard answer to “How are you?” was “Ok, hangin’ in there,” and depending on how close we were, maybe “Ugh, it totally sucks.”
My life was pretty bland. And when I think back, it just didn’t occur to me that there was an option to have better. continue reading…