Are you satisfiable?

Notes and highlights from Sonya Renee Taylor and adrienne maree brown's course on living into your deepest "YES!"

Are you satisfiable?
Photo by Upesh Manoush / Unsplash

The following are notes from the Institute for Radical Permission course facilitated by adrienne maree brown and Sonya Renee Taylor. The overall purpose of the course is to support participants in giving themselves permission to live a life of their own design. In each live session of the course, they walked us through approaching the session topic with curiosity, surrender, grace, and the pursuit of satisfaction.

These notes are incomplete and lack appropriate idea attribution.


Honing Your Body Technology

Our bodies are an ancient technology that guides us toward our true needs and desires. When we listen to our bodies, we pick up information that moves us in the direction of what is meant for us.

We can begin that listening by being curious about what our bodies are telling us, however, we often struggle with listening to our bodies because of how we try to exercise control over them. Therefore, there is a need to surrender to the wisdom of the body, which is to release the need for control.

What may come up as a result of releasing control, is the realization that you no longer want the things you previously wanted. When you listen to your body, you may find that you’ll begin to release comparison and the desire to climb the ladder of success and to focus on what you want and what would feel aligned.

We can then begin to open ourselves up to experiencing life for the sake of sensation and experience, not competition or "success." Practicing surrender and curiosity allows us to be graceful with ourselves and others when we mess up.

Body wisdom points us in the direction of satisfaction and knowing what is enough. I believe adrienne asks, "Are you satisfiable?" meaning do you know what enough is for you? Are you able to be satisfied?

Enough happens when we find a balance between scarcity and excess.

It's important to remember that we are spiritual beings in physical bodies. Material satisfaction cannot fulfill spiritual needs, and spiritual satisfaction cannot fulfill material needs. We need to satisfy our needs in both areas.

Reflection Question

  • What do I desire that is good for me, others, and the planet? What do I desire that is too much for me, others, and the planet?

Self Worship

Working from the idea that we are all a part of the Divine, we must then move through the world believing in our divinity. When it comes time to change our circumstances, we can do so with the knowledge that God is change, and that changing to move further into our divinity is powerful.

We are asked to consider if there are places where our resistance is the cause of our suffering. We often stay in situations for so long that are causing us unnecessary suffering, because we won’t surrender to the truth that we’ve outgrown the situation. There is some part of us that needs to flow, and how can we surrender to that?

Staying in situations that cause suffering may be attached to low self-worth and the subconscious belief that you can't have more. The part of us that believes we are unworthy is hard to contend with, and we often run away. However, integrating the parts of us that we want to hide, allows us to understand and accept ourselves - leading to greater self-love.

The methods we typically use to find satisfaction, like external validation, is an attempt to soothe old traumas, but just soothing a past trauma doesn’t heal it. Attuning to what is enough for you puts you in harmony with the natural world, which never takes more than it needs.

Building a sense of self-worth and self-love helps facilitate more satisfaction, and integrating our shadow selves affirms our divinity.

Reflection Question

  • Where do I find and experience awe, and what qualities do I share with this awe-inspiring force?

Loving Your Shadows

Many of us struggle with perfectionism and are afraid of hurting others. When in reality, "You can't be perfect in imperfect human conditions. Oppressive systems prevent perfection." If we are to know our divinity, we must accept the inevitability of being harmed and harming others. When we resist this truth, we are resisting something in ourselves and an accountability practicethe world.

Our shadows are the parts of us that we deny, suppress, and try to hide. It's the parts we were taught to be ashamed of and to reject. They also let us know where we can grow by being curious about them. Asking questions like: Where does this live in my body? Where am I blurring the truth of myself?

Doing shadow work is an accountability practice. It's an opportunity to reflect on how you've caused harm, how you can work to do less harm, and how you can own up to the harm and apologize. Every time we own the truth of ourselves, we are dignified. Practicing accountability is dignified.

The choice to be in "light" can be satisfying. When we bring light to our shadow selves, we impact the people around us. adrienne comments, "My little light can only touch so many people in this lifetime and it will only be those who are receptive to it" which I take to mean, you aren't meant for everyone so you may as well be yourself.

Reflection Question

  • What and who in me wants to be witnessed, and how can I witness them?

Mutual Worship

When coming into a relationship with others, it’s important that we know our own divinity and theirs. To know that there is nothing wrong or needs fixing for either of us.

Honoring the divinity in yourself and others means surrendering to the difference between you and the other person. To make peace with the fact that the relationship will change and that you can focus on being and feeling in the present instead of worrying about the future of the relationship. What you might find, is that some relationships may need to end in order to honor the sacredness of your being.

Practicing mutual worship means allowing yourself to be supported and cared for by another. To release hyper-individuality and embrace interdependence. Feeling into what feels heavy offers an invitation to bring others into your healing through care.

Unfortunately, hurt and harm happen in relationships, and the closer we get to one another, the greater the risk of hurt and the greater the hurt may be. It's important to learn appropriate consequences of hurt, harm, and mistakes that are not punitive. If we cannot resolve the issue, then we need space to hold one another's sacred divinity with boundaries and possibly limit access to one another.

Regularly expressing appreciation for the other helps in the process of navigating mistakes.

It's important to be in a dialog around what your needs are, what their needs are, and where you can meet one another and meet each other's needs. Even in this, you have to maintain that your happiness is your responsibility. You are responsible for creating the conditions for mutual worship, which you can do by modeling the behaviors and creating the environments that create the possibility for your needs to be met. By becoming what you want, you become an instruction manual for how you will be treated.

When you are experiencing persistent dissatisfaction in a relationship, that is your sign that something needs to be surrendered. Consider what are the roadblocks that need to be approached with surrender, curiosity, and grace.

The goal is to be in a relationship with people who honor your WHOLE being - light and shadows.

Reflection Question

  • How can I hold people with care when they make mistakes?

Life Alignment

“Let your life be a case study for liberation and healing.”

Radical permission is about creating life alignment. About getting clarity around what IS, ask questions, and begin to uncover what's possible.

We each have a "divine assignment", "purpose", or "sweet spot" and we know this by the sense that there is "something in me that is greater than me and that is calling me to do something greater than myself." This is our desire to create, produce, give, and extend ourselves toward the other.

Life wants to live through us, and we must surrender to the knowledge that we are worthy of living and unfolding. If you can dream something up, then it's a possibility to act on. That you have the power to act on your divine assignment. Being curious about your life and what IS, allows you to change it.

As you explore what your assignment is, you may feel an urge to judge yourself for the times you've been delayed or failed. This is all a part of the process, and it's necessary.

When you are dissatisfied, you are out of alignment with your life and what you’re meant to be doing. Every day, you deserve to be satisfied with your life. Whether it's taking a nap or creating a spreadsheet. Satisfaction is an internal experience that is connected to the external world - we are responsible for returning to our truth and finding and creating satisfaction. We create the conditions for our satisfaction and need to find people who affirm us on our path to satisfaction.

Satisfaction comes from subtle changes that result in major shifts.

Reflection Questions

  • What in my life is already aligned with who I am? What brings me joy? What skills do I have? Who do I love and how can I flow more energy toward them? Where do I want to commit to self-mastery? Who do I feel most connected to/who do I call community?

Personally, I found this course to be incredibly supportive and it was a major motivation for starting my business, Loving Practice. I don’t know if the course recordings are still available, but there is a related journal that may be supportive of you.

✨ Kiana