A dear sister recently invited me to embark on a daily pleasure practice, and it has resulted in a deep dive exploration of my relationship with pleasure.
We often think of pleasure as relating to sexuality and decadence, and while pleasure IS rather sexy, it’s not just about sex and extravagance. What if pleasure could simply be the act of being fully present with the sensations arising from your experience, in any moment – sensations that remind you that you are a living, breathing, fully-embodied being? Even when you are performing the most seemingly mundane tasks, when tears are streaming down your face, when your whole world is chaos, can you take a moment to drop in, feel what’s happening in your body, and be invigorated by just how alive you feel?
The other day while I was at the beach, I caught myself focusing on how I should have left the house to get there earlier, how I needed to leave soon, how summers in New England are so painfully short… and finally realized that I was missing the opportunity to relish in the feeling of the sand between my toes, the beauty and power of the ocean waves, the sun drawing sweat from my skin, and the laughter of children around me.
Our capacity to experience pleasure is in direct correlation to our willingness to open and receive it.
What if your morning cup of coffee was a conscious ritual?
What if you took a moment to feel the silky sun rays on your cheeks and the earth under your feet?
What if the traffic jam was an opportunity to be still?
What if your workout was a practice of devotion to each fiber in your muscles?
What if you touched your own skin with the tenderness of a lover, and worshiped at the altar of YOU?
What if you let grief crack you open and show you how deeply you love?
So often I float through my day lost in my thoughts or looking at a screen, lamenting on what I am missing out on, what was, or what will be, and miss so many opportunities to just feel my body and be penetrated by the full spectrum of sensations that arise in the here and now… to, quite literally, stop and smell the roses and let their sweet aroma wash over me. To really claim and own your pleasure, and know that you are worthy of it (no more ‘guilty pleasures’), and let it lead the way, allows it to become that secret ingredient to your creative elixir that fuels your very essence to penetrate the world around you.