26 Mar 2013

Pleasure – It’s a state of mind

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Hello my dear friends and welcome to my new blog (25.3.13).

Today I’m going to reveal the secret of Pleasure! Oh yes… and just before you go running off in the other direction, stay with me for a moment…this could be your answer to a more fulfilling life. It is potentially a loaded word and can make one feel like we have to be doing something extraordinary or even sexual in order for it to qualify as pleasure. Growing up we are told that ‘life is hard’ and the still prevailing protestant work ethic (‘hard work and frugality’ – which is now more about personal deprivation rather than living within ones means…there is always enough for that new TV it seems!) makes one feel that pleasure is a frivolous, unworthy way to live life. The way the world is working relies on this ethic, if somewhat translated to our current times, but nevertheless it is reminiscent. In the UK we particularly work more than is required, staying late, eating lunch at our desk, working on our computers (checking emails) over the weekend and during holidays. Where is the Pleasure in all of this business? Doesn’t our well-being count?

Women are particularly good at this ball juggling where family, child raising and work comes before their own needs. In fact this ability to forget the needs of a woman’s Self goes much deeper and is rooted in a more complex history. Women have inherited a legacy, and one which still prevails to some degree, that we have to honour the needs of others and rely on the grace of others (i.e. boyfriends, husbands or whoever) to provide our pleasure. If we gallantly take pleasure into our own hands there is more than enough lashings of guilt to keep us going and steer us back into our place of martyrdom. So often I hear “pleasure, I don’t have time for pleasure, I work hard at my job, run a house and kids, pleasure would be a fine thing”! It is as if we are competing for first place in the ‘’hard life’ category and what is the prize? It is certainly Not pleasure! Wouldn’t it be great to grow up being told to only pursue that which is pleasurable and makes us feel good? This is not reliant on money either because let me tell you this, pleasure is actually a state of mind as much as an act of doing! And now is the time to heal this old way of being, take hold of the reigns and go forth in pleasure.

Pleasure, according to the dictionary, is ‘a feeling of happiness, contentment, satisfaction, gladness or enjoyment – something that pleases you. This includes sexual pleasure but it is not exclusive. Pleasure is something that makes you feel good…simple! Cultivating a frame of mind that allows pleasure to permeate every moment of your day can, not only carry health benefits but can be really supportive in those moments when we have to do things we would prefer not to do. Pleasure is also a very personal affair. What works for one does not quite do it for another.

For example, my pleasures are often very simple and in no particular order: Painting is my primary pleasure, aiming to be a good parent, writing, green tea, stroking my cats, dancing for no reason, being in love, massage, freshly juiced juice with ginger, lying in the sun, the sea, flowers, sunsets, Bali, a Sunday roast, open top cars, incense, lighting that gives the allusion of a bright day (useful in the UK!), cuddles with my son, cream teas, laughing etcetera. If I am feeling tired or struggling with something, I will have a break and dance to my favourite song and usually feel a whole lot better. It takes all of two minutes (depending on the length of the song) an amount of time which I’m sure you can all manage.

There may be people who think that it is ‘selfish’ to only think of one’s own enjoyment and not serving other people. Or that one has to take any job because we need the money so pursuing our hearts desire is not an option. I can hear every reason why pleasure is Not possible but what about taking responsibility for ‘creating’ pleasure in your life? Here is an exercise to get your juices flowing.

Exercise:

What brings you Pleasure?

Start by writing a list of everything you feel is pleasurable. Once you have your list, which can be added to at any point, try and slowly introduce them into your life consciously. In due course you will discover how pleasurable your life is and you are the one who has created this pleasure by knowing what turns you on! Your pleasurable glass will be half full.

Have a pleasure filled week!

Pleasurably yours,
Alex xx

P.s. I am co running an 8 week Pleasure Intensive women’s circle very soon in the UK. Check out the information here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/510516158990389/

http://florschutz.com/pleasure-intensive-course/

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