Well finally I’m back! And boy do I really need to talk about pleasure! I hope you feel pleasure seeing the new look of my website. We all need pleasure in our lives, and there are many different types of pleasure for you to enjoy. There is physical pleasure of course, visual pleasure, the pleasure of scent and sound, emotional pleasure, and oral pleasure. Hah! I bet I fooled you…I’m talking about the taste of food and drink! Get your mind out of the gutter, now.
The definition of pleasure is “a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment; an event or activity which you enjoy; a pleasant physical feeling” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Have you ever taken the time to reflect on what gives you pleasure? Big or small, sensations of pleasure are just the best! You need pleasure to enjoy your life, to give yourself some special love and self care.
Here’s a quote from E.B. White that I like because it reflects how I often feel when I start my day.
“I arise in the morning, torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day”
What Gives You Pleasure?~
For me, those morning rituals are probably my favourite. At this moment I am involved in a major and very strict diet for the purpose of detecting food sensitivities, but at the time I wrote this, I would say that my first sip of coffee each morning was something I treasured. I mean, the whole (first) cup of coffee is wonderful, but that first sip! Feel free to leave a comment telling me what experiences or items give you the most pleasure.
Here are some other examples of what gives me pleasure:
- An excellent conversation; it energizes me!
- The golden glow cast by a beautiful sunrise and sunset. The most beautiful I’ve seen were from the Amalfi coast in Italy. It could almost bring me to tears.
- A shower that’s just the perfect temperature
- Wind in my hair and breezy days
- Watching and listening to water, be it a stream, waterfall or beach waves
- Dew drops on flowers
- A walk in the quiet of a forest
- A good hard belly laugh
- Watching a child learn, play & giggle
- Puppies & kittens
- Scent of great food & COFFEE !!!
- A breeze through the window while you sleep
- Sand between my toes
- A hug from a baby
- Giving to others
- Exploring a new country
All these things relate heavily to gratitude by the way. And what’s so important about this, beyond gratitude, is that you recognize in the moment that you are enjoying this beautiful moment; that you are feeling pleasure.
Good sex is something you learn; it takes time, practice and attention must be paid~ attention to your senses, your feelings, and attention to your partner. Each partner must literally, figuratively and emotionally connect with his/her partner. The very reason you choose to have sex with a partner is for the physical pleasure and the connection to another human being. I mean, you can have solo sex, but you choose to engage with a partner to increase the pleasure of sex.
In talking or reading about pleasure, you often learn about sensual pleasure. Sensual pleasure doesn’t necessarily refer to sexual pleasure, I’m talking about your senses; sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. Your senses provide information about what you’re feeling, seeing, tasting, hearing etc.
Check out Jaclyn Kain’s articles in spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle. She says that “you may not have thought of this before, but eating food and having sex are extremely similar science-wise” I think we all get a feeling of pleasure from eating, especially our favourite foods. Eating something extremely tasty releases endorphins and dopamine, which produces a sense of pleasure. Again though, it’s the act of recognizing.
Close your eyes. Listen to a favourite song while sitting in the dark. Doesn’t every instrument seem enhanced by the darkness? When I sit on my deck and hear the many different types of birds, it’s so beautiful. The clarity of a cardinal, the joyous sound of a robin, the chattering of the squirrels…this is nature’s music. Pay attention to the sounds when you walk in nature, or even as you walk down the street and listen to the sounds of life in the city. Either way, it’s about paying attention.
On the subject of the pleasure of taste, please check out this article by Anita Zachou, Holistic Wellness Coach, and Olive Oil Expert Taster. In it, she shares tips on how to sharpen your senses. Did you know that tongue scraping is an “ancient Ayurveda detoxification process”? My youngest daughter will be happy that I’m sharing this. Apparently while you sleep, your body removes toxins and they deposit on your tongue. Look at your tongue. You know that white-ish coating that some people have? Yep, that’s a sign of excess toxins. Read her article; it’s short but jam-packed with info. She also recommends, as do I, that you EAT REAL FOOD! And, stop smoking!
Touch calms us. It calms the heart rate, blood pressure (well, unless you’re in sexual pleasure mode) and stress. The pleasure of touch bonds people; parents and children, friend to friend, and romantic partners. There are some people who don’t like touch. There are a few reasons for this, but we’re not touching on that in this post. What about the silky feel of water on your skin as you swim? Or the feel of a thick, soft blanket on a cool day? Petting your dog or cat provides so many benefits, the same as touch between people. The feel of a cozy fire or a nice hot shower can relax you instantly.
Why Do We Need Pleasure?~
Balance is necessary in life. If you spend too much time working and not enough time spent on finding pleasure, you may be setting yourself up to feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed. But by appreciating all the little beautiful things in life, you will be able to change your focus. It’s good to seek out pleasure in life’s everyday moments, not just on weekends or holidays.
Try to be mindful of your to-do list. If you can split up your chore list and add some of your want-to-do items, you’ll have more to look forward to. Don’t work so hard, and so long that you no longer have time for pleasure. As adults, we often forget to have fun, or we simply deny ourselves time for play. Here’s a reminder quote-
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing”~ George Bernard Shaw
Listen, if you never allow yourself something fun or exctiting to look forward to, you’ll start to resent the things that you have to do, such as work and household chores.
First of all, be mindful of the present moment. Remove distractions, get some exercise, then rest and relax. Take it from the Italians, resting is an art!
For me, right now, I hear my daughter collaborating with her boss in the other room. Hearing their positivity and excitement for their new project is giving me emotional pleasure. My daughter is happy and excited, all while recuperating from a recent minor surgery. She is in a good place. She has found her niche. Seeing her happy and peaceful gives me pleasure. Double win! I could have just not even thought about their energy, but I was mindful as I heard their focused and excited voices. I paid attention in the moment and it made me happy that they were happy.
“Wherever you are, be there totally”~ Eckhart Tolle
One more thing; celebrate yourelf. Whether you’ve accomplished a few items on your to-do list, or cooked a new recipe, started a new job, got your huge proposal approved, or you’re creating new human life…You are truly wonderful and you need to celebrate yourself, whether anyone else does or not. Give yourself a high-five and smile. You’re fabulous!
Thank you so much for reading my latest post. Check back in for more about the different Parts of Ourselves.