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This invocation is for all mothers and for all women and men who bless the world with their love.
Happy Mother's Day.
Does self care sometimes feel like one more thing you need to add to your to-do list?
Do you feel guilty or worried because you aren’t eating and exercising the way you “should”?
Maybe what you really need is more pleasure.
One of the most healing and transformational things you can do for your body, soul and relationships is simply to enjoy more pleasure.
Tune into your body’s natural need for healthy pleasure and it will guide you toward vibrant health and happiness.
Here are three simple ways to get started on that:
1. Do more of what makes you feel good.
Being in nature, walking and dancing help me feel more alive, happy and at home in my skin. These are deep medicine for me.
When I do these regularly, even for a few minutes, I feel better, make better choices, get more done in less time and am more peaceful and creative.
What are some of the simple things that make you feel alive and vibrant and more fully yourself?
• Ask yourself with kind curiosity how can you integrate more of these simple things you love into your daily routine.
• Pick at least one you will commit to doing today.
• Imagine the next three days and envision yourself doing one -or more- of the things you love every day, even for a few minutes.
2. Add more pleasure to what you are already doing.
Get in the habit of asking yourself a simple question as you go through your day: “How could I open to more pleasure … right now?”
How can you turn up your pleasure dial even while doing “mundane” activities and while accomplishing the tasks that need to get done?
A few things that I love that may help turn up your pleasure dial:
• Come home to your senses. Pleasure comes through your eyes, ears, nose, skin, tongue and inner sensing.
• Appreciate with all your senses the beauty and wonder of what is right around you.
• Play music you love.
• Walk outside and drink in the air and light.
• Take regular breaks to stretch, breathe and wiggle.
• Let your eyes rest by looking out the window.
• Keep beautiful photos, posters or paintings close to where you work. Studies show that images of water in nature are particularly relaxing and healing.
3. Pleasure Breathing.
This is one of my favorite ways to turn up the pleasure dial even in boring or tough times.
Rumi wrote: “There is a way of breathing that's a shame and a suffocation and there's another way of expiring, a love breath, that lets you open infinitely.”
We all have experienced both of these ways of breathing. The love breath feels so much better!
Become kindly aware of your breath and notice if you are tightening around it, perhaps from tension, or shame, or anxiety… or just by habit.
Soften your shoulders, your eyes, your jaw, your belly.
Feel the natural pleasure of letting go of tension.
With each breath in: feel the movement of the breath bringing in love and pleasure.
With each breath out: Let tension melt away and feel love and pleasure flow all through your body.
Soften your body around your breath, tune into the natural pleasure of easeful breathing and even boring or challenging situations become more pleasurable.
I’d love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below.
Which of these things are you going to try?
What other ways do you use to activate the healing power of pleasure?
When you do more of what you love, what changes in your life?
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Written over 20 years ago, this book is still one of my very favorites on holistic healing and positive psychology. Pearsall integrates traditions and teachings from the Polynesian cultures with scientific and medical research, especially in the area of psychoneuroimmunology, to encourage us toward a way of living that is deeply joyful, meaningful and connected to all beings and to our planet Earth.
He declares pleasure as our Seventh Sense which is "...an intuitiveness composed of all the basic senses. It directs and employs the other senses to detect what is true, healthy pleasure. Consider it an evolutionary sense for bliss and an enchantment with living."
What brings you pleasure and a sense of fun?
What makes you feel alive and happy in your body?
Identifying and regularly doing these things is powerful medicine for your body and soul and will lead you toward vibrant health, well-being and increased impact in the world.
Several years ago I taught a series of holistic wellness workshops to health care workers in a large hospital. As a group their health was so poor the hospital system was not able to find an insurance company that would issue them an insurance plan.
Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and many illnesses were much more prevalent in these health care workers than in the general population.
Hmmm, so sadly ironic, isn’t it? These people devoting their lives to helping patients were themselves so unhealthy they could not get insurance coverage.
To solve this, the hospital system decided to implement its own health insurance plan which included an employee wellness program I was hired to help create and to coordinate.
One of the administrators frequently expressed dismay and frustration that the employee obesity rate was so high.
“ Why aren’t they eating better?” She often asked me.
Some of the reasons become obvious when I met with small groups of nurses, aides and housekeeping staff and listened to them talk about their lives. They were working so hard, for such long hours, and giving so constantly that their inner reserves were depleted. They arrived home exhausted and hungry and ate what was easiest and what made them feel a little better- even if just temporarily.
Some things were beyond my power or theirs to change. We couldn’t decrease their work hours or their workloads or hire them personal shoppers or chefs.
I did work with them to create individualized strategies for planning, shopping and cooking that made it much easier to eat healthful meals and snacks even in hectic times.
They also learned to reclaim the healing power of healthy pleasure.
No one had ever told them that doing fun things that helped them feel more alive and happy would improve their immune function, lower their stress levels and activate their natural healing response.
Since they weren’t getting many healthy pleasures in their day, when they arrived home exhausted, depleted and often understandably grumpy, they reached for the temporary feel-good fix of fast foods, chips and sweets.
Too often the healing, restorative power of healthy pleasure gets overlooked when we talking about preventive medicine, natural health and self care. We talk about self discipline and what we should or shouldn’t eat and we often overlook the power of pleasure.
Think for moment about what your body loves to do.
What helps your body feel alive and relaxed and energized and happy?
How often are you doing those things?
What happens when you deprive your body of what it needs and loves?
If you are like me, and like most people, when you deprive yourself of healthy pleasure you will tend to overeat, eat less healthful foods, overspend, and may experience anxiety, frustration, fatigue, grumpiness, depression and lack of motivation.
Commit today to tuning into your body’s pleasure needs and your health and happiness will immediately begin to improve.
(Breaking old patterns and habits is much easier with support. Want to feel fabulous in your body and to create vibrant well-being? Email me today with Let's Talk in the subject line. firstname.lastname@example.org)
How good are you at listening to your body?
If you're like most people in our culture you didn’t get much help with that growing up.
In fact you may have gotten the messages - directly or subtly - that listening to your body was a waste of time or lazy or indulgent or pointless or even dangerous and sinful.
I learned the hard way- after ignoring my body’s messages led to a serious immune system crash - the importance of listening to my body.
Learning to respond lovingly and intelligently to my body’s wisdom has dramatically improved every area of my life and is a key element I use to help clients create vibrant health, joy and soul-satisfying success.
Here are five great reasons to commit today to listening to your body.
1. Listening to Your Body Leads You to Vibrant Health.
Your brilliant body is always offering you feedback and information to guide you toward vibrant health.
Learn to listen to your body when it is whispering rather than ignoring it until it is screaming and you can enjoy extraordinary health, energy and vitality.
Hearing and responding to your body’s subtle signals allows you to transform negative effects of stress, maintain your optimal weight, discover self care that is truly nourishing for you, avoid many illnesses and reverse symptoms, pain and even diseases.
By listening to your body you activate your extraordinary and natural inner healing power.
2. Listening to Your Body Amplifies Your Joy, Delight and Pleasure.
Through your body-felt senses you experience happiness, delight, joy, bliss, fun and pleasure. When you tune out or ignore your body’s messages, you block your pleasure pathways.
Commit to honoring your body’s requests for healthy pleasure and you will feel better, look better, savor each day and become more fully who you really are.
Connect with the pleasure and delight of your body and you will become your most radiant, joyful and magnetic self.
3. Listening to Your Body Helps You Make Great Decisions.
Block your body’s intelligence and you cut off one of your most powerful intuitive channels.
Become adept at discerning the guidance your body is offering and you will save yourself time, money, anguish and regret.
Aligning with your body’s wisdom helps you gain clarity and make better decisions in every area of your life, including business, love, health, work, purpose, family and spirituality.
4. Listening To Your Body Nourishes Your Ageless Vitality and Beauty.
To look and feel your best as your life progresses, you must cultivate a loving relationship with your body.
Ignore your body’s guidance and your energy, mobility, strength, mental capacities, emotional resilience and looks will dramatically decline.
Although in our culture we are programed to think of these declines as an inevitable part of aging, cross-cultural studies and research show that many of these signs of “aging” are largely the effects of chronic misuse of our bodies.
Being in loving relationship with your body is the number one key to ageless energy, health and beauty.
Listen to your body’s wisdom and respond lovingly and intelligently and you will nourish your vitality, beauty, creativity, brain power, happiness, productivity and well-being at every age.
5. Listening to Your Body Empowers Your Positive Impact on the World.
When you listen and respond intelligently to your body you naturally become more authentic, peaceful, energetic, confident, strong, joyful and loving.
By caring deeply for your own true needs you set a great example for your friends and your family and you become less needy on anyone else to fix you.
Living in alignment with your body’s brilliance frees up your precious time and energy. You spend far less time stuck in states of confusion, poor health and unhappiness.
This liberated energy allows you to have the impact you want to have and to create the life and the world of your dreams.
How can you get better at listening to your body?
Join me for a special, no-cost training I've created to share with you some powerful and simple ways to begin listening to your body.
Listen to Your Brilliant Body, 5 Keys to Dramatically Boost Your Health, Happiness, Confidence and Success
(I'd love to have you join us live on the call and even if you can’t make it at that time go ahead and sign up and I’ll send you the recording.)
Spending Spring Break with my grandsons, I kept thinking of Einstein.
You may imagine that’s because as an adoring grandmother I see Charlie and Nate as extraordinarily brilliant and talented — like Einstein. (Which now that you mention it, I do! And honestly you would too, even being much more objective than I am!)
But it was their avid and nearly constant curiosity that made me think of Einstein’s advice, “Never lose a holy curiosity.”
At 4 and 7, curious about almost everything- words, insects, books, birds, rocks, songs, dinosaurs, stars, numbers, why people think and do and say the things they do, what’s behind the sky, how many ants it takes to make an ant hill - they soak up learning like thirsty sponges.
This curiosity, so naturally present in children, is something adults often lose in ourbusyness and daily concerns. And yet, we can choose to cultivate it.
Curiosity is a crucial key to youthful vitality and to expanding more fully into our potential through whatever situations we encounter.
Curiosity is holy because it is a wonderful antidote to dogmatism, to needing to have everything figured out and to cynicism and boredom.
Curiosity is holy because it opens us in wonder to the miracle of each moment, keeps us flexible and questioning and helps us value different perspectives.
This morning - feeling curious- I looked up Einstein’s full quote:
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” Albert Einstein
What aspect of life is inviting your holy curiosity today?
How do your attitude, your body sense and your experience of your day shift when you cultivate curiosity?
Please leave your thoughts below.