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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