Most of us are somewhere on the middle ground of the pleasure spectrum. Depending on your stage of life or where you find yourself now, you may waffle a bit from one profile to another. But each of us can become a Pleasure Promoter. Try the survey, review the summaries and then send me your thoughts on where you fall and where you’d like to be.
The workshops I offer through Unlock Pleasure can also support you to move along the pleasure continuum. Hope you will join one soon.
1. Pleasure Impaired
Pleasure is really not on your radar. Maybe it just doesn’t interest you or you don’t get what all the fuss is about it. Maybe you’re just not a sensory oriented person – this is a necessity for deep pleasure. Maybe you’re more cerebral? That’s great! We need good minds, but life can be kind of sterile, lacking in nourishment, or dry if you’re in your head all the time. Dipping into the pool of pleasure can be as simple as looking up and away from the monitor or the paper and taking a moment to really notice what’s around you. Life is full of beauty, surprises and wonder if you have or develop the eyes to see it. Try placing your hand on your heart or belly and feel the warmth of your body and the steady beat of your heart. Even these very small “pleasure pauses” can steer you on the road to a more balanced and rich life experience.
2. Pleasure Addicted?
You seek out pleasure all the time, but you’ve crossed the line from a pleasure being a healthy motivator to a forcing current in your life. You may not be in the driver’s seat of your life anymore, but the need to have pleasure is. Pleasure is no longer a healthy resource for you, it’s become an addiction. This is the opposite of the Pleasure Impaired, but as problematic, because while you’re a real pleasure seeker, many of the sources of your pleasure are coupled with negativity that will impact you and maybe those around you. For the Pleasure Addicted, pleasure is often sought out as indulgence and motivated by the desire to avoid things and be distracted from pain, boredom, or maybe just the more tedious aspects of life. Stop and take a look at the toll you’re paying? Addiction is not a successful coping strategy as it comes with heavy costs and the loss of real, free pleasure. Seek help.
3. Pleasure Curious
You’ve lifted your head out of the slog of life and said – there’s got to be more! You look around and see people relaxing, smiling, having fun – you want what they have. That’s a very healthy impulse… maybe one of the healthiest ones we have. You may not know how to get there and maybe there’s obstacles to be cleared, but pleasure is on your radar now. Great! Pleasure is individual to us all. So take the time to slow down and notice what gives YOU pleasure? Start with the small things – and go slow. Slow is fast and less is more in pleasure seeking because your system actually has to acclimatize to feeling good. Try once a day for 5 minutes or a couple times a week, a pleasure pause to “smell the roses” or really taste that cup of tea or glass of wine? Let the effects of doing this really imprint in your body. Notice what happens when you allow yourself a bit of pleasure – it feels good, it nourishes you on many levels. Bravo you’ve begun!
4. Pleasure Practitioner
You have set an intention to bring more pleasure into your life. You’re practicing, but it’s not yet your first impulse. You have to remind yourself regularly to practice, you’re learning slowly and you may fall back into the old habit of depriving yourself, but you notice more quickly and make the choices to slow down and be conscious about the fact that you do have the capacity to embrace pleasure. As you move ahead, you find yourself in the deeper processes of clearing your misconceptions about life and your ambivalence about feeding your good feelings and pleasure starts to come more easily and naturally to you. You’re becoming more and more motivated by the benefits and rewards of holding this pleasure focus. You can feel it growing in your system and how it soothes, nourishes and enlivens at the same time. Seek like-minded friends and companions who share the value of positive pleasure – build relationships because the road can be too thick with thieves (pleasure snatchers) to go it alone!
5. Pleasure Master
You’re well on your way to mastery! You’re clearing the last bits of doubt and ambivalence out of your system and continuing to let goodness land in your body. You’re finding the ease and flow, and it’s getting easier to live from the pleasure principle. You like how good it feels, you can really take it in. You know pleasure as a true resource for buffering stress or treating on-going challenges and demands of life. You are resilient because you can re-charge yourself from the well of goodness in any moment and at any place. You have developed the eyes to see and the ears to hear, the body to taste. People around you are beginning to sit up and take notice – they want what you have – a sparkle in your eyes, a calm, relaxed energy, a spring in your step. You are on your way!
6. Pleasure Purveyor
You are my hero/heroine! You may have been born a more natural ‘soaker upper’ of the goodness of life. Some of us are just innately more pleasure oriented than others. Or maybe you’ve purposely fashioned a life, step by step, in the art of pleasure, and your life bursts with beauty and abundance because of it. You radiate an aliveness and have all your senses attuned to see, hear, touch and taste the fullness of life. You are the one who always says YES to the opportunity that life throws your way for ease, relaxation, fun, adventure. Or often as not you’re cooking up something for those around you to join in the fun. Just by being you, and embodying life the way you do – positively aligned to pleasure – you make the world a better place, and encourage those around you to join you in pleasure pursuits. You can be assured that you are naturally protected by pleasure.
Madeline combines her experience as a gifted teacher and facilitator with her exquisite sensitivity to guide us into unlocking pleasure. In her gentle way she helps us to make friends with our bodies, softening the places where we feel resistance, shame and pain and learn how to tune into the myriad sensations of pleasure. She embodies her teaching and the expression of her own pleasure is contagious. Madeline creates a safe space to (re)discover that we are wired for pleasure and can overcome the negative conditioning of fear, trauma, and messages of “not good enough”.