Often when I first mention that my work is about reclaiming pleasure, people give me the look. As if to say “Hey – what’s going on here?” Once I’ve explained that it’s not just about sex but about rethinking pleasure and taking it from an idle pastime to a means for growth and development, people get genuinely interested.
But what is pleasure really? I’ve been exploring this question for some time. I see my role as igniting conversations to explore the topic of pleasure so we can reclaim it.
There’s a lot of confusion about what pleasure really is – misconceptions I call them. Part of Unlock Pleasure is to sort through what pleasure isn’t in order to discover what it is. But because pleasure is an in-the-body experience, I don’t want to get too cognitive about it.
Here are some surefire signposts that will tell you that you’re in the pleasure realm:
1. You’re relaxed. You notice that your internal system quiets down, there’s way less jangle inside; the mind quiets too. There’s a nice hum inside, a feeling of contentment, a sense of satisfaction.
2. Any sense of urgency abates, along with any forcing currents. Franticness subsides.
3. You have a sense of timelessness or being in the flow. Time stands still. You totally forget to look at the clock. It’s an in-the-moment experience.
4. Your senses are heightened. You’re more aware of sights, sounds, smells, or touch, which might be as simple as sensing the air or the clothes on your skin. I get a sense of rootedness. My body feels more congruent, all the pieces and the movement of energy become easier. I call it a felt sense; just feeling good.
There’s another thing about pleasure – it often begets more pleasure; not in a greedy, grasping way, but in an organic, unfolding way. As your system attunes more to pleasure, a relaxed and open curiosity just invites more.
What other signposts of pleasure have you noticed?
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“As I step into the classroom with Madeline, I am aware of a spaciousness that few other facilitators offer, giving adequate time for self-reflection and digestion of the material. The spaciousness is well-supported by experiential learning and practical teachings. Madeline’s work—both within her own life and in facilitating others—speaks clearly through the profound space she holds for learning, and healing, to happen.”