I’m back from teaching in Israel and I took a week at the lake to digest it all. I love going out into the world with my Unlock Pleasure theme and discovering what people in other cultures and circumstances make of it. I love the rich dialogues that take place – I love them and learn from them.
Doorways to Pleasure
In workshops I introduce Doorways to Pleasure, what I call a cheat sheet for those days when pleasure is nowhere on your radar, but you know you need it and can’t think of a single inroad. I encourage people to refer to this sheet to jog their memory of the most common ways to access pleasure.
When I share this document in workshops I always ask the group: is there anything obviously missing here – something else that needs to be added?
Pleasure from challenge?
One person said: what about the kind of pleasure that comes from having a challenge or a limitation and using all your capacities to address the issue? He was talking about inner and or outer challenges – like working through a relationship conflict, financial struggles or health issues, maybe even contributing to resolving a community or larger social problem?
As he mentioned, these aren’t the quick fixes that are easy to gain, but usually require commitment, persistence, experimentation, and patience. In most cases, it will take some time to find resolution and maybe even then it’s not perfect. But he said he had found pleasure in applying himself no matter the outcome. And I was thinking of the growing self-esteem and strengthening that comes from this kind of engagement.
Growth and development
On the Doorways to Pleasure document, I have the item – growth and development. I believe this is what he was talking about. There is a lot of pleasure to be gleaned from setting a goal and giving it your all. Allowing one’s self to grow and be changed by the process; to develop beyond our current limitations.
Two quotes come to mind. Freud said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.” Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
The good news is - change is possible! Not always easy; it always requires commitment, perseverance and willingness to think, feel and do things differently. But the pleasure and new possibilities that comes with the new way is so… satisfying.
This is an element of pleasure that bears more consideration. We associate pleasure with ease, a quick fix, band-aide solution, but those pleasures are usually quite fleeting. While the pleasure that comes with growth and change is lasting – we create it and own it. Circumstances can’t take it from us, like all the pseudo quick fix pleasures.
So, I invite you to consider: what is the change you could make that would allow for this kind of pleasure? What in your life needs to be shifted? What is the concern that needs your deep and committed attention?
I always appreciate receiving feedback and interaction with my readers. Please share your pleasure explorations with me.
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“Madeline offers a safe space to explore what it is that blocks our capacity to live in pleasure. She supports us to recognize our unhealthy associations with pleasure, so we can finally open up to that which provides real power, serenity and love.”