I return from Italy feeling really good. It’s the odd thing about travel. While one is actually out there doing it – its not 100% pleasure. There are aspects of travel that are annoying, frustrating, and downright inconvenient. But the pay offs are worth every unpleasant moment. That is if travel is for you. It’s okay not to like to travel. Home can be a very good place. What’s important is to do the things that are pleasurable for you.
In the Unlock Pleasure work I support people to take the time and be committed to finding those things that truly bring them joy, satisfaction, that feel super good to them. Because when we find and give our selves the things that uniquely bring us joy, we become more who we truly are.
Returning from this trip I feel energized. I muse how this works. Even though travelling is demanding - I don’t always get enough sleep, there’s lots of problem solving and new scenarios to navigate. Plans don’t always work out. I have to be spontaneous and inventive. But there’s something about all that that gives me energy. Maybe it’s that I like these novel challenges, and along the way in equal balance there are all the random, delightful sights, sounds, smells, faces, conversations, events – planned and unplanned - that fill the senses and shake up the familiar.
So in a nut shell travel is one of my pleasures. And I return with this sense of being more myself because of it. More myself means – grounded, centered, clear, the sensation of quiet joy buzzing inside me. I’ve given myself some thing of value and meaning for me. I’ve given myself permission to love what I love, do what I love and hence I feel more true to myself. And I notice this gives me an enormous sense pleasure. A few years ago I heard myself say – travel for me isn’t a luxury or an optional indulgence - it’s something I truly need to feel good.
When you find those things that are your pleasure doorways it’s like that – not optional. Its essential to our wellbeing. And what that is, is unique to each of us. Have you noticed how with pleasure there’s so much social imposition? An insistence about what we “should” find pleasurable. The mass media sets the standard. It incessantly messages, and imprints on us, what we should want. Usually this involves buying something. One of the key drivers used, is the human need to belong, hence convincing us we should want what everyone else wants is effective. Its takes real individuation to discover what pleasure means to you.
And one of the indicators of when you’ve hit home, finding your true pleasure, is when feel more like your self. It’s my personal belief that part of our purpose in being here on earth is to discover our true selves and live it fully in the world. The world needs our unique expression. Tracking our pleasure is as reliable a way as anyway to keep attuned to this track. Its not optional its essential.
What have you noticed about your pleasure that helps you feel more you?
Next entry: Pleasure … sexual and otherwise
Previous entry: Kindness + generosity = 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”.