Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash
By Maria Sylvester, MSW, CPC
Ah, the experience of pure pleasure. You know the feeling; when you’re in it, it can be so divine. You drop down from awareness of your thoughts into a yummy experience in your heart and body — perhaps with a subtle, delicious buzz or tingle. You tune in there. It rounds you out and smoothes over all your rough edges. You feel more complete. More vibrantly alive. More open to the flow of life within and around you.
Pleasure, my friend, in all its many forms, is the key to deepening your connection with yourself and others. It can be a game-changing, guiding force in your existence.
I came to this realization only after having lived more outside a state of pleasure than within it for way too long. My intention here is to shorten your journey. I’ll muse about why I now completely, absolutely, and unapologetically prioritize pleasure in my life. It has proven to be my new inspirational go-to!
True uplifting comes from taking back your pleasure-power. I’m referring here not only to the power of your good thoughts or actions, but also the power of deeply embodying the joy you discover when experiencing a moment of pleasure. Allowing yourself to thrive in emotional states that bring you happiness, or a sense of lightness-of-being, are the best gifts you can give yourself and to others.
To embody such a feeling of deep satisfaction — meaning to be an expression of, or give tangible form to — is bound to lift everyone’s spirits to unprecedented heights. So I invite you to be extremely intentional. Make a commitment to, and focus on, elevating pleasure in your life.
Slow Down and Feel
One way I’ve realized how to experience more pleasure is by slowing down. When I can stop what otherwise might become incessant motoring — both mental and physical — and pause, positive things always happen. In the pause, I allow myself to breathe and then really tune into that breath. Noticing the movement there helps me center. Next, I can more easily shift my focus from my mind or what I’ve been doing to how I’m feeling.
Registering your own energy or vibration is all that’s ever truly under your control. So, I next suggest that you try to take satisfaction in releasing any resistance to whatever stands in your way of feeling pleasure. Become conscious of those false, negative, or problematic beliefs and banish them. Maybe you have resistance around the belief that work comes before play, or a haunting recall of parental prohibitions against enjoying yourself. Maybe it’s your own critical, judgmental voice echoing in the background, or societal training emphasizing the need to always drive yourself to success.
Pleasure, on the other hand, is such a triumphant position. You may find yourself in hot pursuit of it, especially after reading this article. It can be absolutely exhilarating to witness how energetic you become when there are no obstacles to experiencing pleasurable states. So check in with your body. Think less and feel more. How is your body responding to an instance of pure bliss? Do you have goosebumps? An urge to dance? A long sigh of relief? There is a ton of valuable information here. And do note, my friend, that a relaxed body and nervous system offers a much stronger foundation for moving forward — an offer you must not refuse!
The opposite of this, of course, is discovering how your world can be unfavorably rocked when you’re not embracing good feeling states. For instance, when not in your highest pleasure, you may be more easily upset. You might be quickly triggered, or feel insecure. On the other hand, celebrating yourself or another person happens more freely when you’re independently thriving. I bet you have experienced this phenomenon.
Harness Your Creativity
To feel internally enlivened is to feel the glorious energy of creation. I believe we are each called to cultivate ways to take responsibility for our authentic pleasure. One such path is to awaken and strengthen your imagination. There is a well-spring of creative impulses within each and every one of us. Deliberately tapping into your imagination empowers you, permitting opportunities for personal expression and growth. Imagining what you desire to create and bring forth, using all your senses, can’t help but leave you feeling more invigorated and alive.
Sexual Pleasure Holds Keys Too
Appreciating the main ingredients for enhanced sexual pleasure and playfulness can also teach us ways to curate pleasure outside of the bedroom. Again, the ability to drop out of your head and into your body is key. Sensual awareness and the capacity to lose oneself to ripples of pulsating, building sensations heightens sexual, as well as day-to-day, pleasure. Diving deep into savoring the sensations that arise in your body at all times helps spark pleasures of all kinds!
Our bodies are wired to be highly reliable vehicles for joy, if only we allow ourselves to ride the waves. Floating luxuriously there, tuning in to every inhale (feminine energy) and exhale (masculine energy) fuels the magic. This juicy life-force is with us at all times. One only needs to remain self-aware, observe, listen, and let each and every mouthwatering moment move with and through you.
And so, my friend, can you see how connecting with what brings you pleasure then connects you more meaningfully with yourself? As an added perk, the more you connect with yourself, the better you’ll be able to build understanding and a richness-of-being with another.
So take a minute now and ask yourself: what brings you pleasure? What needs, desires, values, or sense of purpose light you up completely from the inside out? Set a compass in the direction of the pleasure forces and experiences you want guiding your life — your north star. Recognize the key elements of your unique pleasure principle; this will help you better align there.
Then, look out and get ready. Your life, I promise you, will break open in some pretty incredible ways once you truly harness the power of pleasure as your north star. A sense of personal expansiveness and empowerment will follow. Maybe even some giggles.
Maria Sylvester, MSW, CPC is a certified Life Coach in Ann Arbor, MI who loves empowering
adolescents, adults, and couples to live from the HEART of what really matters to them so that
they can bring their fully expressed, vibrant selves into the world. She has a special gift for helping
women reclaim their feminine power, and embrace their radiant, sensual, sexy spirits. Their lives
transform. They soar into their mid-life magnificence!