Read any self-help, gratitude or ‘get happy’ book and it will command you somewhere before chapter 5 to start recording things you are grateful for.
If you are anything like me, this task just seems a little monotonous and boring. Yes, I am grateful for many things in my life, and my awareness of wonderful things in my life, is active. Do I keep a gratitude journal? Yes, I do, because for some strange reason it calms my mind before bed and helps me sleep soundly.
I am confident that in some way the gratitude journal provides me with life happiness. If I had to rate its effectiveness, I would probably give it 5% out of my 100% present happy life stat. Hey, every little bit counts. I do however have another practise that I believe brings you up close and personal with your ‘happy’ life. A practise that in some magical way pushes you into the ‘my perfect life’ zone.
I practise pleasure.
Ahuh! I have your attention now don’t I?
Now, I know what most of you are probably thinking right now. You are thinking this blog entry is about sex. I get that. The word pleasure directs our mind straight into the big ‘O’ zone… but I hate to disappoint you. This post is absolutely NOT about sex.
If I asked you to take a moment right now and think about what your ultimate definition of pleasure is…what would you say? Pick the first thing. If it’s sex, that’s fine, choose that. Need help? Think about an activity you have done that was simply a moment of pleasure. Intense or slight, it just has to evoke the P word.
Here are a few things that make my list:
Good Food, adventure, lying on my back while the sun covers me like a warm cashmere blanket or standing deep in a valley amongst clusters of trees feeling the uninterrupted connection to nature.
There are moments in my life that have lasted for 5 mins, like eating warm sticky chocolate pudding with creamy vanilla ice cream whilst sitting cross legged on the floor with my Bestie on a Saturday night. And, there are moments that have been gifted to me for hours and days, like a new adventure to a part of the Earth I haven’t yet experienced or the insanely loud sound of silence during a hike along a cliff’s ledge off the coast. These moments define pleasure for me. They are my ultimate definition of pleasurable moments.
Am I easily pleased? Yes, I am. How easy is it to find nature or seriously indulgent cuisine? Visit your local Artisan bakery for divinity via flour, eggs, dark chocolate and rich honey, or jump in the car to check out a nearby town for the first time only an hours drive from where you live? Finding your pleasure and choosing to experience it regularly will only lead you down one path… the path to life happiness.
So why should YOU take the time to find your pleasure?
Question! Are you tired of feeling like you are not doing the things you enjoy? Are you frightened that life is moving quickly and your feelings of the present moment rate somewhere between less than and mediocre?
If you answered yes, or even slightly hesitated in brushing the question off as rubbish, you owe it to yourself to explore it further.
It’s not difficult to choose the small things that bring you joy and enjoy them often.
Find your patch of grass in that park you pass everyday on the way to work and lay down. Feel the grass tickling the back of your neck on that perfect sunny day while the world opens up before you. Choose to find ‘ your pleasure’ and watch it change everything around you, if only for a few minutes.
Now here’s where you come in! Take 5 minutes today to write down 1 simple thing that brings you pleasure. The first thing that comes to mind.
- I LOVE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Make a commitment to YOU!
This week I will do this on …………………………………………………………… [choose a day and commit]
Here’s a tip; If you wrote something like … “I LOVE sitting in cafes in Paris sipping coffee and eating pastries”, do yourself a favour, DO NOT cross it off as not doable this week. Find your local European/Parisian inspired café and take yourself there. Order your coffee strong and the most indulgent treat on display, marry it with the latest VOGUE and you have yourself a perfect piece of Paris – minus the jetlag.
Presto! You are on Pleasure Highway heading straight to the State of Happy.
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[common sense: I AM does not encourage any form of pleasure that is in anyway illegal or harmful to oneself or others.]