The Importance of Pleasure

We all recognize those exquisite moments of pleasure- For some it may includes biting  into a delectable piece of chocolate while for others it’s getting a promotion at work or maybe dancing to the tunes of one’s favorite songs or receiving a tender cuddle from loved ones. Ever returned from a relaxing vacation only to have friends comment on your “holiday glow”? Whatever the source is for you they all take us to the same destination: a state of pure joy and bliss.

Pleasure is your birthright!

We live in a world full of incredible pleasure, yet many of us don’t feel as if we’re getting enough of it from our life. So often we’re working, raising families, having relationships, and taking care of mundane responsibilities that tend to give us less time for ourselves and our unique pleasures.

You deserve pleasure- it is your birthright. Make it a priority to build your life around the activities that take you to this place after we you have accurately identified them. Doing so will not only make life more fun and enjoyable but will lead you into a life of balance and success. You will be able to engage in other areas of your life such as your career and relationships with more enthusiasm. Engaging in your pleasures on a regular basis will renew your spirit and nourish your soul.

Identify your unique sources of pleasures

It is important to first identify your own pleasure zones before you can really understand, appreciate or plan for it. Below is a short description of the various pleasure zones from which you can choose the ones that apply to you the most. If you come across a pleasure that is not exactly “you” then try to figure out if it is perhaps relevant to someone that you care about. Although we are all pleasure machines, each one of us is as unique as a snowflake.

1. Body Pleasures: These are sources of pleasure that involve the senses

  • Sight
  • Touch
  • Taste
  • Hearing
  • Smell

2. Soul Pleasure: Pleasures that touch our minds and hearts.

  • Humor
  • Risk
  • Calm
  • Spending
  • Travel
  • Integrity
  • Giving
  • Relationships
  • Creativity

3. Spirit: Pleasures that cater to the realm of the spirit

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Service

As you read through this list realize that you will have more than a few that would resonate with you. You’re uniquely a combination of pleasure zones that are yours and yours alone and nobody can have the exact pleasure zone hierarchy that you do. Owning them and incorporating those into your life is the key to creating a work-life balance.

Moderation is the key

In talking about achieving balance we should also keep in mind that it’s very important to experience pleasure in the right doses. We have all come across people, who are over spenders, food addicts and people-pleasers. These individuals tend to over indulge in their personal pleasures sometimes bordering on addictive behavior. At the other end of the spectrum are the under-pleasurers who are much more prevalent in today’s society. A lot of people in this category are self confessed workaholics caught up in the “rat-race” often times giving low priority to pleasure- either because they are too busy or because they consider it a waste of time. Before they know it they experience obvious signs of burnout in the form of exhaustion and general weariness about life. The key is to strike a balance. Balanced-pleasurers are the people who follow the “work hard and play hard” philosophy towards life. They have a realistic self concept, clear goals and deep self awareness about what it is that they want out of their life and they consistently build their lives around this base.

Make fun a priority in your life

Aim to become a balanced pleasurer- begin the process of making more time and space for pleasure in your life by getting clear about your pleasure zones.

  1. On a separate piece of paper or in a journal, pleasure list the major body, soul and spirit pleasure themes in the following age categories that apply to you: Ages 5-19, 20-39, 40-59, 60+. 
  1. The next step is to reduce your thoughts down to a single impression. On the same paper clearly write a theme for each major pleasure zone using the statements below.
  1. My life experience with body pleasure tells me that…
  2. My life experience with spirit pleasure tells me that…
  3. My life experience with soul pleasure tells me that…
  1. Now that the picture is a little clearer in your “reduction statements” ask yourself this question: In which primary pleasure zone do I seem to experience the most pleasure- your body, your spirit or your soul? Rank them.
  1. For each pleasure zone make a list of specific activities that are pleasures for you, starting with your highest pleasure zone and moving on to your second and third highest.
  1. Take a look at your schedule and find time slots during which you can participate in these activities on a regular basis. Please note that some activities may be time-consuming. Take traveling, for instance. Getting on a plane and flying to a distant location for pleasure for a few days is something that cannot be done every week- it takes time, money and energy. Limitations are part of life and we often have to work around them. Therefore, you also need to focus on brainstorming smaller-scale activities in your primary pleasure zones. These are pursuits that could require a more realistic time allotment. So while you may not be able to travel to your favorite exotic location, you could watch a documentary about it or begin the research process and enjoy immersing yourself in the details and planning.

Remember that you are an amazing person who has been created to experience a life of deep pleasure. You can unleash the power in order to have more fun, conquer difficult issues, and fortify yourself against storms in life. Believe that you can create incredible colors of pleasure that only you can enjoy fully. Your journey starts now….

Beautiful Disney Commercial asking you to “Celebrate You”!

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