In the age of endless distractions, pleasure is crucial in our ability to remain self-assured, motivated, and to ensure we feel seen, supported, and held. Despite society’s negative interpretation of pleasure and those who seek pleasurable experiences, our drive to seek pleasure and to avoid pain is hardwired into our being. From an evolutionary perspective, seeking pleasure allows us to avoid life-threatening situations and places us in environments, experiences, and relationships that support our mutual growth and wellbeing.
1. Honor Your Energy
We are living in a day and age where many have lost touch with their senses of intuition. This can be in relationship to hunger cues, emotions, seeking aligned relationships, movement, physical appearance, and career outlook, amongst others. Tapping into energy reserves periodically throughout the day helps to ensure we are in the driver’s seat of our own life and consciousness. Learning energetic tendencies through methods such as self-awareness, therapy, yoga, meditation, and human design allow us to understand how we best orient ourselves to and find meaning in the world. Respecting what these directional cues give us allows for experiencing the most pleasure possible. We feel safe opening ourselves up into new and potentially challenging situations, as we are confident enough in who and what we are to reach the other side.
2. Explore Archetypes
Play is rarely prioritized for adults in modern-day society, particularly in the predominantly monotheistic Western culture. Dogmatic beliefs as to there being “one right way” of being, succeeding, and doing trap many into dogmatic belief structures. We feel as though our identity is “fixed,” stuck, or attached to a permanent pattern. Many are more afraid of receiving judgment, criticism, or rejection than experiencing sadness, anxiety, depression, or anger. Exploring archetypes can help us find the deeper universal truth, and it inspires us to find our unique position within it. Archetypes help create separation between our “fixed” identity patterns and show us the endless possibilities as to how it is okay to show up and be in this world. Archetypes are found naturally through all stories and ancient cultures, as well as within each of us. It is up to us to find and create our own unique meaning of them. Some ideas for exploration — archetype cards, getting lost in fantasy, remembering your favorite childhood superhero or princess, studying astrology.
3. Surround Yourself With Art
Music, sculptures, movies, paintings, photography, and poetry all ignite the inner creator within each of us. This process leads to the creation of new neural pathways. Similar to how archetype exploration helps us find our own unique position in the universe, art forces us to think of creative solutions. Indulging in art increases cognitive flexibility as we enter into other ways of experiencing reality. We are forced to create meaning out of novel and sometimes uncomfortable situations. These qualities of flexible thinking often lack in modern-day Western society. Creative thinking forces us to experience a deeper sense of pleasure as we feel safe in our own self-exploration, discovering the unique truth behind our own existence and purpose.
4. Spend More Time Outside
Much of pleasure is pure sensation – qualities related to taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound. Technology is in some ways the decaf version of a good coffee. The natural and creative world contains each and every sensational experience. It is up to us to choose.
5. Expressive Movement
Movement allowing for self-expression helps release stored emotional and energetic patterns, giving clarity to the questions of “How am I doing?” and “What do I need to be doing?” Traditional gym routines are often monotonous and rigid in nature, which can increase the disconnect we feel between mind, body, and spirit. Movement that allows for self-expression can trigger self-awareness to a greater degree and to a faster extent than compared to traditional “thinking” through methods for some individuals. Similar to how art inspires the creation of new neural pathways, movement taps into stored energetic patterns and tendencies. These often speak volumes to us.