Like every single one of us, I work hard.
And I know you do, too. Maybe even beyond hard.
I wanted to take you behind the scenes a bit, to give you a peek into my personal pleasure practices. How do I make sure the magic happens?
I want to show you how I fill up with enough fun, pleasure, and joy, so I can give, give, give, and then some.
The key is pleasure.
But how to find her? Seduce her? Invite her perfumed presence into our daily lives?
What does she want? What does she like? Why does it seem like she is here today, and then abruptly vanishes? What is the trick to having her stick around and stay a while?
Pleasure has been much maligned, much misunderstood, and much overlooked.
Historically, hard work is cheered and praised. While pleasure has been the stepchild.
And yet, with the support of all of you, the Pleasure Revolution is working her way into our culture. Have you noticed?
After working herself to the point of total exhaustion, Arianna Huffington woke up and turned the pleasure page. Her book, Thrive (which I have just begun reading, and love), has nearly a whole chapter on arranging for proper sleep! In pink silk PJs. Fantastic. I slept better last night, after reading her words.
The New York Times reported that, recently, some of the biggest banks on Wall Street have gone against the 24/7-nose-to-the-grindstone corporate culture that’s been in place for decades, and are insisting that their junior bankers to do what was once unthinkable: take an entire single weekend day off. Four times a month!
I have been studying the discipline of pleasure for years, and I want to give you the inside track on the bones, the architecture, the structure of pleasure, so you can actually design a life that will allow you to experience pleasure any time you wish, ongoingly.
Pleasure is deliberate, not casual.
Surprising, right? We think fun is just, well, fun.
And that it should be easy. After all, it’s just pleasure.
Nope. She requires planning, she does not happen by default.
Well, actually, she may happen by default, but only after careful planning.
For example, remember when you were in high school? And there was a Senior Prom? And even if you chose not to participate, there were a bunch of kids who served on the Prom committee?
Those kids got together every week, and planned the Prom. They picked the theme, chose the decorations, hired the band, found the venue. They set the menu, picked the flavor of punch (remember the mountain of sherbet, floating in ginger ale?), ordered the invitations, and sent them out. It took weeks for them to make all these decisions. The planning for the pleasure of Prom was a kind of pleasure in itself.
Then there was the anticipation, where everyone decided if they were going to go or not. And were you going alone? Or with a date? Who was going with who? And then, the inevitable: what to wear? Where to shop? What shoes? Hair up, or down? Shall we all chip in and hire a limo? Or get Dad to drive? And on and on and on.
The anticipation of all that pleasure was a pleasure.
Then the big night arrives. Everyone shows up with tuxes rented, corsages in place, and the pleasure of the party begins. There is dancing, drinking, laughing, crying, exclusion, inclusion – the whole spectrum of magnificent teenage glory.
Are you beginning to see the structure here?
The ingredients of every pleasurable experience are always the same:
- The Big Event
(Bonus: If you have hit all your marks, and have done 1-4 really well, then default pleasure will land in your lap.)
And these four phases hold true, no matter what kind of pleasure we are talking about.
When someone invites you on a date, the architecture is the same. One or both of you is planning, inviting, anticipating, and then, experiencing. When you decide to have a massage, same deal – whether you are going to a spa, or having a friend come over and give you a massage.
Often, we have to really place a serious stake in the ground to begin to create time and space for pleasure.
It is super easy to get sucked into all the details of life and work – the worry, the what-ifs.
But if you are vigilant, and truly choose to stand for yourself, taking the time and space you need to feel well rested, tuned in, and turned on – then THAT is when the magic happens.
You begin to feel, not like a mere mortal, but a sense of your inner divinity awakens inside of you. Radiance floods your being and you might even feel transcendent.
And no one tells us.
But, now you know.
Hit reply and share with me the pleasures you are planning for yourself this week, or pleasures you have accomplished already, and how you will architect all four stages.
Your taking the time to comment will elevate and inspire everyone. It is through each of us taking the time to celebrate ourselves that we all go higher.
With so much love and pleasure,
P.S. Which woman in your life could use a refresher on the four steps? Forward this to her, and send her HERE to sign up for future blogs. And then join me on Instagram (@mamagena) and Facebook for more ways to play!
Regena is a feminist icon, a teacher, a speaker, a mother, a best-selling author, and creatrix and CEO of The School of Womanly Arts.