Reclaim Pleasure and Transform Your Life

May 15, 2017 | By More

Tracy Montgomery CSB

Think about something that gives you physical pleasure in your body. Perhaps it is standing in the shower feeling the silky water cascading over your body, or wiggling your bare feet in soft, warm sand. What about your lover gently stroking your neck, or the warmth of a beloved child’s hand in yours? Maybe it’s that first sip of a hot milky coffee on a cold morning or biting into a ripe peach, the sweet nectar trickling down your throat. Perhaps you are thinking about the delicious relaxation of Savasana after yoga class or the soothing, confident hands of your massage therapist.

Find a memory of physical pleasure, and take a moment to imagine each minute detail, noticing all the ways this experience brings you pleasure. Breathe it all in.

What happens as you focus on this experience? How does it feel in your body right now? What sensations or emotions do you notice as you focus here? How is it for you to focus on physical pleasure?  Is it pleasant, unpleasant or neutral?

If it wasn’t an altogether enjoyable experience for you, you are not alone. Pleasure is widely shamed in our culture, and it can be uncomfortable to choose pleasure deliberately and consciously. We have been taught that seeking pleasure is greedy or selfish and that following our physical desires is shameful or dishonourable, especially in conjunction with sex.

And so we learn to stop asking. We begin to believe that our wants, needs and desires are unimportant and that what is important is that we fit it and that we make sense to others.

As we internalize these messages, we stop trusting our inner voice and we suppress our desires. We label ourselves inappropriate when we feel something we “shouldn’t” and we feel less worthy. We begin to limit the amount of pleasure we allow ourselves to feel and we shut down. When we say no to pleasure, we say no to ourselves. Life isn’t as much fun, we find it harder to connect with people, and we’re less creative, less passionate, less interested in life.

And yet, you were born a pleasure-seeker. You were born wanting – nourishment, warmth, connection. You instinctively moved towards that which would help you thrive, and you had no shame in asking for it. Desire is what moves you through life; it’s what gets you up in the morning, and invites you to expand. To deny your desire is to deny the very core of who you are.

Experiencing pleasure floods our systems with endorphins and oxytocin. It alters our blood chemistry, enhances our brain power, and makes us aware of things we were not aware of before.

Pleasure heals. Choosing pleasure can remap the brain, restoring a sense of wellness, aliveness and safety in the body, and counteracting the chronic stress epidemic in our culture today.

If we reclaim our pleasure, we can transform our lives. We can learn to trust our own inner voice. When we know what we want, we can yes to it. When we feel worthy, we can say no to what we don’t want. When we can trust our wanting, we can be open to new experiences and expand relationships with our lovers, our children, our coworkers, our mothers.

Allowing more pleasure into our lives invites us to flourish- we can live a more fun, more sensual and more fulfilling life, engaging our creative, generative energy in the service of our life’s purpose.

Starting right now, starting right where you are, you can live a more joyous embodied life by simply paying attention and attuning to pleasure. Practice feeling into your body, and noticing what feels good. Welcome and appreciate your desires, recognizing them as the potent, life-giving force that they are.  Reclaim your pleasure and discover your most authentic, wise and fully alive self.

©2017 Tracy Montgomery is a somatic sex educator who offers erotic learning to those who want to expand their capacity for pleasure, love and joy, heal sexual dysfunction or the wounds of sexual abuse, and explore the intersection of sex and spirit. She works privately with individuals and couples, facilitates the Ottawa Snuggle Salon and offers interactive workshops on healthy sexuality. You can reach her by email: tracy@tracymontgomery.ca or phone: 613-656-8232.

Category: Articles, Self Development

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