Archive: September, 2016

September 20, 2016

What lights you up?

Photo by Beth Martin

Photo by Beth Martin

There is something that happens for me in Paris.

As soon as my shoes hit the cobblestone, I’m reminded of a version of myself that I adore. More than reminded, I’m transported.

It’s easy to access pleasure there with the flowers spilling out of tiny florist shops and beautiful people embracing or kissing on the corner. I smell rotisserie chicken and roasted potatoes. There are performers making music on the metro. The church bells ring out every half hour. There is history and romance and beauty. And even when things are hard; if I’m carrying a three year old and her stroller through a crowded metro station and I’m sweating and it smells like urine…I’m snapped back into my pleasure place when I climb the stairs and see the cobblestone, the ornate buildings, the roses and the blue sky.

For me Paris is a pleasure activator.

It is a place that easily and quickly activates my pleasure.

I don’t have to think about it or force it or wrestle with it. Pleasure comes easily to me in Paris. I know I’m not the only one. Many people love Paris. But I’ve also met people how don’t resonate with Paris. So Paris is not universal. But pleasure is.

What are your pleasure activators. What easily connects you to your pleasure?

The dictionary definition of pleasure is – a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.

So what consistently makes you feel happy satisfaction and enjoyment?

Your work?
Your home?
Your partner?
Sex?
Time out with friends?
A massage?
Dance?
Vacation?
A holiday?
Time in nature?
A place?
Making art?
Music?
Sports?

Here are some prompts to help you discover one (or more) of your activators.

Where do you feel most alive?
What time of year excites you? Why?
If you could be doing anything in this moment, what would it be?
When are you most lit up?
How do you like to be touched?
What are you passionate about?
Write a few sentences about a time in your life you felt really, really good! Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? What did you wear?
What are you top 5 ways to have fun?
What turns you on (sexually and also what turns you on in your life)?
What was your favorite vacation?
Write about your ideal day. How would you spend your time? Where would you be? Tune into your senses – what would you smell, taste, hear, touch or see?

Look at your list. What do you notice? Any repetition? Any good reminders?

Look for a possible activator. It might be a place or an event or a spiritual practice.

If you know your activator, explore some ways you can engage it. If it’s a destination you might not be able to go there right now, but could you look at photos from your last trip? Could you read your journal from that time? Or go to a restaurant that serves food from that region? If it’s an activity, when is the last time you did it? Maybe it’s a way you feel. If so, what makes you feel that way? How can you recreate it? If it’s a holiday or time of year, can you create some anticipation for that time to come again? Or can you explore what it is that most excites you (temperature, colors, warm sweaters, tank tops, scents) and can you find ways you bring those things into your life now?

Knowing your pleasure activator gives you a direct line to pleasure. And that is a very good thing!


If you need a little help giving yourself permission for joy and pleasure, I created a free 4-page e-book, Permission for Pleasure.

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