Internal work. Cultivating the Inner Sanctum. Breaking old patterns and creating new ones. Bringing sacredness into your everyday. Working out. Kicking butt at your career. Being a wonderful provider for your family.
All these things are so necessary! And, oftentimes, rewarding.
However, one thing I’ve been noticing is that people are losing sight of the “P” word. Pleasure! As in enjoying life, and relishing what it offers you.
What is the point of all the internal and external work, if you don’t even enjoy what they bring you?
Here are some old beliefs that may be blocking you from receiving pleasure right now:
- “I’ll enjoy myself when this project is done.”
- “It’s supposed to be hard.”
- “Life is hard. And then you die.”
- “This project/person/thing is preventing me from enjoying my life.”
Do you see what’s at work here? Here’s why the above points are myths:
You choose your happiness, no matter what your current circumstances may be. Even during a busy time, you can always choose to create a pocket of happiness to remind yourself what it’s all meant for.
Life has its challenges, but it is up to you to figure out how you want to frame it. As an example, there is a cancer patient of mine, who feels the intensity of her diagnosis, has had various organs and systems removed, wears her ileostomy bag to our visits, feels the pain of her cancer, as well as the heartbreak of her current limitations at not being as physically active as she once was. And she continues to choose to embrace her life wholeheartedly, and with abandon! Even if what she’s going through is not what you’re going through, she is a prime example of how it is up to us to frame how we take in our experiences.
It is our responsibility to make ourselves happy, not someone/something else. As much as we may enjoy the presence of our partner, loved ones, or friends, it would be rather co-dependent of us to assume that they are our source of happiness! The same goes for our retail therapy – there is some real joy there; but, to say that it is the genesis of what makes us whole can only take us so far. The oneness is on us!
Being able to own our pleasure is the realm of the Second Chakra, otherwise known as the Sacral Chakra. Not so coincidentally, this chakra is the seat of our emotions, and the area where we hold our anger, when we are not letting ourselves feel it.
With that in mind, here are 7 ways to create more pleasure in your life and have a happier Sacral Chakra:
- Reconnect with your Heart, and then act upon its guidance. When we are in workaholic mode, or working on our enlightenment, we can easily place our blinders on, and lose sight of what makes our Heart sing. I invite you to contemplate exactly what that is. Is it the thought of learning to paint for the first time? Do you love to sing or write? Does your Heart need some quiet time from the mad rush of the day? Does that mean an aura-clearing epsom salt bath, when you’d normally be working on the stack of papers on the living room table? Whatever it is, reconnect with it, and do it. In doing so, you honor and nourish your Heart, which nourishes everything else. In Chinese Medicine, the Heart is considered the “Emperor” of all of the organs. Energetically, it is our Center, as well as our connection with our Higher Self.
- Take more frequent work breaks. I know what you may be thinking, “But, I can barely take one break!”, or, “I forget to take work breaks.” Then, your smartphone reminder alarm is going to be your new ally, my friend! Try setting a reminder chime to go off every 2-4 hours (depending on what you find feasible or necessary). When it does, take 5 minutes to get up and stretch, take a quick stroll around the circumference of your office space (or block, if you can swing it), take a bathroom break, or munch on a low-glycemic snack that you’ve previously stashed in your bag. What I used to do when I had a day job is take frequent bathroom breaks to do some Qi Gong stretches and breathing exercises in the stall. I had to sneak them in between phone calls, but I did it. And it was incredibly helpful in maintaining my stamina and peace of mind!
- Plan a vacation in advance, no matter how brief it may be. Just having some time off planned to do some self-care, even if for only a day, can reframe the next couple of days or weeks. It is a reminder to yourself that you value your health and healing. Double that if your time off involves reconnecting with Mama Nature!
- Enjoy your food, chew it well, and, when possible, enjoy it with beloved company. This is vital to the health of our Spleen, in Chinese Medicine. Physically, the Spleen is in charge of transporting the nutrients of what we ingest to the rest of our body. Energetically, the Spleen shows us how we choose to nourish (or not nourish) ourselves. When we enjoy our food, we can take pleasure in the taste, texture, or maybe even how it’s plated and presented. This, in itself, is nourishing. An example I’ve mentioned before, but will do so again, because it’s such a wonderful thing, is that of my patient, “L.”, who’s been actively moving forward from her eating disorders, and was able to get to the point where she could actually enjoy eating her lunch, and do it outside in the sun, instead of at her desk. Chewing our food well promotes the digestive enzymes in our saliva, and helps our Spleen digest it more readily. And, when enjoying food in the company of those we love, eating is an act of joy.
- Take dance/karaoke/singing/writing/craft breaks. I have been known to take little salsa breaks here and there, ala Chad Ochocinco. When I’m at home, I have been known to enjoy belting The Cult’s “Fire Woman” during a well-deserved break! I’ve been journaling since second grade, so my journal is a constant fixture at my nightstand for opening or closing thoughts of my day. Do you love knitting a purl or two? Working on that new scarf may be a perfect way to take a break (and it’s also an excellent way to meditate). Whatever your preference, select your pleasure of choice, preferably one that allows you to express yourself creatively.
- Remember the Joy that made you want to create and cultivate yourself in the first place. When we are going at our goals full speed, sometimes we forget our “why”! This may be a great time to pin a photo of a favorite vacation spot that strikes your fancy, put a sacred item on your altar to remind you why what you’re doing now is so important, or allow yourself to feel the joy you feel upon the project’s completion. Creating a sensory perception around your end goal – anchoring in a smell, touch, taste, or feeling – helps your goals manifest more quickly.
- Get a massage, an Acupuncture treatment, a Reiki treatment, or other bodywork. When we get heady, are thinking way too much for our own good, or obsessing over things we keep feeling a block over, it is a clear sign to get out of your head and back into your body! Exercise is an excellent thing to get us back in our body. However, just receiving bodywork can be incredibly healing. Learning to receive pleasure. What a radical notion to open ourselves up to!
What is your favorite way of cultivating more joy and pleasure into your life?
Please tell me in the comments, below!
P.S. My latest article, “How Reiki Can Help Reduce Stress & Anxiety”, was published on MindBodyGreen, yesterday! I’m thrilled, to say the least! Please check it out, and let me know what you think!
P.P.S. I just joined Periscope! Periscope is a way to broadcast live video, and is linked to Twitter accounts (although, you can create your own Periscope account without a Twitter account), if you download the app to your iPhone or Android. I literally just started it this weekend, and I’m totally enjoying the Heart “likes”! Last Saturday, I did a live scope of the tools of the trade I have in my treatment room (such as my tuning forks, acupuncture needles, and crystals). And, yesterday, I did a scope on how to create a healing altar, and shared my own. Join me on Periscope!
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