Posts tagged ‘pleasure’

January 21, 2019

Finally, Sunshine! Let’s Enjoy It!

Finally, Sunshine! Last year was the 4th rainiest year on record where I live and the cloudy, drizzly days have continued into this year. Finally, this morning there’s sun. It’s amazing how waking to a bright sky can lift your mood and boost your energy! This is a great time to prepare for healing by creating a cache of pleasure and joy.
sun
If you’re ill, in pain, exhausted, busy caring for someone else, in danger of losing your job, grieving, or reeling from emotional flashbacks, it can sometimes be difficult to imagine anything that makes you feel good. It’s like there’s just no room in your entire being for a visualization of pleasure. When I am in this spot and a tiny bit of warmth, thoughtfulness, or kindness manages to register, it triggers a feeling of sadness and loss.

While I consciously know this is counterproductive, I also know there’s no point in fighting the process. I have learned that the best way to limit the duration of such sadness is to allow it to flow. It’s hard to measure whether the well in my solar plexus from which it pours gets shallower over time. I hope so, but I just don’t have enough perspective to judge.

Embracing this reality means I recognize I must actively engage in noticing the small gifts life brings each day. Having a system for recording positive feelings is a tool I can use to stockpile feelings of calm, peace, silliness, delight, gratitude, glee, lightness, and mirth. It also gives me a pathway to access positive feelings quickly. But before I create a system, I must open myself to positive experience even if it brings a moment of sadness too.

I was immediately aware of the brightness this morning as I sat in my recliner coffee in hand. I stopped reading and took a moment to breathe while looking at the sky. There are 9 windows in my small sunroom. It gets both morning light and beautiful sunsets.

sunroomA couple of years ago when I removed the cafe curtains from these windows to wash and iron them (I learned my lesson on sending them out to be laundered the year it took $350 to retrieve them from the laundry service. It would have been much cheaper to buy new curtains.), I decided not to rehang the top tier. Not only did that mean less ironing then, it means more light all of the time.

This wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. I debated about it, took photos with and without, texted them to a designer friend, and ultimately chose the light. I don’t know that I improved the design of the room, but I improved the quality of my life.

Today, it’s sunny but it’s cold and the ground is frozen. It’s not a good day to dig up those bulbs in the yard or to sit on the porch and write. It’s a great day to do something not on my to-do list: go to brunch, run to the grocery store and get the ingredients for a new salad I want to try, take a drive with my grandson, walk through an open house or two, take a brisk walk, or book a trip somewhere sunny. The key is to enjoy the sun, to bank the positive feelings it brings, and to make a deliberate plan to enjoy the sun in the future.

And so, I’ll leave you here. I’m going to bundle up and get out of the house into the sun.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/?s=coffee

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/my-five-feel-good-things-for-the-week/

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September 23, 2012

Dessert First! Day One.

This week I am going to try something new that I’m calling, Dessert First.  I don’t mean that I’m going to literally eat dessert first.  Okay, maybe I will once or twice since I’ll be thinking about it, but that’s beside the point.  Dessert First is a week dedicated to savoring the rich, sweet moments of every day BEFORE I rush off to fill an obligation, achieve a goal, or take care of something for someone else.

We all know dessert is best when it’s savored rather than hastily gulped.  When I roll a bite of chocolate around on my tongue letting it slowly melt, I taste all the subtle layers of sweet and bitter.  At the same time, I experience a pleasing texture. Lingering over dessert with a cup of coffee, I often feel a sense of pleasure, exhilaration, or relaxation.

So why not incorporate those feelings into every day?  Instead of glancing at the sunset sideways through the car window, I’ll sit on the back deck and take note of the depth of the clouds and the reflection of the light.  When a client compliments my work, I will sit still, say thank you, and absorb the good feeling that brings.  When my son calls and wants me to stop everything to run an errand for him, I will not do so until I reach a natural break in my schedule and I will not rush through the day’s pleasures in order to accommodate him.

What will happen?  How will this experiment affect my work, my sense of well-being, and my family?  Will it help me thrive at a different level?  We’ll see.  Check back here and I will give you the results each day!