For years, I was a dancer. It was my outlet. I just loved to move. I was a Dance Major in college, largely because I took so many classes it was silly not to be. Post-college I rearranged my work schedules to ensure I could still attend class well into my late 20’s, long after most had quit. I knew I could handle the day to day stresses, problem solve and even have better ideas for my work when I continued to take class.
Somewhere along the way I stopped taking dance classes or dancing at all, for years. I needed to work. There were more things to do in the day and less time for fun, for pleasure. There were bills to pay, the house to clean, errands to run and meals to cook. Dancing didn’t cover the necessities, or so I thought, so it was off the list.
We do this so often, where the things that give us joy or pleasure, somehow become down-graded in their importance. We forget how they make all the rest of the stuff easier, even more enjoyable. We start calling them guilty pleasures. And then by nature of that description, it means we shouldn’t do the activities or enjoy the things that we associate with them. Chocolate. A glass of red wine. A bag of salty potato chips. Feeling the cool breeze on your cheek. Sleeping. Stopping to watch the sunset. Walking barefoot in the grass. Calling a friend.
What is wrong with pleasure? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Except that we add one teensy little word in front of it. Guilty.
Why is it that we feel we should downplay doing something for enjoyment, for pleasure? As we start prioritizing deadlines, diets and ‘being good’ we decide to take the pleasurable activities off our plate to give us more time, more money or maybe even a thinner waistline.
But, what if the opposite were true?
What if indulging in simple daily pleasures actually brought us more contentment, better ideas, better focus, and even that elusive smaller waistline?
My friend, Debra Joy, wrote a beautiful e-book, titled The Power of Pleasure. She was kind enough to forward a copy to me and frankly, I read it and thought she wrote it FOR me. (You did, right, Debra!?) It is a beautiful, easy read where you feel like Debra is sitting right there with you, coaching you through each component. She brings new perspectives and completely outside-of-the box ideas to help you bring more awareness, presence and joy into your day.
You know those lifestyle changes that are the hardest to actually change?
Taking time to breathe during the day, eating your food slowly, getting to bed earlier, moving more, etc. I talk with my clients about food and finding a diet that works for them (and everyone thinks that is the hard part) but it’s these lifestyle habits that seem to be the most elusive. As it turns out, when these simple lifestyle changes become a part of your daily routine, they have the biggest impact.
Debra offers simple exercises to make these lifestyle changes a reality, without drastically changing your routine. Her exercises are totally doable and she offers more than enough ideas to give something for everyone to try.
“These steps create a solid foundation for accessing the peace and joy of your true nature through the pleasures of your body. They won’t require you to set aside time from your daily life.
They can be easily incorporated into your every day activities, no matter who you are, or what you do. They aren’t more things to do, but rather new ways to be with what you’re already doing. These new ways can transform your life.” –Debra Joy
This winter, I have started dancing again. In the car, the living room, kitchen dance parties with the kiddos and I’m even taking classes again. Not the highly structured classes of my past, something totally new to me and more free-form. It is incredible how much a little movement has changed my perspective, brought more creativity back into my day-to-day and has helped me focus. (Check out her chapter 6 titled Move to see more of what I mean!)
The Power of Pleasure is a game-changer.
I’m sharing this with you today, because I love her message and wanted to help spread it to more people. Check out her site, check out her blog (it’s beautiful) and if you want simple, easy to implement action steps to get these elusive lifestyle changes to actually happen, then grab her e-book.