I recently made a shift that totally blew my mind and as a result I was given a beautiful gift representing support and encouragement, a night out dancing with my man, tickets to an amazing event, a beautiful card expressing love and recognition from Marie Forleo's team, an invite to another amazing upcoming event, a date lunch with my man, the opportunity for some really cool collaborations, and my most recent HuffPost blog was well-received.
All in the past few days!
So what was the shift?
I simply started focusing on pleasure -- in a very new way.
Last week I was driving home from a private yoga students home and flipping through the recent podcasts on my iTunes list. I ended up sticking with an episode of The Lively Show in which Jess interviews Alisa Vitti: How To Make Embodying Pleasure A Habit. (Part 1)
As the show started I wasn't expecting that much. I had read a few other books on the topic of focusing on pleasure but all of them seemed really cheesy, too woo-woo, or indulgent in a way that just didn't sit well with me.
It seems that when most of us think of pleasure we pretty immediately shift to sex or food. Both of which are wonderful but the related lessons are not always applicable to daily life outside of the bedroom or kitchen.
Jess and Alisa were talking about bringing more awareness to what is already pleasurable in life and then bringing more of that in regularly.
They said that it was the little things like noticing which clothing feels great on your body, which candle smells just right, or which route to work offers the most beauty that made the difference.
So I tucked the idea into the front of my mind and went about my week.
I did everything that I normally do, but I put a little extra emphasis on noticing pleasure when it was present and creating it if it wasn't.
I moved my computer around the house to follow the sun. I dressed up even when I could have stayed in yoga clothes behind my computer. I stayed in bed to snuggle instead of getting up before sunrise a few times. My man and I took a nap together in the middle of the day. Instead of rushing home after yoga I ran back into the studio and stayed to take a second super yummy class that my dear friend Caryn was teaching.
It's been wonderful.
And, the Universe has been responding and giving me increasingly more opportunities to amp up the pleasure in my life each day.
This little shift has been so mind blowing because it reinforced what I already knew, that energy flows where attention goes, but has allowed me to experience the flow of focus and energy in a new way.
I tend to focus on the positive easily, but positive and pleasurable are not always the same thing.
I think it is pretty common for us to unconsciously put a cap on our happiness and enjoyment in life. I decided long ago that I wasn't going to let "not suffering" be my "doing well," which I go into more fully in my book.
It's an evolution though, we can always find ways to raise the bar on how much happiness we let into our lives.
It's also not as easy as we think it should be.
Most of us say we want happiness, enjoyment and pleasure, but until we truly believe that we deserve it and take inspired action to bring more of it into our lives we will only ever experience the tinniest taste of what we could have.
Just for today, try it out. See how giving yourself permission to focus on pleasure feels.
Where can you more fully notice what pleasure is already present and where can you allow more in?
Let me know how it goes. If you take a photo tag me on Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to celebrate with you.
The first version of this blog was published on Katie Ashley's professional blog.