How to master the pursuit of pleasure

pleasure
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In the first part of the book Eat Pray Love, the author devotes herself to the pursuit of pleasure. She eats her way through Italy, listening only to her desires instead of the need for self-control.

In The Art of Extreme Self Care, Cheryl Richardson encourages the reader to put herself first. She explains how her world changed when she visited a life coach who challenged her to get a massage every week instead of every couple of months.

Both scenarios may seem excessive and aren’t designed to be lifelong routines. Instead, they’re examples of intentional interruptions to patterns of self-deprivation.

If you grew up with abuse and neglect, you might find it difficult to take care of your need for pleasure this way. You’re used to sacrificing yourself for the sake of others, whether they ask for it or not.

If you grew up with abuse and neglect, you might find it difficult to take care of your need for pleasure. You're used to sacrificing yourself for the sake of others, whether they ask for it or not. Click To Tweet

You go along with what other people want for fear of rejection or loss of love. This self-abandonment often happens unconsciously. The truth is we don’t know what we want because our desires were never considered.

When we grow up with emotional neglect, we learn that our needs are unimportant. We talk ourselves out of pampering our bodies because we feel unworthy of it.

Self care that some people consider basic may sound extravagant to you. Going for a monthly massage, pedicure, or facial feels like the height of decadence.

Here is my invitation to blast your own pattern of deprivation. Consider kickstarting your pursuit of pleasure by exercising extreme self-care for a short (or long) time.

Here are five ways that worked for me. (I receive NO kickbacks from these suggestions.)

pleasure

1. Panty by post.

I’ve always had trouble spending money on clothes no one sees. (Never mind that I have to look at them.) Needless to say, my panty collection left a lot to be desired.

So, my pleasure-seeking journey began with a monthly lingerie subscription. Panty by Post sends you a new pair of underwear each month, beautifully wrapped. It’s a delightful (and sexy) way to remind yourself you’re worth it.

2. Ten Spot membership.

The Ten Spot calls itself an anti-spa beauty bar. It’s a minimalist self care haven that focuses on cleanliness over crystals.

They offer a monthly membership for $45 that gets you a free service worth up to $60 and 10% off everything else. Sign up for a minimum three months and indulge in a new self care ritual.

3. Follow your intuition for pleasure.

Even if it’s only for one day, follow your inner guidance system wherever it leads you. Take yourself on a walk and go wherever your heart takes you.

Even if it's only for one day, follow your inner guidance system wherever it leads you. Take yourself on a walk and go wherever your heart takes you. Click To Tweet

That could mean stopping into an ice cream shop or buying something you don’t need. Avoid anything that feels like a chore or obligation, like groceries. Go for pleasure instead.

4. Ecstatic dance for pleasure.

Dance like no one is watching at these gatherings where talking and alcohol are forbidden. Instead of drinking and socializing, these events are all about the dance.

Reconnect with your body while enjoying the energy of your fellow dancers. You will feel a natural high as the music builds to a crescendo then gradually powers down. Pure pleasure.

5. Hay House audio subscription

Get access to an unlimited library of inspiring audiobooks and lessons for a small monthly fee. Listen to renowned teachers like Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Christiane Northrup, Cheryl Richardson, and hundreds more.

It’s an uplifting and edifying way to spend a few minutes or a few hours. In fact, that’s where I discovered the Cheryl Richardson book that inspired this post.

What would you add to this list? What does the pursuit of pleasure look like to you?

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