Using Pleasure to Get More Done
What is a girl to do when the man and the kid are out of town for the weekend and you are housebound with a twisted ankle and sunburnt shoulders? Brunch with friends - they are all out camping. I found myself in this situation last weekend. And while every part of my being thought it would be a brilliant idea to become a machine of productivity - making the most of every moment to GET EVERYTHING ON MY TO DO LIST DONE. I decided to step outside my norm.
I decided to run experiment. Instead of writing out a to do list for the weekend of all the things I wanted to do and strategically thinking and planning out when I was going to do them I took a different approach. Listening to my body. Yup thats' right. I took on doing what my body wanted when it wanted over the weekend - I sent my brain on vacation.
What happened next surprised me - and it always does when I do this experiment.
I got everything done.
I got everything done, and then some, AND I enjoyed doing all of it. WHAT!!!!!
I enjoyed 8 hours of accounting, sleeping in, a quick canoe around the lake and visit with my mom, a baby shower, a visit with my dad, hangouts with my teenage sister, a piano recital, reading, cleaning my home, a 90s throw back movie, more than a few self-love sessions, Ted talks videos, business advice for long-distance friends, planting my garden, cooking healthy and delicious meals, a hot bath, breast massage and restful sleep.
I didn't do this all in a strategically planned order. I didn't make some big to do list and set a bunch of expectations for myself of what I was going to DO and ACHIEVE over the weekend to feel like a valuable human being. Instead I decided to just BE. I flitted and floated between tasks. I was going to clean the kitchen after a bunch of cooking and my body said "let's go to the office and hit the books". It was 8 pm on saturday night and I thought "Really?." "Yes!" she said emphatically. So off we went. I finished up by 11 pm - surprised at how quickly I completed the task and how fun it was. Accounting is RARELY fun for anyone.
I marvelled at how much I could DO when I decided to just BE.
I speak often in my classes about how we need to embrace our pleasure as an inner guidance system. It's like another shape your intuition takes to speak to you. It knows the way to get things done, in ways that flow with ease, in ways that are filled with pleasure instead of dread and procrastination. It can be such a small voice though. That voice that says "I need some socks right now", or "I am thirsty", or "I don't want to eat this food", or "I think we should do this now instead."
I'll give you a perfect example. After a weekend of following my pleasure I came home on Sunday night. It was about 9:00 PM. I wasn't ready for bed, didn't feel like putting it on a show, I was undecided. My feet were a bit cold as the weather had turned and the house was warm but I felt chilly. "Let's have a bath" my body said. I thought about it for a second. "But we have a sunburn and it's going to hurt," I thought. I wrote it off, decided to pick up my book and lay down on the couch for a read. While I did take the time to put socks on, I was still a little chilly while I was lying there. I was comfortable but I wasn't IN HEAVEN. Each page of Pussy: A Reclamation was a continual reminder to listen to my body, ask her for what she wants, let her lead me to all the right places. I wasn't there 10 min before my body again whispered "we would be so much happier and more relaxed in a bath." I didn't hesitate this time. I got up, drew a bath, poured some epsom salts, lit a candle and let myself totally melt into the tub with my book.
"That's it." My body said.
"That's the sweet spot."
How many times a day do you hear that little voice and ignore it. How many times do you override that little voice with another little voice that says - "we are too busy for that, it's too much effort, we don't deserve it, who are we to ask for that, you are such a needy diva."
Tuning into your pleasure isn't just about having a better day, looking on the bright side, or enjoying moments of pure joy an deliciousness. It's about turning on your internal guidance system. It's about lighting up from the inside to find more joy on outside. It's about how just being can get things done. So I challenge you. To NOTICE. What is your body asking for? When have you followed that voice, when have you ignored it?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments on the Facebook page. Or if you want to jam on this in person join the Happy V Bookclub. This month we are reading Pussy: A Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer. Sign up to get all the details on what book we are reading and when we meet next. You can read it ahead of time or just join some awesome ladies for inspiring conversation.
See you soon.
- The Happy V