The Power of Pleasure
As sun and water feed the plants so they grow, so is pleasure a source of energy for us human beings. It is food for the soul. Without it, as the plants without sun and water, our soul will shrivel up and on some level die. Pleasure feeds us on many levels. The anticipation of pleasure that helps the sun shine on dreary days. The memories that nourish us. The all consuming, timeless moments of pleasure, where nothing else exists but the here and now. Pleasures that change us, whether we simply feel more relaxed and at peace or we’re challenged or inspired to do or be something different. It may even change us forever. That is the Power of Pleasure.
This is not the short term unconscious pleasure of excess alcohol, food, shopping, television or the many other distractions that can become unbalanced and lead to an array of problems. The powerful pleasure is that which naturally feeds your mind, body and soul and those around you. A walk in the park, watching the sunset, playing music, a smile, a tender hug, a lingering kiss. Spending time with no agenda. Doing work that you love. This list really is endless.
Yet the word pleasure has become tarnished and is often associated with dangerous over indulgence such as excessive use of drugs and sex. Coupled with an education and work system that teaches the value of hard work above happiness, where the expectation is that you work all your life, then when you retire you can really enjoy life’s pleasures.
With this pleasure is devalued in our culture – it can be seen as a waste of time as you don’t achieve anything, a purposeless pursuit. Instead we value how hard a person works, how much they achieve, how much they have. These beliefs infuse our every day where pleasure ends up at the bottom of our to do list, if it even gets on it and if we do choose pleasure we choose nibbles rather than a feast and still feel guilty.
Yet there is a plethora of research that showcases the benefits of pleasure and that people that engage regularly in pleasurable activities are healthier and happier on all levels – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and sexually.