3/15/2023 5 Comments
Body Speaks Pleasure - Get Fluent!
Wisdom of the body expresses itself in two ways. Disagreeable sensation, such as lack of energy, numbness, or discomfort is a NO. Enjoyable sensation, such as aliveness, relaxation or pleasure is a YES.
As a species, we are better at responding to NOs than YESs. Pain gets our attention much faster than pleasure - and most of us have more or less reliable ways of dealing with it. Pleasure, on the other hand, often remains an untended, under-nourished, under-appreciated stepchild, only paid attention to when she is dressed in a glittering ball gown in the middle of a dance floor.
If we only pay attention to the extravagant experiences of pleasure (a gourmet meal, a tropical vacation, or a mind-blowing night with a new lover), the body can get discouraged. If it has no chance of attracting your attention with small-scale pleasures (little YESs), it has to say more NOs. If we consistently ignore the breadcrumbs of pleasurable sensation (running your hand through your child’s silky hair, friendly smile from a coworker, soft cradling of a comfortable shoe) and only follow the trail of discomfort, the body is likely to create more discomfort. Like most mammals, the body would rather have negative attention than none at all.
I am not suggesting that we ignore the signals of pain or danger. By all means, adjust the chair and take yourself to a chiropractor if you have a backache. Wouldn’t it make sense though to pay at least as much attention when your back is feeling better? Wouldn’t you want the brain to understand the signal of “I want more of this”, not just the signal of “less of this, please”?
How do we then condition the mind to be more pleasure-friendly? These are a few ideas informed by positive neuroplasticity, mindfulness and somatics.
3/10/2023 4 Comments
Let Them Feed Your Hungry Heart
5 Micro Skills to Help You Find, Absorb and Enjoy Emotional Nourishment
Do you sometimes feel starved for connection and support? What is the most important area of life for you to nourish right now - work, health, creative or spiritual pursuits? What are some of your favorite ways to be supported - empathetic listening, practical help, creating a relaxing distraction? Our needs and preferences change, however, there’s a set of psychological micro-skills you can develop to help you seek out, internalize and enjoy support, regardless of your mood or the situation.
Want to practice your micro skills? Come to our Delight mE Creation Ecosystem, where we train ourselves to co-create, play, connect and enjoy giving and receiving support.
Elena Khazanova is a holistic facilitator, a psychotherapist and a pleasure coach. She designs and runs trainings and groups where the powers of connection, pleasure and play are used to transform inner and outer worlds.