A few weeks ago, I shared that balance is an inside job. Before we experience the external balance of our ideal time and energy management schedule, we must first acknowledge our heart's desires. Then we must give ourselves permission to acknowledge our desires. Next the goal is to align our actions and choices with our desires. This is clearly easier said than done or we would all be living our best lives, right? But awareness is the first step. Just acknowledging that there are (likely many) places in your life that you deny yourself pleasure gets you closer to saying yes to your desires. I mean, do you even know what you really, truly want? I know I didn’t for a long, long time.
Choosing pleasure begins with something as simple as acknowledging what your body needs and then honoring it - going to bed when you are tired, going pee when you have the urge, eating when you are hungry and drinking water when you are thirsty. These seem so basic and common sense, yet we so often bypass our bodies needs for these basic things because we are hyper focused on gettin’ shit done and meeting everyone else’s needs first. Then we end up hangry or with an UTI because we didn’t honor our needs, in other words, we denied ourselves the simple pleasure of using the toilet and nourishing or bodies. Sound familiar? Personally, I denied myself these basic needs on a daily basis for years.
I shared recently how I denied myself the pleasure of a birthday party and what that represented for me. But I have denied so much more pleasure than just that. For many, many years I knew I wanted to start this business and support women in the way I am now. But I wouldn't allow myself permission to do that. I had so many stories why I couldn't….
I wasn't good enough yet.
I didn't have everything perfect.
My kids needed me too much.
My husband didn't help me enough.
I didn't have time.
I wouldn't be able to cook healthy dinners and have my own biz.
What if I became successful and couldn't keep up?
The way we do one thing, is the way we do everything.
If I wasn't willing to allow my basic needs to be met, then I damn sure wasn't allowing myself any pleasure. It got to the point that I rarely laughed anymore. I didn't even allow myself to have fun. I said no to myself all the time. I had five kids which provided a really “good story” about why I couldn't go places, do things, have what I want, etc. I mean who the hell had time for fun if there wasn't even time to sit down or sleep? Everything was get down to business and make shit happen. No time to rest. The list must be completed.
✔ kids dressed + teeth brushed
✔ hot breakfast made
✔ kitchen clean
✔ laundry done
✔ homeschool lessons planned & taught
✔ lunch made
✔ work calls
✔ kids activities
✔ house cleaned
✔ emotional needs met
✔ playdates scheduled
✔ bills paid
You get the picture…..
If you couldn't keep up then you better get out of my way, because I was haulin’ ass, especially since my self-worth was dependent on my level of productivity.
This was pre-adrenal fatigue...and essentially what led me straight to it. I was popping out babies every two years or less and over functioning for my family. I never allowed myself to stop and slow down. I would have just given birth and literally been on the laptop working within hours. It was pure insanity. But no one stopped me, no one said slow down. In fact, my productivity was encouraged and expected. It wasn't until my body was literally giving out on me that I finally acknowledged all the bypassing I was doing. And even still a year and half out from that diagnosis, I still find myself under resourced.
Today, it's better, so much better. But I still have to look around and ask myself, “What do I need right now?”
When I want something, I still have to do my work around my deserving and worthiness. But the difference is, now, I am willing to do that work and say yes to what I want, even if it makes me uncomfortable.
Because I know the reward is beyond worth it.
I recently took a weekend getaway to Chicago with my sister. It was my first trip away from my kids in a decade. We spent one whole day (6.5 hours to be exact) at a Korean spa. That was completely unprecedented. The whole weekend was so symbolic of allowing myself pleasure. Even something as simple as taking my time browsing in a shop without someone texting and asking when I’ll be done was significant.
Other ways I have been exploring pleasure is through dancing, various types of yoga, naps, yoga nidra, yummy food, time in nature, time alone, applying body butter, dry brushing my skin, having lunch with a friend, visiting a woo woo event, going out for drinks, trying new things, traveling….and just saying yes to my desires more and more often.
So I ask you….
Where in your life are you denying yourself pleasure?
And where will you commit to choosing more pleasure in your life right now?
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