Our pleasure shows us where we are in alignment. It is a natural built in system that shows us what is right for us. However, not all experiences we might label as pleasurable are created equal.
It is helpful to learn to differentiate between different types of pleasure. For example, eating a piece of chocolate cake might feel good in the moment but that does not necessarily mean it is really in alignment with you. To determine whether it is or not you need to pay attention to the entire experience. While you’re eating the chocolate cake, it might actually be a pleasurable experience, but how do you feel after you eat the chocolate cake? Does it continue to be a pleasurable experience?
It is also helpful to pay attention to the quality of the pleasure; is it consistent throughout the layers of the experience? Using the same example of the chocolate cake, it might feel good in your mouth, but not feel good in your body. Maybe it negatively impacts our emotions because it’s more food than we actually need, and we know it and so we feel a little uncomfortable about having eaten it. While I am using the example of chocolate cake, this approach applies to all experiences in our lives. How we feel at work. How we feel in our relationships. As we pay attention, more to our pleasure and learn to really listen to it we strengthen our ability to navigate through life.
Another thing that gets in the way of using pleasure as our guide is having a negative relationship with pleasure. Because of this you can feel badly about something that is actually good for you. Your conditioning distorts the picture of what you are experiencing based on ideas about what you should or should not enjoy. The opposite can also be true. We can learn to feel pleasure associated with things that are not good for us through conditioning as well.
The basic experience gets distorted by misconceptions and misinterpretations of events that take what would be a simple mechanism for determining what is right for us and making it confusing. It would be wonderful if it was as easy as if it is a pleasurable experience, then it is in alignment and you can say yes to it we can welcome more of it into your life. And if it is not a pleasurable experience then you want to redirect and go in a different direction. Once we get past all of the conditioning this is true, but it takes some time to do so.
It may seem as if with all this conditioning it is impossible to trust how you feel about things. However, the trick is not to cast pleasure aside and start trying to figure out what is best through your mind but instead to dive more deeply in and practice paying closer attention.
To use pleasure as a guide, and it is a very useful guide, you can start by paying attention to where you might be filtering or misinterpreting the information that’s coming in about what is pleasurable,. You can then learn about what works for you or does not work for you in any given situation. As you pay attention to all aspects of your experience around an event that you consider pleasurable you become more refined about what is truly pleasurable.
As we become more and more refined, it becomes easier to have that simple relationship with pleasure –if it feels good then it is good. Then you are able to use pleasure to cultivate people, places, things, situations and activities in your life.
As you do so, you will feel so better and better in all aspects of your life because you are creating a life that is in alignment with you. As you cultivate this, it actually raises your overall energy.; your energy starts operating at a higher level, which continues the refinement process of your pleasure. This allows you to hone in on what it is that is working for you and what it is that’s best for you through what feels good.
Then your pleasure becomes this incredibly valuable tool for creating a life that feels really good and is really in alignment with who you are.
The day that I reached the 300k mark in my business I didn’t feel happy. I had been frequently attending fancy events staying in fancy hotels –you know the kind with really large water features, perfect gardens, and extremely polite staff –the kind who say “can I do anything else for you miss” right after they have done anything for you. I had a book published. People were seeking me out for my expertise daily. I was on my way to the big time!
I did not feel happy because it was not in alignment with who I am. I love healthy organic food, funky boutique hotels, intimate and powerful events. I love things that feed my soul not just my wallet. I am in business so that I can go to a balmy tropical island in the winter and feel the sand on my bare toes, so that I can continue to learn what is going on on the cutting edge of my field. I am in business so that I can create quality. I truly believe that business can have the power to change the world and what is more, I know some key things that entrepreneurs like you are missing when it comes to creating your very own business.
I was not paying attention the way I needed to be. I was too busy doing. The answer to fix this problem is coming back into alignment.
Alignment is when who you are and what you are about is unobstructed by thoughts, emotions or experiences. A simple way to say it is: You are thinking, feeling and doing what is right for you. Not right based on what your ego might want but right for you from the place deep inside –the deepest truest part of who you are.
A definition of alignment is a position of agreement or alliance.
It is also possible to describe alignment by the saying that the inner and outer are in agreement. They are mutually supportive. One of the ways that we can tell if there is alignment is through the experience of resonance.
While resonance can be used to direct ourselves in other ways, it can help us now if we are on the right track by giving us that feeling of “home” or “rightness.”
In physics, resonance is “A phenomenon that consists of a given system being driven by another vibrating system or by external forces to oscillate with greater amplitude at some preferential frequencies.”
Again, another way to put this is that when you are in the presence of something or someone that is resonant there is an effect that happens. Something on the outside of you resounds with something on the inside of you letting you know that there is an agreeable relationship.
You can use this experience to help you make choices in all parts of our life.
Here is the trick. Often, we do not have contact with the deepest and truest part of ourselves and so we need to develop that as well. Here are some ways to listen to what is truly important about who you are and what you are desiring:
As with most consciousness skills, observation is the starting point. They require that you pay attention to what is often overlooked. Slowing things down or taking pauses throughout your day can help immensely when growing these skills. And these skills can help immensely in growing a more successful and fulfilled life.
Like this topic? Join me for more on alignment and resonance on this weeks Real Answers Radio. The show is live and I would love for you to call in with your thoughts and questions!
The question that I am asking myself lately is, “Are things in my business and life in alignment with my personal truth and vision?”
In other words – Am I being true to myself? Which is a very important question if we are going to walk our talk in our lives and businesses.
There have been a few things that have stood out to me as I do this inventory: community, place, artistry, and commitment. I have been looking at the local food movement, the holistic and integrative care models, community arts, and qualitative research methods.
In general, I have been looking to sharpen my intention around how much healing effect business can have and how much it can improve our quality of life.
I think money is a very important part of business. But if it becomes the most important part of business, maybe that is not for everyone. I am taking a stand for a business model that is not about creating another corporations but creating a lifestyle.
No, sweeping changes but I foresee some fabulous adjustments in the upcoming year. Some of which, you will be seeing sooner rather than later. And the best part about it is that every step I take in this direction the more fabulous things get. I can’t wait to keep updating you as I make this transition through the month of July!