Pleasure: This Month's Self-Discovery Word

Coach Joy Tanksley of Being Joy invited me to contribute to the Self Discovery Word by Word Blogger Series which has motivated bloggers to engage in meaningful self-reflection by focusing on just one word. A few months ago I shared my very personal contribution for the word vulnerable. This month's word is pleasure, a word I think is perfect for February. Pleasure is defined as "agreeable sensations". A part of my soul really enjoys being what the French call a bon vivant. A bon vivant is a good liver or a person who enjoys the finer things in life like good food and drink. Pleasure is the stimulation of the senses. When I think of pleasure I think of indulging those five senses in a few of my favorite ways:

Pleasure takes me both outside of myself and into my own skin. Nothing is more pleasurable than being fully in your own power and feeling appreciated. I recommend total self-appreciation but if others want to chime in and appreciate you I say allow them in! Pleasure requires some letting go. Although sometimes exchange is involved in pleasure. Such as a willingness to gain 5 pounds in exchange of the pleasure of eating holiday cookies. One might give up several hours of time to see a movie they really love. Then again, pleasure can motivate one to be more disciplined such as working out hard to earn a really decadent dinner. 

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A few people I think are "good at pleasure" come to mind: SARK, Theda Bara (the wild American silent screen actress), Maye West, Auntie Mame, Gerard Butler, Miss Piggy, most really good drag Queens, Donald Trump, Abraham Hicks, Puff Dady, Roseanne Barr, Lady Gaga, Hugh Hefner, Mariah Carey, most Europeans, Anthony Bourdain and pretty much every hair band from '80s. 
There's also the "guilty pleasure". A few examples include eating junk food, buying shoes you can't afford, watching reality tv or listening to cheesy 70s music (that would be my personal favorite). Guilty pleasures invite a sort of inner struggle. A few things that get in the way of pleasure: shame, feelings of lack (not enough time or money to experience pleasure), workaholicism. Pleasure also requires some time management. You don't want to skim through pleasure. Pleasure is meant to be savored and sipped slowly. 
Pleasure might actually be fleeting so perhaps "joy" is a pleasure's more mature big sister. Pleasure is effortless, finding joy can sometimes be work. Or is pleasure a verb and joy a noun? Pleasure is hedonistic (according to some) and joy is spiritual. Joy doesn't make you gain weight in exchange for feeling good. As I get older and grow more into my best "me" I'm letting my pleasureable experiences grow into absolute joy.

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