The Treasure of Pleasure

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Poor health can make one always look on the darkest side, and cultivating an awareness of pleasure can end up lost in a world of pain and suffering. So, in an effort to cultivate that awareness, as part of a mindfulness practice, here is a list – in no particular order – of 10 pleasurable things I have experienced today:

1. String resonance
2. The smell of mint and tea tree shower gel
3. A friend I can talk to about anything
4. Orgasm
5. The taste of coffee that felt like liquid velvet in my mouth
6. The scent of my son’s hair
7. Tender and passionate kisses
8. ‘Krave’ cereal
9. Watching ‘Interstellar’
10. Discovering the game ‘Blendoku’

It isn’t about some positive thinking nonsense of ‘accentuating the positive’ but, rather, noticing the pleasurable, taking delight in the delightful. Being mindful of anything at all that is nice, or just isn’t crappy. It’s easy to notice the shit, because it’s loud and obnoxious. The nice stuff can be there, but soft and subtle. Therefore, it takes looking for it and making over it. And, that’s what I’ve done here.

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Learning Curves

Voluptuous is a good word.

The Oxford dictionary describes the word voluptuous as:

adjective

  • (of a woman) curvaceous and sexually attractive.
  • relating to or characterized by luxury or sensual pleasure:long curtains in voluptuous crimson velvet

The word, when spoken or read, immediately conjures up the idea of fullness – a veritable bursting with pleasure; indeed, the idea of the word is that curves give pleasure! How delightful.

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It’s a small (small but powerful) shift in thinking that takes me from seeing myself as fat, lumpy and frumpy to seeing myself as our word du jour.

When I see myself as the former, I walk with hunched shoulders – an outward display in my posture of how I am feeling at that moment about my appearance. It shouldn’t be important. It isn’t, but it is. It is.

On those rare occasions I have a more positive attitude to my body image, I stand up straight and tall (like when I sing – which is, for me, a most voluptuous experience) and, regardless of what anyone else’s opinions might be when they see me right then, I am quite pleased with the curves.

It’s about learning to accept the body I’m in right now. Not what it used to be. Because, I can’t get it there again. That’s a realm to which the door has shut forever. I’m not going to starve and exercise for hours on end. I’m not going to disguise vanity and call it a health kick. You heard me.

Most days, that acceptance is exceedingly difficult, to say the least (and there are days when it is impossible). But today… today I am…

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voluptuous!