We have moved into the time of year of balance and new beginnings. This is a great opportunity to view our lives and ask where we are out of balance, what we need to do less of/what we need to release and what we need to have more of/what we need to invite. Lately, I have been curious about pleasure. Actually my investigation began over a year ago, when I travelled to Vieques, Puerto Rico, with Pam Montgomery for a trip focused on Plants of Pleasure. Pam’s description for the trip started, “Do you want more pleasure, joy, fun, bliss, companionship, peace, playfulness, sensuousness and deep encounter in your life?”
Perhaps, this conjures up images of relaxing on the beach or being intoxicated by the sweet smell of Plants. Maybe this sounds luxurious or sensual or even silly. I can insure you it was challenging! I mean don’t get me wrong, the beaches were gorgeous, the sun (in January) was incredible, the Plants were intoxicating, and I did have an enormous amount of pleasure, fun, and bliss. However, it took a lot of work for me to get there.
See, I am born and raised in Lancaster County, PA - the Heart of Pennsylvania Dutch area. Here, a person’s value and character is determined by their hard work. How could I take a week off without my kids to go to a tropical island in the middle of winter to focus on pleasure?!
Of course, I did go. Though I also knew I was going to make Essences and to create relationships with Plants which would support my healing practice. So not entirely, work free (though still pleasurable). And of course, the first night there, my son had a mini crisis for which I could do very little when I was almost a day’s travel away, though had I been home it wouldn’t have occurred at all; feeding my belief that I needed to stay home and work and not galavant off (and work).
This is what led me to my serious investigation of Pleasure. What I’ve come to understand is that I am not the only one who has a hard time taking a break and its not just the people who live where I do. For I have clients all over the country with this same issue and as I travel, I observe people and hear the same thing.
We tend to live a life based on busyness, needing to always be doing more and moving at warp speed, yet having to go faster. For those who want to create a better world, there’s so much that needs attention and healing — GMOs, pipelines, fracking, pesticides, racism, sexual assault, homelessness, deforestation, refugees, protecting Dreamers, healthcare, the list goes on and on — that we often feel we can’t take a break.
This eventually leads to burnout, which can mean we become jaded and cynical or can manifest as a more physical symptom, such as: Lyme, Chronic Fatigue, Adrenal fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, etc. Most importantly, we miss out on the pleasures of life.
That’s not to say that we don’t find pleasure in what we do. For sure, I absolutely Love my work. I genuinely enjoy the sessions with my clients, sharing with my students, and spending time with Plants. And I learned early on that you can find pleasure in all things, including washing the floors and cleaning toilets. There is a difference between this form of pleasure and having experiences for the sake of Pleasure.
Our first “assignment” in Vieques was to investigate “What is Pleasure with a capital P?” The answer that I received from Rubber Tree is that Pleasure increases your Light. Not all pleasure is the same. The question to ask is, “Does this raise or lower my vibration?” What raises the vibration for one person may lower it for another. And it may depend on the situation. For instance, I rarely drink alcohol because I instantly feel my vibration lower; however, there are times when celebrating with friends that a drink actually enhances my vibration.
When we look at Pleasure in this way, maybe we do not need a Bacchanalian feast or even a week long get away. Maybe what we need is to look up from our work and notice the clouds in the sky or have a laugh with a friend or a nap in the sun. Maybe we need to smell a Rose.
Part of my investigation into Pleasure is the acknowledgment that we tend to have a conditioning that things need to be hard. The more difficult something is, the more valuable the work. We devour the stories of people who pulled their lives out of the gutter and “made something” of themselves. Or people who struggled with a disease and won. And so we have to fight - Cancer, drugs, Monsanto, terrorism, poverty.
What if this wasn’t necessary? What if we didn’t have to fight or we could clear issues with ease? I see this all the time in my “work”. In my own life I have experienced near instantaneous healing and shifts and I’ve also been part of the creation of something incredible with little effort. Each time I experience this, I remember that the natural flow of the Universe is ease and grace, imbued with Love; and when I am (and my subconscious believes are) in alignment, this is how things happen. When we give the Unseen a chance, things can occur in magical ways.
As Michael J. Roads writes, “…so much of our inner growth is caused by competition, and overcoming pain and suffering. That’s the way we seem to grow. Adversity seems to offer us more growth than harmony, yet I know that this is our conditioning … How much more simple it would be for us to grow through Love.” (from Through the Eyes of Love ~ Journeying with Pan ~ Book Two)
I returned from my week in Vieques having healed old wounds; learning much about myself, Nature, and the Multiverse; and feeling nourished and filled, more able to support the people in my life. I decided that I needed to seriously investigate Pleasure and my relationship with it. What I have learned is that there are many ways of bringing Pleasure into my life; it is through Pleasure that I feel most connected to the Divine and Nature and others; as I consciously choose Pleasure, I am happier, more peaceful, and able to incorporate more Pleasure than I thought possible while fulfilling my work and family-life more successfully; and there’s so much more to investigate!
With that, I invite you to have your own investigation into Pleasure! Feel free to share your findings! And remember, the Plants are willing to help. (Soon the Vieques Essences will be available. In the meantime, Hibiscus, Rose, Pink Lady's Slipper, Kokio keokeo, and so many others are waiting for us to ask.)
Wishing you a Pleasurable Spring!