It’s the start of a new year. It’s the start of a new year after a series of seemingly increasingly horrible years. We’re entering year three of a global pandemic with no end in sight. Not to mention the ongoing challenges in our environment, democracy, and social equity. The world is pretty scary and relentlessly intense. It can all be very overwhelming on the best of days.
I can’t solve any of our bigger issues. What I can offer is a guaranteed solution to navigating this treacherous time. Two simple words: pursue pleasure. It’s deceptively simple, but it’s more powerful than you likely imagine. The reality is that there are many things that are outside of our control. What is always in our control are our values and how we live in congruence with those everyday. When you center pleasure and joy it shifts your entire being in relationship to all of the rest of it. Let me tell you why.
When you center pleasure, you are automatically making yourself a priority. You are signifying your worth as a whole being to yourself and the world. You cannot begin to consider your pleasure when your focus is outward. You shift your relationship with yourself and you shift your relationship with the world. When you center pleasure, you are living in alignment with gratitude. You become grateful for all the moments, experiences, and things that bring you pleasure. Pursuing pleasure means that you are able to see the beauty, light, joy, and possibility even in the smallest of things. Yes, you can think of a big ticket item or a moment that is pleasurable but the reality is, our anticipation of a thing and our pursuit of it is all a part of the pleasurable experiences. When you center pleasure, you clarify what is for and not for you. Your clarity brings into sharp focus how and with whom you want to spend and exchange energy. In this way, your individual pursuit of pleasure isn’t a selfish act. In fact, this practice creates a greater and more reciprocal space for community.
While the world remains an overwhelmingly heavy place and the pull is toward fear and anxiety, counter that and pursue pleasure. Here are 5 easy ways to get you started:
Use mindfulness or meditation to help you get clarity on what brings you pleasure.
Make it a daily practice to begin asking yourself if you can find pleasure in your everyday responsibilities.
Make it a daily practice to carve out time for your specific pursuit of pleasure.
Create boundaries in your relationships that take away from or challenge your pleasure.
Use affirmations to reinforce your worthiness of pleasure.
If you are struggling to center yourself and your pleasure, connect with me, Dr. Nikki. I’m a licensed psychologist and sex self-confidence coach for Black women, femmes, and BIPOC couples. I help you find your pleasure and pursue it relentlessly.