How much pleasure can you handle?
At what point while having fun or indulging yourself does your body rebel and “punish” you? Today, I was having a joyful day of meditating in the morning, walking my dogs, researching my latest writing project, reading ‘A Course in Miracles’ in the bathtub, getting an hour foot massage (for $25) and delighting in a chocolate croissant and refresh tea when – I stubbed my toe. That was my maximum. It was about 10 hours of pleasure. That’s pretty good. But then my ego said…I can’t take it. We’re not used to this much goodness and ease and peace. I must intervene. I must reel it back. So…ouch!
Of course, I worked my magic on my foot and it was fine in no time, but it reminded me of the ego’s thermostat for joy and pleasure and my determination to break it. As children our bodies build an internal monitor of pleasure and pain. The ego is trying to keep us safe at all times so it adjusts to the level of crazy we were raised with. Then, everything you try to do above (or below) that level gets the rubberband effect. We naturally readjust to what we are used to. This is one of the reasons it is challenging to break an unhealthy pattern. It is almost as if our body tells us to take our negative medicine to keep everything as is.
But it is breakable! I went from being miserable 85-100% of the time in my teens to being joyful 85-100% decades later. Yes, it took work. I employed a plethora of healing techniques, but just as importantly, I set my intention to be more joyful everyday and I push the boundaries of pleasure and fun relaxing into greater and greater joy. I pay attention to when negative thoughts, feelings and actions come up. When I am able, I give them love and understanding as I know they are just wounded pieces of my ego that need attention.
So, here’s the challenge… get out your thermometer and take your temperature. Where you at? Can you raise your bar? Can you have a scooch more joy? An inch more pleasure? Can you add sensuality to washing the dishes to make them more enjoyable? Can you give yourself a hug or kiss just for fun? Can you relax your body and feel into the spots where there is space for more joy? And then can you close your eyes and let pleasure well up inside?
Fredrick Dodson tells us we can increase our joy just by getting silent and willing it to increase. 10 fold, 100 fold, 10,000 fold. Try it. It just might lift your spirits and raise your thermometer a whole new level…