What’s your pleasure ritual?
Well that title could have a few different meanings, couldn’t it!
I actually heard the term used on a brilliant podcast I was listening to this morning called ‘The Health Bridge: Becoming and Ageless Goddess.’
Their definition was that a pleasure ritual is something that brings fulfilment to a woman (or man’s life). Its something you experience on a regular basis that satisfies YOUR needs and helps you feel a sense of happiness and joy.
So I thought to myself…”Lisa, what’s your pleasure ritual?” – back to how I answered that question in a moment.
I am a huge believer in rituals when it comes to wellness. They are the key to feeling the way you want, and if you look at those in life you deem successful, it’s also their secret weapon.
A wellness ritual could be tied to regular exercise, morning meditation, a Sunday cook up, daily yoga practice, journaling, drinking bone broth, or something else that helps a person feel vibrant and energetic.
The point is that having rituals built into your life that focus on the 4 key areas of wellness:
This means that you are able to perform at your best and enjoy life the way you want to.
Now back to the question I asked myself. I see a pleasure ritual as something that falls into the spiritual category. Some might also call this ‘having a purpose’. Either way, if your life lacks in pleasure or purpose, you could find yourself feeling unfulfilled.
In my experience working with women over many years, and through my personal journey as well, feeling like there is little pleasure in your life leads to the un-doing of the other rituals you might have already established.
Let me give you an example. A woman in her early 40’s, working 4 days a week whilst raising a family, sets aside 30 minutes a day to go for a walk.
This is the perfect example of a physical ritual.
However, she often feels exhausted and overwhelmed with all that she needs to get done in a day. She feels that everyone else’s needs come before her own, and in fact she experiences guilt if she does something for herself like organising a coffee with a friend or going shopping on her own.
After all, her partner works hard too and he deserves his free time to relax and unwind – well that’s the dialogue in her head anyway.
Her compensation for feeling like she has no time for herself is a couple of glasses of wine each night, which on the weekends often turn into a bottle.
Deep down she knows she feels frustrated, she even resents her family a bit, yet she continues to do the same things. She tells herself that the daily walk is ‘her time’, but deep down she knows the choice to walk is more about her health and feeling fulfilled. And so at times her physical ritual stops as well.
It’s easy to see why this woman turns to wine (or chocolate). And I can bet that she is not alone. It’s far easier to numb out, or even use wine to connect with others, than it would be to face her sadness and ask herself the question I did…”What is your pleasure ritual”.
The funny thing is, and I always try to write with full disclosure, that it took me a while to answer this question myself.
I exercise daily and do yoga a few times a week – but that’s for my health. I do a cook up on a Sunday because it gives me control over the week ahead. I am trying to do more regular meditation…and that of course is for my sanity – LOL!
But when it comes to doing something that gives me pleasure, I have to say that unless it involves shopping, facials, massages or a weekend away, I don’t actually have something I do on a regular basis, or that does not require money to be spent.
Am I left feeling unfulfilled because of this?
Sometimes, yes. And that’s not to say I don’t have the opportunity, nor am I not grateful for all the things I already have in my life.
But I have decided to look for a new ritual that gives me pleasure, that does not always cost money, and that I can do on a regular basis. I know reading books was something I use to love to do…mindless books that had no purpose other than to help me tune out.
Maybe that’s a start. And in case your mind went somewhere else with the ‘free and regular pleasure ritual’… well let’s just say that as women, the more we give ourselves permission to seek pleasure in any way we choose, the happier we will be – wink wink!
So my invitation to you is this…make a conscious decision to ask yourself the same question I did right now. Then, do one of two things…
If your answer was “I’m not sure what my pleasure ritual could be”, then start to get creative and open yourself to trying different things. Ask some girlfriends what they do for pleasure…he he he…that could start a very interesting conversation.
If your answer was “I know what I love to do, but never have any time”…that’s when you need to sit yourself down and give yourself a stern talking to. If family a member seemed unhappy, you would be the first to ask ‘well what can we do to make you happy’.
So WHY NOT YOU!
Your happiness is just as important, if not more, than that of your family because when you are feeling happy and fulfilled, that flows on to those around you.
And if you don’t have family and instead hang around lots of other single women, then be the inspiration they need by starting to do something pleasurable for yourself and share this with them. Again, interesting conversations can come from this!
I’m not sure where in history society started to tell women they were not worthy enough of feeling fulfilled
…or maybe it’s just that society tells us that fulfilment is about having the perfect body, the rich husband, the great career, the two perfectly behaved kids and the amazing wardrobe….hmmm, I’m not so sure that really does bring fulfilment and happiness, are you?