Like every single one of us, I work hard.
I especially work hard when I launch a new program. Last weekend’s Mastery launch was not only the highlight of my teaching career with the largest, most expressive, most brilliant Mastery class ever, but my incredible team was absolutely spot on, glorious, gorgeous, generous and flawless.
I wanted to take you behind the scenes a bit, to give you a peek into my personal pleasure practices. How do I make sure the magic happens? I want to show you how I make sure I have filled up with enough fun, pleasure and joy, so I can give give give, and then some.
How do we find her? How to seduce her? How to include her and invite her perfumed presence into our daily lives? What does she want? What does she like? Why does it seem like she is here today, and then abruptly vanishes?
What is the trick to having her stick around and stay a while?
Pleasure has been much maligned, much misunderstood, and much overlooked. Hard work is cheered and praised. Pleasure has been the stepchild. And yet, with the support of all of you, the Pleasure Revolution is working her way into our culture. Have you noticed? After working herself to the point of total exhaustion, Arianna Huffington woke up and turned the pleasure page. Her new book, Thrive (which I have just begun reading, and love), has nearly a whole chapter on arranging for proper sleep! In pink silk PJs. Fantastic. I slept better last night, after reading her words.
Last week, the New York Times reported that, recently, some of the biggest banks on Wall Street have gone against the 24/7-nose-to-the-grindstone corporate culture that has been in place for decades, and are insisting that their junior bankers to do what was once unthinkable: take an entire single weekend day off. Four times a month!
Pleasure is seeping in, Sisters. (Click to tweet!)
I have been studying the discipline of pleasure for years, and I want to give you the inside track on the bones, the architecture, the structure of pleasure, so you can actually design a life that will allow you to experience pleasure any time you wish, ongoingly.
Pleasure is deliberate, not casual.
Surprising, right? We think fun is just, well, fun.
And that is should be easy. After all, it’s just pleasure.
She requires planning, she does not happen by default.
Well, actually, she may happen by default, but only after careful planning.
For example, remember when you were in high school? And there was a Senior Prom? And even if you chose not to participate, there were a bunch of kids who served on the Prom committee. Those kids got together every week, and planned the Prom. They picked the theme, chose the decorations, hired the band, found the venue. They planned the menu, picked the flavor of punch (remember the mountain of sherbet, floating in ginger ale?) ordered the invitations, and sent them out. It took weeks for them to make all these decisions. The planning of the pleasure of the Prom was a kind of pleasure.
Then there was the anticipation, where everyone decided if they were going to go, or not. And were you going alone? Or with a date? Who was going with who? And then, the inevitable: what to wear? Where to shop? What shoes? Hair up, or down? Shall we all chip in and hire a limo? Or get Dad to drive? And on and on and on.
The anticipation of all that pleasure was a pleasure.
Then the big night arrives, and everyone shows up, tuxes rented, corsages in place, and the pleasure of the party begins. There is dancing, drinking, laughing, crying, exclusion, inclusion, the whole spectrum of magnificent teenage glory.
Can you begin to see the structure, here?
The ingredients of every pleasurable experience are always the same:
4. The Big Event
Bonus: If you have hit all your marks, and have done 1-4 really well, default pleasure will land in your lap.
And these 4 phases are true, no matter what kind of pleasure we are talking about.
When someone invites you on a date, the architecture is the same. One or both of you is planning, inviting, anticipating, and then, experiencing. When you decide to have a massage, same deal — whether you are going to a spa, or having a friend massage you.
So, as Mastery was approaching, I had to really place a serious stake in the ground to begin to create time and space for pleasure. It would have been super easy to get sucked into all the details of preparing for the event, the worry, the what-ifs. But I have a great team, who know what they are doing, so it was time for me to plan a different use of my time. I decided to take the week before and not start anything new, but rather to simply invite myself to dwell in the splendor of Weekend 1 of Mastery. I got a stack of my favorite inspirational books, I listened to the recordings of how I taught in previous years, I went through a file I keep of material that I am beginning to cultivate as I continually redesign the program. I created a series of sensual encounters — meeting with a lover, going to my favorite Greek restaurant with a date, and an evening of popcorn and a movie while cuddling with my daughter. Sensuality, in all forms, fuels me. This time I pressed my edge further than I ever pressed it — I hired a car and driver so I could have him drive me to the barn, the day before Mastery, to see my horse, bury my face in her neck, and fill myself up on horse magic.
This is where default pleasure kicked in.
Default pleasure is the sweetest kind.
Its pleasure you cannot predict, you cannot imagine, you can’t organize on your own. It is where the Divine swoops in and hands you something so wonderful that it just decks you, overwhelms you with its beauty and magic.
When I got to the barn, there was a Master Trainer, Torleif, visiting from Germany. I rode my normally cantankerous horse for him and she was behaving worse than ever. Everything I asked of her resulted in her trying to buck me off. The trainer watched me for a while, coached me, studied us, and then asked to ride her himself. I jumped off, and watched, transfixed, as this man, who was more skilled than any rider I have ever seen, brought my wild girl under his gentle spell. He listened. Felt.
Collected her. And explained to me that she was in pain — she had a sharp tooth, digging into her gum, she needed a dentist right away, and her bit was way too harsh. I welled up with relief and gratitude, and told him I had been trying to decode her behavior for years and never could figure out what she was trying to tell me. He told me I was not a good enough rider yet to have understood. Humbling, but true.
If I had not gone that extra mile, for myself, in standing for my pleasure, I never would have had a lesson with the Master Trainer, as he was only in town for a few days. And if I had not had that lesson, I would never have been able to decode what my horse has been trying to tell me for years. And all I have wanted, all this time, was to be able to hear her, allow her to relax, and ride her well.
To have Torleif model for me, the gentle way to listen through pain, feel resistance without judgment, and decode apparent hostility and aggression was a legend I required before entering the Mastery room. Every woman I was about to encounter is not so different from my horse — a gorgeous creature with longstanding, long overlooked pain. His loving patience and deep listening with me spilled like radiance into the every corner of the storyline of the weekend, and allowed me to listen better than I could have imagined.
Enlightenment is the gift, the fruit, and the legacy of deeply seated pleasure. (Click to tweet!)
And no one tells us.
But, now you know.
In the comments below, please share with me the pleasures you are planning for yourself this week, or pleasures you have accomplished already, and how you will architect all four stages. I also love to hear tales of default pleasure that have come your way! Your taking the time to comment will elevate and inspire everyone. It is through you that we all go higher.
Also, stay tuned for next week’s blog — I am going to reveal the fifth and most important step of creating and guaranteeing a pleasurable experience.
With so much love and pleasure,