There is pleasure in the simple, every day things. Don’t be mistake, I didn’t say ‘simple pleasures’, In fact, pleasure is not simple. Pleasure is complex and mysterious and to be fully appreciated and experienced requires hesitation, pause, mindfulness. Genuine pleasure isn’t quick. Even the quickie drive-thru Frosty (or quickie in the shower) reveals its pleasure in the pause, which sometimes happens in a delayed manner. You eat the Frosty while driving but at the next traffic light, you pause and lick the spoon and momentarily ponder upon the satisfaction and pleasure it have given. Same with the other quickie…it’s something pulled out and reconsidered later while in between tasks at work. You recall it and THEN the genuine pleasure arrives. Pleasure is a mental process. It is conjoined with sensuality but not always simultaneously. It’s why looking through old photo albums or listening to music can be so pleasurable…..it harkens to memories and things from the past. Pleasure requires mindfulness. I think it is why so many people are discontent and dissatisfied. They have plenty of sensuality in their lives: they eat luxurious food, they exercise, they have lives packed with electronics and a multitude of devices pouring stimuli into their sensory banks. Their problems lie in their inability or refusal or incapacity to be present and mindful….to PAUSE and truly experience what they are feeling. Pleasure is a consequence of processing feeling.
Think of the contrary. Have you even kicked a coffee table while trying to rush out of the house? Have you even tripped and fallen in a public space and hurriedly gotten up and pressed on out of sheer embarrassment? Maybe you have some pain but LATER when you have to to really think about it and to inspect things, you discover your foot is KILLING you and it’s all bruised. Your elbow is actually swollen and you can’t unhook your bra because you’ve wrenched your arm somehow. THEN it hurts…..because you process it and think about it and finally know what you felt. Pleasure and happiness are much the same. We often forget to stop and inspect ourselves when what we’ve experienced is GOOD and positive. Of course we take inventory when we’ve been a klutz but what about when we’ve knocked one out of the park. Often, we just keep moving. We don’t want to be boastful or braggarts by lingering upon our achievements although we’ll display our failures and misfortunes for the public square. Thus, we make room for shame and humiliation but rarely for pleasure and affirmation.
Today, take time to enjoy what happens. Linger upon the good sensations, even the little things: brushing your hair, shaving, the taste of your coffee, the smell of onions sauteing, the dapple of sun through the tree branches, the rolling clouds across the horizon. Pause and let the experience sink in……be present.