Let’s be honest...
For most of us, pleasure was not something we were taught to prioritize often, certainly NOT every day. Pleasure was an every once in a while, if we’d been especially good or hardworking, kind of indulgence. As a society, we've been taught that we have to earn feeling good.
It’s time to release this false belief.
Because most of us were raised this way, and then continued this way of living into our adulthoods, it’s NO WONDER there is an ever creeping in the shadows critic that pops up to remind us to take our focus off of what brings is pleasure and GET BACK TO WORK.
How many times has this busybody snuck up seemingly out of nowhere while we lose ourselves watching our children play, relaxing on the couch enjoying a movie or show, sitting on a park bench, allowing the sun’s warmth to energize us. They ruin our time with a big guilt bomb and distract us from living life.
It’s clear this critic doesn't value the rejuvenating power of joy and presence! To be fair, this critic is a function of our ego whose job, however misguided, is to keep us safe. It does this by ensuring everything on our mile-long to-do list is complete and then some. It’s job is to keep us in a state of stress so we don't let up, never let our guard down, and are not consumed by whatever is “out there” trying to eat us alive- lions, bears, bill collectors, broken transmissions etc.
Unfortunately, our inner critic and its guidance will never lead us to a satisfying life because to it, there is always more to do and more important tasks at hand. It’s important to recognize the voice of the inner critic and distinguish its advice from the truth. The truth is: Everything is always working out for us and our inner knowing will always lead us to do exactly what needs to be done when it needs to be done. When we trust ourselves, we are safe.
Here are 3 tips to quiet your inner critic and allow more guiltless pleasure into your life because, seriously, you deserve it.
- Create a mindfulness practice that allows you to quiet your mind and be in the present moment.
- Schedule time every day to do things that bring you pleasure. Click here for a 30 Day challenge to bring more happiness into your life.
- Journal the voice of your inner critic. Sometimes it helps to see how ridiculous and focused on limiting beliefs they are. This makes it easier to acknowledge what they have to say and then dismiss their demands. Then, write an entry from the perspective of your Highest Self. What would that version of you have to say? My guess is that it would encourage you to take time to do the things you love and honor the gift of life by pursuing happiness and pleasure.
Pleasure is the gateway to joy and happiness. When we invest actively in things that bring us pleasure we live a life that lights us up and we can share that light with our families, communities, and the world.