When did you learn that being productive and feeling good can't coexist?
Yesterday, as I was drinking my iced oat milk latte soaking up the sun on my fave coffee shop patio, I pulled out my journal to do my daily freewriting practice.
This is what I wrote:
“I’m afraid something inside me will internally combust if I try to combine work and pleasure”
After I examined and reframed this fear, I wrote:
“You're not going to internally combust – you're going to heal and it's going to be fucking beautiful.”
Pleasure just means feeling good. Who says we can’t feel good AND be productive!?!
I've been practicing and teaching pleasure-based living for three years now and this programming is still there, lurking.
You might think that because I got out of the tech rat race, I've healed all of my work issues and everything is easy for me now…
The truth is that I do work a lot less and I do experience more freedom, flexibility and fulfillment.
It dawned on me recently that I call myself a Women's Empowerment Coach but until a couple years ago I didn’t even really know what empowerment meant.
I think it’s high time we build a shared definition of empowerment. Cool? Cool.
Empowerment looks like confidence, feels like security, and acts like having agency to influence the course of your life.
To me, empowerment simply means having the power to live the way you want to live
Power comes in many forms and flavors.
Some of us start off with more power or perceived power based on our identities, families, lived experiences, trauma, etc.
That is 100% true AND no matter where we start, we can always choose to increase our power.
And a choice it is.
I actually like to think about empowerment as discovering power that was always there in the first place, we just couldn’t see it or access it for some reason.
I believe we are born powerful creators with the ability to craft the lives we most desire for ourselves.
As modern day babes, we juggle a LOT.
Whether you’re working, studying, moming, hustling, side-gigging, caregiving or all of the above…
You need a way to come back to center and give yourself the care YOU need.
Maybe you get alone time, but it’s spent binge watching, scrolling the gram and mindlessly snacking.
We all numb out sometimes – I know I do.
And guess what? It’s okay.
It doesn’t matter if it’s been a hectic couple of hours or literally months or years since you can remember feeling present, content and connected with yourself.
You can start today, wherever you’re at.
You can choose to feel good.
Because the number one tool of a Pleasure Queen is choosing pleasure as often as you can.
And you’re in luck because today I’m sharing my 20 minute dance break pleasure as medicine turn upppp practice to jam along to in your PJs whenever and wherever you need a lil pleasure infusion!
If you're anything like me, you need a good scientific reason why you should do something.
Lucky for you I have a master’s in Integrative Health and can tell you exactly why you seriously need to start prioritizing pleasure ;) Buckle up buttercup, this is a long one!
1. Pleasure counters the effects of stress
Let’s be real. Life is hard sometimes. From work stress to planning for the future or caring for family – pleasure helps balance out all the toll stress can take on our body.
When you experience pleasure, a cascade of natural chemicals and hormones floods your system that not only feels amazing but literally helps heal chronic stress and fatigue.
The hormones released when we receive a comforting hug or massage (oxytocin) or enjoy sexual pleasure and/or a really good dance party ;) (oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin) are the exact chemical antidote to chronic stress (cortisol).
Oxytocin and dopamine down-regulate cortisol and reduce the toll of chronic stress on...
Did you learn that the way to get what you want is to buckle down, work harder and be better than everyone else?
But here’s the thing – willpower only gets you so far.
It’s the equivalent of running a sprint and thinking you can keep sprinting forever...it just doesn’t work.
So what’s the answer then?
Self-trust, my loves, self-trust. Oodles and oodles of the stuff.
Self-trust can sound like self-love sometimes, i.e. sounds great but how the f do I get it!?
You don’t just magically wake up one morning and have self-trust, you build it, slowly, over time.
You build self-trust by searching for and appreciating evidence:
evidence that you can trust yourself
evidence that you know how to take care of yourself
evidence that you can handle whatever life throws your way
The evidence might be really slim to start with, that’s normal. It’s a start.
(And hey, I know there’s prolly a whole lot of evidence you can find that...
Do you know people or are you the person who has it all and feels like you have nothing?
Maybe you have the cushy job, a cozy home, you might even have decent savings, but at the end of the day it doesn't count because…
Maybe the job isn’t completely aligned with your values
Maybe you’re leaving your partner
Maybe it’s not the life you would have imagined for yourself
Maybe there’s still the stress of rent/mortgage
Maybe there’s the college funds for your kids or future kids that don’t even exist yet to worry about…
You see how this goes? You can have it all and feel like you have nothing
Our brains are experts at pointing out issues and solving problems that don’t even exist yet.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan for the future. I’m saying the future you want will happen much faster if you focus on actually enjoying your life and letting it all be enough right now.
Read that again.
And maybe your life...
Most weeks I feel like I have so much I want to tell you, but today I want to ask you something.
Wise traditions and cultures consider questions the best teachers. A single question can be guiding and working on us for years.
Here’s the question I’d like to offer you today:
What would it be like to have your body be your home?
I invite you to take the question in and see what it has to show you.
Feel free to journal on it, take it for a walk or take it into a meditation and repeat it over and over and see what comes to you.
That’s it for this week. As always, I would love to hear what comes to you as you reflect on this.
Shout out to the babes in my year-long mastermind program Radiance Collective who inspired this ;)
If you’re desiring some of this personal support magic, I have 2 x 1:1 coaching slots available. Now’s the time to book a call if you’re been thinking about it! Or just send me a message if you want to connect.
Do you ever have the days where you’re busy but nothing actually gets done?
You keep getting pulled in different directions and all of a sudden it’s 4PM and you’re wondering where the day went!?
Yeah, me too.
Yesterday it took me three hours (three freaking hours!!) to finish a 10 minute task!
The answer, my friends, is presence.
Presence is that state of mindful awareness where you're not worrying about the past or future, you're just being or doing in the present.
Presence can be a slippery lil fish, trust me, I know.
Sometimes the laaaast thing I want to be is present, cause then I would have to face all the things and feelings I've been avoiding.
What helps in these situations is tuning into your senses. Try looking at a pretty plant, taking a deep breath or listening to a beautiful song. Fully putting your awareness on one sense at a time.
The more we can do this, the more time expands. Our lives literally feel more spacious and free.
This is one of the most common questions I get – But Alyssaaa, why is it so hard to prioritize pleasure!? It should be easy...right? I meeeean this is pleasure we’re talking about here, not taxes!!
Listen, I get this question all the time so let’s take a breath, buckle up and go there.
Here are three factors that make pleasure so damn hard:
1. Our culture prizes productivity above all else
We have all been conditioned to be productive.
Our education system was literally designed with the goal of churning out efficient, reliable and productive workers. That is its objective.
It is not designed to make us happy.
It is not designed to help us find fulfillment.
It is not designed to help us heal, grow or evolve as full human beings.
It is designed to further capitalistic aims and fuel economic progress.
Read that again.
This value system instilled in our educational system is then reinforced in the workplace.
We’re expected to show up consistently everyday,...
Maybe you can relate to this?
I have a HUGE heart.
Like so freaking big it terrifies me.
When I let myself, I can feel so much so deeply.
So I keep it bottled up. I stay busy, stay focused, stay distracted, anything to stay on the surface.
I'm sitting here right now weepy with a wool blanket and some tepid tea on my lap.
My coach just supported me in letting myself feel into layer by layer the weight my heart has been holding these past couple months.
Layers of sadness, grief, despair.
Layers of longing, desire and purpose.
Layers of goodness, power and energy.
When I let myself feel through these layers, I get to this place where I feel my heart like this ball of energy in my chest that is at once a distinct sensation in my body and at the same time radiating infinitely in all directions.
The best way I can describe it is like a whole universe of energy and space and power inside of me.
I think many of us over-achievers and workaholics are this way too.
We feel things so deeply...