I’m going camping tomorrow!
As someone who has historically had a lot of trouble prioritising feeling good, it still feels slightly anxiety provoking to leave behind all the things I COULD (or “should”) be doing, and instead go hang out by the beach for a few days.
A small part of me feels panicky about not spending that time “catching up on things” (the kind of things that never end up getting caught up, despite the best of intentions). But I’ve played that game enough times to know that even if I did stay home and try to get shit done, it’d be from a sense of obligation rather than being something I actually want to do, and I’d end the weekend feeling strung out and like I’d missed out on living (which makes sense, because I had).
The prevailing feeling was that I was enduring my way through my days. Not even as a strategy for delayed gratification – I wasn’t getting through the shit stuff to get to anything good, I was just getting through it so I could get up tomorrow and do the same thing again.
For a long time it was an ingrained pattern that I wasn’t conscious of.
And then I WAS conscious of it but it felt too hard to change – that annoying part of transformation when you can see so clearly that what you’re doing kind of sucks, and what you want instead feels monumentally out of reach.
I wanted to snap my fingers and be living a pleasure filled, fulfilling, satisfying life.
Change rarely works like that.
Before I could snap my fingers, I had to build the capacity to receive. And that took time. For a while it was irritating – I just watched all the times I wasn’t able to choose feeling good. I’d watch myself make the same old choices.
Gradually, like watching paint dry, every now and then I chose something different. And it was REALLY uncomfortable – I didn’t choose something that felt good and feel good. I chose something I wanted to feel good, and felt uncomfortable and awkward. I had to rewire my nervous system to feel comfortable with these new choices, to register them as good instead of registering them as ‘WTF is this shit?’.
After a few years, gradually making a different choice here and there, more and more choosing things I wanted to do, not the things I thought I should do. And I found, time and time again, that the sky didn’t fall. Nothing bad happened. I didn’t even get further behind, whatever that even looked like.
What did happen was that my life started feeling more satisfying. I felt more fulfilled. My life felt more and more like it fits me.
What happened is I began to learn to feel and express my own clear boundaries. As part of choosing what I wanted, I learned what I DIDN’T want, and I learned to say no.
What happened is I began to hang out in spaces with other women who are masterful at prioritising pleasure – and I watched what happened to their lives as they leaned more and more into following what feels good and letting themselves receive it, and I learned from them by watching.
What happened is I stopped trying to do this all on my own. I saw the women around me asking for and receiving support, and I saw how that impacted their ability to create magic in the world. I started finding my own support.
Feeling good and prioritising pleasure (as with most things) is something that is so much easier when you’re surrounded by a community who’s committed to the same thing. It’s normalised, and there are people to reach out to when it feels hard. And it does feel hard – past trauma, shitty conditioning, all kinds of stupid messages that are ingrained in us make it so hard to allow ourselves to feel good.
This morning I was challenged to take prioritising pleasure further than the half- attention I’ve been paying it for however many years. One intentional act each day, purely for pleasure. And these things can be super small – drinking out of a pretty teacup. Taking a walk and taking ten photos of things in nature that look like hearts. One thing, every day, intentionally.
So tomorrow, I’m starting with something big, and I’m going camping.
See you on the other side 🙂
And if this strikes a chord and you’d like to make some changes – get yourself some support to make that happen 🙂 Send me a message or book a call if you’d like – I have space for a few new clients this month (and we can work in person if you’re local to Cairns). You deserve to feel good, and have your life feel like a kind place to be.