Taking the Guilt out of Guilty Pleasures

A few months ago I treated myself to a retreat in the woods, with the intention of healing and inspiring new creations for my coaching practice.

Not only did I schedule in an amazing White Light healing from Belinda Davidson during my time unplugged, but I had also booked an intense energy-shifting massage from the host of my retreat.

Every attention to detail was paid from the warmth of the room to the richness of the music to the luscious scents of the oils, and I was in bliss as I felt shifts in both my physical and energy body while Randy worked his magic.

Then, the most interesting thing happened.

When I was most deeply immersed, experiencing pleasure in its highest form, my ego mind came back to play tricks on me.

Judgment and guilt tried to rob me of my pleasure as I questioned who am I to allow myself to let go completely and feel at home in my body.

It wasn’t until my Higher Self intervened that I reconnected and remembered this truth:

I was and am absolutely worthy of ALL the pleasure I could possibly experience in this life.

Pleasure is, after all, the language of the soul.

Once I let go and surrendered the judgment of myself, my body, and my desires, I felt a weight lift and was able to step into a space of grace and acceptance.

In reflection, I asked myself:

Why is the phrase guilty pleasures so much more widely used than simply the word pleasure?

Why the guilt in the first place?

Are we stuck under the thumb of the “shoulds” – or rather “should nots?”

The ego likes us to believe that life should not be this pleasurable, especially when I know others are in pain.

But avoiding pleasure does not heal the pain of others; in fact, it does more harm than good.

It is only when we recognize and indulge in our own deepest pleasures that we are able to give fully and selflessly to others.

Play with the below exercise to begin taking the guilt out of your guilty pleasures:

1. Discover what brings you pleasure.

Pleasure isn’t a dirty word, though we often remove ourselves from it by labeling it as such. In fact, really getting comfortable with our bodies means finding pleasure by indulging in touch, tastes, smells that ignite something deep within and too often ignored.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve experienced real pleasure, give yourself permission to explore a little. Perhaps like me you are craving touch and a massage – or maybe you want to experience a new cuisine (or experience familiar cuisine but in a new environment) – or play in a perfumery and combine your own fragrances to create your signature scent.

Your options truly are limitless, so get your mind AND body involved on this one.

A note on sensuality: our SENSES are gifts – so treat them as such, and you will most certainly be rewarded for it.

2. Value pleasure the same way you value those things in life you deem absolutely necessary for survival.

Close your eyes and picture hanging scales.

On one side are your basic necessities – food, shelter, clothing.

On the other side are your “soul’s” necessities – meaningful relationships, a career that betters the world, breathing room to stay present and truly enjoy life.

Now envision these scales balancing – perhaps even tilting a bit more toward those “soul necessities,” until you energetically feel the shift within and you remember what’s truly important.

3. Seek it out and allow yourself to fully receive it.

Awareness is key and the first step – but awareness without action is simply more thinking.

So take action now and schedule in that massage, walk in the woods, or other precious “me time” now. Put it on the calendar and then get ready to receive what your soul has been longing for.