The first full month of The Year of Pleasure and there are already miracles.
Miracle No 1. I discover I’m not in charge and it’s ok.
I have never set off down a path, as I have with the Year of Pleasure, without thinking it through.
Never set off without knowing why I’m going and how I’ll get there, and how I want it all to be on the way, how much it will cost, is it worth it, how I’ll fund it…the full monty.
‘you haven’t really thought this through, have you?’
‘are you just making this up as you go along?’
are not ones that are usually followed by something good.
In management speak they usually precede something like ‘you’re sacked’.
Being or appearing to be in control has been a good thing. A good, mortgage paying thing.
So it’s……..um……insane unusual for me to have set off on The Year of Pleasure knowing nothing except that
I have to.
Because I cannot bear to see a sizeable proportion of the business population miserable, hating their jobs, stressed and just waiting for the moment when they are free of it. That’s no life people. No life.
I also want more options for companies I’d actually choose to buy from. Choose to buy from them because I like them and (oh my God wouldn’t this be a miracle), trust them.
As I set off, not having a clue what I was doing courageously following my heart’s desire, I did try to plan and set objectives and measures and milestones. The usual stuff.
Alas they were not forthcoming. More than that I was experiencing strong resistance to applying anything of that kind to The Year of Pleasure.
Then this quote landed in my in box and I decided it would serve as my absolution and it would probably be alright not to evaluate for a while
“To observe without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence.”
J. Krishnamurti Indian Philosopher
So, out of respect for the beautiful, delicate and artful thing that I consider pleasure to be, and because I was having no success with any other way forward, I surrendered.
The first couple of months of The Year of Pleasure would be pure observation.
To observe my days and the instances of pleasure and pain, metaphoric and literal, to be found there.
And to do it with as little evaluation as I was capable of, given that I’m not perfect.
So, I learned that I was not in charge of how things would go in the year of pleasure.
But it’s alright.
Miracle No 2. Where I learn that I really don’t have to work that hard.
When Quaker peace and social witnesses attend a scene, they don’t do anything.
They are just there. Observing. Giving matters their attention.
And things change for the better.
It’s much harder for abuse to continue when someone’s looking straight at it.
I’ve spent 5 weeks now looking straight at the pleasure and the pain in my life.
I’ve done nothing more than notice it and record it.
And yet all on their own, things have begun to change for the better.
I barely lifted a finger. This was not hard work.
In fact….dare I say, it has been a pleasure.
I understand theoretically how this works.
About how when you ‘get out of the way’ ideas, energy, answers can flow through you better.
And how ‘observing without evaluating’ would create near perfect ‘getting out of the way’ conditions with your ego off swinging in a hammock somewhere not jamming up the works.
I just don’t think I’ve ever been out of the way for this long before to see actual results so clearly.
There were issues. Things I’d have spent good amounts of time fretting over.
But having pledged observation only, observation only it was.
And off I’d go to something other issue or to read or cook.
Before long I’d have an answer, (sans fretting please note).
That’s the difference. That’s what makes it a world apart from before.
I got intuitive insights and answers before but I’d busy my brain with hours of tussle with the issue first.
Much brow furrowing. Tension leaving no gaps for ideas to squeeze through.
This way is much easier.
There is no struggle involved.
And these insight bringers. They are so generous and so gracious.
They’re not like a dog bringing you a stick, all tail waggy and wanting a pat on the head for their trouble. None of that.
They just drop a thought in while you’re distracted in the shower and slope off unseen. No thanks required.
Or they put a poster up where you’ll notice it. Or just put the name of a book in your mind that you sense would be good for you to read.
I’ve lost count of all the thoughts, that led me to look something up, which led me to an answer or solution to an issue.
I’m still frankly amazed.
Amazed at the elegance of it. What a beautiful thing.
Still taking it in.
I wanted more pleasure and less struggle and here, after 5 weeks, I have it.
Pauline Esson, aged 46 and a half.
It is true.
Struggle is not necessary.
I really don’t have to work that hard.
March is here.
Pleasure will be the underlying theme running throughout the year. For January and February the theme was pure pleasure.
For the rest of the year there will be an additional related theme each month.
The theme for March is wisdom.
What is it, how do you get it, what’s it got to do with pleasure?
You can keep up with it all at the blog. You don’t even have to visit, you can have posts delivered to you by e-mail. Just click on the link in the top right hand corner of the blog where it says ‘get blog updates by e-mail’
I wish you much pleasure.