When we experience deep sources of pleasure we experience an affirmation of life. I am thinking of simple everyday activities and phenomena that are built right in to our life such as: the winter sun revealing a sea of brilliant white light, the sensual nourishment of a well-crafted meal, good conversation, or a candle-lit bath. Simple. Doesn’t sound very exciting? Consider this.
Our usual pursuit of pleasure often has us looking so far outside the realm of ordinary experience that we miss what is right here in this moment to be heard, seen, felt and enjoyed. Essentially, we seem so enchanted by our imagination of the novel and exotic, that we are blinded in the process to the extraordinary and transcendent qualities brimming in everyday existence.
In addition to this our senses have been dulled by both continual bombardment and neglect. We need to restore and re-educate our senses to appreciate the delights of ordinary sensual pleasures, reclaiming them by slowing down, taking our time instead of unconsciously and aggressively beating ourselves to exhaustion with the demands of a largely unexamined life.
Prerequisite, therefore, is an examination of the values actually driving our existence, to see if they’re even in line with where we want to be. Who am I? What do I want? To what degree does my life reflect this? It’s about identifying what adds value and vitality, and being a little more conscious and deliberate in the design of our life such that it begins to mirror a little of this back to us.
An increasing reverence for everyday life reveals deep sources of pleasure that not only nourish and sustain, but fulfill and inspire us as well—simple, value added, life affirming.