Yesterday, I took a walk along the cliffs at Pt. Vicente. I watched whales breach, dolphins play, osprey hunt, and people stare at their cell phones. I get it. Cell phones are great fun. They give us an immediate pleasure rush of hot excitement.
But what about deeper, more meaningful pleasure?
When I take a pause and observe my body, I realize it is quite obviously built for pleasure. I have hormones that flood my brain and tell me what feels satisfying, tastes delicious, smells enticing, or looks beautiful. I’m hardwired to experience and explore through the lens of pleasure.
Lucky for me, the world is a pleasurable place. It is full of satisfying sensations, delicious foods, enticing aromas, and gorgeous sites. The world was made for me just as my body was made for it.
Yet, like all of you, I’ve gotten good at taking the short cut, and the world has gotten good at handing it to me. Rather than working for the satisfaction of a homecooked, nutritious meal, I can get an immediate dopamine hit from a salty, fatty, frozen and reheated breakfast sandwich.
Rather than taking the time to set up a date and connect with a friend, I can like an Instagram post, immediately, and get that same dopamine rush.
If I do take the time, though, I go beyond the dopamine hit and settle into my oxytocin response. I can fill my brain and body with that lasting, satisfying, deep hormone of love and true being.
I like dopamine as much as the next person. That’s the whole point. We all have it, it’s useful, and it’s addicting. But when I take the time to truly tune in on that deeper level, I’m more fulfilled and in the flow and pleasured and pleasurable and – yes – sexy. So much more sexy. And life is supposed to be sexy, inviting, feminine, receptive and fluid.
I’ve spent the past three years chasing “the flow.” I thought I could arrange all my priorities just right so they’d align in a flow. What I realized is this: I have to get into the flow first, then I can attend to my priorities. The flow is the priority. The love of myself and life comes first.
Calling The Yoga Harbor a dream is an understatement. This studio was an obsession of mine for damn near a decade. I drew the logos and filled the vision boards for years; I studied business models; I built many business models. The Yoga Harbor was all-consuming.
Letting it go – giving up a massive dream – was the most freeing thing that has happened to me in my adult life. It took up the brain space of seventeen other priorities. Despite having the tagline, “go with the flow,” my yoga studio was like a Hoover dam on my flow.
Without the studio, I spend time just connecting far more regularly. I give my body what it needs … because I can actually tell what it needs. I have created the space to settle into a love affair with my body and life again. It’s early. Like all love affairs, the romance will likely pass. But that’s the gorgeous thing about oxytocin: it doesn’t burn up like dopamine. You can lose the romance and still feel deeply fulfilled and hugely sexy and massively pleasured by life when you’re living it in accordance with your inner flow.
Okay, this is all getting pretty pie-in-the-sky. I’m not here to preach about the golden gates of your life opening up. I’m actually just here to tell you to start stretching and massaging your body more. Just do that. Give your body an oxytocin-rich experience to balance all those dopamine hits.
Need some help? Join me for BODY LOVE.
This 90-minute workshop will guide you through body-melting stretches, mind-melting massage, and soul-fulfilling breath. You’ll use the Pilates reformer to stretch, Yoga Tune Up balls for massage, and my guidance for breathwork and meditation along the way.
Valentine’s Day / February 14
Beach Life Fitness Boutique (Redondo Beach)
COVID UPDATE: outdoors, limited to 6 participants, physically distanced, masks required