Happy Friday!

Today I have a question for you: what is in your pleasure portfolio?

If you are busy you may feel like pleasure is at best an side project and at worst a distraction.

When you get all the important things done, then you will allow yourself to enjoy.

I get it. I used to have such strong inner voices here I talked myself out of daily pleasures.

I remember standing in line at our local grocery store years ago and looking longingly at an essential oil mister.

“Oh that is just frivolous.” my inner go-getter chastised me.

“You have other things to worry about at Harvard than enjoying fancy smells.”

In fact it took my sister visiting me and taking a look at my shower full of uninspired personal care products (like jumbo bottles of generic shampoo and soap) to help me snap out of my puritanical streak.

“You love stuff that smells good.” She said nonchalantly as she came back to our tiny apartment after running some errands.

“I think you have been too busy so I picked these up for you” and she proceeded to fill my shower with botanical-flavored soaps and shampoos.

Why do I still remember this story now 10 plus years later?

The kindness in her gesture. The fact that she could remind me of who I was when the distractions of accomplishment and pursuing forward movement, goals and credentials had made me shut down that part of myself or deem it unimportant.

Are there any daily pleasures you have forgotten?

As a coach for high-achieving women who want to slow down, and actually accomplish and savor more in life – here is what I have learned:

Pleasure is fuel.

The changes that we desire in our life and want to create in our work require pleasure to be sustainable. Otherwise we burn ourselves out or worse, eat ourselves on the inside to look good.

And many women I know are actually starving for pleasure. This is what tips us into overindulging in shopping, eating, or drinking (which in and of themselves can of course be beautiful activities) but if we deny ourselves pleasure for long enough we go a little crazy and overdo it.

Your brain is literally hardwired for pleasure.

This is why step I of The Flourish Formula is all about “Immersion” – each of these activities is a sensory experience waiting to happen: the beauty of creamy pastels as you make your heart mandala, the breath of fresh air in your green/blue time at the shore or the satisfaction in allowing yourself to be still and really receive a beautiful piece of music, without having to multitask.

So what is in your portfolio?

Maybe you currently have one or two things you enjoy but need to diversify.

Or you may not know even what currently brings you pleasure and could benefit from some exploration.

Here is my current list just to get your juices flowing:

  • Big walks by the lake listening to podcasts from coaches I enjoy 
  • Fresh flowers or jumbo tropical leaves on my desk from my patio or the florist
  • Candlelit showers at night
  • Snuggles with the newest member of our family, Quinn, a two month old kitten we rescued from the street
  • Off-the-beaten-path travel with my kids and my husband

(Are we connected yet on social media? I love to share behind the scenes pics of our travels. We are headed to the beach in Costa Rica tomorrow and you can follow our adventures over on Instagram or Facebook.)

Now over to you:

What is in your pleasure portfolio?

Is there anything you forgot you loved that you would like to add back in?

I hope you will leave me a comment below.

Warmly,

Courtney

Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual master's degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School and is the author of The Flourish Formula: An Overachiever's Guide to Slowing Down and Accomplishing More and creator of the 8-Step Flourish Coaching Program. Courtney helps busy women unlock their greatest gifts and thrive in their personal lives. In the summer of 2017 she followed a long time dream and moved to Nicaragua with her husband Richard Amory (they met in Nicaragua in the Peace Corps) and their three children where together they are exploring volcanic islands, colonial cities and beaches. They have made their home in Granada where they are being tutored by their neighbors in the art of slowing down and living more. Interested to learn more? Each month Courtney offers a handful of complimentary Flourish Assessment Calls for new or potential clients. You can schedule one here.

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