Presence is Necessary to Cultivate Pleasure and Love

To love something you have to BE with it.


I’ve lived in so many places, visited even more. But it wasn’t until I developed deep presence that I started to really enjoy the places that I called home.


I can remember flashes of moments from before:


Driving to work in Las Vegas at sunrise. Watching the early morning light dance over the mountains at the edge of the sprawl. Hot air balloons rising slowly above the morning rush.


…in DC strutting into work every day in a fitted suit with hype music pumping through my headphones. Looking in awe at the historic building I worked in—directly next door to the White House.


But even those memories pale in comparison to the experiences I’ve created in my neighborhoods since.


After the end of the presidential administration I worked for, I left DC and spent a few years in Chicago and truly fell so deeply in love.


As @rosehousecoaching said earlier today, Chicago is loud and dirty and gritty and teeming with people.


But suddenly with all of the free time I had, I was able to really explore and appreciate so many of the tiny, mundane pleasures a city can offer.


And now, in my current place in West Seattle, I’m taking such deep pleasure in getting to know local business owners, the entire co-op staff recognizes me, and I’ve found so many unexpected paths to the beach and nature.


Exhibit A: the picture above is me walking away beaming with excitement after my first hand poke tattoo from @wellwornink just down the street from where I live.


I know part of this is a luxury.


I don’t have children. I have a flexible schedule.


But there’s a lot of choice here too.


The earlier part of my transition out of the traditional working world included just as much, if not more, free time and I spent most of that first couple of years terrified.


I wasn’t present. I was in future mode. I was catastrophizing. I was grieving the loss of my impressive career.


Where in your life could you put down some of that fear and maybe be a little more present with now?


That’s the space you need to create to allow pleasure to grow.


I’d love to hear from you about your pleasure and where you could use some help setting pressure aside.

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