Pleasure in Urgent Times



What would pleasure do?

Good question, am I right?

It is a question I pose from time to time each day as an antidote to these urgent times we find ourselves in with micro stresses in many moments.

Count how many micro stresses you have had already today...

The alarm goes off before you are ready

Perhaps the mental load of being a parent is high as new school term begins

That email you didn’t want to receive

The radio news show brings more news of grief in the world to your ears

You get my drift. Micro stresses have become the norm, especially in our hyper capitalist culture that demands more and more than our tender bodies are designed for.

So we must tend to pleasure when we can.

This same hyper-capitalist culture would have you think that pleasure is something that can only be bought. Only be achieved or worked towards and this can cause more stress on our systems.

I am not unaware of the troubles in the world right now, the injustice and the sense of urgency that any warm-hearted human being can feel and the desire to ‘fix’ all the world’s problems can be a constant, aching, huge pull.

But…

Even the fiercest warrior of our times must fill up their cup before going to war on injustice — and keep doing so along the way.

I know this might sound like a very privileged thing to do but it isn’t (or at least it doesn’t have to be).

It is essential and can be found in the smallest of doses. In fact, it is these small doses of pleasure that sit outside the form of what we have become to understand as pleasure that are a true act of rebellion right now.

We may need to slow down to appreciate these things in micro doses.

Slowing down allows us to change the script from urgency. It allows us to sip and savour these seemingly small moments and bring new form and meaning to pleasure.


The Times are Urgent, Let Us Slow Down — Bayo Akomolafe

It is here that I want to introduce the idea of micro doses of pleasure.

Listening to the sound of rain drops on the window

Smelling the aroma from a cup of tea

Sensing the miracle of breath move through the body

Taking in the colour changing of the trees in a local park

Feeling the warm embrace of a bath

Watching a sunrise

And if you follow this invitation to find your own unique version of micro pleasures I invite you to notice what happens in your body as you do so.

This is how we fill up our cup.

Pleasure isn’t a luxury.

It is essential for our human experience.

And slowing down to sense these micro pleasures in these urgent times might bring about more shifts than we can imagine.


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