The Calm Before the Pleasure Explosion: What to Do When You’re Pushing Against an Edge

The Calm Before the Pleasure Explosion: What to Do When You’re Pushing Against an Edge

Did you know that #teamMDS has a resident Pleasure Sorceress? If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you already know – that’s me!

The team bestowed that title on me because of my commitment to learning from pleasure, finding the pleasure in the painful moments, and allowing others to recognize and emphasize how pleasure plays a role in their own growth.

All of this means I’m constantly exploring the edges of my own relationship with pleasure and how I prioritize it on my personal growth journey. (I call this the Pleasured Path.)

We’re used to learning from pain. Life is so full of difficult, painful moments that we immediately try to find the meaning: “There must be a lesson in here. There must be something I can do with this pain.” The pain has to be “worth it.”

There is tremendous power in pleasure, and the potential for growth and healing within it is almost inconceivable.

I know this because I’ve spent the last two or three years exploring the depth, breadth, and potential of choosing the pleasured path through conversations, observing my own experiences, and even looking into scientific research.

It turns out that learning from pleasure is tricky because it’s so outside of what we’re used to.

When something amazing and magical happens to us, we don’t think, “There must be a lesson here. There must be something I can do with this pleasure.” Not only do we not think the pleasure has to be “worth it,” we rarely think it’s worth much of anything at all.

Instead, there are so many ways we ignore or bypass the pleasure. We don’t even stick around long enough to ask what the pleasurable experience taught us because we’ve moved on to gratitude or calm or finding the meaning in the next painful moment.

It’s also uncommon for us to do something simply because it feels good. And this, I realized recently, is where my current edge is.

Even knowing how much value there is in choosing pleasure, even with all the research and anecdotal evidence – I was still afraid of fully trusting pleasure, exploring, and deepening pleasure in my own life.

I was still getting caught up in the old stories I had about pleasure being frivolous, play being pointless, and success being meaningless if it did not come from suffering and sacrifice.

Given how much darkness has surfaced recently all around us, I suppose it was natural for me to reconnect with those stories in such a big way. And yet, moving through all this darkness requires an even stronger commitment to the light. How can we return to the light if we forget or refuse to acknowledge that it’s there?

So now what? What can we do when we see that we’re pushing against a personal edge in our growth and development?

Usually we know we’re at an edge because things start to feel uncomfortable around that particular area of our life. Perhaps it’s earning more money, receiving more love and attention in a relationship, or simply how we experience something in our lives – like me with pleasure.

These are often the areas where we do the most “work” in our personal development, and while they can leave us feeling frustrated (“Didn’t I do this already? Haven’t I been here before?”), there’s usually pure magic on the other side of it. I’ve started to think of it as the calm before the pleasure explosion, because, why not?

I’ve identified three key things I love turning to when I’m pushing against an edge. These three steps keep me feeling empowered along my pleasured path.

  1. Get to the core of what’s happening – no matter how ugly or painful it might be. In order to grow through any edge, you need to become clear about what’s going on. Why is it an edge? Where is the opportunity to connect more deeply with yourself and your truth? What stories have you wrapped up in this area of your life? For me, freewriting and EFT/Tapping are the most powerful tools to get to the bottom of all of this. Both of these have the ability to provide an easy access point to reveal all the crap festering inside of you. Once you’re clear on what’s going on, you can move on with more confidence and clarity.
  2. Say yes to any opportunity that gently pushes against that edge. Usually, once you’ve come up against an edge, opportunities that push you even more into it start to pop up naturally. This is happening so that we can choose a new way forward and grow through whatever that edge is. So, if earning more money is the edge, a new opportunity might manifest that causes you to say, “This feels amazing and so fun! But how on earth will this work?!” In my experience, saying yes provides the opening you need to explore the “how.”
  3. Stay curious and open… and keep choosing pleasure. Everything happens in layers, of course, so it’s not as simple as, “Well, I learned that lesson forever. Go me, I’m done!” I’ve found that if we approach every experience as a learning opportunity and approach things with childlike curiosity rather than judgment, we open ourselves up to a more pleasurable and impactful experience. In that way, we can honor our growth and continue to expand as easily and naturally as possible.

Is there an edge you’ve been coming up against lately? I’d love to hear how you deal with these growth opportunities.

And, if one of your edges has been affected by all the tumult of this year, be sure to check out our upcoming online event, Turning Darkness to Light: Shifting the Pain & Suffering of the World When You’re Only One Person. It’s going to open you up to the magic and power within you in a beautiful, supportive, and pleasurable way. 😉

A Practical View on Spirituality, by a Non-Woo

A Practical View on Spirituality, by a Non-Woo

Hi there! I’m Marrissa, Modern Day Sorcerer’s marketing gal. While that is my title, I do a little bit of everything, as I’m a multi-passionate being!

I’ve been with the team for a little over two years – and when I met Jordanna, it was like a bundle of joy and overwhelm at the same time.

I was raised Catholic, but brought into a family of mostly agnostic beings. So coming into a relationship with a brand new person who was so outwardly spiritual? It wasn’t hard, but it was definitely new. And for a girl who’s always been really big on needing tangible definitions, for some reason, I didn’t find myself uncomfortable.

I just found myself … curious.

To give you some background, I’ve always been the “black sheep” of the family (I mean, with 4 brothers, it’s not hard to be someone who stands out). Add to that, being someone who contemplated deep thoughts for a 13-year-old, I always had a “gut feeling” I was meant to do something big in the world.

You know which feeling I’m talking about, right? The feeling that you’re “special” or like something is brewing inside of you that’s just inexplicable.

Well, it’s something I’ve been contemplating over the last few years. So at this weekend’s retreat, I crashed into “trust” and “doubt.”

I went into this weekend with no expectations, as it was my very first “spiritual retreat.” I entered nervously into the house and felt a sense of calm immediately settle into me as my business family seemed to circle with excitement and love.

What ensued from there is really, really hard to put into words, and as somebody with doubts that there is anything tangible in spirituality, that was tough for me to settle into.

As I went through the weekend, I found myself delving into places of my heart and soul I hadn’t touched in decades, since I was 6 or 7. These swimming energies, voices, and dreams pushed at my barriers of “reality.”

I found my head, for once, quieter than it had been in years. There was a sense of peace. There was a sense of confidence, tolerance, and complete and utter acceptance.

Over the last few years, from romantic relationships to business mistakes and adventures, I’ve been slowly cracking open a curiosity that has dwelled inside of me since my birth: What is this more thing? What are coincidences? What is all this religion and esoteric mumbo jumbo?

And most of all, how do I find myself gravitating towards something intangible when I have made it my job to be the most rooted, “in the know” person in the place?

How do I – more and more – find myself being a part of an intangible foundation? And how could it possibly be feeling more secure and real than the things I can physically touch and feel?

After a plethora of thoughts, emotions, and general soul-searching over the weekend, I just want to say, I finally get it.

Spirituality isn’t a required cult you have to join; we have an infinite number of options from religion to names of Gods.

And I’m a big fan of setting my own path on my own journey.

So here’s what I learned about myself, my life + business, and how spirituality can make a difference for me:

  • If you’re looking for one, tangible fact that you can cling to – don’t. Spirituality is not the type of finite thing you can control, nor do you want to. I get the best results from putting in time, energy, and intention, then letting go of what I cannot control.
  • I don’t really need a name for the “God” or thing. As a writer, I tend to get really hung up on words and their usage. If something doesn’t resonate for me, it doesn’t matter. It’s just the concept I need to understand.
  • It doesn’t matter how spiritual I am… or am not. I’m beginning to realize there isn’t “a certain way” to do it. What matters is what feels good in your body and soul – whatever that means for me is okay.
  • My business is really a reflection of the good I want to do in the world. One of the reasons I crashed and burned is because I lost sight of why I was doing this thing. I want to change lives on a small scale.
  • I can use my spirituality – my purpose, as we so often like to call it – as a vessel for my business. To be honest, this was the hardest thing to wrap my head around, because business is tangible. But I already run my business from a heart-centered place: I’m on a mission to spread love in the world via writing + organic connections (marketing!). I didn’t get these ideas by watching others, I birthed them from my own beliefs and desires. No amount of perfect marketing has made me successful; what’s made me a lot of money is giving a shit about the people I work with – from my heart.

There’s a lot more – but these are the big ones.

And what’s the most vital takeaway? How I use “spirituality” (or whatever you want to call it) in my life may be much different than how you use yours.

Spirituality is like Play-Doh: you can form it to whatever you need. Whatever you call it is up to you. The most important part is that you follow your instinct. Your calling. The feelings that seem so ingrained in you that living differently might destroy you from the inside out.

Don’t let your head talk you out of what feels good to you, whether that’s spirituality all the time or deciding it’s not your jam.

Just take a dip… It might feel nice.