Ecstasy is that deep sense of wellbeing and joyful excitement that can comes from deep inside you.
We can get pleasure and some forms of happiness from other people, from experiences and posessions. But true ecstasy – which is much more lasting and nourishing – comes from deep within.
If you’d like for that deep sense of wellbeing to be a regular part of your life (not just an occasional hit or miss thing), there are a number of essential ingredients that create the conditions that make it possible ecstasy become your regular companion.
Modern life is far too complicated to live from your mind alone. While insight and knowledge are valuable, trying to figure things out can leave you on an exhausting hamster wheel of dissatisfaction and unhappy searching.
Instead take the elevator down into your body. Stop first in your heart. Give yourself some big doses of kindness and self-compassion. Just like you would for a dear friend who was struggling.
Many of us have been taught that being kind to oneself is the same thing as being selfish, greedy and arrogant.
There is a difference, an important distinction.
The truth is that deeply connected intimacy requires you to open your heart. The first and most important person to open your heart to is yourself. Without that, you can only give and receive from others in a rather limited, superficial way.
If you practice heartfelt self-compassion for yourself, it can unlock many doors for you.
Now that you’ve gone out of your mind and into your body, give yourself permission to feel and to live from that feeling place.
First allow yourself to feel your body. And your emotions. (You can’t shut off one without shutting down the other.)
This is scary for a lot of people, especially for men, given the limiting way masculinity has been defined in Western-thinking cultures.
Self-compassion in hand, give yourself permission to experiment with feeling more.
Start by noticing things more carefully that you touch. The feel of the carpet under your feet, the fabric of your clothes, the warmth and texture of your coffee mug.
Carefully noticing what a coffee mug or the carpet feels like may seem like small things that couldn’t possibly help.
Keep in mind that an important foundation of great sex is a fine tuned capacity to feel.
So when done as an intentional practice feeling even these seemingly unimportant things can open up many new things for you.
Power comes from knowing who you are and what you want.
True power is not found in acquiring things or getting acclaim from others. Your power is rooted in the simple act of believing in yourself enough to figure out what you want, to believe it is possible and to ask for what you want.
The magic is asking with courage and doing so in graceful, respectful ways that honor others without giving up on what you want. The deeper truth is that your power is in your belief and asking for it, not in the getting of what you asked for.
These are simple but not easy truths. After all, our culture discourages people from owning their power.
One part of passion comes from the capacity to feel deeply – something we’ve already talked about.
Passion also comes from knowing what you want.
Many of us don’t really know what we want from life (much less in the bedroom) because we were taught that our desires were not OK. It may be necessary to do some work to discover what you really want.
Passion and desire go hand in hand.
Curiously, the way to figure out what you want is by feeling everything.
Start with your 5 senses and notice everything. Then, as you’re ready, carefully notice the energy and emotion around your experiences.
Become deeply aware of exploring the question, “what does this feel like for me right now?”
Notice your experience whether it’s burnt dinner, a happy walk with your dog, a chat with your boss, or boring or great sex with you partner. Check in and notice, what does that feel like for me?
The idea of feeling deeply is scary for many people. Fear will always exaggerate things so instead of focusing on that just let what you feel wash over you like the waves of the ocean.
Yes, an occasional wave may knock you down, but that’s better than staying at home afraid to go to the beach. Imagine someone who refuses a daylong excursion to the beach because she is afraid wave or two might fill her nose with salt water. That sounds odd since for most of us day spent enjoying the beach is worth a few unpleasant minutes.
The same goes for letting yourself feel. The rewards are much greater than the bumpy moments along the way.
Pleasure is the most potent healing force that ever existed.
Most people crave it, and yet when they find it, they so often run from it.
Too much pleasure scares us because we’ve been brainwashed to believe that we have to work hard, that we don’t deserve it, and that play and “goofing off” is bad.
What if, instead of that, you let pleasure be your teacher?
If that seems too bold or brazen for your sensibilities, then I suggest gently experimenting with pleasure.
Experiment by paying attention to simple things you enjoy in your daily life. How do simple things affect you? Perhaps there’s something pleasant that helps you sleep better or feel less anxious. Maybe it gives you joy to see how much your dog relishes your attention. Perhaps when you look consciously at the beauty of nature ever day, it’s easier to stay focused at work.
Take notice of how pleasure affects you. If the results are positive, then what if you made it a more conscious and focused part of your life.
Going from where you are today to a life marked by a deep sense of joyful wellbeing is possible.
Great sex can be a path to ecstasy. Sometimes. But it’s not necessarily automatic. The feelings might not last through your next commute, business meeting or even for the rest of the day.
That’s to be expected unless you cultivate the qualities of passion, pleasure, power, embodiment and self-compassion.
Pursuing ecstasy is risky business
Living an open hearted, passionate life marked by pleasure is not always easy.
It has it’s risks. The most beautiful flowers are the ones most easily wounded. Consider the almost indestructible dandelion. Hardly anyone sends dandelions on Valentine’s Day. Instead the opt for the more delicate rose.
Being powerful and passionate are the keys to being able to safely navigate the challenges of passionate, open hearted living.
Your life can get better
Ecstasy is like good sex. Once you’ve experienced it you want more. It becomes necessary.
Things can get better. Even if things are good they can get better.
When you bring these elements into your whole life then everything becomes better. It has the potential to become orgasmic
Since you’ve read this far, I think it’s fair to assume you want more ecstasy, pleasure and connected intimacy in your
You may not be clear how to make that happen. The place to start is by seeing it as a journey.
To help you along that journey, I’d like to invite you to join the conversation and be part of Beyond Intimacy by joining our email list.