“First ecstasy, then the laundry.” – Zen Proverb
Success to me is feeling excited when I wake up in the morning, feeling at home in my skin, and bringing my true self forth in my work and my relationships. But it’s also getting things done, moving my business forward, having my needs met and more, etc.
I love this proverb because it illuminates a challenge of mine, maybe you share it too? To me this says, yes, prioritize pleasure, but don’t ignore those pesky little “to-dos”. You know the things that can create stress, dis-ease and disfunction when they’re not done?
Life is about “putting first things first” (thank you Stephen Covey). This means, prioritizing the things that bring us joy, make us feel full, and help us to feel grounded within our bodies and hearts. But it’s also about doing the freakin’ laundry!
My most successful days are the days I do both. I accomplish a few major (somedays minor) obligatory tasks that move me closer to my goals and/or help me to feel more functional and prepared in my daily life. And throughout the whole day I sprinkle in pleasure.
The truth is, we encounter countless sources of pleasure throughout our days, but most of the time we miss out because we are so focused on the next task.
We live in a culture that values extremes. We hyper-focus on laundry-like tasks most of the time (this includes work, chores, and anything you would categorize as an obligation) and then when we get a moment to breathe we look for ecstasy in all the wrong places – we binge on food, substances, TV, social media, anything external.
The problem is, these things can never bring lasting satisfaction. By prioritizing time each day to enjoy the pleasures of being a living, sentient human—the soft feeling of your cat’s fur when you pet her, the warmth of the sun or warm water against your skin, the delicious flavors and aromas of your food, the sensation and pleasure that exists at all times within your body if you only take time to feel it—we can have a richer experience of daily life.
Appreciating moments of ecstasy each day should be at the forefront of our minds; place it at the top of your to do list (literally), and then go get stuff done!
About the Author
Allie Andrews, M.Ed, Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, Certified Health Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher
Allie is the Founder and Program Director at OmBody Health. In addition to coaching thought-leaders, executives and professionals to maximize their impact and quality of life, she and her team empower organizations to develop work cultures that foster employee health, happiness and engagement.