Last fall I had an epiphany. I was talking to Ellen Heed, the genre-bending anatomy teacher for Ana Forrest’s Yoga Teacher Training, about how we, as women, have to take responsibility for the fact that we are neurologically programmed for pleasure.
Here’s the epiphany: our pleasure wiring is a use-it-or-lose-it situation. If you don’t use it, and I wasn’t, the neurons start to atrophy and lose their ability to fire. Ultimately, we start to rewire for stress instead of pleasure.
Damn! Busted! I had to own that I have a default setting, a particular pattern, of rising to the occasion when it comes to stress… and in the process I’m rewiring my brain and body and even my sacred anatomy, my entire matrix, to stress.
It’s not a good thing. I’ve had to own that I’m a bit of a stress junkie. I may even need it to perform, or at least I’ve bought into that belief system. I probably layed down the neural network when I was a resident in OB/GYN, working 120 hours/week with emergency cesarean sections and ruptured ectopic pregnancies a daily event. Yet, my body never learned to put down the fight. It’s as if I trained my brain and body, what I call my matrix, to be accustomed, on a friggin’ daily basis, to the massive quantities of stress hormones that I generated as a resident. Hello? That was when I was 28! I’m 44 now. No need to still work that way, like I need to do an emergency C-section at any minute!
I didn’t realize until Ellen’s words hit me like a bullet to the head, and made me realize: I have a choice in the matter! I could choose to seek pleasure, and still accomplish great things with my doctoring, writing, mothering, wife-ing (ok, a made-up word), cooking, exercising, friending, Facebooking, etc.
Guilty. Even though I’m a rabid fan of Mama Gena and her Womanly Arts.
Even though I drive around listening to Dr. Christiane Northrup, my beloved mentor, and her CD on the Secret Pleasures of Menopause.
Even though I devoured Pamela Madsen’s Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure…And Somehow GotHome in Time to Cook Dinner, and loved it up so much that I interviewed her last fall.
How does it show up in your life if you, like me, have ReWired to Stress? It shows up in various ways. It shows up for me as: irritability, PMS, rage, depletion, to-do lists that never end. Sugar cravings. Spare floaty around my waist that began around… age 35 if I’m honest (maybe earlier). If I’m really honest, it makes me wonder why I became a mother, or if I’m cut out for the sometimes grueling path of motherhood.
But my intention isn’t to list my ex-problems; rather, I want to inspire you instead to rewire.
Rewire to PLEASURE.
As women, we are neurologically and exquisitely programmed for pleasure. Yet we rarely activate the PIN. To me, it’s as if we walk around with a credit card, granted by the Universe, yet we never activate the thing. We wonder why life is so hard, why it feels like someone let the air out of our tires, and when is life going to get more fun.
Your fun deficit is over. Let me show you how to reverse this–I’ll be talking next week in a fantastic telesummit about just how to do it. It starts next Monday, February 13.
“Busy-ness is a state of mind, not a fact. No matter how much or how little we’re doing, we’re always just doing what we’re doing, simply living this one moment of our lives.” — Norman Fischer
Here’s what works: Stop-doing lists. Radical self-care. Surrender. The Mini-Pleasure Retreat. That’s just the start. Register here to get the full details.
Can’t wait to inspire you to rewire….