Permitted Pleasures: Are You Indulging?
You will be called upon
to account for all the permitted pleasures
you did not enjoy
while on Earth.
– the Koran
I ran across the above quote recently and it really struck me. I can’t say if this is an actual quote from the Koran or not, but to me it doesn’t matter. What matters is the reminder to enjoy the pleasures we are given in life. And there are so many.
Some of my favorites are:
a hot shower or bubble bath
cool, clean sheets
sitting outside and watching the sunset
bare feet on cool grass
new born babies
peaceful music or energizing music depending on my mood
meeting new people
time with my beloveds
hot tea with cream and sugar
fresh baked bread
a juicy novel
mineral water with lime
reading to my children
walking through the park
Chocolate in most any form
I enjoy so many pleasures, way more than I can list here. The wonderful part is that many of the items that give me pleasure are right here in my home and I can enjoy them on a daily basis if I make the choice. I have to remember to chose to indulge daily. The time spent enjoying life makes all the other tasks more enjoyable. Experiencing pleasure is a form of meditation that helps the rest of the day flow more effortlessly. When we put off pleasure, we don’t increase our productivity. It slows down us down. Just like a child who needs recess to be able to come back and focus, we need pleasure breaks during the day. The more of our day we can enjoy the better.
Notice the quote does not say the permitted pleasures you experienced. It say the permitted pleasures your ENJOYED! How many pleasures do we have right in front of us right now that we aren’t enjoying? Do you really taste you morning coffee or tea? Do you stop and soak in the beautiful sights around you? Do you enjoy the flowers in your neighborhood? Do you savor sweet treats you eat or do you worry about the calories?
There is so much for us to enjoy on this planet and I know that everyone who is reading this has more in their life to enjoy than they are currently taking advantage of. Take time for pleasure. It’s what most people regret on their death bed. Not enjoying life, not experiencing what is in front of them, and not connecting more with the people they love. Wake up! Enjoy the pleasures now!
A Word About What is Permitted
I consider myself more of spiritual person than a religious person because I find it hard to subscribe to what seems to be a random set of rules and regulations to connect with the divine. I want to connect with God personally. I follow my heart as to what is the “right” course of action. I have been criticized when I say I follow my heart and do what feels good to me. I have been told that I might make the wrong choice and hurt others because I chose to do what feels good to me.
I’ve never found this to be the case. Maybe its because I trust my heart and I want the deeper feel good. It wouldn’t feel good to me to have an affair or steal someone’s belongings because doing things that would hurt someone else doesn’t feel good to me. I’ve found that when I’ve made mistakes hurt myself and others, I didn’t feel good when I was doing it. I already knew I was off course because the choice didn’t feel good.
Make your own choices. If it feels good to follow a list of rules about which pleasures are permitted then do that. If it feels better to listen to your heart then do that. Either way, make sure you are enjoying all there pleasures in your life that you can.
I’d love to hear all the permitted pleasure, that you are enjoying (PG, please ;))