One time in my 20s my sister came for a visit and on her return trip home I couldn’t do anything until I knew she had landed safely. I spent the duration of her flight imagining the plane flying safely through the air, certain that if I didn’t focus all my attention on it that surely it would crash. This wasn’t that unusual for me. I was also deep in an unfulfilling relationship, obsessed with what my partner was doing or not doing, and how he was feeling or not feeling (he was in addiction recovery and I’d strategically place his recovery books so I could tell if he was actually reading them).
You could say that I had a little issue with control. I spent so much of my time thinking about others and worrying about what they were doing and thinking. I was so disconnected from what mattered to me, other than my fear about what might happen.
The thing about the need to control is it can so often masquerade as compassion and concern for other people (and we control-y folks DO actually care!), so we can feel good about it and end up not realizing how much damage it’s doing to our own lives. But something you should know if you see yourself in this is that a need for control is a reflection of a deep need to feel safe and many of us start this pattern young, in households that feel chaotic.
As the years went on I became obsessed with fixing my feeling of being so out of control. I went to psychoanalysis for a decade, I went to shamans and gurus, I spent years in programs for codependency, I paid thousands and thousands of dollars on self development. And I felt a tiny bit better. I definitely felt busy! I tackled my problem with vigor and desperation. I had plans! And I was still stuck in thinking I could or should do it all myself.
A controlling mindset doesn’t do so well in letting go, asking for help, or actually USING that help by the way. However it is stellar at signing up for all the things and tackling all the approaches that might help.
I fretted and projected. I didn’t have friendships I could count on because I didn’t have the boundaries I needed in order to create safety and trust. I was lonely. I was anxious, I was stuck in jobs that felt small and narrow and in relationships that felt the same.
What I didn’t have was peace. I didn’t have ease. I didn’t have a sense of safety in my body.
I shaped my desires to fit into what other people seemed willing to offer. I resigned myself to making do with small and accidental pleasures and moments of delight. I was easily blown off my center by the smallest of breezes (fyi nothing seemed small). I catastrophized and projected and worried.
And I never dared ask for what I wanted. I never dared want.
I wasn’t living in my own life. It’s no surprise that my clients are often in various states of something similar. They’ve often been doing the Deep Work for a while, rolling up their sleeves and getting into it. Maybe there’s just one sticky spot in their life. The job is great but the relationships stink, or the other way round. In any case they often come to me with a plan, a DIY approach to solving their problem. What they often don’t realize is that the really deep work begins with letting go and trusting. They have to trust me to lead, but we quickly get to work on creating a trust within themselves. A sense of safety in their body, so they can finally let go control.
Here’s where the Pleasure Compass comes in.
As I let go of control, I embarked on an extraordinary journey to rediscover pleasure. It wasn’t just about small, momentary delights but about connecting with a deep-rooted sense of joy and fulfillment. The Pleasure Compass became my guide, helping me to navigate through life by tuning into what truly brings me joy and happiness. It’s not about control, but about alignment with my inner desires and values.
The Pleasure Compass is not just a tool; it’s an ongoing practice of staying true to ourselves, our pleasures, and our desires. It’s about creating spaces where we feel safe enough to explore and express what we want. It’s a compass that points us in the direction of what feels most alive.
And you know what’s amazing? When we align ourselves with pleasure, we unlock a path to live life with effortless vibrancy, eagerly embracing every surprise and opportunity that comes our way. This transformative journey isn’t just about relinquishing control; it’s a profound practice of harnessing pleasure as a powerful tool for self-connection and guiding our direction.
I’ve been there. I know what it’s like…And I know you can have that too.
Are you ready to connect to your own unique experience of pleasure and discover the endless possibilities that lie within your reach? Whether you are looking to release the shackles of control or find peace and ease and authenticity, your Pleasure Compass is here to guide you.