Ep #15: The Simple Pleasures

We are about halfway through our End Like You Want To Begin series of podcasts and this week we’re taking a look at pleasure. Did you know that how much pleasure you get in a day affects your stress levels, your cravings, and even your creativity?

When we think of making sure we get some pleasure, we often jump to the bigger things, like vacations and big purchases. Well, those things are great, but there are so many simple pleasures you can give yourself every day that will help you redefine who you are and who you want to become.

Join me on the podcast this week as I share the simple pleasures I add to my life every single day, and the changes I’ve seen as a result. If you’re ready to start enjoying life, this episode is for you.

To celebrate the launch of the show, I am giving away a 90-minute coaching session with me OR a $100 gift card to the spa of your choice to 5 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or iTunes)! Click here to learn how you can enter.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why you need a little pleasure in your life each and every day.
  • The physical benefits of allowing yourself the things that give you pleasure.
  • How pleasure positively impacts your mental health and outlook on life.
  • Why you don’t have to do anything grand to get a little bit of that stress-busting pleasure.
  • How I give myself simple pleasures daily and the ways you make sure you get them in your own life.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

“I want my 99-year-old self too look back and say, girl, you did that. And I want lots of thats.” C. René Washington

Welcome to Midlife Woman Redefined, a podcast for women near retirement who are ready to step into a new chapter of freedom, travel, and fulfillment. If you’re ready to focus on figuring out who you are and what you really want, this is the place for you. Here’s your host, master certified life coach, travel addict, and midlife maven, René Washington.

Hello, mavens, this is C. René Washington, life coach and your midlife maven and we are here for episode 15 of Midlife Woman Redefined. We’re in the midst of the series End Like You Want to Begin and today’s episode is focusing on pleasure. So excited about that.

Before we get started, what do we do? We celebrate. What are you celebrating, something that you have personally accomplished that you feel good about that you did, not your child, grandchild, something that you did. We’re building that I did that muscle. We’re building that muscle of being able to feel good about who we are and what we do and it doesn’t have to be connected to anybody, necessarily, other than our own accomplishments.

I’m celebrating challenging myself. I love little challenges to myself and so I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone. I took over a meetup group from a woman who I adore, Lee Sumner Erwin, who is a life coach and has been my coach. She was facilitating a local meetup group called Radiant Wise Women.

She started it, it was her baby, and now she’s making aa big transition in her life and she asked me to take over the group. And I am celebrating the fact that, one, that she has enough trust in me to do that, and two, that I am saying yes to something that I had to think about, because I set up my business so that it would be mostly online, that I wouldn’t have to leave my house to coach people, and to commit to aa monthly meetup event, that was a stretch for me, and particularly committing to it in November will be my – I’ve substituted for her before, but now I am actually taking it over.

And last night was her last night, and so I am so excited about it. It’s a great group of women. It is stretching me to put myself in front of people in that way each month, and I’m excited that I am gifting myself that opportunity and I am celebrating that.

And one more thing about that meeting last night, because it connects to last week’s show, episode 14, on environmental detox. And I saw Lee exhibit a really good example of this. She is moving to another state and that’s why she decided to give up the group and asked me to take it over. And someone asked her last night when she was moving. And she responded, I the spring of 2020 she’ll be moving most likely.

And then the next question was, if it’s not until then, why are you stopping facilitating the group now. And this is where the environmental detox comes in, because she responded that she had a lot to do to prepare for this move. Of course, there’s the actual physical process of moving. And she also completed a book so she wants to focus her time on finishing this book, and she said there’s just things to do that I need to prepare myself to leave and I wanted to give myself the time and the space to do what I needed to do.

And so the environmental detox piece of this is not that it was toxic. What would have become toxic is her continuing to try to carry something that she was moving away from and not opening up pace for the new thing. And this is what we can tend to do as women. We just pile on and layer on instead of gifting ourselves the space of stepping into something new with enough space to embrace it because we have mental preparation, emotional preparation, and we have this thing, well, they want me to stay.

And so she could have just kept facilitating the group right up until the time it was time for her to move, and what probably would have happened is she would have started feeling resentful, dragged, because there’s preparation in leaving a group. The group was named perfectly, Radiant Wise Women, so she was wise enough to know, I need to give myself some space, I need to give myself some space, I need to give myself this time. And so she did.

So I want you to think about that, as we talk about letting things go. What are you holding onto that is really not serving you anymore? It doesn’t matter if it’s a good thing. It just may no longer be a good thing for you. And that’s what Lee recognized, and that’s why, even though she’s going to miss the group, even though it was hard for her to do it, she released the group, released the group.

And also a note to you, if you are in Birmingham, Alabama, that’s where I am and that’s where this meet-up group is, the name will change to Midlife Woman Redefined, same name as the podcast, and it meets, I think it’s the third Tuesday of each month. So the next month’s meeting will be on November 19th and that information will be in the show notes too. So I would love to see you if you are a podcast listener. That will be so much fun to see you live and in person.

Okay, so let’s talk about pleasure. Now, if you have the BARE book, there is a chapter on adding pleasure to your day. And this is so important. I already was living like this because I am really about life is to be enjoyed. And so seeing it in the BARE work was very validating for me.

Because this is how we think about pleasure – we think about it as the extra thing, the on top of thing, like it’s dessert. And, as you know, sometimes you eat a meal and you don’t have dessert. We are talking about pleasure needs to be a part of your day every day, not just on the weekend, not just on vacation, but every day.

And when I’m coaching women and I say this to them, I say, okay, whatever their thing is that they’re in a funk about or complaining about or not going right, one of the first things I ask them, you know, what do you do daily for pleasure? Pleasure, what’s that got to do with what I just said to you? It has everything to do with it.

There are true benefits to adding more pleasure to your day. And in the book, Susan gives some of those reasons, that there are actual physical benefits. And you know because you’ve experienced this. Our body releases oxytocin and that can help you reduce cravings for things that don’t serve you, like overeating or overindulging or shopping too much or spending too much money, whatever the thing is.

It can keep you more calm and help you be more connected to yourself and other people, so it releases more oxytocin. It also helps our body release dopamine and serotonin, which are neural transmitters that give us the feeling of feeling more optimistic, more positive and that can help you stimulate your creativity and problem-solving ability. Why wouldn’t we want that on a daily basis?

And finally, we know about the stress hormone cortisol. And the less cortisol you have in your system, that helps you improve your digestion and it helps you speed up your metabolism. And if you don’t know, it’s a proven fact that stress helps you hold onto fat.

So, see all the benefits we can get from just having a daily pleasure habit? Susan calls it vitamin P. I’m telling you, it works. For a sister of mine, I hired a play coach. Her name is Kathy Oppegard and she did a session for us on the benefits of play.

And it’s the same thing, pleasure, play, whatever you want to call it, it’s gifting yourself the time to lose some mental weight, lose some emotional weight and have some fun, some enjoyment, some joy. And so your assignment for this episode is to make a list of pleasures that you can engage in on a daily or regular basis.

And if you’re saying, well, or you’re thinking too big, like it has to be some big vacation. No, it can be something very simple.

I coached a woman on when was the last time you explored your own city. You know, we take a lot of things for granted and, typically, we live in places where there are a lot of free opportunities to engage in pleasurable experiences. I’m going to take you through my list, and hopefully that will help you with your list.

And as I went through writing up my list, some of these things I had to say to myself because, as I said, I am going through this with you. I’m not speaking from the mountain. I’m down here with you, taking myself through these exercises and this process too because I want to end my year well and dance into 2020 like hey.

This is my list; travel, road trips with my husband, girlfriend outings. You know, one of the things about travel for me that I’ve noticed, when I go to New York, which is my favorite city, I experience less body pain. I think I mentioned in a previous episode that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and so, on a daily basis, I experience a lot of body pain. But the more pleasure I experience, the less pain I feel.

I’m telling you, it has all kinds of benefits – TV, movies, music. I am a huge TV fan and we are in the golden, no, the platinum age of television. There is so much good television out there. The Outlanders series, don’t even get me started. I will talk about Downton Abbey though because, here’s the thing about when we do good things for ourselves, one good thing leads to another good thing leads to a fantabulous thing. And that’s what happened with Downton Abbey.

I love going to coaching conferences and I love learning. And one of the ways that you can get me to come to a conference is to have it in a place that I either love or have been wanting to go. And Susan Hyatt, also the author of the BARE book, she’s one of my coaches and she did a retreat on learning how to do retreats, so that intrigued me because I did want to start doing retreats and have done several since then.

And the way she did it was she did a Queen Mary voyage to the UK. And once we got to the UK, we would be going to see Downton Abbey locations. Well, when I saw that you could go and see some of the Downton Abbey filming locations, I was in. And it was an amazing, amazing, amazing voyage.

One of the bonuses that I didn’t know about, and neither did Susan, was that the entertainment on the Queen Mary was Gregory Porter and Dee Dee Bridgewater, two amazing jazz artists. If you know jazz then you should know Gregory Porter and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

I got to meet them, got to listen to them. And when I saw their names on the itinerary for the week, I was over the moon excited and I went to Susan, I was like, oh my gosh, Gregory Porter, she’s like, who? She didn’t even know who they were. And then she told me, you know, I planned that.

But this is what happens. The more you do good things for yourself, the more good things happen and in surprising ways. Okay, back to the list – sitting outside.

As a child, I did not like being outside. I was a total bookworm and just liked to be holed up in my room reading books. I still love reading books, now I also enjoy nature, in certain parameters. I love though to just sit and watch the trees sway, I love a good patio, I love all things Broadway. I’m a Broadway fanatic.

My first solo trip to New York City was a play weekend. From Wednesday to Sunday I saw seven or eight plays, just me and Broadway, it was fantabulous. Sex. Yes, let us not forget sex. And whether you are partnered or not, you can enjoy the pleasure of sex. And if you don’t know how to self-pleasure, there are plenty of books out there that will teach you how to do that. This is not something you should deny yourself because sex also has a lot of benefits for our bodies and our minds, and our spirits.

Jigsaw puzzle – and that’s one of the things, when I wrote down jigsaw puzzles, I reminded myself that it’s been a while since I’ve actually worked a puzzle and I need to do something about that. Scented candles, sunflowers, my red sofa. I love my red sofa. I’ve treated myself to a small red sofa for my office and I just love my red sofa. I just love being on it. It just makes me feel good and it makes me feel pampered.

Art exhibits, I love a great museum or art exhibit or art fair, street fair. I love those things. Podcasts, yes, I’m a podcaster and I love podcasts. And there are all kinds of podcasts on any topic. There are crime podcasts. There are just you name it, there’s a podcast for it.

The kind of soap that you use, the tiles, the towels that you use, the bedding that you use. What kind of lingerie are you wearing, ladies? When’s the last time you treated yourself to a good bra and panties? I used to sell lingerie in my younger days, and let me tell you, it does set a foundation to have on good underwear that feels good. These ratty bras and these loose panties, no, get you some good foundations. That’s a simple daily pleasure because most of us put on some type of underwear every day, so that’s an automatic daily pleasure for you.

A staycation, you don’t have to go anywhere. Like I said, discover your city. What’s going on in your city? Or stay home and, you know, Netflix and binge or whatever you want to do. But there are many things that you can do. But I do encourage you to get out and explore. And if you notice, none of these things that I listed were food things.

And I’m going to talk more about food because we don’t demonize food in BARE. It’s not about demonizing food. There are no bad foods. However, food is such an automatic go to when we talk about pleasure because typically, if we celebrate, what are we going to do? We’re going to go eat something or prepare something or some food will be involved, which is fine, but let’s be more creative and think of non-food ways that we can indulge in more pleasure.

Okay, now as we go through this series, I really want to connect to you and to help you through this process. What I want to do is I want to hear from you. I want you to send me your questions, your comments, and if there’s a question that you have for me, I’m going to answer it on the show, and I will do that without identifying who you are, but I want to get your questions because your question will be somebody else’s question and will help many of you.

And I want to feel more connected to you and I want you to know that you’re not alone in this. if you truly are committed to changing how you’re going through this stage of your life and to finally prioritize yourself, your desires, your dreams, then let’s do this together. Send me your questions. I’m happy to answer them.

And, speaking of comments, as always, I’m asking you to leave a rating or a review, and do that by sharing your one thing. What’s your one good thing that you got from this podcast episode? And share that with a friend, your bestie, or a woman that you know would benefit from hearing it, what your one good a-ha or epiphany was from listening to this show.

Today, we talked about pleasure. Last week, we talked about environmental detox. We’ve got several topics to cover as we end 2019. So let’s do this together, take a few minutes to rate and review. The instructions for doing that are in the show notes.

And I have something funny to share with you. The last time I gave out – you know, I do a drawing, if you leave a rating and a review then I do the drawing. And now, I am giving away a 90-minte coaching session with me, which is priceless, or you have the option to choose that or get a $100 gift certificate for your favorite spa.

Well, the last winner was Deal Queen. And this is important because when you leave your review, there’s instructions for you to send an email so that I can identify the winner because the review system does not allow me to know who you are if you don’t do that. So if you want to be entered into the drawing, you also need to send an email so that can happen.

To email me, send an email to rene@crenecoach.com. And I didn’t have that for this person. I didn’t have that for Deal Queen and I was trying to figure out, who is Deal Queen? Well, guess who Deal Queen is… Me. And I figured it out because I did a rating and a review on somebody else’s podcast, because you put out into the world what you want to get back, and also because I really love the podcast, and it came up Deal Queen. I was like, oh my gosh, I’m Deal Queen.

And I remembered that someone was having a problem with how to leave a review and so I went through the process myself so that I could tell them how to do it, and that’s who Deal Queen is. So today, I am drawing two winners. I love this stuff. You can’t make it up.

And winner number one is Mmcnary22, and winner number two is KeishaDixonTheTappingQueen. And I know who that is. I’m so excited for both of these winners and I’m so excited for you being here and showing up for another episode of Midlife Woman Redefined and you are in the process of redefining who you are, who you want to be.

And as we always end the show, we are doing this work because it’s important, because you have something to contribute, a purpose for being here. And you’re going to connect to that and live your best life because living well is the only option.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Midlife Woman Redefined. If you’re ready to learn more and reclaim your time, head over to crenecoach.com.

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