The Pleasure Shift


I recently made a shift that totally blew my mind and as a result I was given a beautiful gift representing support and encouragement, a night out dancing with my man, tickets to an amazing event, a beautiful card expressing love and recognition from Marie Forleo’s team, an invite to another amazing upcoming event, a lunch date with my man, the opportunity for some really cool collaborations and my most recent HuffPost blog was well-received.

All in the past few days!

So what was the shift?

I simply started focusing on pleasure — in a very new way.

Last week, I was driving home from a private yoga students home and flipping through the recent podcasts on my iTunes list. I ended up sticking with an episode of The Lively Show in which Jess interviews Alisa Vitti: How To Make Embodying Pleasure A Habit. (Part 1)

As the show started, I wasn’t expecting that much. I had read a few other books on the topic of focusing on pleasure but all of them seemed really cheesy, too woo-woo, or indulgent in a way that just didn’t sit well with me.

It seems that when most of us think of pleasure we pretty immediately shift to sex or food. Both of which are wonderful, but the related lessons are not always applicable to daily life outside of the bedroom or kitchen.

Jess and Alisa were talking about bringing more awareness to what is already pleasurable in life and then bringing more of that in regularly.

They said that it was the little things like noticing which clothing feels great on your body, which candle smells just right, or which route to work offers the most beauty that made the difference.

So I kept the idea in the front of my mind as I went about my week.

I did everything that I normally do, but I put a little extra emphasis on noticing pleasure when it was present and creating it if it wasn’t.

I moved my computer around the house to follow the sun. I dressed up even when I could have stayed in yoga clothes behind my computer. I stayed in bed to snuggle instead of getting up before sunrise a few times. My man and I took a nap together in the middle of the day. Instead of rushing home after yoga I ran back into the studio and stayed to take a second super yummy class that my dear friend Caryn was teaching.

It’s been wonderful.

And, the Universe has been responding and giving me even more opportunities to amp up the pleasure in my life each day.

This little shift has been so mind blowing because it reinforced what I already knew, energy flows where attention goes, but it has allowed me to experience the flow of focus and energy in a new way.

I tend to focus on the positive easily, but positive and pleasurable are not always the same thing.

I think it is pretty common for us to unconsciously put a cap on our happiness and enjoyment in life. I decided long ago that I wasn’t going to let “not suffering” be my “doing well,” which I go into more fully in my book.

It’s an evolution though, we can always find ways to raise the bar on how much happiness we let into our lives.

It’s also not as easy as we think it should be.

Most of us say we want happiness, enjoyment and pleasure, but until we truly believe that we deserve it and take inspired action to bring more of it into our lives we will only ever experience the tinniest taste of what we could have.

Just for today, try it out. See how giving yourself permission to focus on pleasure feels.

Where can you more fully notice what pleasure is already present and where can you allow more in?

Let me know how it goes. If you take a photo tag me on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to celebrate with you.

This article was originally published on Katie Ashley’s website.

Katie AshleyKatie Ashley is a positive body image and Self love activist. She offers yoga therapy based mentoring to clients worldwide from her studio in Charleston, SC. Through her writing, speaking, live workshops and online programs she offers her vast array of tools, insights and experiences to those who want to fall unconditionally in love with their bodies, find their voices, and connect with their pasts in useful and inspiring ways. She believes that every person is capable of unlimited healing and inspired personal evolution and it is her calling to help guide those who desire it, and are ready, on their journey towards experiencing it for themselves. She writes often as a regular blogger for Recovery Warriors, Women Enough, and Charleston Grit and contributes occasionally to Yoganonymous, BaliniSports and Elephant Journal. She is a Gather Yoga emissary and Jade Yoga ambassador.

~Love this article? Want to read more and learn how to support Gather and our incredible community? Join the family by signing up for our newsletter HERE!

~WE HEART LOCAL TEACHERS. See how you can support your favorite local teacher HERE.

~Want to write for us? We are looking for contributors with unique voice and original story. If authentic presence is your jam, contact us:

We love hearing from you! Contact us with feedback and we will get back to you. Personally.