Do you feel healthy, vibrant and alive?

Do you spend time on self care?

If so, do you looooove prioritizing your health, or does it feel like a steep hill to climb and a daunting chore to maintain?

If you’re not caring for your body, why not?

If you could create optimal health for yourself and do it all from a foundation of pleasure, would that change the game for you?

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What’s more critical than the health of your body?

If your health is poor, your quality of life suffers, yes?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your body is healthy, you have the capacity to feel vibrantly alive, full of energy to passionately engage with life. To play the game of life full out.

But there’s something stopping so many of us from living a healthy lifestyle and accessing this vitality and vigor.

Actually, there are a lot of influences putting up roadblocks to this passionate state of living: World circumstances, the toxicity infused in modern living, the pace of daily life, the negative messages from the media that bombard us every day, the temptations of quick fixes and sugar highs. OMG – STOP THE MADNESS!

We all could point to a million things that make self care and healthy living hard to accomplish and we could rightfully put some blame on all of them.

But I want to look at one root of this problem, as I see it, and propose a pleasure filled solution. Does that sound good to you?

What is separating us from our natural instinct to be in harmony and equilibrium with the health of our physical body?

Our body knows what healthy feels like, so what distracts our internal navigation system from heading towards the true north of optimal health?

And what if you could be incredibly healthy by following your innate instinct to engage in healthy pleasures?

If we listen, our body tells us what truly replenishes it. In fact the body begs us to listen, if we ignore it for long enough.

The root of the problem, I assert, is that we are unable to tune into our bodies deepest truths.

Our nervous systems are exposed to so much stimulation and so many temptations, that becoming still and giving our full attention to our body takes a commitment to stop and get deeply present.

Who has time for that?

I think you do.

If you’re not living a healthy lifestyle, or you’re not doing it with pleasure and ease, excitement and joy, I’ve got an experiment for you to try.

My “Ecstasis Workout Plan” (A process for health that emerges from pleasure).

Our culture supports the belief that it’s hard and it will take discipline to achieve and maintain our health.

Would you like to flip that on its head and discover a way to access a zesty, healthful vigor from pleasure instead?

I’m not suggesting this path is easy. There’s a lot to throw you off the path along the way.

I’m also not suggesting that this experiment in living will fix your health challenges and give you 6 pack abs. The only promise I’m making, if you play this game and listen deeply enough, is you will have a lot more pleasure in your life and your body will be more likely to move in the direction of easeful health.

Also, if this path does deliver dramatic changes in your health, it may take a long time for you to see them.

But the foundation of living a healthy life is living a healthy life right now, in this moment.

You have nothing else but the now and now is the building block for your unlived future.

And I also assert that you can find your health organically arising from your deepest pleasures.

The experiment I’m suggesting?

Block out the noise long enough to hear what your body truly needs. Air, Water, Nutrition, Movement, Intensity, Deep Rest?

Listen long enough and deep enough to discover how it wants to play. Self-Pleasure, Dance, Sing, Be Athletic, Walk, Skip, Stretch, Create Something?

Find that true North and then take your next action from your body’s healthy impulse.

I stress that you are listening for the “healthy” impulses. You have to listen past the things you know aren’t truly healthy to discover the healthy core. This can be hard to do, but well worth it.

Here are a few quick suggestions to help you try this experiment:

One way to still the noise is by consciously using your breath, breathing in a pattern that can activate your parasympathetic nervous system – the part of your nervous system that creates a rest and digest feeling throughout your body. Deep relaxation.

Try a basic box breath: Take a slowly deep breath in for a count of 4, letting your belly fill before your chest, then hold for a count of 4, breath out for a count of 4, then hold the exhale for a count of 4. Repeat.

Breathe slowly and intentionally.

Done properly, you should eventually feel a sense of calm after a short while.

Notice if you have a deeper sense of presence to your body, your surroundings – you feel more attuned and peaceful, more aware.

Keep repeating this breath as you turn your curiosity to feel what your body truly needs.

If it’s a nurturing impulse, follow it. If you notice tension in your body because a ‘not so healthy’ impulse is vying for your attention and you feel conflict and agitation arising inside yourself, come back to focusing on the box breath.

(If you want more information on how to use breath to change your life, take a look in the p.s. at the bottom for a link to a book called, “Breath”.)

A way to build a “Work Out” from this practice…

Make a 60 minute playlist of music you love. Music that makes you want to move your body (or you can listen to my playlists on Spotify. Find me at ‘Theecstaticlife’ on Spotify.)

Start the playlist.

Lay on the floor.

Start the Box Breath.

Listen for when and how your body wants to move. If today, it wants to sleep, let it.

Keep trying this practice until your body starts showing you how it wants to move, a stretch, a shake, a jiggy dance move, etc., and then follow these impulses until your music mix ends.

The important part is to set aside the time for this practice. You could start with 30 minutes, 1 or 2 times a week. Make it winnable, easy and fun. Make it pleasurable.)

And if your body is calling out for self pleasure, masturbation or some erotic fun – indulge!!

It’s all about making space for the healthy and nurturing impulses of the body to emerge and then following them.

Add free weights to this movement workout to get more intensity out of it. Make sure you know how to give proper support to your joints and limbs, if you add in free weights.

When you begin to follow your body’s instincts for more vigorous activity, you can access the delicious pleasures that endorphins and dopamine provide. Let your body get addicted to these healthy hormones organically and through pleasure. Feel the pleasure in your muscles engaged in resistance. Move with the weights. This is different from lifting weights at the gym. Again, make sure you’re moving healthfully so you don’t get hurt.

This is a very different approach to finding how your body wants to work out.

You’re custom crafting a play time with your body that gets you into action, breathing, stretching, and being in pleasure.

Have fun!!

You can take this Ecstatic and Pleasure Based approach to healthy eating too.

Make some time for a leisurely trip to the grocery store. We’re in Covid times right now, so there may be some restrictions and some extra needs for precaution.

Head to the produce aisle.

Do the Box Breathing (in your mask) and spend some time with all the fruits and vegetables, taking in the colors, the smells, the textures and let your body choose what it desires.

At home, set aside the time to be present with preparing your food. Feel the food as you work with it.

Now it’s time to dine: Slowly savoring your meal and giving your full presence to every single bite.

The Ecstasis Workout Plan is rooted in finding calm (not necessarily quiet or stillness) so you can give your full, deep presence to your body’s true needs and desires – the healthy ones that are innate to your true being.

Finding the wonder and magic in every moment is part of living an Ecstatic lifestyle to me.

Experiencing the pleasure of the versatility, strength and expression available in my body and allowing myself to play again, as a child plays, I am gaining stamina, muscle tone and increasing my passion for life.

Who would have thought that my optimal health could come from indulgence??

Until next time, fill your life with pleasure,

Ian

p.s. If you’d like a deeper dive into why healthy breathing can make a massive positive impact on your life, check out “Breath” by James Nestor.

I’ve taken on the lessons in this book and have been practicing healthy breathing for the last 2 weeks.

In that short period of time I’ve noticed profound differences to my muscle tone, the consistency of my energy and the quality of my sleep (I’ve been tapping my lips shut at night to stop snoring and mouth breathing).

It’s incredible that we are all not taught to breathe properly from an early age given what we know to be true about healthy breathing.

We don’t get any affiliate commission for promotion of this book, just wanted to share.

Hope you get value!