5 Ways We Avoid Pleasure And 5 Ways To Stop


I’ve asked myself the following questions:

Do you ever notice what you put up with in your life? And if you do, what is your next move? Do you just fall back into the same ol’ pattern, the rut, waiting for something to change outside of you?

I’ve done it, especially when I’ve been so attached to not losing something or someone. I just quiet the voice screaming at me in my head to move on, get out or do something about my situation. Even going so far as to believe no one else notices my misery or disconnect.

People can tell all is not well when we try to hide it; fear can keep us bound in chains, never really experiencing life at the visceral level. Instead we have small pleasantries, escapes, or ways of just not dealing, which also keep us from experiencing real pleasure.

Who avoids pleasure?

Most people who think they have to earn it, wait for it, be given it, settle for less, or believe it’s elusive, fall into the category of avoiders.

How about you, do you know how you avoid pleasure? Check out the following to see if this might just be you.

  1. Attachment- Not knowing why you need a person, place or thing that causes you pain while doling out tiny increments of pleasure can keep you in a bad relationship, job, friendship, car, living situation and so on. You wish with all of your being that you weren’t in the situation because you feel helpless to get out… so you miss out on real pleasure, joy and invest further in pain.
  2. Sacrifice and suffering- Another opportunity to cut off from pleasure is by seeking sacrifice for the good of others (who don’t usually appreciate it) and at a cost to yourself. Suffering goes hand in hand because you feel it is the only option–the way you learned that life is always a struggle.
  3. Distrust- It’s not just distrusting another person, its a basic distrust that life is good. You may feel unsafe or wondering what shoe will drop next and when you live that way, it’s all you see. You may even try to keep a step ahead by anticipating the next issue or loss. This keeps you in a constant cycle where there’s no positive change.
  4. Limitations and impossibilities- If you believe that all that’s possible for you in this life is right where you are, then you find little to no pleasure in life. You don’t believe it can be more or that you have the ability to make it happen. Your self-worth is low and what you may have wanted for yourself seems to have passed you by. Limited thinking means limited opportunities. Your perception keeps you in this prison with no key.
  5. Giving up on what you always wanted- Perhaps you wanted that relationship with someone who gets you, or you wanted that career, but didn’t believe you were good enough and so you gave up. You said ‘no’ to risk, to going for it and decided to settle for less rather than moving forth and believing you deserved to have what you deeply desired. Where’s the pleasure in living this way?

Any of those scenarios fit you?

If so, here’s a short list on ways to wake up out of your painful slumber and immediately be on the road to having some pleasure in your life.

  1. Learn about yourself- Develop your self-awareness so you can understand what keeps you attached, stuck and suffering. Dig deep. Learn where these patterns of attachment started and why you fear loss enough to keep pleasure at bay. Once you start understanding yourself better, you will have opened up a new path which leads to having more pleasure.
  2. Make different choices- Many decisions are made on auto-pilot; you may not realize why you make the decisions you do or how your old feelings influence a current situation. When you’re faced with a choice, ask if it is pain-producing decision or a pleasure-inducing one.
  3. Trust yourself- It’s never really about what’s outside of you that you need to trust. You need to learn to trust your own emotional resilience in the face of disappointment. It’s to understand that you choose how you perceive events outside of you and that you can handle when things don’t go your way. In the end, coming from trust within leads you to trusting what is outside of you too. And with that you open to more pleasure in your world.
  4. Get out of your own way- Watch how your mind limits you. It’s trying to protect you and not allow you to experience anything outside of your comfort zone. Getting uncomfortable with taking action that you would never normally do can lead to unlimited, expansive thoughts in your head. As you say ‘yes’ to life and living, being uncomfortable becomes the norm and pleasure is found in those moments when you realize you got out of the way and possibilities abound!
  5. Stop playing it safe- Risk it! You can always change your mind, but it really is about living from your heart. Where’s your passion? When you live this daily, pleasure courses through you and the contrast you experience when you look back at how you said yes to misery will assure you that you’re on the right path now with every risk you take. Even when things don’t go your way you’ll know it is temporary and automatically shift your focus to what turns you on rather than what weighs you down.

Want more on avoiding pleasure and inviting pain? Please check out my radio show.

Three Life Choices


If you don’t like where you are, what can you do?

Join the circus? That’s a novel idea. It’d work if you have a special talent or want to learn how to be blasted like a cannonball through the air.

More or less, the common answer is to change, to do something, that would be different. And in reality-land, how often do people who are unhappy do this?

Most people don’t understand the source of their unhappiness. They’re just aware they don’t like how things are, and can’t accept it.

For things to actually change though, we have to accept ‘what is.’ By accepting it, we’re not in resistance to it and can therefore focus on what the real motivation (belief) is when we look at our unhappiness.

In gaining clarity….we can do one of three things when it comes to change.

The first is to stay in a state of resistance to change, then take flight and repeat.

Fear is the motivation for staying stuck and suffering. We may stay stuck until the pain of where we are is more than the fear of the unknown.

We let go of the outcome; we aren’t caring if our carefully constructed identity is destroyed or if rumors are true of our unrest. We just can’t stand it anymore. We need change. Now. Sometimes this lasts….other times we go running back to the safety of the ‘known’ even if it sucks.

Lack in trusting ourselves or the unknown, we seek the familiar.

We can do this our entire lives. Staying in resistance.

If we don’t go running back, we must stay connected to ourselves, experiencing change as it happens, becoming emotionally present, setting our sails completely, in a new direction.

There’s no magic symbol outside of us; we must risk and move out of our norm to have what we want…..or we’ll always get the same results.

The second choice is to incrementally take action.

We take action, piece by piece and hold our ground for that truth—it’s uncomfortable (it should be or nothing really changes) as we break a pattern.

Our pattern before taking action may be to say or desire things to be different, but the courage (strength of heart) is blocked by ‘what if’ I am wrong, ‘what if’ I destroy everything and ‘what if’ the sky falls….all is resistance. We may believe we deserve the shitty situation we’re in, until someone finally grants us the ‘approval’ to move forth. It’s a long wait, perhaps a lifetime.

Setting boundaries is taking action.

Set one at a time to break up the patterns, instead of waiting for #1 to occur. Clarity on what’s important, which we’re currently NOT standing for in our lives and then live into that boundary. Make it real. Want respect? Respect ourselves first.

Take action through the resistance. Don’t resist resistance, allow it to be, acknowledge it and move through it by focusing on the goal. Small goals and one boundary at a time empower us to make more changes. Leading to #3.

Third, Continuous action.

Say yes when we mean it, no when we mean it.

Don’t prove anything to anyone…become free.

Stop blaming others. Stop blaming ourselves

Get out of the box.

Think of taking self-inspired (desired emotion) action as helping everyone.

In staying stuck, everything is a holding pattern, including other people. They’re stuck with us right where we are….until someone has courage.

Start taking action (big or small-consistency matters) as a benefit to ourselves and others—KEEP IT GOING. Continuously doing what our heart desires— sitting with the urge to return to the status quo, the comfort zone….the longer we sit (not resist) with the urge and view it realistically…the farther we get from comfort and the more solid our NEW beliefs become, our neuropathways in our brain will start to rewire themselves through continuous inspired action. It becomes the new norm.

Relationships and the Comfort Zone


I was speaking with a friend last week.

He has been married for the past 10 years. We had one of those, “let’s catch-up conversations.”

Our talk meandered in the direction of long term marriages in your 40s. He explained to me that the shared belief among he and his friends, is that marriage is about being comfortable.

Sex once a month to perhaps, 5-6 times a year is the norm for them; marriage is not about excitement, or getting along with your spouse, because that requires honest communication. It’s about the comfort of the routine, some companionship, shared childcare and the financial contribution of two working adults.

He then veered onto the subject of a book, which studied human beings in America in past centuries, when life expectancy was much lower. The average couple was together about 10 years, before one of them kicked the bucket. The surviving spouse might get remarried or not, the point is hardly anyone was married for 50-60 years.

What did all this talk about relationships that are comfortable and boring, BUT lack a best friendship, true connection, real lover, supporter, mean to me?


It was all about excuses to remain in his comfort zone.

We can build a HUGE case for what we settle for in this life. We’ll look for others to back our case, books, friends, authorities or whomever that tells us,” it’s okay to be here!”

My friend mentioned a fear he has: the regret that on his dying day, he’s afraid he won’t have truly lived.

It won’t be about the amazing vacation he did or didn’t take, it’ll be about the opportunities for true happiness, love and fulfillment that he chucked to the side. And believe me, he feels a sense of urgency! As he related to me his concern over peers that lately have been passing away, unexpectedly.

It’s still not enough for him to take a risk. He keeps pushing down his true feelings that something is wrong and sticking with his comfort zone.

When we can’t separate our needs from our neediness; we purposely stay in situations, which don’t allow us to shine (It’s not about signs of outward success–remember, we can escape into our work.), because they take all of our energy to just remain and stay the same.

People who fall into this comfort zone in their relationships have the same fears as many of us, but have a BIGGER FEAR of failure than those that take a risk toward true happiness.

We humas beings can be creatures of comfort and habit.

When we have a strong desire for security, leaving behind our familiar routine and relationship may seem tomfoolery.

Not wanting to end up alone or the seeming impossibility of finding someone else to put up with our idiosyncrasies, may seem daunting to some.

Some people stay because they haven’t worked through their limiting beliefs around a relationship. They may remain with someone who treats them badly, because somewhere inside it’s what they believe they deserve.

All reasons mentioned here or not, come back to one common denominator: FEAR.

The comfort zone offers us the same life, day in and day out…..

It keeps us victims of our CHOSEN circumstances.

We stay in our LIMITING stories of who we think we are and what we believe we are capable of….and AGAIN, I don’t mean what looks successful to others. It’s what FEELS and is fulfilling to us that we eschew, when we look to please someone else, even if it’s an invisible entity we look to for approval or to compete.

No one, and I mean no one can unstick us from our emotional commitment to settling.

What we do regularly within a relationship, helps us maintain the zone. Swallowing our truth, not telling our mate the real feelings we experience and walking on eggshells are all part of it….

The biggest obstacle is US.

It’s how we cut ourselves off from knowing our joy, finding our passion, put off connection and effectively kill our dreams. It’s not about winning the race or being the richest when the driver is not from OUR sense of joy; it’s about getting real and getting rid of our own smoke and mirrors.

I’m going to continue writing this week on getting out of our comfort zone step by step in a relationship, so if you’re ready to put your seatbelt on and free yourself to FEEL to experience a sense of giddiness to accomplishing your dreams then stay tuned!




At the end of the comfort zone is…

Your life.

The adventure.

It’s where you find your life purpose and meaning.

One thing many people share with me is they don’t know their life purpose. They fiercely want to find it and hope by stumbling across it in their daily travels or thinking about it, they will finally know the answer.

It doesn’t work that way.

Take a risk into what scares the s*** out of you and I guarantee you will find your reason for existence; your life waits at the end of your comfort zone.

In my line of work and in my own life, the word “risk,” is synonymous with self-confidence, giving up playing the victim and feeling in control of your life.

You crave new experiences, opportunities and people in your life who match you in playing BIG, going after dreams and really engaging in experiences…then take a risk.

It’s like a safari, finding out what YOU are truly made of in this life. You remain playing small when you put your ante in and quickly grab it back.

My MAIN focus is the experience of adventure, which I achieve through risk both personally and professionally. When I feel comfortable, it’s time to scare myself again.

I feel scared 24/7; at the same I’m excited! I envision my boldness as I witness myself climb my own ladder, through choices that freak me out daily.

The older you get, the easier it is to play safe.

 And by safe, I mean small.

As we get older our life experiences are often what we reflect back on, as opposed to when we are young, we look ahead with excitement.

The key is not to bring the past to the present, but to throw caution to the wind, have faith and dance. Dance your heart out and make an ass out of yourself.


If you sit around “thinking,” about a possible change, adventure, investment of your time, emotion or money…you’ll never take action. There is no guarantee and half the time when there seems to be, it doesn’t work out.

Go where there is NO guarantee.

In my quest for what I want in my life, I had to painstakingly grow and open to those possibilities.

I keep shucking off my own limitations. It’s hard to do, because they creep up, but once you get used to being scared as the norm, there’s no going back!

It’s great when others around you engage in risk-taking, it’s like everyone has come alive out of their dead zone. Energy shifts and the impossible, becomes very possible.

As you gain momentum in giving your life purpose and meaning through treating it as an adventure, you may meet or already know people who tell you they’ll help your cause, or join forces—there is excitement and inspiration to be shared.

It’s a force to be reckoned with, because obstacles remove themselves as though fate has a hand in it.

And when others back out of their promise to join, succumbing to their own mental limitations and the safety of the comfort zone, it can mean disappointment. And disappointment no matter what its form is a game changer—not the game-ender.

Risk is a word many people actively state as their mantra; yet few truly have the courage to make real change in their life.

Risk means anything from standing for yourself and your truth, to stopping yourself from habitually doing what you don’t want to do. It’s the only way to live your life to the fullest capacity—going after your dreams on your terms.

Take the chance of disappointment, upset the apple cart and receive a reward, whether it is just being alive or victory!

If you back away from risk and use words to create a sense of vagueness to those whom you stated, “I’m in,” you let fear win again.

It’s a manipulation of fear. The problem with manipulation is that it doesn’t control the outcome; it never feels good.

Take a risk. Don’t say things to get someone off your back, take the time to tell them what’s true.

Take another risk. Say the things you hold back from stating, because you are afraid of another’s reaction or losing someone out of your life.

Another risk, make yourself happy and let everyone else figure out how to make themselves happy.

Don’t fear what happens if you change the game, let it organically sort itself out. You may find yourself making bigger changes, which are challenging or you may find it all falls into place.

Risk means no protection.

And what is protection anyway?

It masquerades as a false sense of security, which keeps you from living freely, happily and peacefully.

When we think we are protecting, holding onto or keeping the peace at our expense…we are actually making the situation worse with the inevitable outcome being the one we are trying to avoid.


If you want to feel alive and really achieve a fulfilling heart and soul felt success, then go for the adventure.

Scare the shit out of yourself and just do it!!

Risk…the craziness.

Risk is a 4 letter word that should be repeated daily and acted upon regularly.

I’m at a crossroads. And I know others who are facing a major decision, two or three.

The odds are both against me and for me at this point in my life.

The choice of playing small in what appears safe vs. taking the risk of going BIG. 

I started writing this as I prepared for a job interview.

Depending on who you ask in my life, the support from others is both for and against it; the decision comes down to the trust I have in “me” to NOT stay in a vicious circle of playing small.

I’m desperate in circumstances, but not in who I am and what I want for myself.

As for the job, it’s symbolic. I know what will be required of me. I’ll be busy more than 40 hours a week, not doing what I love; it’ll create an imbalance in my life and put my goals on hold. Income is the bait, will I bite? 

The job is not my career path or in my life goals.

It requires a sacrifice of my business.

It’ll be the culmination of my work over the past few years; gone, given up. It means the newest branch of my business will never see the light of day. It’s a major opportunity lost.

Do I stay with my newest “just about to launch”product, which has garnered professional interest by a couple of parties OR commit to something that says, “I give up on my dream.” Does it mean the term, “Safe, but sorry?”

The immediate gratification of a paycheck will be lost, when I stand in this place again in a year, two or three, because I made a short term choice. I’ll be older, full of more regret and excuses to immobilize me; will I be wiser?

The thing is “risk,” is calling my name.

And as crazy, and I mean crazy as it sounds right now, it’s what my soul is leaning toward. I’m in the process of losing almost everything; the stress of major life issues converging at once has placed me at the crossroads.

And that is the kicker.

I almost don’t care about the loss.

Playing small has worn on me.

Taking the safe route is a soul killer, because the someday you think the stars will align and everything will be perfect, so you can take your leap of faith, never comes.

You have to make IT happen.

When a client or friend, says the word, “someday,” to me; I’ve to stop myself from screaming, “Don’t be afraid, do it now!” We feed ourselves so many excuses to play small. We’re afraid of our own success, unless it accidentally happens to us.

And I don’t mean success suffering at a job you hate, or a relationship that keeps you down.

Please don’t tell me that suffering like a martyr toward a someday fantasy, will pay off in a reward. It may in what you learn, but there’s no reward in “staying stuck.”

What I mean is doing what YOU love and achieving that fulfillment.

No one is going to stand on a corner in Hollywood in front of a drugstore, where some dude walks up and says, “Hey, I can make you a movie star,” and *poof* you’re rich and famous. No, you gotta commit, work at it and take uncomfortable steps beyond your own limitations to make it happen.

And when all circumstances around you are telling you to quit and give up the dream, that is when you have to dig deeper.

In my case, I wake up some days, with the demons in my head. One of my friends has listened to my morning venting, she tells me I’ve a habit of talking, clearing it out and then I move on through the rest of my day–focused on the goal. I’m thankful she’s there.

When I get stuck, I ask myself, “If I give up now, how will I feel?” 

And then I push the courage button, “Okay, let’s go, bring it on!” I’m not hiding out, I can and will get through “this time.” As a friend said, “It is only a moment in time.”

I look at people who failed not just once, but several times, such as Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Mr.Macy and the guy who owns Tom’s Shoes.

When I’m older, do I want to look back at a mundane existence or instead, see the adventure, the experiences, the learning and fulfillment I received as I lived from my heart and soul?

If life is not about experiences, what is it?

We are afraid of the “what if.” 

Fear can make you decide against yourself.

Every time.

It’s clever in its disguise. The words practical, “the right thing,” secure, selfless, confusion, sacrifice and others, actually mean fear. Telling yourself that it isn’t fear, so you don’t feel like you’re giving up, is flat out being dishonest with yourself.

At least if you’re going to use the words above, just admit to yourself that you’re afraid. It’s much easier, to see it “truthfully,” no matter what you decide. And at least knowing it is FEAR that rules your decisions, you won’t feel as bad or maybe it’ll spur you on to take a crazy risk.

Emotional risk is where it’s at, financial risk is just the diving board.

Taking risk is having faith in yourself and a greater power that YOU DESERVE happiness, fulfillment, success and other emotional benefits.

It’s how you feel through your life that matters; when you feel courageous breaking through your own barriers of what you believe you can do….its when the “living” starts.

I know what I’m gonna do, I’m on the diving board. How about you?



Two feet in or One foot out?

When you take an accounting of your life, what do you consider is solidly part of the core? Versus what you SAY vehemently is a core part of your life, but in truth its sorta, kinda involved, but not really? As in, what is your commitment to people, places and things that decorate your existence?

I like quotes. Sometimes they resonate with a state of my being and other times these statements remind me of a way to change my perception (at least momentarily). Many people live on these “inspirations” as a mantra, or as I like to say applying perfume on “poo-poo”. They figure the positive affirmation will outweigh any negative feeling that may be have a stranglehold on their well-being. And usually they find, it is pretty ineffective as more than a soother for the moment.

Many quotes/statements in actuality are taken out of context of their original format. Why do I bring it up?

Well, in our society we like things fast and furious.

We like immediate gratification without much commitment.

Not to say people don’t make commitments, but most of the time its the one foot in, one foot out type.

Quotes are immediate gratification; they don’t say much in the way of commitment to greater well-being all the time. That resolution would require one to dig below the surface and greet all the negativity stuffed into already over-filled boxes and closets inside of a person.

How many commitments do you have one foot in and expect good results?

What do you have two feet in and your commitment is solid? Your kids? School?  What about your job? Your friends? Your love relationship? How often do you agree to anything without second-guessing yourself?

What is the difference between appearing to have interest in something vs. being 100% whole hog into that thing?

Appearing to have interest, so you seem “at times”, as though you are engaged is not a commitment. You can feel the difference. Do you think if you go through the motions that you are convincing someone “you are all in”? The truth is they know as much as you do that your not truly participating with both feet in place.

People become afraid to invest all the way, because they don’t trust themselves to make a solid decision that will keep them from being disappointed. Some individuals like to keep their options open in case a better job or mate comes hopping along.

Maybe you just dislike something so much that it pains you to think of being wholeheartedly committed, but yet too afraid to leave it…and therefore you stay half-heartedly in a job, relationship or other “stated commitment”.

Fear does amazing things for us. It holds us back from success. It also holds us back from putting both feet in even when it is something we really, really want….such as love, a new job, an interesting hobby, learning a new skill, finishing a degree, an exercise routine, creating deeper bonds in all areas, so that we feel connected, maintain well-being and have a sense of belonging.

If you are not 100% committed to your job, as far as putting effort into being fully present and connected to what you are doing, and seeing yourself successful, then you are doing yourself a huge disservice. When you are not fully committed to your job, you cannot be successful. You may get by or do the minimum of what is requested of you and in some cases you could do enough to receive some accolades, but it will never feel fulfilling and successful.

Why do people just show up for the paycheck? Because we are afraid. We are afraid to shine, we may think we’ll fail and we better play it safe. We all are afraid and there are situations for many of us in which we do one foot out the door and another on a banana peel.

And there ain’t nothing in this world that is worth having without risk. No risk, no reward. 

What about in relationships? Married, dating someone, friendships, and even parent/child relationships.

Just because you physically show up or say the words, “I am in”, does not necessarily equal two feet in the relationship. Many times we think lip service followed with no action is enough to keep the relationship going and again we “appear” to be towing the line. But are you? How successful are these relationships where you don’t show up for important people in your life?

We notice who shows up when the chips are down, not all relationships stand up to crisis. Or how about when that person stands you up for any occasion. When somebody does not show up for you whether it is a friend, parent or lover, you feel disappointed and abandoned. If you have issues with self-worth you think you must deserve to be treated poorly or you feel angry, maybe adding on to years of resentment.

And the person who is not in with both feet, that person you feel abandon you when you needed them, they are NOT off having a party thinking you deserve to be treated that way. Instead they are either numbing out so they don’t have to deal with themselves, overcome with daunting guilt or handicapped by their own fears of being ineffectual or engulfed by you or the situation.

People who are committed to their own well-being, want to help maintain it in others not subtract it from a person they care about in any capacity. It makes for “happy and healthy”. When you care about yourself, you are able to say “yes” to life, not run and hide. Both “feet in” means courage, living full out and riding wild unicorns! It means success guaranteed! Why? Because you are “living in the present”, when you give it your all, you are fulfilled.

So in what scenario would having one foot in a relationship ever have a pay off?

It doesn’t.

You are ensuring the end of the affiliation. Being partially in is not giving it your all….so how could you expect a positive outcome?

You are killing it slowly with false promises, not participating fully. Giving excuses wears thin.

Why would anyone want to live SO SMALL? FEAR. It is a four letter word.

What can you do with a one-foot in person, even if it is you?

In long term friendships there is a choice, communication that is open and honest to get to the root of what is going on for each person. At least armed with information, a decision to invest in the friendship or move on can be made clearly. either both feet in or you could decide it is best to move on.

As a child and this is your parent who continues to abandon you or say they are in your corner, but you can never find them physically or emotionally; it is a much deeper issue then just deciding to move on.

In living together or a marriage it takes honest communication or counseling to determine what both partners are truly committed to creating in their lives. They may decide to jump out or jump in to it all the way. Honest communication makes a difference for a person exclusively dating a commitment-skittish person.

If you have one foot in with your job it’s a matter of asking “why” you are there. Are you doing what you love? If so, how can you commit fully? And if not, commit to an exit strategy.

I know for myself that I am both feet into what I have said “yes” to at this time.

My decisions have more focus, because I don’t want to commit half-way to anything I choose.

I want success, happiness and fulfillment, so my commitments are based on my 100% motivation in understanding why I want to engage before I take the leap off the cliff.

And trust this statement, I have been taking all sorts of high dives without a parachute and I cannot wait to see where I land. Taking risk is the quickest way to change your life.

And the biggest risk I can think of is to be fully on board with both feet in to whatever you endeavor to do!!