Be easy about it. Don’t rush into things. Savor them more. Make more plans and be more deliberate and specific about the plans that you are making; and in all that you do, let your dominant intent be to find that which pleasures you as you imagine it. Let your desire for pleasure — your desire for feeling good — be your only guiding light. As you seek those thoughts that feel good, you will always be in vibrational harmony with the Energy that is your Source. And, under those conditions, only good can come to you; and only good can come from you.
Channeled by Esther Hicks
The Desire for Pleasure
When I was in college, I rowed. That is to say, I did crew. And, for those of you who don’t know, rowing is considered to be perhaps the most grueling sport in the world. It’s one of the only sports that requires every muscle in the body all at the same time.
There is a term used in the world of crew to describe what happens during a race or peak performance. It’s called “Oxygen Debt.” The body goes into a state of oxygen deprivation. So much energy is being exerted by the body that, no matter how hard you breathe, you simply can not replace the oxygen that is needed by the cells to function. The result is often nausea, light-headedness, dizziness, severe shooting pain, and other bodily reactions. There’s another saying in crew that if you can stand up after a race, then you didn’t do it right.
I started crew my freshmen year at Harvard mostly because I felt completely lost without playing a sport. Sports were how I defined myself growing up. And I needed something to play, every day. I wasn’t good enough for any of the other Division 1 teams at Harvard, but I walked into crew. And I love learning new things. So, I sunk my teeth into it. But, I had always played what I term “fun” sports, like tennis or basketball, where conditioning is important, but it’s not what defines the sport. And, I couldn’t really see the “fun” in crew. I remember it seemed like just a lot of hard work.
Nonetheless, the coach kept telling us at practice to “have a satisfying row.” Meanwhile, he was making us do the equivalent of wind sprints in the icy water of the Charles river, the callouses on my hands bleeding red down the handle of the oar. Something in me liked the push and pull of the edge, however. I felt drawn to the challenge. And at age 18, I can understand the appeal of Boot Camp in the Army. It certainly felt that way practicing 6 days a week for up to 4 hours a day.
And in the midst of this, something extraordinary began to happen, not always, but sometimes in practice or a race. I found that my whole being entered a pure zone of tranquility in the midst of intense exertion. And this state of bliss, that distance runners also describe, was heavenly. I remember even feeling like I was sitting in a bright light and everything appeared in slow motion.
What I want to ask you today is this: what hard work must be done in the name of your highest pleasure, that feels like hard work, but upon closer inspection is simple a total, pure striving of your highest journey? For me, crew started as a desire to play, I bumped into the hard work of it, and then transcended that to find a deeper pleasure still. Where in your life, could you do the same?