Sunday With Cindy:
Saying Yes to Pleasure - My Blog
by Kassy Shekeloff
On March 20, 2011, Cindy shared new material and concepts that she's been working on, in the second of her Sunday with Cindy series, Saying Yes to Pleasure, presented by Cindy & Friends. Kassy was one of the "friends" who presented the course and it had such a profound positive impact on her life that Cindy subsequently suggested that Kassy start a board in the More Life forum, especially for graduates of the course, to share and compare their post-course life experiences - how was "saying yes to pleasure" impacting everyone?
Kassy moderated the forum for three months, during which time she also had a personal Audience with Cindy which augmented the experience of the course.
These are Kassy's forum postings - some refer to other participants postings which are not included. This is a record of her personal journey in the weeks immediately following the course.
Exploring Saying Yes
March 24, 2011, 03:42 pm
Hi! I had an amazing time last Sunday and I think you all did, too. The "Wednesday flash" happened for me yesterday while hanging out with Cindy. She had a great idea. Now that you know where I am and that I want to further investigate and profit by all that good stuff that we talked about in the course, how about we do it together? It would be fun to share my process with you and a good tool to stay engaged with the material and continue, even accelerate, on that upward spiral. There are buddies here with whom I will continue the trip to an ever-better life and more buddies sounds even better. We're setting up a forum just for those of us who shared the experience of Sunday with Cindy: Saying Yes to Pleasure. Would you like to play with me? If you do, say yes!
Reaching up and reaching out,
Keep on exploring yes
March 25, 2011, 07:17 pm
This is fun! I've read each of your entries several times and am impressed with how articulately expressive you each are. It is inspirational that the shifts most of us have made since Sunday have netted such rewarding outcomes - and this is only the beginning.
It's been a very busy day for me with planned activities and appointments along with quite a bit of stuff I hadn't anticipated. At the same time, like many of you, I've been making an active move, checking frequently as to pleasure level and optimizing from whatever is up. That's left me smiling, more aware of the various environments I've visited and more aware of the personal exchanges I'm having.
One thought I had was about the first post saying that her experience has transformed her guy. It's repeatedly a revelation that if you shift your whole universe responds accordingly. Saying what would normally go unsaid by you is a remarkable move and a testimony to your good feelings about yourself. (Applause!)
How about we all continue to explore "yes" for another day or two. This first day has yielded a number of different takes and I've been enriched by each of them - you, too, right? Turns out that eternal vigilance is fun.
Speaking of pleasure, it looks like tonight is a go for our movie group to view one of our selections (I'm rooting for The Fighter since earlier today when my hairdresser said she loved it so much she wanted it to win best picture). We'll have refreshments along with the entertainment and the stimulating company that is the centerpiece.
You have a wonderful evening and I'll see you tomorrow. Thanks so very much for being here and playing! There are more folks about to add their input. Life is definitely on an upward spiral!
Keep on exploring yes
March 26, 2011, 10:46 am
I'm checking in with you all to tell you that right now I'm compiling all the topics that we've touched on so far in "exploring yes".
More and more, it seems to me, this body of material is an organic whole - with the various topics relating so much to each other that it doesn't necessarily appear that we need to create threads on each of them. At the same time, we do want to break it up into some kind of chunks.
This morning, after sleeping much later than usual (yea!), I found that I was eager to get to the forum, touch base with everyone and was inspired to compile the list of topics we've already introduced - a way to further enjoy what has been said and to more deeply appreciate and acknowledge what this experience is doing and has done for me. Rather than reluctantly ending my morning party I wanted to jump back into the conversation with everyone.
The Audience starts tomorrow so there is quite a bit of getting ready to be done, too. I'm enthusiastically looking forward to each and every thing in my life.
Hope you find the list of topics we've already touched on as fascinating as I do. I remember in the course, a story from Alec and Marilyn about a place where they'd had a breakdown and Cindy telling them that they'd look back on all that has happened fondly, that they would be like baby pictures. So, this will be one of our baby pictures.
Love to you all, those who have posted and those who I know are about to jump in!
Keep on exploring yes
March 26, 2011, 11:37 am
Although this list is not comprehensive, here is a snapshot of topics I can recall were covered in the course:
Nature walk analogy - being interested as opposed to personalizing and seeing your companion as an ally rather than an adversary.
Deliberately enjoying all the things you do, recognizing that you are choosing each activity - as opposed to compartmentalizing life into pleasurable/not-so-pleasurable, isolated experiences.
Saying yes to pleasure in general, our over-all theme
Seeing the ripple effect our shift is having, including the impact on people who haven't taken the course and, in some cases, people who haven't had any of our courses.
The change in sensual energy, which includes the possibility that increased sensual contact is back on the table, at least as an area of communication.
Even this list contains compound topics.
One last word before I transition, from Cindy's closing remarks to us last Sunday:
Let this stuff settle in. You heard it. Just have fun and enjoy your life. And things unfold at a wonderful rate, just the perfect amount. Not too fast, not too slow.
And keep on posting!
Keep on exploring yes
March 26, 2011, 07:30 pm
Thank you, Marilyn and Marta for your recent posts. What a good reinforcing story to remind us that saying no in any area can have global effects. And, as a mom of a son, I can identify with how good if feels to have something of value to share.
I'm tapping out for today. Jonathan's celebration was wonderful on the heels of his great Certification success. It was there that I learned that you and I and all of us can look forward to hearing from lots of people who are planning to join us.
A very happy first week to you.
Exploring Saying Yes
March 27, 2011, 07:38 am
Thanks to each and every one of you! We started the Audience today and that has been just wonderful. It's also very fulfilling.
Love and encouragement to us all! I'm cooked for today, happily cooked.
March 30, 2011, 10:07 am
There are so many opportunities. For me, it all hinges on the intention. It's something that can make all interactions, verbal, written, etc., well - sweeter. And, it gives me a reason to slow down and feel more awake.
I've been wishing I had something smart or revelatory to say and wanting to compose it just so, so that it would be a pretty expression and hopefully inspirational. At that rate, I've ended up disqualifying just about everything I think of. That said, I've noticed that having sweetness as an overall intention has sharpened my senses in a fascinating way.
I just love your posts. You feel so present. You being "more yourself", as someone mentioned, is palpable. And it feels like a very sweet self.
March 30, 2011, 02:19 pm
Are you being being a bit hard on yourself? You are an ambassador of a better, sweeter life for everyone in your sphere. That's a lot! It's not that you would do best to get all puffed up, but you do deserve not my but your own acknowledgment for adding good - and doing it from anonymity. That's a pretty high place and because we are on the same team we communicate about it.
The best gift you have is a happy you.
Remember when Cindy said about going off the track? She said we can all depend on that happening from time to time. It's a moment to moment proposition and one thing Cindy wanted to be sure to give us is the way back. The first sign of sanity (and the step back into your happy life) is realizing that you're in the bushes. (Okay. I took a bit of liberty in the paraphrasing. But I think you know what I mean.)
It was good that you realized you had "veered off the sweetness thing" because that's the way back. It was especially good in my mind that you ended your post with an acknowledgment of the good that has you at its center. You say it "might not have happened like this". The ripple effect you saw is real. You don't have to get your ego involved. Your perception is creation.
March 30, 2011, 04:02 pm
Hello, again. After posting that last item and time had passed, it occurred to me that where I was going with that was that your story is of the "upward spiral" too!
March 31, 2011, 02:58 pm
This morning I woke up feeling extra happy - smiling and eager to be in this day and this life. It went on like that for a while. Somewhere along the line I couldn't help but notice I was feeling less than buoyant. Started to think it might be good to look for the no, or whatever, that turned the direction. Did I say no to some pleasurable option? I did stretches even before the 6AM shift. Feeling strong at that point. And it's such a beautiful day.
What was happening? After a full examination I had to admit that it was saying no to intense physical pain. First I tried to defend by telling myself it wasn't saying no to pleasure. Quite the opposite, in fact. But still, it is there, plain as the nose on my face. A no is a no. It's the kind of thing I don't want to say here. But it's what's happening. Hopefully by telling on myself, clarity will emerge. How do you feel great when you're just about in tears from hurting? It is far from an uncommon obstacle and many of us are dealing with it.
At noon I joined in the worldwide prayer to the water of Fukushima. What a lovely and touching experience. Did a few anonymous good things and made a bouquet for my desk of calla lilies. All this was very enjoyable.
April 02, 2011, 02:40 pm
How wonderful that more of us have joined the conversation! Hooray and thanks to all of you "old timers" and to you who have just added your voices (along with your eyes)! This is a fun thing to do and at the same time, a thing that dogs me constantly. What will I post?
After my most recent post, about saying no to anything seems to (really) have repercussions all over the place! So, yester-afternoon, I started looking to have some kind of more intimate contact.
Had a social interlude on the calendar with a newer friend. We went out for a snack and a visit. I hope she didn't feel like she was getting the 3rd degree because, as I look back on it, the conversation was mainly composed of me asking questions, learning more about her. We found that we had several things in common. Frankly, she had me at "Chow", i.e., accurately saying the name of the comfort food restaurant. She did it twice before I acknowledged her. That kind of simple sharing opened us both up to finding more things we have in common and an interest, what with this common ground, in other things we could turn each other on to.
After that, it was a movie night with our viewing group - something I always enjoy. It is such a delight to discuss the various nuances along with broader elements that make entertainment a way to connect.
This morning I took a walk with a good friend. Rather than attempting to engineer more intimacy between us in some roundabout way, I directly exposed my goal - my longing, actually. And there we were, god bless her - talking about the same things we usually talk about, but on a closer, warmer and decidedly more intimate level.
Many is the time I've been charged with being insensitive and giving others the feeling of judging them. By then, out of common courtesy if nothing else, it doesn't seem right to say I'm having the same experience. (That's reserved for much deeper, longer friendships.) Everybody doesn't have to claim the low ground.
There were lots of things we found in common in a general sense. One example is finding ourselves wrong or our lives wrong somehow when, after all these years, and all we know, etc., etc., that's so not PC much less the truth in the Big Picture. It doesn't matter if you know at your core that you are privileged to be having one of the best lives that has ever been lived, ever, on the planet, in the history of mankind. We had the opportunity to genuinely feel the upward spiral It's a bit paradoxical, but even though the same words may have been used between us at previous times, in this conversation the words were sent from a different motivation. It made all the difference that we both intended to connect.
This may sound so generic that it's hard to grab on to. But that's what I have to say...
Except for one more thing: It's time to start a new topic or thread or whatever. How about let's talk about "intimacy"? Win, lose or draw, it's what I'm looking for more of - and, all the other topics are included. The reason I suggest this is because the ones we've started are getting long. Besides, it's the heart of the matter.
Exploring Saying Yes
April 02, 2011, 02:44 pm
Thank you, Cindy for the concept of the upward spiral and lowering your standards and so many more things!
April 06, 2011, 09:50 am
Wow! And I really mean that. What fabulous new posts (and, indeed, all the posts) - it could be a book, albeit with most likely a small audience. But one can dream - and it's not even an impossible dream. What a lot of substantial and genuinely heart-felt real life experiences, testimonies to how powerful some tweaking can be. The more I think of it the better the idea sounds. (I'm "thinking out loud", which was not my original plan.) Cindy has such a way with expressing very profound ideas in such an accessible way. It's a great inspiration to me and I know she's worked hard on developing a vocabulary that reaches right into one's core, touching and improving anyone who is up for hearing the good news.
Do you recall Cindy talking about blowing out the top? Well, it happened in my life. My friend and I had such an experience of intimacy that now we can barely see each other without becoming bashful. Though we've acknowledged how dearly we hold that time together and even reassuring each other that a high point isn't supposed to result in a feeling of obligation to exceed that high point in all future times together, we've managed to keep a certain distance except for teary-eyed brief encounters.
Even a moment of soul-nourishing intimacy seems like a reason to celebrate. But how? There must be a better way to process such occasions than I'm using, i.e., re-experiencing that delicious feeling and saying a big YES to that and fondly hoping for more, with my now even better friend and more friends too.
It's time to do some "shoulds". It's so much fun to be here, say stuff, read what everyone else is up to and thinking about, it's hard to tear myself away. I'll check in later and hope you will, too.
Maybe it would be fun to have a party for ourselves in person.
on: April 06, 2011, 10:01 am
I feel stuck, at least to some degree, on just about all the issues in the course. Stuck in advancing in intimacy, stuck in doing the things I know I should to reduce physical pain, and even after all these years that Cindy's recommended having a love affair with yourself, stuck there, too. It's not a complaint and my life certainly has a reassuring upward spiral feeling to it.
At the same time it seems like I could be going much faster. There are even more embarrassing ways I feel stuck but am not up to publicly disclosing them just yet. I get such constant reality that there is quite a bit of judging going on amongst the people with whom I communicate. And isn't it odd that our communication convention (for want of a better term) is that "judgment" is used in mostly a negative way.
Yes, it's much easier to write about ways we're succeeding/ winning than it is to say the other.
April 06, 2011, 10:06 am
Yeah, I mentioned earlier that I think this is a good topic to add - so here it is.
For me, I think that I could apply the principle of lowering my standards and net more gain. Much like sex and only having certain forms of contact qualify, I could be willing to stamp more experiences in my life as rating as intimate. Here goes.
April 07, 2011, 11:53 am
One thing I recall about fear that Vic used to say is that it is about projecting a losing future. Life is tenuous and no one has a guarantee that, at any moment, our future could be turned on its head. It's courageous that you overcame your fear of travel and made it all the way up here for the courses. So, even though you were fearful, you did it and were better off for having done it.
Another thing that might be helpful is the idea of including the negative emotion rather than trying to fight it off. It would be a touch psychotic to be fearless. Maybe fear heightens your awareness so that you are more conscious while driving, for instance. Emotions some how serve us, alert us to possible outcomes, which, if known, could be disarmed.
April 11, 2011, 11:07 am
Since making the determination that I could put more of my life in the "plus" column when it comes to intimacy, it turns out that it's true. Maybe that doesn't make much sense but what I'm trying to say is that there is more available with that change of accounting - so, so far, that concept opened my eyes to things that may always have been available. The net result has not been so much a case of actually lowered standards but discovering much fonder, warmer feelings for the people I relate with than I was aware I had.
April 17, 2011, 01:05 pm
Funny thing happened as I was scrolling around this forum. One piece of information on the left is how many times a person has posted. It actually disturbed (i.e., started to take it personally) me to see that my number was 8 or something and others had numbers like 66. Could barely believe that bothered me. Wow! Must be feeling a bit thin-skinned - what with losing my wonderful post and having a protracted email exchange that seemed kind of adversarial with a member of the team. Ain't life grand! Really. It, as Vic once said, isn't any big thing. It's every little thing.
Just as things turned good in my mind I got good news about two of my projects! It is a reliable source of amazement to me that one's frame of mind affects their universe so completely!
Exploring Saying Yes
May 04, 2011, 01:57:12 pm
This forum is continuing to be such a source of delight and inspiration. I have read several of the entries multiple times and have appreciated the intimate glimpses into so many friends' lives. Thank you all and thank you, Cindy!
Exploring Saying Yes
May 22, 2011, 01:05 pm
Ever since my Audience with Cindy I have been quite engaged in taking the deepest look at my life ever. It turns out that doing this is at once both heavier and more rewarding than I have experienced before.
I've made notes on several experiences relevant to this topic and my Audience that I plan to post about, but for now, I'm ready to just dip in a toe.
Since the early to mid '90's, I've had chronic pain. Last year I found a set of stretches that gave me temporary relief (this after much casting about trying various other forms of exercise, chiropractic, supplementation and so forth). After several months of regular work with these, they really helped. Oddly, however, when I was much improved but not yet pain free, I'd slack off or sprain or break something, or re-abuse my body and be back where I started.
A couple of weeks ago, I was having a meltdown about my unwillingness to say yes to pleasure in this way. Fortunately, Marilyn dropped by that morning on an unrelated mission. She suggested that my lack of follow through could be due to feeling undeserving of getting out of pain. As a possible remedy for my lack of worthiness she proposed that I take on someone else's physical condition and coach them. What a great idea!
So I took on a friend, becoming her coach. She is very enthusiastic about the exercises and has gotten a whole bunch better in the two weeks we've been working out together and I'm on my way back to being more comfortable in my body.
This solution to my feeling more deserving incorporated another precept of the More Philosophy. I had long been wishing that I had a personal trainer - knowing that if that person came along and guided me through the workout, I'd do it. The More Philosophy includes the viewpoint that giving what you want is a way to have it. (For instance: if you feel lonely, befriend someone.) Well, it works!
Exploring Saying Yes
June 22, 2011, 11:15 am
One of the Big Flashes I had in my Audience was that my life is just the way I want it - yeah, perfect. Sure, there are a number of ways it could be even better - again, perfect (includes the potential for change)! You may be thinking something along the lines of "isn't that the cornerstone of your whole philosophy? Haven't you been maintaining that point of view for, like, over 40 years?" Okay, go ahead and think this flash is a bit remedial. But life is like an onion, grasshopper, in the sense that it comes in layers. Within each of these layers, there is a deepening sense of perfection. As Cindy says, your Presentation is just the beginning of your understanding of perfection, not the end.
So, yes, at least on a conceptual level, I've consistently held this point of view for a very long time. When I saw the absolute perfection of my life this time it was to the core. It was a conceptual flash with a visceral component - almost like a very enjoyable body blow.
The way this has played out in day-to-day life is in actively loving and enjoying and being pleasurably grateful for the wonder that is a life tailor-made for me. And that has made it ever increasingly fun.
Kind of like tending a garden, I "realize" over and over, that I must tend my thoughts, words, etc., to maintain this pleasurable state and that coasting is a constant temptation. This morning, for instance, I woke up with reluctance. I was saying "no".
So I did a "CSI" on the situation. First I thought about what happened last night. Pretty much nothing. And without noticing it I had slipped into that well-worn rut of finding things wrong. Allowing the thought to stand (that things weren't right because I didn't feel adequately entertained) had a global impact on my life. I woke up grouchy.
Further investigation revealed that my thoughts had been going south pretty much all day yesterday. One of the things I was finding wrong about myself is that I started this entry ages ago and was feeling guilty about not posting in so long. Unfortunately, the guilt was not having me finish the entry and even had the mystical effect of having my internet connection go out if I even thought about the forum. (There were a bunch of other negative thoughts I had, much too embarrassing to mention. They seem to come in herds.)
So, I'm back to saying yes and happy to be telling you about it and "realizing", yet again, that enjoying life is a moment to moment proposition. At the same time I'm noticing that I have a rather tentative hold on the whole yes thing right now because it's taken me over an hour to actually post because I keep thinking I could say all this better, that it might sound like a lecture more than a disclosure and so on. So there's more "garden tending" to do. Better get to it. Yes!
Exploring Saying Yes
July 09, 2011, 12:11 pm
Here it is an especially lovely and enjoyable day. It made me feel inspired to post. A cool breeze - loving and reveling in the view of sunrise. Perfect cup of coffee. On and on.
Are you saying yes to pleasure?
The ultimate price of pleasure is enjoyment. VB