Pain & Pleasure #2

August 28, 2018

**Let me preface this (because who doesn’t love a post that starts with a disclaimer) by saying all my client sessions are completely confidential. All identifying details are always removed. […]

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**Let me preface this (because who doesn’t love a post that starts with a disclaimer) by saying all my client sessions are completely confidential. All identifying details are always removed. If you can identify my client by this post, then you’re way underselling your skills and I want a cut of the lottery money when you play. Disclaimer over.**

Didja make your list of the Things?

Let’s go deeper into this idea of how Pain and Pleasure relates to motivation…and ultimately fulfillment. And, PS, self love.

I had a client recently who shared that her top “Energy Drainer” was her kitchen cabinets.

“I feel like my cabinets are a metaphor for my life…looks great on the outside, but when you start opening things up, it’s really a hot mess inside.”

What a beautiful and vulnerable statement.

Have you ever had a time in your life when you feel it all looked good from the outside (and of course on social media because, filters) but on the inside you feel like you’re holding it all together with duct tape, safety pins, and caffeine?

No? You haven’t?

Then A) BULLSHIT and B) see “A”.

Back to my client.

It was time to break it down (please, someone get that reference and make my Xennial heart happy…and not feel so old….no? Fine).

We worked through the “why” having organized cabinets would feel so good, to turn up the pleasure.

“Because it would feel amazing to have them organized, to be able to find everything, to just open them and see everything neatly in place, it would give me a big sigh of relief and I’d feel like I had some control!”

We worked through what it would take to get them organized, to work through the practicality and see if there was any pain hiding there.

“Honestly, I could probably whip it out in 15 minutes….I just need to take everything out and see what needs to be thrown away, then put everything back, in an organized fashion. I could even turn on Pandora while I work and enjoy the process”

Ah. Now we’re getting somewhere. There’s pleasure associated with having them clean. There’s not that much pain associated with the doing of the Thing. So then…

I brought my client back to a comment she’d made earlier in our session:

When I open them, they give me all sorts of anxiety.” 

J: Tell me again what happens when you open your cabinet doors.

Client: I just feel so much anxiety….it really stresses me out.

J: And what do you do when you feel that stress and anxiety?

C: Honestly…I just close them as quickly as I can, and I feel better again.

J: And so what would happen if you left all your kitchen cabinets open all day long? Or took the doors off altogether?

C: OMG….I couldn’t take it. I would have to drop whatever I was doing and clean them immediately.


Opening those cabinets every day triggered pain.

Closing them as quickly as possible turned down the pain *just enough*.

Leaving the cabinets open all day would create too much PAIN. It would turn the pain up so high, that nothing else could get done until those cabinets were organized. And those cabinets would get organized in a matter of minutes.

We do this in our emotional lives as well. We feel pain, discomfort, unhappiness, discontent…so we numb it just enough to take the edge off.

We close the metaphorical doors, and the pain goes down, just to a dull roar….just bearable…just enough to live with, just enough that we don’t have to REALLY deal with it.

“Ummm Jen? I thought you said there would be wine…was the wine inside the metaphorical cabinet? I’m really just still here for the wine…I was promised wine?”

Listen, sex, wine, and puppies sell. Just look at the internet and the stupid shit you buy all the time (fine, that I buy).

Stay tuned for Part Three…

(Yes, that’s an actual picture of one of my own cabinets. Yes, it needs organizing. Yes, it’s on my own personal List of Things. No, I’m not perfect. I’m a Life Coach, not Buddha…I know a lot, I’ve learned a lot, I’ve lived a lot but I’m still freaking human…and thank goodness for that because it keeps me real and that’s what I ALWAYS want this blog to be about: being real.)

Sparkle on, friends.


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