By Christi Harris
For the record, I don’t believe in guilt; it’s a waste of our beautiful energy. But for this exercise, I love the word, because it makes pleasure sound so naughty, and therefore, all the more inviting.
Nearly anything fun can be instantly upgraded to a guilty pleasure by adding the tiniest whiff of guilt. I love to:
Go into a health food store for kale and walk out with a chocolate cupcake covered in sprinkles.
Sneak across the street to my neighbors’ house and snuggle their dog, Lenny. I call her Lenny Kravitz, because dogs need two names.
Binge on Lucifer for two days straight. A hot, randy devil? Hell, yes!
Go to the grocery store when I’m hungry, in defiance of those who say you shouldn’t.
Eat cookie dough. Enough said.
Pretend I don’t speak English when people attempt to engage me in a political discussion.
Hike when I should be laundering, read when I should be writing, nap when I should be cleaning.
Sneak into other peoples’ gardens, cup my hands around their giant peonies (sounds much naughtier than it is), and drink in their heady aroma.
Our potential for guilt is unlimited, as is our capacity for pleasure. But our deepest, truest pleasure can only be found within.
There exists a facet of us that has become a guilty pleasure over the centuries, and it’s a crying shame. That facet is creativity. We have become an overly-mental, overly-busy society. Yes, we have our food, wine, sex, shopping, exercise to give us brief respites from work. But where is our creativity?
Let’s get out of our minds and dance! Write! Paint, and sing, and play. These are not guilty pleasures unless we choose to deem them so in order to supersize their appeal. These are our birthright. We came to this earth to play and enjoy life – so let’s get on with it! Let’s leap into that sweet spot known as the present moment and leave fears and regrets and to-do lists behind.
It’s been said that, when we humans die and pass to the other side the most common regret is, “I wish I had enjoyed it more!” We’ve no way of confirming the validity of this myth, but it smacks of truth and serves as impetus to do exactly that. Enjoy.
We have plenty of thinkers, so let us be the dreamers! Immanuel Kant – a philosopher and imaginer from the 1700s – encouraged us to stop thinking of time and space as real, but as sensualities that are flexible. If even time and space are sensual and flexible, why are we not? Imagine the possibilities!
Scientists know that when you change your perception, you change your experience. If we feel our life is hectic, hurried, and laden with hard work, then it is. But what if we felt our life was easy, effortless, even exciting? We can dream ourselves into any reality by believing in the possibilities.
If you could do anything at all, and you knew before you began that it would work out perfectly, what would you do? We must do that thing!
At just after 7:00 on a recent Monday evening, I was walking by the dog park in Basalt when two young men rode up on bikes, ran into the park, and pulled juggling pins from their backpacks. With the exuberance of the impassioned and unburdened, they began practicing their act, tossing the pins back and forth between them. After only a few tosses, they would invariably drop a pin or two, but they were present! They were laughing! They were creating! They were, by its very definition, extraordinary!
The recently late but eternally great Toni Morrison wrote:
“And I am all the things I have ever loved: Scuppernong wine, cool baptisms in silent water, dream books and number playing.”
We must be dreamers, revelers, guilty pleasure seekers of the highest order. We must be everything we love. And in that moment, our sensual, magical life itself becomes our very own guilty pleasure.
Christi Harris is a Colorado native: hiker, biker, and guilty pleasure seeker. She writes fiction under her pen name – Andi Bryce.