Microdosing on your own medicine with Amanda Testa
What does it mean to microdose on your own medicine? If you’re looking to grow pleasure, joy and presence in your life, then listen to this week's podcast as I share the importance of little daily doses of pleasure.
Tune in to discover - why small micro shifts make huge impacts and change, and how this helps you eliminate self doubt, hold yourself with love and kindness, find more resilience, and enhance your capacity for joy.
complete transcript below.
In this episode you'll discover
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EPISODE 235: Microdosing On Your Own Medicine
[Fun, Empowering Music]
Amanda Testa: Hello, and welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. I am your host, Amanda Testa. I am a sex, love, and relationship coach, and in this podcast, my guests and I talk sex, love, and relationships, and everything that lights you up from the inside out. Welcome!
I believe that pleasure is foundational. It is a powerful tool to cultivate embodiment, nervous system regulation, and joy. And so, in today’s podcast episode, I’m gonna be talking about how to microdose on pleasure. Yes, how you can use your own medicine (microdose on your own medicine) to feel better in your body, in your sexuality, and overall in your life. And so, I love this topic because something that I find -- as you know, I’ve been talking about this for years -- that we can make little, small shifts and have big results, right?
Oftentimes, in our culture, we think it’s an all or nothing thing, right? We have to be all in on something or all out.
I’m either eating really healthy or I’m gorging on ice cream and chips. I’m either working out all the time or I am never doing anything. I’m either all in on my relationship or I’m busy and disconnected. And this is just not realistic, A, because we aren't meant to be all or nothing, right? We are multidimensional beings, and the more we can accept that, the more we can also accept what’s happening outside of us as well. And so, even just sometimes hearing the word pleasure can bring up so much.
So I’m curious, even as you feel into that word, pleasure, what do you notice? What might you notice happening in your body, in your being? Maybe any sensations you notice. Maybe any thoughts. What happens? Not judging what’s happening, but just being curious. What do I think about pleasure? What does that word mean to me? It’s just a curious thing to explore, right?
For me, pleasure means it feels good. It’s something that’s nourishing. It’s something that’s helpful and inspires feelings of warmth, of coziness, of joy, of ecstasy even, right? Being in my body, focusing on my sensations means focusing on my five senses, really dropping into presence. It means connecting with others. It can mean enjoying a good meal. It means laughing. It means cuddling with my kid. It means petting my dog and just luxuriating in his fur. It means enjoying the sun on my skin. It means walking through the cold snowy days and feeling that cold on my skin. It means watching a weed’s determination as it pushes through concrete, right? It means so many things but, mostly, it means presence - full presence in the moment that we’re in and this, to me, means a place of acceptance, of curiosity, and of acknowledgement of whatever is here, right? Even if it feels uncomfortable, especially when it feels uncomfortable because, so often, we can judge our experiences, judge how we’re supposed to be.
Oftentimes, when you see, like, “Oh, I want to be an embodied goddess and feel all the pleasure,” and you see all these images of these skinny, white women in flowing dresses. And, believe you me, I’ve been complicit in that as well, but then I realize it’s more than that, right? It’s not that, and that is just one way of being, right? That’s just what our culture has taught us is the norm, and that’s not true, right? That’s very unrealistic.
And so, what my invitation is is to kind of feel into the openness of what it could look like to have more pleasure in your life, to have these little micro hits of pleasure throughout your day. I like to call these pleasure pops or microdoses of pleasure or whatever it is for you. Really, what that term means is little, teeny, minute, almost non-noticeable doses of a medicine so that you can feel the effect.
The reason I think that pleasure is such a beautiful way to do this is because this is just something that’s natural in our own bodies. This is just something that we can cultivate connecting to, and, yes, there are tools and techniques in how you can do it, right? There are so many ways you can connect to these kind of expanded states of presence. You could do it through psychedelics. You could do it through breath work. You could do it through pleasure. You could do it through so many different ways, right?
But one of the things that can be so simple is, again, sometimes we look at things, like they have to be all or nothing, but what about just embracing? What could be little ways that I could dip my toe into adding more presence and pleasure into my life? And if it ever feels too much, guess what? You don't have to keep doing it. You can tune into what you need, right? I truly feel like that’s what pleasure means to me. It’s tuning into what you need in the moment and offering it to yourself as much as possible, and if you can’t offer it to yourself, can you ask for it? Can you receive it, right? These are three big things that can be really challenging.
Often, so often, what happens is in our lives, too, we feel rejected or we doubt ourselves or we don’t trust ourselves. This is another thing I hear a lot is that feeling of I’m not enough, that feeling of what I have isn't good enough, what I’m doing isn’t good enough, my body isn't good enough, my relationship isn't good enough, what I’m doing to take care of myself isn't good enough, how I am as a parent isn't good enough, how I am showing up at my work isn't good enough, right? Does any of that sound familiar? Well, it’s not your fault because it is our patriarchal culture that we live in, right? The supremacist culture of oppression, of extraction, of producing for someone else’s gain, often, right? I like to think about how can you take some of that and give it to yourself? How can you nourish your own self? How can you take some of that energy and put it to your own use so that you can better take care of yourself, so that you can better take care of your family (your loved ones), so that you can show up in your community in a way that makes a difference in a good way, right?
Because, really, what I think we all want deep down is just that feeling of what I’m doing is enough. I’m good. I’m good inside, right?
There’s a parenting expert that I follow, Dr. Becky, and she’s amazing. She just wrote a book called Good Inside, and what I love about this book and just her philosophy is that we are good inside. We are born good, and whenever someone is experiencing a hard time (like your kids or any relationship, really, you can look at this in any experience) this is a good person having a hard time which, oftentimes, is true, right? And that’s not to discount your own experience based on someone’s bad behavior because your own experience is important and needs validation and witnessing too. And so, I think what most of us want is that feeling of, like, yes, I’m enough, I’m creative, I’m original, I’m unique, I’m fun, I’m me, right? How we can find that is tapping into our own medicine more and more. I think doing that through little daily doses of pleasure is such a great way to do it.
Why is this important? Because, number one, it really helps you move through self-doubt. We have so much coming in, oftentimes, from external sources - social media, the news, people around you, going to the grocery store and seeing the magazines. There’s constant bombardment of this external narrative, and so, when you’re constantly feeling our culture’s messaging of, “You’re not right. The way you are isn't acceptable. This isn’t enough,” of course you’re gonna feel that way, right? And so, sometimes turning off that outside influence can be such a huge way to trust yourself more, to believe in yourself more. What is it that you truly want? What is it that you truly believe? Not what our culture’s telling us, not what you’ve been conditioned, but what is it, right?
Then, also, why else is it important? Number two, it helps you hold yourself with love and kindness, right? The more that you can be present to what’s happening in your own experience and find a way to connect to it, find a way to move through it and to come back to a place that feels stable, that feels good, that feels resourced, that’s so key because the more we can accept who we are and all the parts of us, the more we can accept others, right? It helps you stay resilient, as I talk about a lot when we are working on finding more pleasure, embodying our sexuality more, finding more connection in our relationships, a lot of it has to do with taking care of our own selves and our own nervous system so that we can be in a place of resilience more often than not versus a place of overwhelm and stress and anxiety or shutdown and disconnection. And so, when we can find ways to take care of ourselves, nourish ourselves in pleasure, we are more able to stay in that range of resilience. We can enhance our capacity for joy and pleasure. We can be more present in our lives in the moments that matter.
Also, too, like I said, to be able to look towards difficulty with compassion, whether that’s in yourself or others because, again, it can be hard, right? There’s so much that we are constantly bombarded with, but sometimes it is important to look towards that difficulty. I think it’s very important to look towards that difficulty and just see if you can remain in your heart while you witness it. It doesn't mean you necessarily have to do anything about it to start but just witnessing even in yourself. Because, again, the more we can have acceptance for our self, the more we can for our whole selves in the whole collective.
And so, again, this is why I like to call it microdoses of pleasure ‘cause you can start small, and I think those are the ways we make change over time is little small things over time. I know I talk about this, but BJ Fogg is a behavioral researcher at Stanford, and he created a program called Tiny Habits, and he also has a book about this.
Really, what it is, is finding ways to make change by doing the little tiny things, adding them to things you're already doing (rituals you already do), and adding these other little tiny things along the way because, truthfully, the more that you can make a really super small change, celebrate the hell out of yourself for doing it, the more likely you are to continue doing those things. Again, this is why all or nothing fails, right?
If you want to drink more water, for example, and then you go buy yourself three gallons of water and sit them on your desk, that might be overwhelming, right? But if you’re like, “You know what? Every time I get up to go to the bathroom, I’m gonna refill my water, and I’m gonna make an intention to drink it,” you're more likely to do it, right? If you are wanting to start working out, you're not gonna immediately go run a marathon, right? That’s not realistic. The same thing is with pleasure and with enjoying your body more and being in your body more and enjoying your sensations more and cultivating that sensuality. There are little teeny ways that you could do it.
One of the smallest ways I love to share with people is to create a pleasure journal. This is something I always do with my clients ‘cause I think it’s so key and it’s simple, right? So what this looks like is every day, at the end of the day, you're gonna write down something that brought you pleasure. Ideally, it’s a sensational pleasure, but it could just be anything like, “I got a beautiful, warm hug from my kid today,” or, “My partner walked by on his way out the door and gave me a kiss and it felt really connecting,” or, “I was walking the dog this morning and, oh, my god, the leaves (the colors, the brilliance) were gorgeous.” “Today, I had the most delicious pumpkin muffin I’ve ever eaten in my life,” right? Whatever it is, but something sensational like what was something that brought me pleasure today, something that I saw that was beautiful, something that I heard that was beautiful, something that I tasted that was delicious or yummy, something that I felt on my skin that felt good. Tuning into those five senses. What was it?
Just start making little notes of that at the end of the day because the more that you can drop into those sensations and just feelings of what you're experiencing (your sensations in your body) that is what embodiment is. It’s being in your body, noticing what’s happening, being aware of the sensations, being curious. This is a language that you have to learn, right? Not all of us know this language, and the more you can learn this language, the easier it is to expand on that - the easier it is to expand on that when you are in the bedroom or having sex with your partner or yourself or whatever it is. So starting small is so key. Then, when you start to think about, “What are the things that are bringing me pleasure everyday?” it kind of helps your brain default more to that.
I love these things so much so this is why I truly desire to create more opportunities for women and gender-expansive humans to create more pleasure in their lives, to be able to find these ways (these little pleasure pops, these little microdoses of pleasure) that you can do throughout the day so that you can reconnect to your own medicine and to remember that you are medicine, right?
What you are offering in this world is unique. It is different, it is important, and it is so needed. I really want that remembrance to come alive in every person that’s listening to this podcast, every person that wants to feel that tingle in places you’ve not felt in a while, to feel that feeling of a warm delicious hug. That’s what I love. I like warm hugs. Like Olaf, I like warm hugs. But, yes, creating the secret, maybe it’s like a sensual love affair with yourself, maybe it’s a way to just connect more deeply to the things that matter to you.
Again, it’s not our fault, right? This is our culture that we live in, and so, it is so amazing to be able to take these little, slow things and add in more joy, add in more connection, add in more presence to everything that you do because this is such a huge capacity builder for more sensation, for more pleasure, and it’s all so connected.
People sometimes struggle with this. So one of the things that I do with clients is really help to create these new pathways of pleasure in your bodies and beings, and there are ways to do it, right? There are proven processes to do it. And so, if this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, I’m going to be launching a new group program that is gonna be starting in January of 2023. Really, the intention is to connect to your own medicine, to use pleasure as your own medicine and connecting to that on a daily basis so you can remember: “I am medicine. I matter, and what I am doing in this world is important. My pleasure is important,” and centering that.
People always ask, “Well, why is this important? With everything going on in the world, why is this important?” And I have to say that it’s probably one of the most important things because, really, when you think about those stories of human resilience, of what inspires people in the midst of dark times is the human spirit. The thing is, it’s not just that. It’s the action that you take because the more that you can take action, the more things actually change. We can have the mindset. That’s a big part of it. Have the thoughts and have the experiences, but then it’s the doing. How do you continue to do this day after day? How do you continue to do this in a way that you can show up for yourself, that you can show up for your family, that you can show up for your relationship, that you can show up for your community? How can you do this day over day? That’s the work, right? That’s why it’s practice, and that’s why it can be so important to be in a community, held in a supportive community with other people doing supportive things because, truly, healing happens in community.
As I’ve served hundreds of clients over the years with my skills and coaching and pleasure embodiment and somatic trauma resolution, what I see time and time again is that we all have this ability to return to our blueprint of health, and we need a pathway sometimes, right? Once we can open that door, we remember. We have that within us. We don't need anyone else; we just need to find that path back to ourselves. And sometimes that’s hard, right? Sometimes you do need, “How do I do it?” And you need the help, but once you learn, then you have that treasure trove of resources for yourself to return to again and again and again. You can find your desire again. You can find your pleasure again. You can find safety and bliss in your body and know and remember that you are just enough exactly as you are without having to make drastic changes. Something that is challenging is thinking in that all or nothing, right? We don't have to do it all or nothing. We can make it gentle, we can make it doable, and, really, with the work that I do, I find that is the most sustainable way to make change is to do it in small increments over time. Otherwise, it could be too much and you shut down and you're like, “All right, well, that’s not for me.”
And so, I know that if you're listening to this podcast you are probably one who is on a path of growth, is on a path of devotion to yourself, to your expansion, to finding more ways to have more pleasure in your life and in your families and in your relationships or however it may be, but just know it is possible to tenderly heal your relationship to your sexuality, to shamelessly embrace your pleasure and you can cultivate deeper-connected relationships because of this, because when we’re more connected to our own medicine ourselves, when we take that time to marinate in that everyday, it changes how we show up in the world. It changes how we show up to our work. It changes how we show up to our families.
It reminds you of who you are because, in this crazy busy world with so much outside stuff constantly infiltrating us, it can be so challenging to remember what that even is, right? And so, by making these daily doses of pleasure and connection to yourself, you can remember that. You can find space for you and who you are to take root and blossom. It’s so, so key.
If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, I’ll invite you to shoot me an email. Send me an email: email@example.com and in the subject line I want you to put “I am medicine,” and I can add you to the list to learn more. It’s gonna be very, very limited in space because I really want it to be an intimate experience, and know that even just doing these small things -- I’ll encourage you to get a journal, make it your pleasure journal.
I’ll even put in the show notes a page out of a pleasure journal that I’ve created. It’s a PDF and you can download it and just print it out or you can save it on your computer and write in it every day. Whatever way works for you. Use it as a journal prompt, and at the end of the day, check in, like, what were the things that brought me pleasure today?” Make it be that simple. That could be your first step.
So, know that there are numerous ways to go about this. It can be easy. It can be fun. Most importantly, it really helps you to connect to the wonderful magic that you are. That reminds me of one of the archetypes that I work with in my coaching that is from the Rebloom Coaching Methodology from one of my mentors, Rachael Maddox. I just adore this methodology because it does give such a beautiful map of reblooming. This part of connecting to your own medicine is all connected to the expressionista.
This ability to be who you are in the world and, again, we just need to remember that. The expressionista is all around whole-self expression, sharing who you are with authenticity and passion and confidence. I’m excited to help support you in that!
So, if you're interested, then I invite you to reach out. Again, you can shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org and put in the subject “I Am Medicine,” and know that if the timing that you’re listening to this podcast is not exactly in 2022 or 2023 that there are still ways to tap into this so reach out if this is calling to you, if you’re feeling that urge to reconnect to your own medicine, to your own magic, to your own pleasure, and how that can expand in so many areas of your life, then I invite you to reach out. I’m sending you so much love. I’ll put the pleasure journal in our show notes. Wishing you a beautiful rest of your day or evening (whenever you’re listening to this in the world), and we will see you next week!
[Fun, Empowering Music]
Thank you so much for listening to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. This is your host, Amanda Testa, and if you have felt a calling while listening to this podcast to take this work to a deeper level, this is your golden invitation.
I invite you to reach out. You can contact me at amandatesta.com/activate, and we can have a heart-to-heart to discuss more about how this work can transform your life. You can also join us on Facebook in the Find Your Feminine Fire group, and if you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please share with your friends. Go to iTunes and give me a five-star rating and a raving review so I can connect with other amazing listeners like yourself.
Thank you so much for being a part of the community.
[Fun, Empowering Music]