What Place Does Pleasure Have in an Emergency?

Orange flowers grow from black charred wood

If you live anywhere on the west coast, chances are you are or were close to a fire or socked in with smoke. To our nervous system, this is an emergency. Being afraid or uneasy is an appropriate response to these conditions. We are evolutionarily hardwired to engage with (fight), run away from (flee), or disassociate from (freeze) threats, and fires and smoke are most definitely threats to our survival.

However, at this very moment most likely you are somewhat OK, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this. While you might know that intellectually, your body could still be on high alert. How do you tell your body that despite these dangerous conditions, you are OK?

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