6. Tracy: The Last 20

Here is the rest of her list.


#11     Looking at the new seed catalogue and anticipating the beautiful flowers that will be blooming throughout my yard and on my deck this summer

#12    Baking and sharing it with others

#13    The smell of a fresh cut hay field when I’m driving down the road with my car windows open

#14    New baby calves in the springtime as they run about kicking up their heels

#15    The wide open spaces and the endless blue sky where you can see for miles

#16    My time with God in my special chair as I just sit and wait

#17    Sitting on the deck in the cool of the evening listening to the peaceful silence

#18    Camping and the smell of bacon frying on the campfire early in the morning

#19    Enjoying the company of my funny and witty brothers. They make me laugh

#20   My goofy friend makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts

#21    Wearing the tiara I bought so I could feel like a princess

#22   My new rock garden that I created last summer

#23   Hiking

#24   The look on little girls’ faces when I ask them if they are a princess

#25   Collecting the chicken eggs on a farm

#26   My beautiful gold colored sandals

#27   Winning first prize at the fair for a cake I baked

#28   My soft green zip-up hoodie feels like a warm hug

#29   Re-decorating my very plain bathroom

#30   Picking berries for pies

#31   Building a deck storage seat at a wood working course


So, Tracy, you are far more alive than you thought you were.  There is a wide spectrum of areas you already find pleasure in.  You just had not languaged them as part of your treasure chest, and you had not been overt about anticipating, being in the moment and savoring after the fact.

Having those three tools from the PTSD set will enable you to take what already produced a sparkle in your brain to build a very large pleasure center which we will use in the next step.

I don’t know if you like to sort or not.  For some people, categorizing is a pain in the neck.  For others it is a revelatory experience.   I don’t want you to do this next step if it is going to be a discipline, since I don’t want to intrude duty into your pleasure center unnecessarily.  But if you find pleasure in sorting, then you could sort these a number of different ways.

There is the visual of the blue sky and the tactile of fishing and the olfactory of the pie.

Or there is the physical of your hoody and the emotional of your coat.

Or there is the solitary experience of gathering eggs and the experience in community of asking a girl if she is a princess.

For me, it would be interesting to see which areas produce the most pleasure for you and which the least.  And how you feel about that.  I find my greatest pleasures alone and that bugs the living daylights out of my gregarious friends who want to mooch off my pleasure, but I am really, magnificently OK with solitude.  On the other hand, I have a deep craving for nuanced smells at the right time, but am sad when I look at my list and see how rarely I experience those pleasures.

So if you want to, sort and comment.  No pressure.

I am going to park this for a week.  Now that you have had this insight into who you are, I would like you to work vigorously at growing the nerve center for one week, and get back to me next Thursday with a report of anything you can report.  It might be too soon to sense anything different, but the way you are tearing into this project, there might be something measurable.

Then I will launch the next phase of the project.New spiritual authority

Copyright February 2016 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub, after hours



  1. Soo Fee says

    I remembered our Youth Fellowship used to organize Prince night and Princess night (separate occasions) each year. On that special night the guys or girls would dress up and be given special treatment. It is a way to affirm the youth that they are Prince and Princess in God’s eyes.
    Tracy, you are the precious and beloved Princess of the Most High God!
    May God bless and grow your pleasure center in this coming week.


  2. Maggie says

    This is amazing. Living in a city that started as a penal settlement, where the population that survives still seems to be in that kind of prison thinking mind and soul set, I am just thrilling to the idea that I don’t have to follow those religious voices any more. I am truly weeping because so many just don’t know this kind of freedom. So this is how He came to set the captives free!…rejoicing. …greatest pleasure for me is the sound of true ‘twitter’ …birds all around every day and trees for them to play and the kookaburra laughs in a different kind of way….yay and hooray! Thank God for US of A……I am writing a list today, I have so much more to say.


  3. Rosemary Williamson says

    Agreeing with all the comments above! I too have experienced your pleasures, right down to smelling the bacon! And I too am going to start my own list today. Thank you for allowing us into your life almost to get to taste, see and smell your pleasure.


  4. Michelle Neely says

    Tracy, is it ok if I write some of the same things on my list?…..I just could not verbalize it till you did!….Fun, my day is brighter and life is better because of this project and your testimony to lead us! Bless you Princess.


  5. melissachep says

    I am exuberantly participating vicariously! I have always, from very early childhood, communed with God through nature. I can see how our culture demands that we place those things in a lesser category than more “practical, important” matters. I am reaquainting with my childhood joys and reuniting with my Father who lavishes me with them toward the fulfillment of my personhood. For three years there has been almost no snow in the mountains near our home, but this winter there is a bumper crop. Early in the season on clear days the snow-capped mountains produced a longing in me to heading up and enjoy skiing as I did as a youth. Those thoughts were quickly crowded out by practical considerations of time and money. But God shouted a resounding “YES” to my desire and surprised me with an unbelievable killer deal (which you would appreciate!) and the time to go one day a week all season. So now instead of looking at those white peaks with longing, I am reveling in the untold visual and tactile joys of flying down them, basking in fluid, flowing intimacy with my God! I bless you in your journey, and thank you for sharing so others can also partake!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. says

    Tracy, yesterday at sunset, as I was taking my evening walk with my dog, I was thanking the Lord for you. For putting yourself out here for all to see. For being bold and courageous. I want you to know, it has made me realize how I have been grinding away day to day and not stopped to savor those things which bring me joy. So, after I finished praying for you I started talking to God about my list of things that bring me joy, and how sorry I was for not acknowledging them earlier. This is definitely a good discipline which I had practiced once upon a time, but had let slip away. Thanks again and I bless you with joy unspeakable.

    Liked by 1 person