When we feel pressured, over-worked and under-resourced we can easily be persuaded that luxuries are things we have to buy. Expensive things. The urge to brighten a life that doesn’t feel bright at all can take us into debt or keep us running harder as workers than is good for us. If you can experience a feeling of luxuriousness without having to spend money, this is a great help. Here are some things I find give me feelings of luxury – no doubt others exist.
Rest. There’s nothing like being tired for making me feel fragile and marginal. Making time to rest can feel indulgent. Simply lying around can give a body a sense of peace and ease. This can be added to (for me at least) by adding other soft mammals to the equation. Lounging about with cat or husband, enjoying soft, sensual contact that requires nothing further, can feel deeply luxurious.
Water – be that a swimming pool, a bath, dabbling my feet in a stream, taking a quick shower or running a cool flannel over my skin on a hot day. Water can create rapid feelings of luxury for me.
Getting outside – sun on my face in winter, sitting under a tree in summer. Breezes against my skin, relishing the cool night air, listening to birds, enjoying the scent of flowers. Perhaps meandering a little, but not going far or at any great speed.
Friends – just spending time with people when nothing much is going on, or needs to happen. When we can just sit around and talk, or not talk, or share activities that don’t take too much effort. Taking time to be entirely focused on a friend always feels like a luxury to me.
I can get several of these into most days. Sometimes I’ll have been racing about like a crazy thing with lots to sort out, at which point the contrast of moving into luxury mode can be dramatic. Even just a few minutes of doing something like this helps me feel richer and happier. Pausing to do things that help my body feel good keeps the rest of my life in perspective. I know what I’m working for, and I don’t end up busy for the sake of busy.
We tend to think of luxury in terms of big things – like yachts and exotic holidays. In practice, small luxuries that are part of your everyday life are easily available and enriching, they just need a little space.