On a crisp sunny fall afternoon, a group of ladies gather for a leisurely lunch in a cozy bistro. The aroma of fresh baked bread and coffee brewing goes unnoticed. The buzz of conversation focuses on handbags, shoes, and baubles. After placing their order, they settle in to catch up on the past few months. One by one they share experiences of exotic travel, art and historic museums, purchased treasures, and fine dining – each having something grander to say. I notice one of the women seems distracted. As her turn comes, she pauses and says, “You all know that I lost my job a few months ago, but my travels this summer were beyond compare. Each morning I met the sunrise as I took my morning walk through a field of wildflowers. Some days a soft breeze would join me in a delightful dance. Candlelit meals were savored slowly in the company of Michael Buble and other ‘special guests’. Each evening I embraced the sunset as it dropped in the horizon and was welcomed by the moonlight.”
“Where in the world were you?” asked one of the ladies. “I was home. Each year I have looked for something, someone, and somewhere more spectacular than I had experienced the year before and realized I had neglected to embrace the beauty with which I am surrounded every day. I discovered I have all that I need right where I am. My life is one of luxury.” Silence settled over the group. She continued, “Can you smell the bread and coffee? Isn’t it heavenly?”
Like this group of ladies, we often live life chasing after something other than what we hold in our hands. What is a luxurious life? Is it exotic travel, expensive gifts, designer clothing, and five-star restaurants? Is luxury limited to a large bank account? I believe we all can live a luxuriously lavish life. In order to do so, however, we must view luxury with new eyes.
Time is our most precious commodity. Each person is given the same twenty-four-hour day. What will you do with yours? What will you say “yes” to and what will you say “no” to?
I used to feel pressed to fill every moment of my day. I was driven. I had a core belief that the more I did, the better I was. Instead, I found myself bankrupt. I had neglected making time for me. I had viewed it as a luxury I could not afford. Now each day, I make time to pamper myself. It may be a cup of coffee on the patio listening to the birds sing, or time in the kitchen preparing a beautiful meal.
In our high-tech society, time spent with a child, a partner, or friend in focused face-to-face conversation is a rare event. Unaware, we have reduced conversation to a series of texts and daily to-do lists. While sending a text saying “I love you” is sweet, nothing can replace a held hand, a lingering gaze, and caring words.
Make sure to include time each day where you set technology aside and embrace the luxury of uninterrupted time with those you love.
Over-scheduled days leave everyone drained. The very thought of preparing a meal, sitting down at the table, and cleaning it all up can be exhausting. It is simply easier to grab something to eat on the run. While healthy options are available for those on-the-go meals, the luxury of slowing down and experiencing the dining process has been nearly lost. Set the table, light a candle, play your favorite music, engage in conversation. The benefits to your physical and emotional health will be far reaching.
A luxurious life prioritizes time each day to nourish the soul. Pray, meditate, watch the sunrise, the sunset, the rain dance on the sidewalk, or a hummingbird feed. Practice the art of being quiet, slowing down, and seeing the world around you.
Thankfully, living a luxuriously lavish life does not require a large bank account. A luxurious life realizes time is the most precious commodity and every day is a gift to be cherished. By reframing how you see the world around you, and viewing time as your most precious gift, you will be on your way to experiencing a rich life.
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