by Shannon Ables
The Simply Luxurious Life
“A good response to consumerism might be not to sacrifice these pleasures and live without lobster and lemons but to appreciate what really goes into providing them. Our desire to have luxury cheaply is the real problem. If the route to your table were dignified and ethical at every stage, a lemon would cost more, of course. BUt maybe then we’d stop taking lemons for granted and find their zest all the keener.” – Alain de Botton for the Wall Street Journal
The gift of living a luxurious life is to live in a state of great comfort. To an outsider the idea of living luxuriously may appear extravagant or unnecessary, but it is interesting to note that defining what comfort or extravagant is changes depending upon one’s time in history, one’s circumstance, one’s personal economic situation and the world’s economic situation.
In Alain de Botton’s recent article “Art for Life’s Sake”, Adriaen van Utrecht’s painting Banquet Still Life is analyzed as Button points out that to bring such bounty to the table, it is necessary to appreciate its journey and not ignorantly dismiss the gourmet feast that is presented. What a wonderful lesson for life and the riches too often taken for granted until they are no more.
Today I’d like to share a list of 36 true luxuries – some are tangible things and some are anything but tangible and can only be experienced. The commonality that each of the items has is that in order to appreciate the riches when we are presented with them, we must be mindful of the journey that brought them into our lives. Such a simple lesson and one of the primary keys to living a simply luxurious life. Here we go . . .
True luxury . . .
1. . . . doesn’t happen by accident.
2. . . . is a restful, deep, uninterrupted night of sleep
3. . . . a Burberry trench coat
4. . . . is having the ability to think for one’s self and having the strength to do so
5. . . . is access to endless information
6. . . . saving up for a week long cooking class in Paris (click here)
7. . . . is having a few days a week off and vacation time through out the year to do as you please
8. . . . understanding and being willing to pay the full price for a product that pays workers well and respects the environment
9. . . . is having financial security and being a mindful money manager during the good days as well as the rainy days
10. . . . is a healthy body and mind that has been tended to and respected for the gift that it is
11. . . . is a curiosity which leads to a better understanding of how the world works
12. . . . is having the wisdom to respect that nothing is guaranteed
13. . . . is being able to purchase local food harvested just outside the town in which you live
14. . . . being able to purchase imported quality food products to enjoy with a meal or to complete a scrumptious recipe
15. . . . is having the freedom to live as you desire as Andre Leon Talley shared in Vogue Living this past year, “Luxury is . . . to be able to take control of one’s life, health and the pursuit of happiness in a way that is joyful.”
16. . . . is cooking with quality utensils, pots, pans, cutlery and ovens to prepare homemade meals
17. . . . is snuggling up near a crackling fire with a hot chocolate chaud
18. . . . is buying quality clothing made with precise and expert care
19. . . . is a handbag that will gain value as the years pass by
20. . . . is clothes tailored for your body
21. . . is having time to turn off the tech and the wherewithal to do so
22. . . . is experiencing first-hand a theatric production
23. . . . is access to art
24. . . . is to have become the master of your thoughts
25. . . . is having fewer but better items in your life
26. . . . is understanding the difference between need and want, and having the discipline to listen
27. . . . is having control over your emotions and not allowing others the opportunity to push your buttons
28. . . . is finding your passion in life and figuring out how to integrate these passions into your day to day life
29. . . . is clean air
30. . . . is seeing life as a beautiful gift and adventure and refusing to live someone else’s life
31. . . . is enjoyed without need for approval and applause but merely self-satisfaction and achievement
32. . . . takes time to come to fruition
33. . . . doesn’t need pomp and circumstance to attract attention. It’s top quality when experienced will speak for itself and be its own advertisement
34. . . . is having the opportunity to read something new everyday
35. . . . is feeling comfortable in your own skin
36. . . . is not having the latest and raved about “thing” on the market, but bringing into your life what allows you to live a better and more fulfilling life
After all, innately human beings want to create a better life for themselves. And while we may not always know how, it is when we feel comfortable that we wish to stay there or figure out how to attain that particular feeling. As Coco Chanel reminds us “Luxury must be comfortable otherwise it is not luxury.” And if we mistakenly purchase excess stuff, we are not making our lives more comfortable but rather bringing more stress into our lives. So it then becomes imperative that we live consciously, make decisions based on sound judgment and what is best for the life we want to live and not the life that others want us to live. Because if we choose to listen to what our lives are trying to tell us, about what works, what doesn’t and why, we can find ourselves living simply luxuriously each and every day in small and large ways.