Why You Need Luxury


“The Universe is not stingy. We are. Some of us have very stingy souls. Perhaps not in how we treat others–our family, friends, and those less fortunate–but in how we treat ourselves. Yet how can Spirit give more to us if our fists, hearts, and minds are clenched tight?”-Sarah Ban Breathnach

I’ve been ultra stingy most of my life.

In college, I remember regularly starving on campus when I had forgotten to pack a lunch because I was too cheap to spend a few dollars to eat out. Even in a vending machine!

Spending small dollar amounts on simple pleasures (or sometimes necessities!) was never a consideration.

I still remember what a revelation it was to read about the idea of “affordable luxuries” in Sarah Ban Breathnachs legendary book Simple Abundance. (One of my favorite books of all time.)

I changed when I read her philosophy. I began to look for small and simple ways that I could have more luxury in my life.

Sarah writes,

“…One of the ways we can start to experience more affluence in our daily lives is through pampering ourselves with affordable luxuries…Adding real whipped cream and shaved chocolate to a cup of cocoa to be drunk before the fire… it transforms a simple pleasure into complete contentment. Affordable luxuries awaken our awareness to the abundance that’s readily available to us once we finally ‘get it.'”

My life looks and feels different now.

  • I spend the $2.50 each week at the Farmers market on fresh lemonade to sip while I browsed the other vendor booths.
  • I buy dark chocolate covered almonds. In bulk! (pictured above).
  • I take my shoes off to walk barefoot through the grass.
  • I attend live concerts.
  • I occasionally bake my own fresh homemade bread.
  • I visit the library regularly for books that I’ve always wanted to read. (Currently fascinated with all things home design… as pictured above)
  • I bought luxury bedsheets that make getting in bed a treat every single night.

Some things cost more, others cost less, and some things are free.

The unifying thread is the gratifying feeling of simple luxuries that make daily living a pleasure.

My mom still reminds me of how I always had a box of perfectly sharp crayons as a child. They were sharp because I didn’t want to use them and dull their points. I was saving them. Just as I did with the nice perfumes or lotions I would get at Christmas. I compulsively saved them up for special occasions that never happened and they’d spoil.

Living a Thriving Life requires us to regularly make room for simple enjoyments.

Can you just imagine what life feels like when every day has moments of simple luxury? Every day can be a special occasion if we choose to treat it that way. Doing so reduces stress, teaches us that we are worth the attention, and brings sunlight into the monotony or struggle that can sometimes be our life if that is all we choose to do and see.

Live life like a special occasion.

What are your favorite affordable luxuries?

bwselfie Brooke Snow is a photographic artistΒ and delights in the pursuit of a meaningful life. Sign up for her FREE e course “Living A Thriving Life” to learn more about how to find true balance in your life. Brooke lives in Northern Utah with her calm husband and adventurous 3 year old son.

10 Responses

  1. Love this post!
    I spent many years saving things for special occasions that never happened.
    Nowadays, I buy some Lush bath bombs and use them once a week only to celebrate myself.
    I drive to the other city’s side to have the best ice cream of the city!
    I wait for the sunrise every morning, and almost every evening for the sunset…
    Small things, great pleasures.
    Thanks for your words.

    1. Oooh… I am going to have to check out Lush bath bombs πŸ™‚ Baths in and of themselves are luxuries πŸ™‚

  2. Ah, Brooke! Are you certain we don’t share a family lineage? As I read your post I just sit here and nod, “uh huh, yeah, isn’t everyone like that?”.

    As far as my simple luxuries, that is a work in progress. The one thing that comes to mind is my dark chocolate. My family provides it; each member giving me a bar at Christmas. When something special happens, or I feel a little stressed (or when I just want some), I open my “chocolate drawer” and have one square. Just one, never more. I sit quietly and enjoy it slowly. And yes, that three bar supply lasts me the entire year. πŸ™‚

    1. Oh Beth… yes. We must be long lost sisters! ha ha! I do the ONE PIECE of chocolate and savor it. I go to a separate room and turn all the lights off so I can focus all my senses on enjoying that one sensational piece! ha ha ha! My Christmas chocolates last all year too. You’re fabulous!

  3. Simply perfect. This afternoon I’m taking friends apple picking from a tree I discovered hidden in an abandoned lot. In which I plan on baking apple crisp with these shiny red organic apples then topping it with ice cream I bought on triple coupon day yesterday. Grand total. $1.09 And I won’t guilt myself over the sugar content or calories (: And I’m lighting a candle. And letting it burn as long as I want.

  4. Ahhh reading this was like sinking into a bubble bath (yet another affordable luxury…if you’ve ever bathed like most of the planet does, you more fully realize what a tub full of hot water and bubbles + a fresh fluffy towel really means). I completely completely agree with this philosophy.

    Upgrading to real imported dutch cocoa (not the generic store stuff), making Italian sodas regularly from Torani Vanilla Bean syrup, super fluffy down pillows, and buying shoes that really fit and will last have all changed a lot about my daily life! And honestly it didn’t cost much more, particularly when you consider the return you get.

    I’m obsessed with libraries. Have blogged about it multiple times. You can just go in and grab as much as you want – for free!! It’s mind blowing to me even as a lifelong bookworm. Thanks for the nudge to reframe it as a luxury.

    1. Oooh, I absolutely love your luxuries πŸ™‚ We must be kindred spirits…anyone who prefers imported chocolate, Italian Sodas, and recognizes the hallowed spirit of a library has all the makings of a person with great taste and character!

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