“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.
“…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?
Brooke Snow is a photographic artist 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.