All enjoying is your best gift to yourself.
How was your weekend? How have your artist dates been going? You are having one every week, aren’t you? Did you do your homework? What luxuries did you bestow upon yourself? You did treat yourself, right? I hope so.
What are the luxuries that you love? I bet few of us would really sign up for the cliché status symbols of wealth, like penthouse apartments (unless maybe we already live in the city), fancy cars and speedboats, or tons of diamond-encrusted bling (although, just possibly, a tastefully understated teensy bit!).
When I am talking about luxuries, I am talking about those things that are authentic and bring us joy. This is important, because joyful authenticity can show us the difference between destructive binge spending and genuine pleasures. As Athene pointed out here last week, sometimes it is hard to know whether indulging ourselves is healthy or destructive.
Hopefully, by now, our habit of checking in with ourselves regularly through our morning pages is giving us the self-knowledge we need, in order to differentiate between our feelings of sensible caution vs. wet blanket, blocked caution. Having cultivated the tool that helps us know our authentic voice of guidance, we are should begin to discern between our fear, or self-destructive foolhardiness, or the gentle push of our Creator within.
When we consider gifting ourselves with luxuries and abundance, notice if it feels like The Flow. Do you know what I mean by this? The Flow will be joyful, fun, stimulating, and not leave you hung over, anxious, or remorseful. The Flow feels expansive, supportive, but sometimes a little challenging. This is always in a good way, like that first dive of the day into the swimming pool. It may be a bit out of our comfort zone, but after all, our comfort zone is where we don’t want to be anymore. And there is no doubt that we know how to swim.
For many creatives, luxuries are synonymous with simplicity and beauty. Fresh organic blueberries on fancy lemon curd. One afternoon a week at the art cinema. The really expensive violin strings. Riding lessons. A weekend retreat.
Julia writes, “For Laura, a dime-store set of watercolor paints was her first foray into luxury. For Kathy, it was a deluxe Crayola set, ‘the kind my mother would never get me. I let myself do two drawings the first night and one of them was a sketch of me in my new life, the one I am working toward.’”
Creativity author SARK tells us to “Gift yourself well and wisely. You are the gift. Enjoy you!” Which leads us to the notion that so often, luxuries involve the gift of time. This means giving ourselves time for our creative work, but it also means taking the leisurely time to replenish our well of inspiration and love for living.
How might this be true for you? What luxuries feel like The Flow? Does this discussion about luxury trigger old shaming patterns for you? Please share your thoughts if you are comfortable doing so.