Living Luxuriously

Yesterday, I did something completely luxurious. I spent two hours in one of my favorite places, a place I hadn't been to in years, indulging in one of my favorite pastimes. It felt wonderfully energizing, yet at the same time extremely soothing. I wanted to stay there all day. And this wonderful, inspiring, invigorating place? My local coffee cafe, where I sat during the best part of yesterday's rainy morning, continually refilling my cup from the big silver urns, reading my book, surreptitiously evesdropping on various conversations, and making a few notes in my Moleskine journal.

Sitting in a coffee shop for a couple of hours is not something most people would consider luxurious. Neither is walking the hiking trail at the park taking pictures along the way, or singing along karaoke style with your favorite tunes. Nevertheless, these are the kinds of "small luxuries" that are so important to our sense of well being and to our creativity.

I knew this, but it took Julia Cameron and The Artist's Way to remind me. Cameron says that in order to allow our creativity to flourish, we need to practice "self-care," and "pamper ourselves" with the small luxuries that bring us joy. She writes that when we "put a stopper on our capacity for joy by declining the small gifts of life, we turn aside the larger gifts as well," gifts like creativity and contentment.

When I read this, I immediately began thinking about some of the ways I used to pamper myself. Notice I wrote that in the past tense, for I realized that it's been a long time since I've done these things on a regular basis. Perhaps that's why I continually feel so harried, rushed, and unfulfilled with everything in my life - as if I'm always behind the eight ball, and never quite able to catch up with all life's demands.

I scribbled my personal list of small luxuries right in the margins of the book ~

~a trip to the library ~walking in the park ~dancing to music on my stereo ~driving with the windows down and the radio blasting ~a long, hot, bath with a glass of wine, candles, and a good book ~and of course, spending the morning at the coffee shop, reading, writing, people watching

So, what are your small luxuries?? And, how often do you indulge yourself??