What is our fascination with luxury? Why do we love it? If you were to describe the picture below, what comes to mind?
Beauty, comfort, relaxation, opulence, love, care, cleanliness, gleaming, quiet, attention to detail, rest, private, exclusive, soft, warm, safe, restorative, healing, special, unique, rare, pristine, impeccable curration, perfect, highest standards of excellence……to name a few?
I’ve been grappling with my relationship to the material world and pursuit of worldly goods. I was raised in a conservative and humble household. While we placed an emphasis on quality, somehow I became enchanted with luxury, brands, high-end accommodations and experiences. I’d like to think this is because of the fine attention to detail, quality craftsmanship and loving care by which such luxury goods and services are delivered. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone, however as Luxury Goods and Services Sales in 2018 topped $217 Billion. Comparatively, the happiness industry spend in the US is over $10 Billion. And the most staggering figures I found ranked global wellness at $4.7 Trillion spend. Wow! All this to say, what if we were to turn our fascination with external means for betterment into an inside job.
Consider this for a moment – What if we were to place the same elevated admiration of luxury goods onto elevating our relationship with the way we love?
What if we were to love luxuriously? What if we were to transfer our love of things onto love of one another?
How would it be to gaze into the eyes of our loved ones as if admiring a precious gem? How about treating one another the way we would handle the finest cashmere sweater? And further, what if we were to speak, behave and engage – LOVE – people from a “luxe” state of mind? Now, take the words you used to describe the luxurious spa scene above and imagine cultivating these inner qualities for loving luxuriously. I’m imagining it now….listening with pristine care; pausing to admire and examine one another with awe; choosing our words impeccably; efforting not to prove or take but experience another as a precious, exclusive, rare and special spa treatment. When living in this safe, warm, quiet, restorative state of mind, we ensure we put ourselves around people who bring out the best in us. As Gandhi says: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Be the luxury, love and enchanting person you want to attract in the world.
From my experience, when I first cultivate inner contentedness, I am put at ease, longing less for external forces to satisfy me. When content, it’s easier to be present, attentive and reflect back the beauty I see in the world and most importantly that which lies right in front of me. It takes vast and endless energy to try to satisfy ourselves through external worldly and material goods. But the time and energy spent dropping into deeper connection with self and others is far less expensive, less time consuming and exponentially more enriching.