Monday, June 22, 2009

The Art of Luxurious Living

Lately I’ve been pondering the notion of luxury and what it means to us in 2009.
The global economic slow-down that has literally knocked the world sideways and while some are in recovery mode, many are still reeling the shock.

Some would say it’s almost immoral to think of luxurious living in the current climate! Of course, redundancies and pay-cuts are no joke but still, life goes on. Human beings have an inbuilt desire to live an abundant life.

So, what does luxury mean to you? Is your expression of luxurious living peppered with designer labels and hi-cost commodities?

The pundits say, that while there is much less money around, people are still spending but now purchases, especially high end indulgences, are much more – let’s say – considered.

The economic slow down is forcing the world to do just that – literally slow down! Great news for those of us who permanently live in rush/hectic/exhausted mode – or so you’d think?!

I much prefer the concept of a slow down to a crisis. An economic crisis signals blind panic and despair whereas an ‘economic slow-down’ - even just reading the words - immediately takes you into more contemplative space.

No matter what job you may have, adopting a rush-mode lifestyle always boils down to a question of choice. Put busy on pause for a minute and you might actually get to taste life itself.

Similarly, adopting an always-busy-always-buying mode is also a lifestyle choice that anaesthetises our sense of reality. So in this space, the symbols of luxurious living are often mistaken for luxury itself.

The earth shaping moment that we are experiencing as an economic slow down is an invitation to re-evaluate what‘s in our lives and what is no longer serving us.

It takes us back to the question, is your sense of luxury based on symbols rated according to a price tag or is your luxury based on one of life’s most precious resource – time?

The silver lining in the doom & gloom clouds is that the slow down is likely to be just what we need. Less of everything else and more time!

Pregnant with promise, time seems to be an increasingly scarce resource that is slipping away from our grasp. We have made it that way so we can change it.

Africa and the Diaspora countries around the world have always enjoyed a more diffused approach to time than the narrow paradigm set by our cousins in the West.

Across the African continent, time is captured in the simplest gestures like taking time to greet each other and really mean it. It’s about a soul connection and collective evolution by honouring the spirit.

So, in the quest for sustainable livelihoods and a life of higher consciousness, it’s high time we revise our definition of luxury. For, in the art of luxurious living, time is the most valuable and precious centrepiece of all.

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