Are You a Luxury?

By Wendy Schulstad
Massage Therapist

Feeling pinched? Worried about your investments or how to pay this month’s bills? What do you do? You could deny that there is anything to be concerned about or look at your expenses to see what you can cut out. That seems logical. But from this point, the decisions that people make about how they are going to prioritize their dollars often seems to reject logic.

Typically, people start by cutting out luxuries. In theory this makes sense. But how do you define “luxury?” I define it as the things in my life that do not add to my health or true happiness. Examples include a decadent dinner out, a daily latte, trendy high-cost jeans, the latest gossip magazine or that extra glass of wine.

But many choose to define luxury by a different standard. I hear people say they need to cut back on yoga classes or eliminate massages. Or that they can’t afford to buy organic produce anymore. To me this is counterintuitive. Why would we ever want to cut out the things that contribute to our well-being and feed our soul? If we aren’t taking care of ourselves and honoring our mind, body and soul, then what is the point of it all?

One of my favorite quotes is “Be good to yourself. If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?” by Kobi Yamada. As far as I know, we only get one shot at this lifetime, so why would we compromise the parts that really matter? I believe we need to make ourselves our number one priority. That may sound selfish. But making your own well-being the most important thing in your life is the most loving gift that you can give those that you love. When you are healthy and happy, all other aspects of your life prosper and benefit.

Currently, many people are in fear right now about the direction of the economy. Unchecked, this fear will carry over into all aspects of life, including our relationships, our jobs and our physical well-being. This is the time to take charge of your life. Will you sit at home on the couch with a bag of chips watching news about the dipping stock market or will you get up and go for a run? Will you talk about the woes of your life or will you read a new book that inspires you to try on a new perspective. Will you stay in that unfulfilling job because it is the safe thing to do or will you begin to explore your dreams … in any small way that you can today?

I challenge you to take this time to go deeper. Get out of your comfort zone. Go beyond your norm. Will you use the economy as an excuse to let your life slide or as an opportunity to step beyond your old self? Re-prioritize and put your well-being at the top of the list.

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