Several years ago I travelled through Europe, riding trains, heaving a backpack around, and staying at hole-in-the-wall hotels with slanting floors and 40 watt lightbulbs hanging from cords out of the ceilings. I ate arrowroot cookies and apples from corner grocers and whatever was cheapest on the menu at small cafes.
One morning in France in a town whose name and location I have long forgotten, I stopped for breakfast at a tiny bakery with a few wooden tables scattered about on a tiled floor. The morning sunlight streamed through the windowpanes and as I pushed open the door the aroma of fresh warm bread and the sweet smell of baking sugar nearly made me swoon. I chose a miniscule table near the window in a blazing sunbeam and plunked my pack on the floor as I scraped the legs of a wooden chair across the floor and sat down.
A round woman with in a floury apron appeared from somewhere behind a glass counter filled with the days offerings, edible jewels in buttery pastry poised to tempt even the most devoutly determined dieter. She offered a miniature cup of espresso and pain au chocolat. Similar to a croissant but with layers of rich dark chocolate rolled into the swirls of buttery puff pastry, pain au chocolat (pronounced pan oh shocotah) for breakfast is like starting the day with a little bit of heaven. I accepted with alacrity and something akin, I admit, to avarice.
The French are famous for their joie de vivre, which translates, joy of life, but you don't have to be French or even live in France to indulge in and enjoy those kinds of special treats. Living with lusciousness means choosing to include such delights for the senses as often as you can, in fact, it is vital to take the time to embrace those small things that make life more pleasant.
You can apply this delicious concept to anything that gives you a morsel of delight in your day. Try having your morning coffee in your favourite cup before anyone else in the house is up so you can savour the silence at the start of a new day. Take a solitary walk in the afternoon and feel the sun on your face. Buy yourself flowers. Go to the beach and collect shells or just watch the waves. God means for us to enjoy the abundance he has provided.
Treating yourself with kindness means paying attention to the small details that lift your spirit. If you are a chocolate lover like me, try going to a chocolate boutique and buying yourself some fabulous truffles, one or two for each day of the coming week. Or rather than waiting until Christmas, treat yourself now to a box of chocolates. If you can make them last all week, you can savour the pleasure that much longer. If you can't or don't want to, oh well.
Think about the things that you really enjoy, those little things that you love to do, that may have become lost in the rush of life. Do you love quiet time to read? Decide on a time to include a reading break in your day. Are you getting enough sleep? Try going to bed earlier. Think of it as a retreat from the rest of the world. If you enjoy beautiful music, put some on while you drive or work.
We must continually treat ourselves to luscious moments, morsels and delights. These self-loving gifts are the stuff of everyday lusciousness.