This past week, I was reading an article about welcoming more balance into your life.  In the article, the word ‘Indulgence’ seemed to jump off the page and land in my heart.  It didn’t land softly either, it landed right in a tender spot in my heart that produced a deep ache.  Until that moment, I didn’t have any idea that my heart and soul were aching for indulgence.

Prior to this moment, indulgence made me think of ‘too much’, as in eating too much, drinking too much, or doing anything in excess.  In essence, I had associated indulgence with a sense of over-indulgencing in a way that is extravagant.

By contrast, the meaning of indulgence that touched an ache in my heart had more to do with granting myself permission to truly enjoy simple pleasures.  This sense of indulgence is more about taking in the nourishment that we need to feed our heart and our soul.  It is about indulging in Life itself; indulging in what brings us life from the inside out.  This may involve letting go of my agenda for a moment in order to pause and yield to the beauty of the day, like drinking in the unexpected sight of the sun breaking through the clouds after a week of rain.  Pausing to be nourished by the sheer joy of this welcome sight is a moment of indulgence.

As I have allowed the word ‘indulgence’ to resonate within my being, I find a longing to indulge in these simple things:

  •  Standing on my front step when I open the door in the morning and letting the songs of the cardinals and chickadees wash over me, bringing a smile to my lips.
  • Closing my eyes after the first sip of morning coffee and savouring the rich, warm flavour as it awakens my taste buds.
  • Laying quietly on my yoga mat in the morning. Doing gentle stretches to awaken my body in a way that is infused with loving-kindness and appreciation for all my physical body does to carry me through the day.
  • Taking a few minutes to pause during my workday to get up and walk around the block and notice the beauty of the trees.
  • Arranging a vase of flowers on the dining room table because the sight of their blossoms lifts my heart.
  • Running a bath at the end of the day and adding my favourite bath salts, then easing into the warm water and allowing tense muscles to loosen and relax in preparation for sleep.

These simple indulgences are life-giving.  They build restorative moments into the day.

This was the kind of indulgence that sparked an ache in my heart.  This is the kind of indulgence that brings me into closer relationship with my life.  This is an indulgence in allowing Life to gift me with sustenance that feeds and nourishes my soul.

As I write this, I am reminded of Lynn Unger’s poem, Camas Lilies (Click here to view the full poem), in which she writes:

“And you – what of your rushed
and useful life?  Imagine setting it all down –
papers, plans, appointments, everything –
leaving only a note:  “Gone to
the fields to be lovely.  Be back
when I’m through blooming.”

Simple indulgences bring balance back into our lives.  They pull us back from our restless mind that is constantly thinking about the future and all that needs to be done.  They bring us into the present moment.

I love it when a single word can become a teacher in such a rich way.  I am grateful for being surprised and awakened to the need for more indulgence in my life.

 

Indulge in your life.
Dive deeper into what brings nourishment and sustenance to your being.
Allow simple pleasures to nourish you.

Kathy Roy