photo by revdave
sunset

Most frugalites will agree that it's important to integrate simple pleasures and indulgences into your day to day life. This brings more appreciation for simple joys. You're worth it. Many indulgences don't have to cost anything at all;however, there isn't anything wrong with spending a bit for enjoyment. Whether you call it simple pleasures, guilty pleasures, indulgences, pampering, or splurges, don't ignore your "happy factor".

It's the little joys in life that can re-energize and liberate you. An indulgence can encourage you to slow down and savor the moment. Make the decision to give yourself permission to be selfish. These indulgences can make your hard work in other areas, easier to bear. You'll also be less likely to overindulge and overspend. Most important you'll appreciate what you have.

What it's Not and What it Is

Simple pleasures aren't impulsive spending sprees based off of a sense of entitlement. A simple indulgence is more about finding the small pleasures you might be taking for granted. Think of it as soul candy or more specifically "me time". It's a timeout from a frenetic life. It's not pigging out with a box of oreos.

Guilty pleasuresare slightly different, but along the same spectrum of carving out time for yourself, enjoying life, and not denying yourself. These pleasures are based on anything you enjoy that is even remotely embarrassing. They add to your personality palette and help you find more balanced living.

Gratitude and Abundance

Making time to care for yourself creates a sense of gratitude and abundance. There's so much focus on giving, but you should take time to be open to receiving life moment by moment, as well. Taking time for yourself to drink in simple joys will allow you to recognize abundance.

Inevitably, we create our own reality. We attract what we focus on. Enjoying and savoring simple pleasures shifts our mind from thinking "not enough" to "more than enough and then some". It's the law of attraction.

Many write about abundance and wealth, but I prefer to relate abundance to acknowledging blessings, identifying your own prosperity, and embracing inner joy. One thought that does run parallel with most views on wealth is that you should want and be satisfied with what you already have. It's the sense of being touched by grace. Without gratitude and the ability to embrace simple pleasures, even the most affluent will feel emptiness. Ask yourself how much does money cost you?

This isn't to be confused with accepting mediocrity. It doesn't mean that you have let go of goals of achievement. It does mean you can let go of negativity and transition to enjoying what you already have. You can't do this if you don't make time for yourself.

True gratitude can't be faked. It's from your heart and it's transparent. Everyone can see it because it's something you truly care about and value. Gratitude gives you permission to plunge forward and not devalue the present because you're grateful and have "enough". Abundance isn't accumulating. It's an art and quality of living.

Many on my forums participate in daily gratitudes in our simple living section. These discussions are short lists of what a person is grateful for that day. This can be a method to count your blessings, thank others, and even get through difficult times. Most importantly, it's a few minutes set aside to embrace all that is abundant that very moment, and makes you aware of and affirm your contentment. You can then go back and read your gratitudes and reflect on your contentment instead of focusing on what is lacking.

Remember "like attracts like".

Share your simple or guilty pleasures.

Additional reading:
http://www.tut.com/
http://www.drwaynedyer.com/
http://www.simpleabundance.com/
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/

Here are some recent indulgences from the forums.

Editor's Note

My simple pleasure of the moment is a cup of Fauchon coffee. One of my guilty pleasures, I shared on the forums. My splurge of the day is going for floral supplies to create a wall hanging for my bedroom. I'll blog it soon.

Today I am grateful for:

my pillow (some of you know how I am about pillows)
a fresh start to a new day
new blog readers and kind comments. Thank you!
nyquil
the power of forgiveness
pushing past the fear of writing the first sentence of every blog entry

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