Her whole being dilated in an atmosphere of luxury. It was the background she required, the only climate she could breathe in.

Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

My business manager informed me a few weeks ago that a search for “luxurious living” came up with “Tonya Leigh and the School of Self-image.”
Who? Moi?   What a way to be known, especially when I think of the childhood beliefs I had for years around money:   not enough, not deserving, not good enough, blah, blah blah….

Yet, I am a big believer in staying close to the things that make you feel alive.  And, anything that feels luxurious melts my heart.

While my journey has been fascinating, one filled financial hardship, extreme excess and settling into elegant simplicity, I’ve learned what luxury is and isn’t.

And, guess who taught me?

The French, of course.

Everyday luxury is an integral part of everyday life in France.

From Hermès to Christian Louboutin, luxury is the backbone of French culture. They take an exceptional amount of pride in their fashion, food, wine, and way of living,

But they also understand that luxury does not need to equate to money. In fact, for the French person, luxurious living has more to do with quality time than stuff.

“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”
― Coco Chanel

Take a look at any French woman’s wardrobe, and you’ll see that she treasures her Louis Vuitton bag and beloved Repettos, but a closet filled with mindless stuff? Never.

Luxurious living is a mindset, a way of living, feeling, and being.

More importantly, luxury is accessible to you right now.

I began my practice in French Kissing Life when I was working as a full-time nurse and was barely getting by financially. This philosophy changed my life entirely.

When I started appreciating my health, morning sunrises, afternoon sunsets, a meal prepared by mom, and all of the small nuances of everyday living, my life began to feel a lot more luxurious.

As I started to shift my focus from what I believed to be lacking to what I had in abundance, my state of being changed dramatically.

If you want to live a life of luxury, you must begin to cultivate the feeling of abundance, beauty, and passion now. As you do, you’ll shift how you’re showing up in the world, and like myself, attract more luxurious experiences to enjoy.

Here are 100 ideas on how to add more luxury into your life:

:: Decide that you are worthy of whatever your heart desires (without this, you’ll push all the goodness away).

:: Take complete responsibility for your own life and joie de vivre.

:: Morning journaling with a perfectly made cup of coffee

:: A movie night

:: Schedule in time to do things you love

:: A great handbag that gets better over time

:: A signature scent that shares your journey as a woman.

:: Dance all night

:: A simplified to-do list with a focus on 3 things per day (instead of 100)

:: A perfectly paired glass of Bandol with oysters

:: A regular night out with your girlfriends where you celebrate and support one another

:: A decadent piece of chocolate paired with a glass of Bordeaux by the fire.

:: A simple, high-quality wardrobe with classic, essential pieces that will never go out of style

:: Bring your best self to every moment

:: Keep a gratitude journal

:: Quality linens

:: A silk pillowcase

:: Sauntering, slowing down and being present

:: Simplicity

:: Keep your home clean, clutter-free, and filled only with things you love.

:: A handwritten love note

:: Use cloth napkins

:: Wear your nice clothes

:: Beautifully crafted stationery.

:: Be the CEO of your mind

:: Work to live, not live to work

:: Visit a local art gallery

:: Buy local foods that are grown with love

:: Spend time each week in nature

:: Own who you are and what you love without apology.

:: Celebrate your differences vs. comparing them

:: Enjoy a sunrises or sunset

:: Dance under the moonlight

:: Play your favorite music while getting ready for work or while cooking dinner

:: Plant a garden

:: Wake up celebrating your day (instead of dreading it)

:: Stop to appreciate the beauty of ordinary moments

:: Read a juicy novel under a shady tree

:: Drizzle truffle oil over just about everything

:: Go Glamping (yes, that’s glamour + camping)

:: Skinny-dip under the stars

:: Invest in that killer pair of shoes that you can’t stop thinking about

:: Create a decadent night-time routine.

:: Using your fine china on a Monday night… just because.

:: Showing up for yourself constantly.

:: Dining on nourishing and delicious foods without all the diet drama

:: Moving your body daily in a way that feels good to you

:: Invest in quality coffee beans and a French press or pour over

::  A beautifully tied scarf

:: Being present with your loved ones.

:: Feeling relaxed and at ease with your finances (aka living luxuriously on a budget)

:: Taking risks and going after what you desire

:: Doing something every day that gets you one step closer to your dream

:: Sunday picnics

:: Sleeping in

:: Breakfast in bed

:: Afternoon tea served in your favorite teacup

:: Lavender spritzed on your pillow

:: Working in a gorgeous hotel lobby (and it doesn’t cost a dime, except for the cup of tea or glass of Champagne that you may want to indulge in)

:: Cashmere sweaters and a warm fire on a winter night

Everyone of these can be experienced in the moment.  While you may not be in Paris, you can bring Paris to you.  While your home may not be completely clutter free, you can put a few things in their place.  And, while you may not have Turkish linens, you can take extremely great care of what you do have.

To experience luxury, you must surround yourself with beauty, abundance and pleasures now. (tweet it)

How do you plan to add some luxury to your day? Share your comments below.

Self-Image Makeover

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