Your Lap of Luxury Goes WAY Beyond the Benjamins

5 minute read

One of my sisters from another mister just returned home from an incredible two-week long cross country road trip. This wasn’t her first road trip rodeo. She’s done this drive many times over. There were the magical stomping grounds along the way (Badlands, anyone?) and family filled Boulder bbq’s like no other. The major difference? This trip held the weight of the inevitable drop-off of her first born recent high school grad in Colorado.

As you can imagine, it was as bittersweet as it gets.

Before she said her tearful goodbyes she gave him one main piece of advice:

You have the luxury of youth.
Don’t be a jerk and don’t get into trouble.
Other than that, enjoy every single minute of it.

Talk about life advice that transcends age.

So, my question for you is how can you take this advice and make it your own? What luxury do you have in your lap that you’re not taking advantage of to the best of your ability? Maybe it’s your youth too. (Hey, age ain’t nothing but a number. Take it from our girl, Aaliyah.) Or freedom, health, time, silence, speech, or personal space. Interpret however you wish. Maybe it’s all of the above. Chances are there is one luxury that stands out for you. One that rings your bell. Figure that out, and you begin to find ways to communicate from a place that is grounded in perspective, focus and gratitude. Then that luxury is no longer taken for granted but taken for the ride of its freaking life with the top down!

Truth be told, I’m having a moment here which is what made me think of the exercise I’m about to share. I’m hitting mental blocks and all sorts of kinks. Resistance keeps popping its head up like I’m in a bizarre whack-a-mole dream, David Lynch style. Ever feel that way?

Know what? It means we’re onto something gooood. Crazy but true.

In the past this would have completely chucked me off the rails leaving me in the fetal position mentally banged up and bruised.

Yes, the inevitable BUT is on its way.

Buuut, I now have the BEST coping mechanism ever to bring me back to enjoy and appreciate the state of luxury that I am lucky enough to have AND go forward with a backbone full of some serious moxie. The marvelous Elizabeth Gilbert shared this idea on her podcast, “Magic Lessons” last year and it stopped me mid-mop. (Podcasts have revolutionized domestic duties.) I tweaked it a little and thought I would share it with you for those off-the-rail moments that we all face.

It’s a two-parter and since I know our time is precious and our focus rivals a toddler wrist-deep in Fun Dip, I will give you part one now and save the second part for next week.

Without further ado…

Exercise: Write a letter from an older family member to you.

You read that right.

Let me break this down:

We all have family members who don’t/didn’t have the opportunities that we have today. Men who worked jobs purely to bring home the bacon but left their purpose at the door. Women who sacrificed being a dreammaker by becoming a homemaker. People who died way too young or lived way too long with devastating illnesses in their body or mind. You know who they are. It’s time to pay homage.

Think of this person saying to you:

You have the luxury of {fill in the blank}.
Don’t be a jerk and don’t get into trouble.
Other than that, enjoy every single minute of it.

Filling in that blank should get you jazzed up to get your ass in gear! This exercise is not drenched in a guilt trip. Not even close. Done right, it allows you a few fantastic finds. Such as:

1. To dig deeper into your family’s ancestry. Lots of gold right there. If they’ve passed on, do some research. If they’re still alive, you don’t need to do an interview – but, hey, why not? Take them out for a beer or coffee and see what you can learn. Be curious.

2. To gain major perspective. Instant fist pump to empathy which is the big wig of communication.


3. To allow your creativity to take the front seat. It’s been awhile.

So, here we go:

1. Find a moment when you are solo (early morning or late night works best). Take out a piece of paper and a pen. Because, yes, writing by hand sharpens our creativity.

2. Bring a relative to mind. One you really love(d) – not the aunt who made every holiday gathering feel like an interrogation. We’re talking your grandma or your favorite uncle or your mom. Whoever brings a smile to your face and even a loving tear to your eye. (No one’s looking.)

3a. Get your mind in the place of this person and write a letter from them to you. Focus on how proud they are of you and the work you are doing. What luxuries do you have that they didn’t? How you are taking the steps to create a future that you want and deserve. Again, not to load you with guilt, but to open a line of understanding and insight that you can take with you for future moments when you need a little extra nudge of support.

You can have this letter handy to read on the ready and even dedicate the project, event, endeavor or moment to this relative. Or maybe just as an instant reminder when you need to break out of your pity party or game of whack-a-mole with Resistance.

It’s a beautiful exercise that can render some immediate soulful results.

Ready to roll? Awesome!

Once you do this, I’d love to hear how it worked for you.

Need a little help getting in the mood? Scroll back up, click on the “freedom” link, bust a move, and let Jorgé Miguel and the luxury of “freedom” work their magic.

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