Saying Yes to Indulgence

Indulgence. This is something I've been paying a lot of attention to lately. Actually, it's more like the lack of indulgence that has had my focus. As in: Why do we spend so much energy and time on preventing ourselves from having or doing what we want in life? What if we just said yes more often?

From a very young age we're taught to curb our cravings. And even further, we're taught that succumbing to those cravings makes us selfish or greedy. So we form this habit of immediately saying no to even our most mundane desires. 

I had found myself doing this over and over again. I would make excuses as to why I wasn't allowed to take myself for coffee or why I didn't have 10 minutes to watch the sun set. It was time to change that. I made a commitment to experiment with indulgence by saying yes to at least one random desire every day -- from dipping my toes in the ocean, to taking a bubble bath, to having a drink with a girlfriend, to walking through an art museum. It would be a month of saying yes.

One sunny Thursday afternoon in particular, I found myself saying yes to the voice inside asking for a cupcake. I took a small detour off the freeway to stop by Beverly Hills to see my favorite bakery owner Beatrice Tsang of Baby Bea's Bakeshop.

I love visiting Beatrice. Not only is she a delightful woman and fellow fempreneur, but her bakery is a complete indulgence for the senses. The entire shop is adorned in white and gold, with pops of color from all of the delicious treats on display. The smell of sugar permeates every breath you take.

As I stood nearly inhaling my two bite cupcake, we got to talking about my quest for indulgence. Beatrice was a regular witness to women denying themselves the simplest of indulgences.

A lot of women come in to buy treats for their clients and friends. Sometimes, I offer them samples while they wait for us to package their gift box. I am always shocked at the number of women who say no, giving so many excuses as to why they can't allow themselves a mini cupcake.

Beatrice explained that many would eventually say yes, but they needed a lot of encouragement to do it.

We started to brainstorm. How could we inspire women to indulge without guilt or self-judgement? In what kind of situation would they feel comfortable giving themselves permission to say yes and focus on pure indulgence?

Our solution? A girls night! A few weeks later, with some help from Caress skincare, we transformed the private party room into an oasis of cupcakes and pure indulgence! Women were greeted with everything from mint chocolate and orange cream cupcakes to vanilla and chocolate cake pops to s'more tarts and champagne. Afterwards, they were led into the decorating room where a table full of blank cupcakes begged to be covered with frosting and sprinkles.

I took time during the evening to speak to each woman individually about indulgence while they were transforming their delicious cupcakes into works of art:

I work really hard. I do my job all day every day. I feel like women do these tasks and never stop for the reward -- which is the most important part! I deserve that cupcake! --Nicole Laino

There's so much pressure as a woman to do everything and be everything -- we feel guilty taking time for ourselves. If we let something slip. It's important to take time for yourself to have that guilty pleasure -- without the guilt! -- Emme Magnum

I am super indulgent. I figure "why not eat three dozen oysters?" if it makes me happy. Indulging is something I do for me and no one else. I say -- look within and do what's good for you. Make a commitment to do what makes you happy every day. -- Gwen Paja

Indulgence is about feeling good, being your best self, and doing what makes you happy. It's a time for me to reflect, enjoy, be myself, and be confident. -- Jessica Ryzenberg

Indulgence is pouring wine into your heart and marinating in happiness. -- Nicole Brandon

Indulgence is surrendering to your true self and letting go of judgement. I believe in living life beautifully, blissfully, and deliciously. -- Melissa Terry

All women should indulge. It's all about how you take care of yourself, enjoy yourself and find balance in life. -- Michelle Cauley

Women spend so much time taking care of others they forget to do things for themselves. -- Vida Ghaffari

Women take care of everyone and rarely indulge in their own needs. When you take care of yourself, you have more to give to others. -- Raheela Majid

For me, indulging is a very sensory thing. I've learned that allowing myself to fully experience the breadth of my senses is synonymous with living. Even as I sit writing this, I am pleasantly aware of the breeze on my skin, the aroma of the morning glories next to me, the buzzing wings of bees and hummingbirds in the air above me, and the lingering taste of espresso in my mouth. This month of indulgence has expanded my capacity to live and fully engage in the world around me. Indulging has given me new perspective and expanded my ability to engage with life on a deeper level.

Share below your favorite way to indulge and engage your senses!