5 Minutes of Fabulous: Lessons Learned from Traveling to Paris Solo
Happy Fabulous Friday to you!
The weather in LA is starting to shift, there is a cool crispness in the air and it’s finally starting to feel like we are transitioning into a different stage of the year. Now, I’m sure if you are in other parts of the country that this shift has already begun and that you are diving right into Fall. Given that it is the last quarter of the year (yes, I speak in quarters because I work in corporate America and that is the lingo) it really got me thinking about the goals and intentions that I set at the beginning of 2017. One of my goals for 2017 was to go to Paris for 5 days and to stay in a beautiful apartment. Well, as you know, I recently accomplished that goal and want to share some of the lessons I learned on my journey.
My hope for you is that my lessons can perhaps awaken a deeper understanding within you. Now without further ado…
You are being guided. When I was in Paris I was walking over 10 miles every single day. It was pure magic to saunter and roam such a beautiful city. The first day on my trip, I used my phone to navigate to landmarks or restaurants that I wanted to go to. I would look down at my phone constantly because I was afraid that I would get lost. I started to realize that I was getting lost anyway and I was missing out on all the sights. So, I put my phone away in my bag and just started walking and observing. I started to take it all in, I was breathing the air, getting curious about what was around me and I would veer “off course”. I landed in front of the most magnificent landmarks (places I didn’t even know existed), ended up in the lushest parks, and along the Seine River. And at the end, I always landed exactly where I intended to. My internal GPS guided me to exactly where I hoped I would be. I didn’t really need Siri, Google Maps, or a translating app to get me there- I was able to trust my general sense of direction and my intuition. I was able to explore my curiosity and what I was physically and mentally drawn to. I was able to truly experience the journey and it felt magical. When was the last time you gave yourself a general sense of where you needed to go and allowed yourself to trust your own internal GPS to get you there? Can you think of a time in your life when your journey became more meaningful than the destination? Are you willing to consider that you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now?
Energy Reflection. So many folks have asked if I felt lonely while I was on my solo adventure and I can honestly say no! Everywhere I went in Paris I was met with extremely friendly strangers, new friends, and people with genuine authenticity. I became friendly with people from Saudi Arabia, Syd & Susan from Washington, D.C., shop owners, jewelry designers, French businessmen & women, a mother & daughter duo on vacation, café owners, servers, and Uber drivers. Many have said that the French are rude and I can honestly say that I had the complete opposite experience because everyone I met were simply reflecting my positive and life affirming vibes. Maybe today you can try this for yourself. Try showing up for work today with an attitude of gratitude. Bless the location of your office. Bless your boss and co-workers. Acknowledge how wonderful your desk and computer are. And most importantly, acknowledge yourself and approve of yourself. I bet you anything that you will receive kind, loving behavior from those around you. Comment below and let me know what happens for you!
Not every experience is going to be fabulous and that is ok. So, not every moment on my solo adventure in Paris was rainbows and butterflies. Moments of insecurity, discomfort, and fear came up. I had an experience at the Paris Flea Market that felt completely unfulfilling. I was on the hunt for a unique vintage Chanel bag and came up short. I was so focused on scoring the bag that I lost sight of everything else. I left the best flea market in the world feeling drained, disappointed, and unfulfilled. In the past, I would’ve allowed a shitty experience to completely ruin my day. I would pout and be in a shit mood. I would overeat at meals as a form of comfort to offset my unfulfilling experience. Can you relate? You know when you have a meal that doesn’t live up to your expectations or doesn’t satisfy you and then you end up raiding your entire kitchen? Yup, me too! This time, I decided to try something different. I stopped at a café and took a break. I had a glass of water and took a deep breath. My internal loving voice (my intuition) said, “Ok, so that didn’t live up to your expectations. I know, it sucks. It is so important for you to have shitty, unfulfilling experiences so that when the fabulous ones come along you can fully experience them and feel gratitude.” And with that, I dropped some change on the café table, and sashayed my tushy back into the flea market. This time, I took my time, was more observant, and was lead directly to fabulous painting by a local artist that brought me so much joy. I even negotiated on the price and left the flea market feeling so lit up! When disappointment or dissatisfaction comes up for you next time, are you willing to witness those feelings and just acknowledge them?
Numbing out. Allowing yourself alone time gives you a chance to simply observe your needs, wants, desires, and habits. After being alone for several days, I realized that there are specific points in the day when I completely numb out. I noticed that when I am over-tired, I will numb out on my cell phone, mindlessly scrolling on social media or shopping sites. It’s a way for me to distract myself from my needs- aka to just rest or to sleep. Today, pay attention to when you start to numb out. It may be snacking as a form of procrastination or scrolling through your phone for 45 minutes straight because you don’t want to sit with your own thoughts. Whatever it is, don’t label it as good or bad, just observe yourself like you are your own experiment.
Reflect & Strategize. After accomplishing my goal of going to Paris for 5 days and staying in a chic apartment (CHECK!) It made me feel so fired up and gave me a good kick in the tushy to evaluate some of my other goals and to strategize on how to conquer them in the last three months of 2017. Can you go back and remember the goals that you set in January or earlier this year? If you haven’t accomplished those goals yet, how can you make them a reality? Sit down with your calendar and strategize, baby! What can you do to make 2017 fabulous?
Absorb the good shit that you love & forget the rest. While in Paris, I was reminded that having a beautiful life can be so simple. I made a list of some of my favorite Parisian moments and am bringing them back to the US. I even put a few in my calendar because I’m committed to becoming almost French and a totally fabulous American! Here are a few on that list:
Having an espresso after meals (when that feels and sounds good to me, of course)
Going to a jazz club (I did this in Paris and it made my heart soar!)
Going to a beautiful café to journal or read a book
Wearing my scarves more often (thank god for fall!)
Taking advantage of outdoor spaces (parks, plazas, the beach)
My point here is to remind you to absorb the stuff that makes you feel good and inspired- forget the rest! So, did anything on this list resonate? If so, what? Comment below!