Be Love, Be Inspiration

April 14, 2014  |  inspiration  |  No Comments

deYoungIt has been a busy month here in Sausalito, California. Nevertheless, I did find time for the Georgia’s O’Keeffe exhibit at the de Young Museum. It is not to be missed—both for the explosion of color and to witness the beauty captured in silence and contemplation. It’s exquisite to see so much earthy beauty in one small space. As O’Keeffe put it: “ I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.” What O’Keeffe describes is called inspiration and comes from the part of the brain that doesn’t deal with cognitive abilities. It is also from that part of the brain (the right side or even deeper inside) that we always find love for ourselves and give birth to truly innovative ideas.

We long quietly for inspiration, for love, for beauty to counter our stressful lives and the assault by media, social media, cell phones, cars, pollution… The challenge we face is to bridge these two worlds, to find time to take care of our precious selves when the world around tells us otherwise.

1) Finding time to see the work of a painter I admire is an act of love and respect for myself. I had such a great time meeting my friend Elsa, a Spanish translator, and having lunch at the de Young cafe. We examined every painting, every stroke of color, and we dreamt about a life of inspiration. “If people were trees, I might like them better,” read one of O’Keeffe’s quotations on a big wall. I know what she meant. If only we could learn to imitate the silent vibrancy of trees, their solidity, our lives would be inspirational.

GGP2) That means… do not put off that meditation practice of yours. The more we find time to silence the left side of our brain, the better off we will be. No chatter means more inspiration. No Facebook time means more time to witness the simple beauty around us. In meditation, we surrender to life as it happens in the present moment. In the present moment, we can become the tree and exude vitality, health, and strength of character. And we retrain the brain to relax and to be happy, thus, giving the chance for the genius inside us to emerge.

3) Tell your body every morning—“I love you dearly, you are my most precious gift. I am not judging you anymore. I love you unconditionally. Every part of you is awesome and unique.” Don’t you wish that you did that since you were little? Wouldn’t that be an incredible message to send to every cell of your body? I watched the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know,” and in that movie the main character lives with past pains and disappointments and hates her body. But one day, after seeing images of blessed water, a stranger tells her: “If thoughts can do this to water, imagine what thoughts can do to us.” And everything changes for her, from that point on.

4) And yes, do not postpone the massage or facial or acupuncture treatment you love. The body needs proof of love, pampering, care, love, love, and love. The body is your temple, treat it as such.

Spring5) Nature, such an important part of life. Hike as much as you can. We are supposed to be closer to nature, in nature, in harmony with nature. We feel so good after a hike. “Why?” you ask. Because nature recharges our batteries. The invisible forces in the living trees and mother earth give us energy, life, inspiration. O’Keeffe said that she painted her flowers big, so people can see them. You’ve walked in nature countless times without noticing anything around you—your mind recounting stories you’ve already heard. But imagine walking and noticing… the trees, the small flowers, the tiny bugs, the different birds, the wind singing, the creek churning. Nature is the most alive place on earth. Be like it. Imitate it! Admire it! Be one with it.

6) Do something creative! Anything but social media, TV or phone. Being creative means finding that place inside yourself that has a new language, sees the world with new colors, envisions new possibilities. Whatever that may be for you! Sewing a dress, painting, creating a collage, writing, making a movie, taking pictures. Be outside the box and love that new box that you’ve created. Admire every effort you put into it, love every step you take. Don’t look for an outcome, enjoy the creative moment.

7) Book a safari and go to Namibia. Yes, that’s outrageously expensive, I know. But wow, I went to a talk by the WWF and I can tell you that country is leading the conservation efforts in Africa. They are doing such a great job managing wildlife that wildlife is now worth more alive for them than dead. Why not celebrate that! Celebrate the fact that humans can live in peace with wildlife. That is love and that is inspiration!

8) Finally, dance. Find time to dance and express yourself. Find time to be exuberant, to feel your emotions, to discover the movement and rhythm that exist in your body. Dance the poetry of life and become a new loving and inspired human being.

 

 

 

 

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Telling the truth in romantic relationships

Telling the truth in romantic relationships

February 12, 2014  |  inspiration  |  No Comments

How important is it for you to be truthful to yourself and to be loved for who you are – what you feel and desire, and what you say? I interviewed a lot of women for this article, but I am sure men could relate to my writing and learn from it as well.

It so happens that all women withhold the truth at times. Be it for intimate stuff, be it because of social mores or fear of hurting someone else’s feelings, we are too often afraid to say what we think or feel. Maybe it’s because we’re afraid to be rejected or we’ve been conditioned by past relationships and family history where truth telling was linked to painful memories. Maybe it’s because we feel hurt, unloved and desperate, and we fear that telling the truth will only add to our misery. Women say that even when there’s a conscious decision to tell the ‘whole’ truth, sometimes the truth doesn’t win out.

We compromise our deepest longings and desires to please our partners. Do we do it out of love or because there’s not enough love for ourselves? For most women, compromise is part of being in a relationship. With that in mind, we choose our battles carefully, sometimes choosing to tell the truth, and sometimes not. We compromise on small stuff, like postponing going to the gym in order to make dinner or choosing to ‘let it go’ in order to make peace. We try to be honest, but we also downplay our preferences. We are great artists in gauging our truth.

But the more we honor the truth in ourselves, the easier it becomes to express it. For many women, staying true to themselves is more important than pleasing their partner and going along with his wishes. They like to acknowledge who they are and what makes them feel happy. They take a stand for their ideas and beliefs and wish to be respected for their unique contribution and way of seeing the world. But for most women I interviewed, it’s a 50/50 game. It all depends on how you see yourself in your relationship – as being one with your partner – or having and maintaining a separate identity. It seems that women who merge their identities with their partners tend to be more lenient and compromising in their lives.

Truth telling is very good for our health, our bodies, our emotions and well-being.  We release unnecessary tensions, resolve inner conflict, feel aligned with ourselves, and live in an inner/outer harmony. When we convey our truth with conviction, compassion, and love, it’s never unkind. One woman said that before she would say anything to her partner she would use the rule: Is it the truth? Is it necessary? And is it kind? Only then did she feel confident to express her feelings.

There is no doubt that the more we love ourselves, the more comfortable we feel about telling the truth. As we expand the love for ourselves, we become fearless, and truth telling gets easier. With practice and desire, it becomes a part of our identity, and it feels right and beautiful and not hurtful.

Truth telling improves our relationships and our lives, making us happier and more fulfilled. We feel wholeness in ourselves and our spirits, and with the significant others who share our lives. Those who truly love us wouldn’t want anything less from us! And we hope to be loved for our integrity in trying to be as truthful as we can as we make a commitment to live our lives differently in this way.

So, honor your truth and love unconditionally! This is a powerful way to lead one’s life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Write About Love!

Why Write About Love!

February 4, 2014  |  inspiration  |  2 Comments

In French Style has always been a blog about love! All the articles I’ve written in the last few years have been full of love for the people who make beautiful things, serve incredible food and show their love in all the things that enrich their lives–dancing, creating, writing, cooking. It is a blog born out of my deep love for French culture, aesthetics, imagination, and writing.

I decided to write posts about love because life is exponentially more fulfilling when we feel unconditional love for ourselves, for our loved ones, for animals, for the planet. The more we can expand the reaches of love, the more changes we can make in this world, and the more healing will take place in ourselves and others. Love is transformational, and the more love we have, the more we allow our authentic self to emerge. I invite you to explore the mysteries and intricacies of love in French Style.

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