How to let go…

Hello gorgeous,

I felt yesterday that I had finally let go of some pressure (meaning I did not feel like a pressure cooker anymore ;-)) and I started wondering how and what exactly happened for me to get there. I already wrote on this topic (click here), but here are my new insights on this topic:

  • I review priorities constantly (that is, when something happens that disturbs my current schedule!). At the time of writing, I should have been tasting wine with our wine club, but my younger daughter was sick yesterday evening so we got her back home and decided to keep her here (she was at my mum’s). So, while I miss a nice tasting, I am home and relaxing, and happy I can just be here (and have the time to write this without stressing)!
  • I try to be less in control, still pretty much organized, but at least more welcoming of the unplanned. We organized this week-end, for our friends from our Dutch wine club, a wine tour, packed (probably a bit too much!) with visits to wine estates… We were already late for lunch and tasting number one because of flight delays, so we called to suggest we could pre-order our dishes to facilitate the chef’s schedule, but it was fine anyway. On day 2 the same happened, when we were still busy with our first tasting and realizing we were going to be late for the next one… But, at the end of the day, none of that is a big deal, right? People are very understanding when you tell them, and I f we had missed one completely, then so be it! I am just learning to pack our schedule less for the next wine tour! (Gosh that sounds familiar too!!!)
  • I took myself (and things) less seriously; I attach less importance to what happens around me. It doesn’t mean I come last though! (Especially when today is Mother’s day in France!). It just means I let things slide without getting attached to them, and I trust more that everything is going to be ok. This weekend, it’s 10 of us at home. There is no way I can take care of everything or everyone, but I trust it’s all going to work out, with the tastings and the rest!

So, could you also help yourself by taking things with a bit more lightness too? And find your own healthy dose of letting go (without abandoning all responsibilities on the way!)? Sometimes, just by asking yourself questions like: So what is most important to me right now? Can I do something about this or not? (If not : let go please!!!)

Let me know what your experience is!

If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.Joe Rogan

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine


The universe has a sense of humor…

Hello gorgeous,

My headaches finally seemed to disappear this week, after a month, and I also tried to take better care of myself and of my agenda. But something happened of Friday that threw me off again, and then I had it back for the night… I followed the GPS to go to an appointment, but it made me go into the heart of a small village. Unfortunately, Small village = Narrow streets (which was not indicated on any sign in the village itself…). So I found myself blocked while trying to make a turn to end my trip in this maze of streets. And I scratched the car. And I recognized I was not going to make it on my own, so I called a guy working outside for help. He came and guided me until I was safe and could go out of this place. Safe, but seriously annoyed. I was proud of not having done any damage to any car for the last 15 years, and here I was with a big scratch…

But ok, I can only accept it and move on now. This morning, I finally got the message… Thinking back of the car, I was trying to fit something too big (our big car) in something too small (the narrow streets of Malemort), and I could see the relationship between that and my life as it stands now, trying to fit too much in an already busy schedule. I always believed that the more you did, the more you could do. I now admit that there’s a limit to that, which is when my head explodes… Even though it should be before it explodes 😉

So, my personal lesson, once again, is one of self-care. I seem to get reminders and not take them into consideration, so then I get a big one, or even 2, big enough so that I have to stop and look at them (and get some help!).

You always preach (or teach) what you need to learn, and yes I do advocate self-care, but now I need to apply it to myself too… So, ladies, can you promise me not to make the same mistakes as I do, and take good care of you, or ask for help before it gets unmanageable? Remember, it’s not a weakness to ask for help, and none of us is supposed to be a superwoman (even though it would be really fabulous!). So, to honor this, start with taking a 5 minutes break now!

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent.Caring for myself is an act of survival.Audre Lorde

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

Permission to explore!

Hello gorgeous,

What if you could consider everything you do in life as an exploration? What would it change for you? Wouldn’t it take away expectations and add some fun in your life?

Say for instance that you meet a new guy and you are going on your first date with him…Instead of having all kinds of scenarios going through your mind, and already wondering if he is the one, how about considering this appointment as an exploration. You first need to discover if he is a nice guy, if he is interested in you, if there is a sparkle between the 2 of you, if you can imagine yourself in his arms etc…

Because I think in some respect, we already do that, for other things, just not for “important” things. When we want to start a new activity, say acting, or drumming etc, then we go once and we get a feeling for the teacher, for the lesson, for the activity itself, and then we can commit (or not) to a yearlong training… There it’s easy to see it as exploratory, there is no stake, if it does not work out, no problem, right?

But with a relationship or a job, because it feels much more important (and it is!), then we get stressed with the (possible) outcome…It’s like we only have this one chance maybe (or our life is finished!). Or we need to succeed at this job. Cause there is no other one of course… So can you look at that with different glasses? Can you be more playful and relaxed about the outcome, and trust that whatever happens will make you wiser, more experienced, and that you will have tried and explored the possibilities? And that the worst-case scenario is that you now know what does not suit you, so you can eliminate that (type of guy, type of job) from the list?

Try that next time, and let me know how it goes!

Life is a journey, not a destination.

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine


Do you like surprises?

Hello gorgeous,

We are just back from a weekend in Barcelona, where we went to celebrate our friend’s Santi’s 50th birthday. His wife had organized a party for him and he did not know about it (he did not want one in the first place), but was really happy about it!

So I had to think about surprises…

I think kids always like surprises, for they are always nice, from a kid’s prospective, but when we grow older; we say that we only like “nice” surprises, we don’t like the unexpected invoice in the mail, or the bad news! And I wonder if we maybe have lost a bit our kids’ spirit, our capacity to be amazed…

So I have a very simple suggestion for you this week: to surprise another (or more!).

You could surprise your partner, your kids, or a loved one. You could throw a birthday party (or say start organizing one!), organize a weekend away, buy a surprise gift (or flowers) for someone, cook their favorite dish…

You could also surprise yourself, that is do something unexpected, act (or react) in a different way, for a change, be more spontaneous maybe, do something out of the ordinary, try clothes in a color you never wear… I decided for instance to check whether I would like to take drumming lessons, so I called and asked if I could attend a lesson, just watching, and I could, so I went! And it felt really good, I could barely stay seated, my feet were beating time, and so were my hands… So I think I will give it a go!

And how about thinking of: how can you have more fun this week? What would it mean? What would you need to add to (or remove from) your agenda? And more fun in general? Let me know what actions you will take!

Lead the life that will make you kindly and friendly to everyone about you, and you will be surprised what a happy life you will lead. Charles M. Schwab

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

Taking on too much?

Hello gorgeous,

As I am sitting in front of my computer to write this post, it’s currently May 1st, which means in France that nobody should work today (and that we should get a sprig of lily of the valley!). Well well well…

We had an interesting discussion in my mastermind group this week, about doing too much and saying no… That happened when I shared I was already having headaches for more than 2 weeks in a row. So one of the ladies thought maybe I did not know how to say No. Well, I know how (and I explained it here), but it does not mean I am going to do it… I believe my problem is rather to not recognize when I am taking on too much, which ends up in my body giving me strong signals, because it’s probably the only way I am going to at least slow down… Which is why I am now also working on developing my intuition more, so that I can see the signs before they come in too strong!

Do you recognize any of that? Pushing yourself to your limits? Taking on too much? Not recognizing signs early enough or having to go through the same thing many times before you start doing something about it?

The question now is: what can I learn from it? What can I do differently? (Well I still have to undergo all kinds of tests for my headaches but I believe the main cause is stress!)

I believe the following:

  • I should be able to do it all (after all some do it so why not me?)
  • It will get better (less busy) after next week, next month, in July etc…

And looking at what I just write is already eye-opening: I am fooling myself here. I don’t have to do it all (at least not at once), and it will only get better if I decide to take on less, because I can always find something else to keep me busy (and yet, I have the control of my agenda, don’t I?)

So, today, on this 1st of May, I decide: to spend time at least once a week to evaluate my workload for the week, and to make sure I have enough time for fun and energizing activities (which for me be learning, reading, singing, DIYing, gardening etc).

So, if any of that resonated with you, I strongly encourage you to stop for a minute and have a good look at your beliefs about what you should be able to do, and who controls your agenda… And to commit to yourself to regularly (at least once a week, why not on a Sunday morning or evening) take time to evaluate if you can do all that’s currently planned or if you need to postpone some of your commitments, and finally if you have planned enough fun time in your week!!! And if you feel you have difficulties committing to that, why not take a buddy who needs it too?

Life and time are the world’s best teachers. Life teaches us to make good use of time. Time teaches us the value of life.-3

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine