On competition…

Hello gorgeous,

I am always amazed by how much our kids have such distinct personalities, right from the start, and how sometimes those personalities seem to be so far away from our own…

Take 2 kids playing for instance. Often, they are really competitive and hate to loose. At school, they play team sports and have to compete in teams. If they happen to be quite good at a specific sport, they will be pushed to go even further and to compete. Plus, there can only be one first in class, and a second and a third…

I personally have an issue with competition. I don’t feel competitive and I don’t like that. It just doesn’t fit with me. Maybe I could explore my block with that but not just now ;-). And then, the funny thing is that there is one thing that I hate, and it’s being “average”. That word makes my hair stand on end… I don’t care about being the first in class. I just don’t want to be “average”. I want to be “different”, I want to be “unique”, I want to be “special”…

So how do I reconcile those? First of all, I believe there is space for everybody to excel in what they like. I don’t see life as limited, with only one winner. I think we can all exist and that there is enough for all of us. Enough partners, enough clients, enough money etc… Me getting something does not mean somebody else is not getting his share. Because we are all different and unique and our individuality is simply beautiful. People will be attracted to us because of who we are and because of our uniqueness.

Secondly, I still believe in competing… with ourselves. I believe we are here to learn, grow, develop, become a better version of ourselves, day in, day out. I also think we don’t take enough time (and not regularly enough) to look at how much we grow and develop. I remember a time, about 8-10 years ago, when I was wondering about the meaning of life. I was thinking, so now I have a partner, 2 kids, a good job, and nice house, so what does it mean for the other half of my life? Will it be about keeping what I now have, or is there something else to it? Well, I definitely wasn’t prepared for the bumpy ride I got since…But I am happy I went through it, because I feel I have grown a lot, and have become a lot wiser too!

So, the only person you have to compete to… is yourself!

The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday

I am curious to know how you feel about competition… Let me know on the blog!!!

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

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Happiness is an inside job…

Hello gorgeous,

I was watching a Ted talk yesterday from Mathieu Ricard (who is a French writer and Buddhist monk) and was reminded (in case I needed to!) that happiness was an inside job. His advice is to go inside (for instance by meditating) and concentrate on positive feelings like gratitude, compassion and love, which are the antidote feelings for anger, hatred etc. He was also saying that happiness should not depend on how much (stuff, money etc.) you have, but should be a state of being instead.

So I had to think about own quest for happiness and those last 2-3 years since I came back to the South of France. I am no Buddhist monk and not an intense meditator either (although I do meditate, alone and in a group), but I completely resonated with what he said. I feel that I now have a stable core, and that, although I can still be suddenly thrown out of balance by an external event, but at least I know it won’t last very long before I am my normal self again.

Here are my conclusions on what helped me, let me know if it’s the same for you!

  • I tried to make the most of what I had, and be grateful for it. Even though I put it aside for a while as a journaling habit, writing down everyday a few things I was grateful for helped me a lot. To realize how much we already have and how blessed we are. And that it’s not about how much money is there.
  • I consciously thought of self-care, even if I am not the best example in that area, I know how important it is!
  • I gathered my tribe, and it is still expanding. It is so important to be with like-minded people, and people who will lift you up. (It also means letting go of relationships that do not serve you anymore…). My friends are all very different and I am grateful for each one of them to be who they are and for our relationship!
  • I follow my heart whenever possible. It might not always seem logical to others, but I am following my desires and adjusting my course when needed.
  • I accept people and events as they are. If I don’t get what I want immediately, there must be a reason, and it means I will get something even better. People are the way they are, I don’t try to change them, it’s either accepting them as they are or letting them go.

Carpe

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

To live is to choose…

Hello gorgeous,

Oftentimes we forget how many choices we make in a single day.

Some very insignificant, and some much bigger.

Some out of habit, and some out of willingness to try something new for once.

Some dictated by conditioning, and some dictated by passion.

Some out of fear, some out of love.

I just wanted to sit still for a minute to remind you of those choices. Yesterday I was again suffering from headaches, so the choices I made were dictated by my physical state. Which is important, as it seems that I am not listening to myself enough, so the headaches are my body’s way of saying stop!!! Yesterday I listened, and stopped. But I also know from myself that, had I not had such a strong signal I would have just gone on forever… Because of my own conditioning, always doing more, more, more, and always in the “doing”… instead of relaxing and not feeling guilty for relaxing…. I know I still have a lot to learn! Don’t we all have? 😉

The first thing I noticed is that I am now more aware of those moments when I make choices.

Then, when I make them, I ask myself questions like: What is really important here and now? Can that wait? Will I miss it if I don’t do it?

But also questions like: Why am I choosing for this?

And: What would my higher self do?

I believe those last 2 are really important ones, which can help you especially when you find those choices difficult to make. Because those questions can also help you detect what’s left of your conditioning, what it is that you haven’t let go off yet, what it is that you still do because you always did it like that, or because you mum did it that way etc. Isn’t it nice from time to time to do something different than usual? (and to get a different result ;-))

So my advice for this week would be to become more aware of the choices you have in your everyday life, and of the choices you make and why J.

Let me know how this is going for you!

No matter what the situation, remind yourself %22I have a choice%22. Deepak Chopra

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

Why control is an illusion…

Hello gorgeous,

I feel I am forced to continue on my new favorite topic: letting go…. My test results are in and all is normal (which is very good news of course!), I am doing my best to relax and not fill my agenda like I used to, and still the headache is keeping me company… Maybe the issue here is that I am trying too hard…

On Tuesday I was having my singing lesson, I was for once not recording my lesson (trying to preserve my battery!), and my scales were better than normal. I thought, maybe I removed the pressure of recording myself? Then my teacher asked me to let go of the control when singing the songs, and what came out after that was better than before… So that was a good lesson, that I’d better not control what comes out of my mouth 😉

On Friday, in a conversation, we came to talk about control freak people, and how by trying to control everything and everybody around them, they end up with the contrary of what they want (rebellion, abandon, loneliness…).

And yet, while looking for a quote of control I came across so many of them preaching self control… I think we really need to be really careful with that. I agree that we have the power to control our thoughts, our mind, although realizing at the same time how difficult that is. But I don’t believe we need to be self-controlling all the time, otherwise we loose all the fun ;-)! Do small children control themselves? Don’t they have (a lot) more fun than we do?

So, as the quote says, the only thing we can control is the present moment. So I would say, let’s make the most of it. Let’s ask our inner child what she would want, at this minute, and how she would like to feel. Let’s listen to her, as she is a part of us that we tend to forget about, and she needs us to provide nourishment and to respect her needs, because they are our needs too.

we only have control, over two moments in our lives_ here and now.Randi G Fine

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine